Written by Susan Shumsky, DD
Many spiritual leaders and indigenous people believe this planet has now entered a new phase, leading to a more positive future. Those who are sensitive to subtle energies confirm that we have now risen to a higher vibrational level of consciousness.
At this time, people are more open to subtle energies. Therefore, accurate information about the anatomy of the unseen human energy field and its relation with the cosmos is more vital than ever.
Desperately Wanting to Attain Nirvana
My own stunning introduction to the human energy field and its elusive kundalini energy occurred at age 18. A flower child of the hippie generation, I was attending art college in Berkeley, California. The winter of late 1966 was a time of immense discovery. I awoke to Oriental wisdom through Buddhist and Hindu scriptures, readily available in Telegraph Avenue bookstores near the University of California. I consumed as many books about Eastern philosophy as I could lay my hands on.
I came across Alan Watts’s The Way of Zen and Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, which made a profound impression. As I read Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, such as Bardo Thodol (Tibetan Book of the Dead) and the story of Milarepa, a powerful desire consumed my heart. I wanted desperately to attain the state of consciousness I was reading about: nirvana.
I learned that nirvana, or its Zen Buddhist equivalent, satori, meant the end of suffering: spiritual enlightenment, freedom from the “wheel of birth and death”—the cycles of reincarnation. Something within me knew this was the only goal worth pursuing. Since I read that nirvana could be found by practicing meditation, my heart yearned to learn how. Alan Watts emphasized the importance of a “meditation guide.” But, needless to say, in 1966, no yoga or meditation schools could be found in the yellow pages of the telephone directory.
My First Kundalini Experience
At that time I lived with some other art students in one of those charming San Francisco Bay Area redwood-shingled beamed-ceiling houses. One afternoon I asked a roommate whether he knew how I could find a meditation guide. He replied, “Have you ever tried to meditate by yourself?”
So I thought I would give it a try. I entered my bedroom and lay on my back. Since I was clueless about what I was doing, I prayed for an experience of meditation. Without warning, I was suddenly propelled into an ecstatic state! My body felt as if it were plugged into an electric socket. A huge rush of energy bolted from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. I was connected to a powerful cord of energy that continuously pumped through my body like a rocket.
Since I never had experienced anything remotely similar, I figured this must be “meditation.” Little did I know, this was not only my first meditation experience, but also my kundalini awakening—all at the same time. This atomic explosion of energy was both ecstatic and bewildering.
Under Maharishi’s Spell
After my initial meditation, it was not long before I found myself on the banks of the Ganges River in the Himalayan foothills in Rishikesh, India, studying with a spiritual master. I ended up living in his ashrams (spiritual communities) for 22 years in the Himalayas, Swiss Alps, and secluded areas of the United States. I was on his personal staff under his close tutelage for seven of those years.
His name was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental Meditation (TM) and guru (teacher) of the Beatles and Deepak Chopra. However, I met Maharishi and started TM before they discovered him. In 1970, I received the unheard-of blessing of staying with Maharishi in his ashram in Rishikesh for six months, and remained with him and only five other disciples for two months.
During the 22 years of studying in my guru’s ashrams, I meditated up to 20 hours a day. Sometimes I went into my room and did not appear for eight weeks at a time. I observed silence and did not speak to anyone for up to four months at a time. I sometimes fasted for two months at a time, and I observed celibacy for decades.
Under Maharishi’s guidance, I experienced samadhi daily. Samadhi, a Sanskrit word derived from the roots, sama (evenness) and dhi (deepest part of the intellect), means profound stillness of body along with mental quietude—transcendental consciousness. This experience of samadhi is the goal of Yoga philosophy—what seekers of enlightenment strive to attain.
This experience of sat-chit-ananda (absolute-consciousness-bliss) is readily available to anyone.
The Experience of Bliss
Another component of living with a spiritual master is the mysterious experience called shaktipat. This blissful transference of energy occurs when enlightened masters put their attention on a disciple. In such cases the guru acts as an energy field for the student in the transmission of kundalini energy.
Maharishi rarely spoke of kundalini experiences, which he pigeonholed as “release of stress.” In other words, the phenomena associated with kundalini, or rushing sensations up the spine, are more precisely defined as blockages to the free flow of kundalini energy. If the channel were clear, there would be no sensations—only the experience of unbounded awareness and bliss consciousness.
Yet, when disciples came into Maharishi’s direct presence, the experience of kundalini, in the form of bliss, was automatically transferred to the disciple through Maharishi’s glance, word, or attention. Spiritual masters overflowing with vital energy have the power to transmit this energy in order to heal and uplift people, even bring them to higher consciousness. The mysterious force known as prana is key to the secret of divine transmission from guru (teacher) to chela (student).
Many people think disciples who clamor after gurus are desperate and weak, brainwashed by these cult leaders. In some cases, this is true. Yet one component of being near a spiritual master is often overlooked: the profound transference of energy that occurs in the presence of a true saint. That is why the great saint Ramakrishna Paramahansa said, “Keep holy company; and now and then visit God’s devotees and holy men.”
When I was studying with Maharishi, I lived for this experience. However, Maharishi’s devotees did not call it shaktipat. We called it darshan (sight)—the blessing of being in the presence of an enlightened master. I tried everything in my power to get near Maharishi as often as possible. For whenever he put his attention on me, I was propelled into a state of sheer delight and ecstasy.
An Altered State of Consciousness
What did kundalini transference feel like? For me, the world stopped. Time and space disappeared. There was nothing but a wave of love on an ocean of bliss. I was knocked over with spiritual energy that poured from my guru’s eyes. This energy shot directly from his eyes like a bullet of bliss that blasted into my aura(energy field). Rushes of intense power and love throbbed through my body, electrifying and energizing it.
Catapulted into an altered state of consciousness, my mind became expanded, joyous, and free. My body felt ecstatic. My spirit lifted into unbounded awareness. My heart opened. I was filled with light. Nothing existed but the now-ness of now in the eternity of the present. My I-ness dissolved into a sea of love and devotion. Waves of bliss rolled through that sea, and I drowned in complete surrender at my beloved guru’s feet.
Throughout the decades, other spiritual masters have graced me with similar experiences of kundalini transference. Notable was Babaji Raman K**ar Bachchan, a Tantric master with whom I studied for a few years. A spiritual healer, he transfers kundalini energy by chanting mantras and then blowing on the person.
Jesus used a similar method when he met his disciples after his resurrection. “He ‘breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.’”
A great saint of India, Brahmaveta Shri Devraha Hans Baba, uses his voice to transport people into ecstatic states. A naga baba (naked ascetic), he chants devotional songs to the Gods Radha and Krishna in an ancient mysterious language, entirely untranslatable. As he sings, people enter blissful, altered states of consciousness, and, amazingly, they feel compelled to dance as they experience divine love.
Amritananda Mayi, otherwise known as Ammachi, often called the “hugging saint,” transfers kundalini energy by hugging her disciples.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Moses also used the power of touch as a conduit for kundalini energy: “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him.”
It’s Not Out There, But In Here
After more than two decades in the ashram with Maharishi, I had not experienced what I was seeking—a true connection and direct relationship with God in a personal way. Luckily, after leaving the ashram, I found a means to connect to Spirit through listening to the “still small voice” of divine guidance and wisdom within—to have direct, two-way “conversations with God.”
What I discovered through nearly five decades of spiritual study is that the kingdom of heaven lies within your own heart and soul. You can experience inner shaktipat through your own experiences. You can have direct contact with your inner guru who will bless you with the recognition of ecstasy and bliss within. You can attain spiritual enlightenment by yourself, without looking to others for advice, for energy, for kundalini, or for anything.
You can awaken kundalini through innumerable means, including prayer, devotion, worship, intellectual inquiry, meditation, yoga practices, yoga breathing exercises, willpower, discernment, knowledge, and body purification. In fact, any manifestation of spiritual gifts or supernormal powers indicates kundalini is already awake to some degree. This enigmatic kundalini energy, which brings bliss, energy, power, and ecstasy, is definitely worth finding.
Reprinted, with permission of the publisher,
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About the Author
Dr. Susan Shumsky is the award-winning author of seven other books -- Ascension, How to Hear the Voice of God, Exploring Meditation, Exploring Auras, Exploring Chakras, Divine Revelation, and Miracle Prayer. She is a foremost spirituality expert, pioneer in the consciousness field, and highly acclaimed speaker. Susan Shumsky has practiced spiritual disciplines for 45 years with enlightened masters in secluded areas, including the Himalayas and the Alps. For 22 years, her mentor was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru of the Beatles and Deepak Chopra. She served on Maharishi's personal staff for seven years. She is the founder of Divine Revelation®, a technology for contacting the divine presence, hearing and testing the inner voice, and receiving clear divine guidance.
Watch a video with Susan Shumsky: Living A Divinely Guided Life