From the very outset of the process, it is imperative to learn some foundational spiritual principles and to begin the practices of implementation. I’ve written about some of them in the other kundalini pages above, but namely I am referring to self-discovery and awareness tools, basic mindfulness or observer consciousness, working with subconscious material and understanding how it creates emotional reactions, behavior patterns, and desire, the rooting out and undoing of self-judgment and other false beliefs, the practices of self-love, forgiveness, compassion, boundaries, vulnerable expression and the like.
Next is the growing familiarity with the kundalini symptoms as metaphysical symbols of what is out of alignment, and what we are being asked to work on. We slowly begin to learn the language of kundalini, using the symptoms as guides to show us where we are not entirely in our truth. This is a very personal learning process, because even the same symptoms will mean different things to different people. We can generalize a bit, but for the most part each person must cultivate this relationship with kundalini on his/her own terms. Learning the language of the symptoms takes time and practice, but it becomes second-nature after a while.
Then (and these stages aren’t exactly linear, but I’m pretending they are for the sake of this post), there is the beginning of inner child work, which gets us in touch with our authentic self. Forming that internal relationship and recalibrating our inner compass, to be lead by the needs and wants of the inner child, is the first step to really shedding the ego and false self. This is the phase where the practitioner may experience a series of ego deaths as the internal clinging is released.
Some basic psychological understanding is needed here to grasp the distinction between what ego is always seeking, and what the inner child is seeking (external approval and validation versus sourcing from within – becoming aware of how that shows up in absolutely every aspect of our interactions and relationships). Being able to tell the difference from within, on the fly, takes time, but it becomes really clear as we practice and get to know ourselves more and more.
This is all easier said than done. Being lead by the inner child takes a lot of courage; as we have all been severely conditioned to fear our authentic selves, here the practice of confronting fear (internally) becomes really important. Anytime panic or anxiety show up as symptoms, or following the dictates of the inner child feels scary, this practice with fear is the answer. It is essentially a turning fully towards the fear and investigating it, which will reveal whatever is seeking awareness. When we go fully into it, and find whatever is asking to be found, the physical experience of fear surrounding that issue stops. All manner of fear (including existential terror/despair, phobias, and persecutory delusions) can be worked through in this way.
When we reach the next phase, of processing out the pain and trauma of childhood, the relationship with the inner child will be crucial to understand what is coming up for resolution. This process should entirely change the story we hold about our childhood, and when it’s finished forgiveness and compassion will naturally take the place of pain. As we learn about trauma and develop the tools that work for our unique needs, there is a secondary development of emotional resilience – the more trauma you process, the greater your capacity for processing becomes. Spirit knows this, and will unlock greater and greater pockets of trauma as the process evolves. This can feel at times like a backwards slide, but it’s actually a sign of progress and growth.
Then, the past life material begins arising. Some familiarity with past life regression hypnosis is helpful at first, to understand the way we go into past life material and how to work with it. During this phase, as we become more proficient with this particular practice, there is no longer a need for hypnosis, as access to the emotional stuff will be closer to the surface. We can understand this phase as “past lives,” ancestral trauma, or merely as archetypal pain and trauma coming out to be digested through the body. It doesn’t really matter what label we attach to it, but thinking of it as past lives makes it much clearer and easier to work with.
What comes after that, and is hardly written or spoken about, is the warfare/training/subtle-passion purification aspect of this process. This takes the person into the heart of madness. This phase is very rare, and is characterized by severe unrelenting spiritual combat and fierce warriorship. During this period of debilitation, functioning in the external world becomes impossible, the entire process taking place in forced seclusion.
Authentically, this is the actual experience of the hero’s journey. This is where real virtue and character are cultivated, where all philosophical truths are lived and experienced, where all paradox is reconciled, where there is a complete purgation and a rebalancing of the polarized personality into the “middle way,” and a terrifying war is fought. It’s indescribably difficult and painful, requiring a slightly different set of mystical practices, as the laws governing this process are uniquely different. This last portion takes place in hell, literally. And the “spiritual ascension” is actually the slow and steady climb up and out of it. The end result is the holy grail – the mystical marriage unifying the person with divinity.