Transcript for Bonnie Greenwell Ph.D – The Kundalini Guide

welcome to the human experience podcast

the only podcast designed to ease your

left and right brain hemispheres and

feed it the most entertaining and

mentally engaging topics on the planet

as we approach our exam please make sure

your frontal temporal and occipital lobe

are in their full form exhibition as you

take your seats consciousness

relax your senses and now us to take you

on a journey we are the intimate

strangers thank you for listening


what’s up folks in Cathedral Kitana here

with the human experience and we’re

diving back into the more esoteric side

of things in this episode as we speak to

dr. Bonnie green well dr. von Greim ah

has been in this industry for over three

decades she has studied some of the

physiological and psychological effects

of what happens during a Kundalini

awakening so the credentials run deep on

this one she’s written at least three

books on the subject which I highly

recommend otherwise folks if you enjoy

our content get to the human expediate

help us cover server costs find us on

Facebook Twitter YouTube all at the

human XP thank you guys so much for

listening the human experiences in

session my guest today is dr. Bonnie

Greene well Bonnie welcome to human


Thank You Xavier this is a nice

opportunity I appreciate it so Bonnie

let’s let’s get in you’ve written a few

books on Kundalini and the awaking

process of Kundalini but how did you get

to the point of writing about this many

years ago I was very serious meditator

and when I went to graduate school at

the Institute of transpersonal

psychology I began to do energy work and

during that time I had an activation of

Kundalini energy and I had to write a

doctoral dissertation at that time so I

decided to explore what

the Kundalini experience was like and

how to make it a positive experience

because what I found is for me the

awakening was extremely wonderful it was

just a great experience and I kept

running into people who said that they

were having a lot of difficulties with

it so the whole point of my research and

later many years of my work has been to

understand what’s the difference and

what can people do to make it a more

graceful grace-filled I guess I could

say experience yeah that’s that’s really

intriguing I’ve heard the same that it

can be kind of a harrowing experience I

mean how where do you see this spectrum

of do you see most people having a

difficult time during this sort of

awaking process or is it more gentle for

most people well I think because of my

books and my research my websites a lot

of the people who call me are those who

are having difficulties but there are

probably many who do not have such

difficulties it depends a lot on the

context in which the energy awakens and

whether you have a support system of

some sort where you understand what’s

happening to you at the time which for

me that was really important I I was in

a graduate school of transpersonal II

oriented people and I was going to

programs at Esalen with Stan Grof and

others so I had a lot of people who

understood what the process was right

that’s really intriguing I find the

whole thing really really intriguing um

I mean what is something that would

cause a Kundalini awakening I mean is

there a certain point in someone’s life

I mean maybe a traumatic experience or a

realization through meditation is there

commonality but you’ve noticed between

people who have Oakland maleeni

awakening yes there’s many different

ways that it activates but primarily and

classically it has wakened either

because of a very sincere and intense

meditation process often for many years

or through a practice of yoga or chew

gum or something that’s undergone in a


discipline and deep way with somebody

who sincerely is seeking truth or

seeking a relationship with God or

seeking enlightenment for those have

been the classic ways you would see it

there’s specific practices in Kundalini

Yoga and in most yogic systems for

people once they’re ready breathing

practices and other kinds of

concentration practices designed to

activate the energy so that would be the

primary classical way but you also find

many people have an awakening through a

near-death experience or when they’re in

a period of great trauma whether they’re

going through some kind of grief or

maybe some kind of a violent event I’d

one woman who awakened after being

mugged but she had also long period of

yoga practice before them sometimes it

awakens through an encounter with

somebody else who has awakened energy

and sometimes it just happens

spontaneously and there’s no real logic

you can find in it but usually there’s

some kind of an initiating event that

that made it it’s just Kundalini is only

the life force it’s your own life force

and you could say that when it awakens

which is normally considered to happen

at the base of the spine although in

some systems it happens by an activation

in the center of the body or in the

heart but when it activates you notice a

difference there’s that before and after

this is a very specific event you can

you can trace the initiation of

Kundalini – and then there’s many years

of experiences that often follow it yeah

it’s fascinating so I mean Kundalini is

a thousand two thousand years old kind

of tradition I mean do you than India

have been kind of talking about

Kundalini but now we’re seeing this sort

of proliferate what’s going on here in

Western society why do you think that

there’s this crossover happening for

Mesa West when I think back in the 30s

40s and then again in the 60s there was

a great influx of yogic teachers and

piete teachers from the buddhist

traditions coming to the west so a lot

of people in those days where you could

say the culture was kind of seeded with

the kind of spiritual practices that

would make this more likely to happen

and then in the 60s it happened quite a

bit with people who were using LSD there

was a whole movement of people who are

very intensely trying to shift their

consciousness and so that generation had

a one influx you could say of the energy

activating or consciousness shifts that

may precede an activation of energy so

today though what’s really been

different since the computer age is

people can find ways to dedicate

themselves to spiritual awakening all

over the internet they can find

practices that are very energizing they

can find meditation practices meditation

is almost mainstream now and if the

person’s kind of ripe not everybody who

meditates is going to have this kind of

awakening it’s probably a fairly small

percentage but if there’s other ways in

their life

that their consciousness is prepared or

ready for this to happen it’s very

possible for it to activate through a

meditation practice and millions of

people are doing that today also

millions are doing yoga so there’s

there’s been a real shift in society and

the openness to those kind of

experiences yeah I agree completely you

know in the in the early 90s 1991-92 I

had a Kundalini Awakening and it was

probably the most scary event that I’ve

ever experienced one of the most scary

events I’ve ever experienced and I think

through the years that that followed it

was even more harrowing because I had no

idea what’s going on there was no sense

of kind of getting online and even even

getting online and typing it in no one

was talking about Kundalini back then so

and yeah things have changed a lot

things are a lot different what do you

think this means for I mean people like

you who

specialize in cleaning what what are

your patients that come to you like what

what is something that you would tell a

person that comes to you and says hey

dr. Bonnie I just my Kundalini awakened

you know I feel like this is happening

to me will you what do you say that

person well as I start to work with

somebody I haven’t fill out a

questionnaire that gives me a lot of

background information because whatever

you’ve brought into the process has a

huge impact on what you’re experiencing

and what might be helpful in making it a

more smooth experience so I do that I

also ask their history a little bit

because I want to know what triggered it

how did it begin for them and that will

give me a little insight on what’s

needed for example if they’re already in

a spiritual community of some sort

they’ll have a good context you’ll know

what’s happening if they were in an

accident and they never had ever heard

of anything spiritual they may need to

get it set into a context in which they

understand that there is an experience

called spiritual awakening and for

thousands of years it’s been written

about primarily in the east and that

Kundalini is a natural part of that

process it’s it’s the part that allows

your whole energy field to awaken and

support your spiritual intention and

that it’s been written about in

classical literature but it’s just not

understood in Western medicine so

doctors and therapists have never really

gotten a framework or a paradigm for

interpreting in but they’re that it’s

very well-known in the East and that

it’s all about their transformation and

their body becoming available to higher

states of consciousness and to the

integration or the living from those new

perceptions do you think that this is

happening to more people now than before

it’s very possible some people think

that I believe that Eckhart always

talked about this being a not so much

Kundalini of consciousness being much


and today but I think we also have to

realize that there’s a larger population

and there’s a lot more inner

communication than there used to being

so it may have been possible that

certain cultures or certain groups of

people did have these kinds of

significant awakenings but it just

wasn’t wide widely known yeah you know

it seems like when there is a convenient

like the the charge in your body is

completely different and you’re you’re

just sensitive to more and your your

chakras are more open you’re just more

sensitive to everything would you agree

with this yes that’s one of the biggest

concerns people have especially if they

were a little bit sensitive types of

people anyway and it can become

extremely uncomfortable because they can

feel they can just feel things in other

people’s energies they they’re much more

receptive they can’t handle going into

big-box stores and places where there’s

tension and toxic relationships in fact

the energy actually the awakening

requires us to really be honest with

ourselves and should make changes in our

life is some of the things we’re doing

are not compatible for us that in a way

the high sensitivity sort of telling you

you really need to either change or get

out of this particular relationship or

this job it’s not you’re not in tune

with it it’s not right for you and you

have to learn to listen to your body and

do what the energy seems to be wanting

you to do if you want to be comfortable

and the people a lot of people who get

into great difficulty are doing things

in their life that are very very

stressful and that are just not in tune

with their deeper authentic desires and

truth and they have to make changes or

they’re going to continue to feel bad to

feel even sick sometimes do you believe

in reincarnation Bonnie I think it’s

there’s a high likelihood of it

I’ve had many past life regressions

myself and done that with other people

and many times people in a Kundalini

process will have a spontaneous past

life memory or deja boo’ experience and

they feel very real feels like it really

was me but it’s also very possible that

we’re just connecting into the

collective lives and experiencing

another another life or another you

might say another dream of life that’s a

belief system you know it’s something

you can’t know positively you just can

know what it feels like it feels true

but you can’t nobody can actually prove

that it is true so hypothetically do you

think that the Kundalini process could

be a sort of cleansing so that you can

kind of escape to your incarnation cycle

or I think that it’s an opening and the

clearing in a way it makes you face much

more of your incarnation ‘el cycle it’s

not a way of leaping past it everything

that you need to see comes up if you

have unfinished psychological issues

that you’ve never addressed they’re very

likely to come up some of the shaking

and jerking and letting the body release

that is some of the energetic holding of

tension from your past from your

conditioning but often you also get

something will happen in your life that

really throws your old conditioning in

your face and you have much more freedom

to choose to see through that and stop

identifying with it so it’s a you could

say almost a spontaneous psychological

process so what is something that you

would say to someone maybe listening to

this program that is experiencing a

convenient Awakening is something that

you would you either know that’s

happening to you is it not something

that you guess about a lot of times

people will have an experience that

would be you could say prior to

Kundalini in yoga they call it prana

Tata we all have pranic energies in our

bodies and that’s how Qigong works

you’re learning to tune into that that’s


but Reiki is doing you’re learning to

use and let this energy flow through

your body if you’re having some energy

stirrings let’s say you’re a meditator

and energy stirs at the base of the

spine or there’s bitching or vibration

or maybe sometimes little rushes of

energy then you’re possibly in a process

where Kundalini may activate if you’re

experiencing if you’ve experienced a

very intense rush of energy and your

body shaking uncontrollably or it’s that

doesn’t seem to be like a seizure it’s

not like a seizure disorder it’s much

more like a rolling energy it can be

very scary but it’s actually a good sign

that your subtle body is cooperating

with your spiritual intention or if you

didn’t ever have a spiritual intention

it’s an invitation to a type of

transformation and grace that you may

not have expected was available to you

what will happen is that this process

just naturally unfolds itself if you

don’t hold yourself in resistance to it

it’s the anger fear and resistance that

makes it more uncomfortable but you do

have to give it its time sometimes you

really need to if you’re using drugs a

lot of people today are having

activations after using ayahuasca or

various other kinds of substances

substances that are that create

spiritual little openings you may need

to stop doing that if you’re

uncomfortable if you’re feeling rotten

if things are unpredictable you can’t

ground yourself you may need to look at

the stressors in your life and what you

need to change sometimes people have

this awakening who have done a lot of

work with Hospice they’ve been sitting

with people who make these transitions

and they go into these very profound

states of awareness with them and that

can be an activation so there’s many

different ways this might happen for you

and you’re just

to get into right relationship with it

seeing it as your own deeper self

wanting your consciousness to wake up to


that’s what wakes up is consciousness

consciousness awareness is trying to

wake up out of you in such a way that it

helps you to have a different

perspective of life and of yourself and

of the world and of your connection with

everything in it

it’s a very wonderful opportunity and

you may not wish it was happening to you

right now it might be inconvenient you

know I usually tell people it’s just

that your number is up it’s time you’re

going to go through this you can’t just

make it go away once it’s moved to a

certain level in your body where you’re

feeling it maybe through your throat or

up into the head but it has a process

and it can be made more gentle more

smooth in a sense that you are welcoming

it using it to deepen your meditation or

to discover meditation and start to take

very good care of your body not using

substances that are toxic not hanging

out with people that are toxic if your

work is making you very unhappy you may

need to really look at what can you do

what is your body really want to do that

would feel much more harmonious for you

you might also need to be out in nature

more to find a space that you can sit in

if you’re in a city you might need to

create a place in your yard or your home

where you feel very peaceful you need to

ground work with your hands do things

that make you feel stable and connected

to the earth in some way my books are

very helpful guides to the Kundalini

guide and the awakening guide many

people write me and say they’ve been a

great help and I also have websites with

a lot of information Kundalini guide

calm and awakening guide calm yeah so

those are places to begin yeah we can

plug those

you know as as I get older Bonnie I’m

more resolved towards living a peaceful

and living less dangerous you know and

Kundalini strikes me as highly dangerous

kind of thing if you’ve treated the

wrong way and I think it’s possible for

someone who’s experiencing in Kundalini

awakening to be misdiagnosed as

schizophrenic or having some sort of

mental health condition have you seen

that before there’s a certain percentage

of people that that has happened to it’s

most likely to happen under several

circumstances one is that you have this

awakening because of a response to a

substance you were using like LSD or


and you’re having a lot of flashback

visualization experiences visions and

things like that and somebody around you

doesn’t understand what it is and they

get alarmed and you get in the hospital

for a while it’s also likely to happen

if you go with if you get manic and you

don’t sleep or you and you go for a

couple almost everybody if they go for

two nights without sleeping we’ll start

looking psychotic the brain needs rest

regularly but sometimes the energy so

high you’re just kind of out of control

for a while and you need somebody that

can kind of take care of you for a

couple of days and if you don’t have

that you end up wandering the streets

you can end up in a hospital for a while

most medical professionals do not

understand Kundalini and if you’re

having visions or you’re hearing voices

they’re likely to interpret it as a

psychotic experiences but but I found

that most of the people in this process

who say hear a voice it’s usually very

soothing and very occasional so it might

be you’re very upset you wake up in the

middle of the night and you hear a voice

say peace be with you or we’re taking it

easy on you or it’s all going to be okay

if you’re hearing voices that are very


that are telling you to do negative

things that the television is talking to

you you’re more likely to be in a

psychotic process it may be that if it

was triggered by drugs or related to


it’ll pass quickly but usually with

Kundalini a vision a vision might be

very occasional and also very powerful

just a transformative experience of

seeing what’s possible and I have to say

most people don’t have visions and

voices but maybe 20% might once in a

while so it’s really a misunderstanding

that gets them labeled the other type of

person that can get really into a lot of

trouble is the overachiever the one who

is doing a tremendous number of

practices they’re very intensely perhaps

doing shamanic work which actually

trains you to travel to other dimensions

and can be very chaotic if you’re not

really geared up to do that kind of

thing and they may be doing breathing

practices four or five hours a day

they’re pushing themselves and they’re

pushing their consciousness in their

mind and their nervous system and they

can have a collapse within that process

so it’s much better to try if you’re a

spiritual seeker and your longings for

enlightenment is to try to have a more

balanced and harmonious approach to it

so that you maybe take good care of your

body you do a gentle meditation practice

regularly maybe a little bit of yoga but

you’re tuning in all the time to

bringing yourself back to earth calming

yourself down but I don’t think of it as

dangerous I think of it as

transformative and if it’s happened to

you inevitable and fear is one of the

most difficult aspects of it fear makes

it much much worse the mother who was a

yogi that was a partner of Ora bindles

said once that

the heartfelt release of fear is the

most important step on the spiritual

path very interesting how long do you

notice that these symptoms last after a

person has a Kundalini experience or an

awakening if the energy has fully

awakened it never fully goes away it

gets much more it’s for the rest of your

life you have it well yes and no I’ll

just talk about my own experience which

began more than thirty years ago sure

it’s more intense the first year or two

there’s a lot more where your body wants

to release energy I always recommend

people lay down on their bed and just

let the energy go for a little while

usually lasts about 10 minutes and then

it stops and then you feel relaxed if

you’re trying to contract and hold it

back it can become much more

uncomfortable so that stage of having a

lot of energy releases usually gets a

little bit easier after a couple of

years and especially if you’re not

adding a lot of stressors other

stressors in your life if you have a

pretty balanced life then for me what

happened and I when my energy awoke I

was in graduate school I wrote a

dissertation I had three teenage kids

and I was working part-time as a

therapist so you know there was a lot of

other things going on in my life so you

can do that but you just have to be

doing things that feel compatible and

right for you then what happened over

the years it got more like a little

interior vibration that felt good I’ve

had a lot of bliss with this experience

and when you tune into it you and you

get used to it you just tune into it and

relax it can be extremely blissful then

some years later seven or eight years

maybe I met Audrey Shanti who is a non

dual teacher and when I began sitting

with him the mood the whole energy

process went to a different level where

I had a very deep awakening of

consciousness or her self whatever we

would like to call that and at that time

the energy settled down almost

completely so so it changed how I looked

at life and myself and everything else

and during that change the energy just

kind of faded away but if I do massage

or I have bodywork or if I just want to

invite it I can lay down and it will

start moving again but it’s almost

always blissful but I’m in my 70s now so

I don’t know to what extent those just

getting older too might mellow out the

process and I’ve had a very stable life

you know I so somebody who has had a lot

of trauma things going on they’ve had to

clear out old abuse issues and then

maybe they’ve gone through a divorce or

their child has died or they they’ve

lost their home and they’ve you know

they’ve done a lot of struggling they

might have a lot more releasing going on

because it is trying to release any kind

of stress or any kind of attachment or

belief that keeps you from feeling

completely free and open yeah there’s a

guest of the show Robert Bruce and he

talks a lot about out-of-body

experiences not sure if you’ve heard of

him but he he also does some work on

Kundalini and one of one of the things

he said was that without a guru type

person your life that could aleni is an

extremely dangerous thing to try to

awaken do you agree with that statement

I don’t encourage people to try to

awaken Kundalini on their own it depends

on the quality of the guru whether he’s

useful or not I’ve had many people from

different spiritual systems contact me

who had awakenings in that system and

their teacher didn’t provide any help at

all but was actually kind of critical

like they shouldn’t be having all that

energy or well they’re not developed

enough to have activated Kundalini or

Kundalini is always positive and you’re

having psychological issues so you have

a problem so you don’t always get what

you need in a typical yogic or Buddhist

or certainly a Christian system I’ve had

nuns call me who felt like

this is the devil making them have all

this energy because it feels so sexual

at times so you know it’s not a absolute

it would be nice if there were some

really good gurus out there who could

really support a person appropriately

through the whole system but there

aren’t very many I always tell people

who call me and say well I want to learn

how to open it I say the best thing to

do is develop a very basic and sincere

meditation practice start with that

don’t start with trying to raise energy

and because your attitude and your

devotion and your sense of wanting with

all your heart to be connected to the

greater aspect of life the knowing of

God somebody might say or the knowing of

your source or the knowing of unitive a

oneness that is going to be the biggest

support you’ll have in the process and

if you can start with that start with

waking up at some level then when the

kundalini happens it’s not something

that you resist and you get into a lot

of trouble with yeah I think you

mentioned you touched on my next

question which is in regards to the

sexual nature of the process and why is

it because it’s opening in that in the

seat of your spine and it’s touching

that chakra is that why it the root

chakra is it and the sacral chakra is

that why it’s so such a sexual

experience Kundalini is life force and

it’s housed just below the sexual organs

and it’s actually responsible for

procreation so that’s where it’s home is

you could say and when it moves and

starts moving in that area of the body

if it gets stuck there you can have a

great intense sexual drive maybe even if

you never did before and it can feel

like you’re going crazy like it’s just

way too much because it’s like it went

from 110 to 220 and if it’s stuck in

those lower two chakras it’s really

difficult and it’s not moving through

the optimal channels

so that would be one of the so-called

dangers of Kundalini is getting one a

few people have this problem when

they’re learning tantric sex they get it

opened and most people who teach Tantra

sex sexually they’re doing it to

so-called improve your sex life but they

don’t understand the spiritual and the

clearing process aspect of it so

sometimes a person will get the

Kundalini moving higher through the body

through the tantric sex and all of a

sudden the whole thing opens up and

they’re having all kinds of phenomena

that they never expected like

involuntary jerking and visions and heat

and other other things that are related

to this opening that can happen because

the energy has been housed in that area

that’s why it’s so much more vulnerable

to intensifying your sexual drive other

times though it will move after it moves

up into the 2nd 3rd 4th chakras the sex

drive goes away completely and that can

be just as alarming for some people it’s

it’s sort of like sometimes their

appetite will go away for a while so it

can cause all kinds of different

reactivity in the body and there’s no

predicting of what it will do for you I

mean it’s not the same from one person

to the next do you feel like people can

have partial awakenings is there is

there a degree of kind of this

experience most awakenings are partial

there most people will have an awakening

initially that perhaps opens up the goes

up into the belly or goes up and once it

goes up into the heart it’s considered a

little more stable so once it moves into

the heart you might experience expansive

unconditional love at times you might

experience a need to really face some of

your own barriers and blocks you might

have discomfort in the heart then it can

move into the throat most people seem to

have blockages in the throat I say

it’s particularly women because they’re

taught not to express everything they

think all of us are taught that in

school we’re taught to be quiet and

there’s a lot of blockages or

contractions in the neck area so a lot

of times the energy ends up staying in

that area for a long time until you’ve

either learned some practices for moving

it or you deal with whatever the trauma

is that’s related to the withholding you

learn to express yourself yeah Wow makes

a lot of sense Bonnie um I really

appreciate your time why don’t you give

us those those websites again what are

your books called please the websites

our Kundalini guide calm and awakening

guide calm the books are the same the

Kundalini guide the awakening guide

they’re on Amazon and I’m just signing a

contract for a new book won’t be out

though until 2018 with new Harbhajan

that should be an overview of everything

that I’ve learned over the last 30 years

awesome that’s really amazing

we will definitely put that link up on

the website so that people can access it

Bonnie thank you so much for your time

with very informative conversation

thanks so much it’s great to be here and

thanks for inviting me this is the human

experience we will see you guys next

week thank you so much for listening

Share Button