by Jana Dixon

Having gone through two kundalini awakenings, Jana Dixon was compelled to attempt to present a manual for others to guide them through the difficult stages of the inner transformation. Kundalini awakenings are completely out of the ordinary and so we must go to extraordinary lengths to explore, explain and investigate how to make the most of this… the most wonderous time of our lives.

This article is an excerpt from “Biology of Kundalini: Exploring the Fire of Life”, available at

Pitfalls on the Path

This is a summary of some obstacles we might encounter on our journey toward harmony. We are each a spectrum of various degrees of the pitfalls that make up our shadow side. The shadow playing into the light and the light playing into the shadow. Love-consciousness would be the light side that is half of who we are, would it not?

The darkside would be the recalcitrant neglect of cues from body-mind-soul-muse regarding the appropriate care and love-consciousness for self or other. Shadow is perhaps the separate-self-sense’s blind concern and focus on that which stops the heart from expanding to infinity.

Kundalini and our beliefs about God and spirituality are not important. What is of ultimate value to us is Life, love and relationship. If our kundalini and our beliefs are interfering with our Life, love and relationship then we must do everything within our power of awareness to rectify this situation.

1-Pathological Regression

Retreat into infantile prerational uroboric fusion. Indulgence in dissolution and fragmentation; often due to lack of modeling, support, structure or clearly defined developmental framework of ascent that covers all sides of the whole human (survival, somatic, emotional, social, spiritual). Desire to let ones life collapse in the hope of being rescued. Retreat into depression and grief to escape more expansive perception and profound sense of being

2-Running Away

Retreat and evasion through dissociation and denial. Inertial holding back to former modes of perception and being. Effort to pull energy down, back and in through substance addictions, heavy food, sedentary lifestyle and through avoidance of “opening” practices and therapy. Secondary fear chemistry due to negative interpretation of kundalini events resulting in panic, paralysis, stagnation, isolation and avoidance. Even running away from bliss and increased wellbeing with various forms of anaesthetization, self-repression and self-destruction.


Bliss obsession is a preoccupation and addiction to blissful energy, using it as a form of narcotic anaesthetization to avoid real world obligations, survival and development imperatives. Hazy, diffuse, forgetful, preoccupied, heedlessness, day dreaming, castle building, directionless. Lost in fantasy, trance, myth, symbol, story, meaning making, synchronicities and connections. Creativity at the expense of survival, through avoidance of rational discernment.


Loss of left-brain focusing and hierarchical prioritization. Chain of Being collapsed. Codependency, dependency, false security in catering to the egos of others, coupled with lower-order giving through forms of slavery whereby ones highest contribution is lost in obscurantism, confusion, ambiguity, paradox, double-binds due to the collapse of the hierarchical prioritizing faculty. Indistinct, labyrinthine, vague, leaky boundaries, jumbled, enigmatic.

5-Fixation on Internal Processes

Overly fascinated, morbidly curious, distracted by and absorbed in kundalini symptoms, psychic phenomena and newfound spiritual powers (siddhas). This compulsive obsession with symptoms and phenomena feeds inflation and interferes with relationships and functional utility. Possible secondary fear or depression over the temporary loss of adaptive functions and left-brain sharpness. Inability to disembed to perceive emotional storms as psychosomatic events of alchemical cycles. Excessive reactivity to conditions both internal and external.

6-Chasing the Dragon

Blindly engaging in practices, stimulants, relationships and events with the aim of rapidly increasing the intensity and speed of the trajectory of kundalini opening. Thereby increasing the danger of more extreme peaks and valleys, which could result in tissue damage, depression, regression and burnout. Self destructive use of the alchemy for thrills, novelty and status.


Expanded psychic ability, high energy and siddhas inflate the ego to feel overly special, superior and unique. This feeds into the separate-self-sense’s illusion of an independent existence and promotes selfishness or “my enlightenment for me.” World savior, grand mission, martyr, new religions, global ideas, evangelical crusade. Visionary over-estimation of reality and potential, generating the propensity to forcibly impose ones will on the world.

8-Internal Exploitation

Turning the sacred into the profane. Lack of integration between the levels, coupled with disillusionment about achieving “higher goals.” Hence exploitation of sex/kundalini/muse energy for “worldly goals” of power, status or monetary gain. “Using” oneself is an introverted symptom of inflation. The more we exploit ourselves the more others exploit us. Treating ourselves as a resource without regard for our spiritual welfare.

9-External Exploitation

Using powerful psychic and siddha powers to exploit others in order to fulfill ones own drive for power, status or monetary gain. Lust, usurpation, manipulation, dominator-hierarchies. Power mongering is an extraverted symptom of inflation. The more we exploit others, the more we exploit ourselves through turning the sacred into the profane. Treating others as a resource without regard for their spiritual welfare.

10-Projecting Spirit

Transference onto Gurus, lovers, alien or channeled entities, angels, saints etc…in disownership of ones own alchemical process, soul and muse. Feels like a powerful force enacting on us from outside, sometimes seeming too great for mortal endurance. Externalization of internal archetypal aspects (Great Attractors) ultimately resulting in our reclaiming them as our own through the pain generated by the projection.


Entrenched preoccupation with appearances, rules, forms, formulas, dogmas, details, rituals and traditions of religious sects. Fanaticism, orthodoxy, fundamentalism, letter of the word, conservatism, conventional, spiritual materialism, elitism/exclusion, need to “belong.” Feeds into power, pride and defense systems of the psyche.

12-Perpetual Seeker

Looking for wholeness and Self outside oneself. Fragmentation due to lack of coherent integration, individuation and boundary definition. Spirit always over the horizon, without serious intention of achieving Self, due to resistance to sovereignty and autonomous choice. Tendency toward projecting Spirit and formalism. Need for parental figures as there is an unconscious commitment to remain immature, obsequious and surrender ones personal power. Bottom dog trying to gain power through connection to a Guru or power figure.

13-Addiction to Cognition

Inability to relax into the spaciousness of the transrational due to tenacious drive of the mind to “know.” Unwilling to let go of focal, associative, analytic mind in order to transcend and include it in “whole-seeing” and full spectrum consciousness. Resistance to relinquishing the myopia of the representational mind and thus avoid uniting the relative will with the Absolute Will; perhaps due to lack to lack of faith or knowledge that there is anything higher than intellect.

14-Absolute Knowledge

Loss of growth potential by closing off to new information due to the hubris of a premature claim to enlightenment. Rigidified bubble of the known as a defense against chaos, dynamism, dissolution and breakdown–thereby preventing resurrection to a higher order. Bombastic grandiose omniscience. Cults, obdurate, implacable, inflexible, rigid, unshakable, stagnant. Arrogance, self-righteousness, self-justification, vanity, pride, top of the heap. Forgets beginners mind due to inflation hence is ignorant of ones ignorance.

15-Spiritual Bypass

“Premature transcendence–high level denial. Avoiding painful psychological issues by immersing oneself in a rigorous spiritual practice, or focusing on experiences of transcendence within the Kundalini phenomena to the exclusion of processing trauma from the past.” – Michael Dubois

16-Abiding in the Absolute

“Holding the absolute dimension so tightly that we can’t see all the relative learning that we still have to do. Trivializing the sense of relative impermanence amidst the artificial perfection of what can seem like a permanent awakening.” – Michael Dubois

17-Blinded by Clarity

“When inner Vision and Intent become so clarified and overpowering, that the clarity itself fixates attention on a limited range of perceptions/interpretations/possibilities. Polishing the interpretive lens so thoroughly, that the lens itself becomes invisible as an object of perception.” – Michael Dubois

18-Cosmic Paradox

Religious forms kill the human spirit or stop it evolving, because religions, churches and ashrams are attempts to legitimize that which needs no legitimization (I am That). And in so doing, a defense against illegitimacy (evil) is set up, which perpetuates evil (self/other separation). Rather, what needs to occur is education in inclusivity, global embrace, We-thinking and the observation that the ego will always try and separate and elevate itself above the crowd in an attempt to acquire legitimacy (good), power and significance.

The fire once ignited must take precedence over all else

The first mantra of the Rig Veda says: “I invoke the fire and place it in the forefront.” This can be interpreted in many ways, but for someone in the throws of a kundalini awakening, it is invaluable to remember this first mantra. For the fire of kundalini works for our salvation and the evolution of the species. To “go into” the fire is the moral choice, while to fight it is counter to our own true nature and Self-actualization. Thus no matter what the challenge the fire puts us through, we must walk into the flame, and let it awaken us to a reality beyond the past and the known.

The suspension and stagnation of the kundalini cycle will occur if:

  • The aspirant becomes overly preoccupied with the physical or psychic symptoms.
  • The immature ego becomes inflated and assumes specialness and superiority for having “achieved” awakened kundalini symptoms and phenomena.
  • The flow of energy and consciousness is blocked by excessive food and substance abuse, excessive sex, total abstinence of sex, or lack of exercise.
  • The awakening is not sincerely dedicated to a higher purpose beyond the life of the individual.

Our sanity, effectiveness and development is reliant on the smooth flow of the kundalini cycle, and with a little understanding there is no reason why it should not proceed as “it” ordains. Although initially, the process itself might be stressful to the neophyte, eventually we become increasingly able to transcend our stressful interpretation and our relationship to life in general is transformed. Kundalini is the main creative force in building a solid sense of deep peace, joy and equanimity. I think equanimity naturally occurs along with kundalini because of the permanent background of bliss that develops. Metamorphosis restructures us to a higher order allowing us to live a “spiritual” life in the material world.

Because kundalini is a purifying, balancing and restorative process, disturbances need to be viewed as “therapeutic” rather than “pathological.” With the right kind of attitude, we can work-with the process and avoid interference that only causes trouble. If however for one reason or another the pace is too fast and violent one can slow down and ease the intensity by eating a heavier diet, stopping meditation, and doing regular vigorous physical activity. The support of someone who has had some “success” with an awakening is recommended if at all possible. If fear, panic and resistance have taken a hold we can be bought back to balance by rational explanations, positive interpretation and emotional support.

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