Reiki and Kundalini

Bronwen and Frans StieneArticles, English 8 Comments

spiral dragon pole

Are they different or the same? 

Many people who practice the system of Reiki have energetic experiences, some are very subtle while others are massively overwhelming.

When practitioners have an overwhelming experience, they often ask if they have had a Kundalini experience.

Some Reiki teachers say that this is impossible as Kundalini is very different to Reiki. But lets take a closer look to see if this statement is correct or not.

According to Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, Kundalini means: “the power of the Divine Self that is hidden within humans.” 

The word Reiki means our True Self, and it is the tools within the system of Reiki that teach us to tap into the power of our True Self. 

We can, therefore, say that it is just the wording which is different, but that the essence of the two are the same; our True Self is also our Divine Self and the other way around. 

Both the snake and the dragon come from the same source. In the Indian tradition, Kundalini is often associated with a snake, while in Japanese esoteric traditions it is often symbolised as a dragon. The Sanskrit word used to symbolise both the snake and the dragon is actually the same word – Naga. Therefore, Naga can be seen as the family name of both the snake and the dragon.

In conclusion, we can see that the word Kundalini is representative of the same state as the word Reiki. 

Why do we sometimes have overwhelming experience and how do we deal with them?

We can become overwhelmed when we begin to remember our True Self (Reiki). The more we practice the system of Reiki, the more we work towards self-fulfilment, enlightenment, remembering our True Self, and unification with the universe. This unification with the universe can trigger a tremendous amount of power within us, just imagine, you being the universe and the universe being you, no beginning or end! 

In reality, as practitioners of the system of Reiki, most of us are only scraping the surface of what we can realize; such as unification with the universe.

If we suddenly tap into these deeper layers, it is a shock and our body might start to shake, or we might have strange visual experiences, strong pain, a sense of loss of the self or feelings that we are without a body.

If this happens, it is common for practitioners to feel at least uncertain if not downright scared. We might begin to blame the energy for being too much or too painful. The truth is that this happens because we are not prepared, we haven’t put in the ground work to gradually build our inner strength.

As Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda says: “However do not blame the “Kundalini” but blame the stupidity or incorrect techniques. Whoever faithfully follows the path the master has given will certainly not suffer such problems.”and Sri Mahaprabhuji states: “Kundalini is the divine Mother. A true mother never causes harm or does anything bad to her children.” 

Thus to remember our True Self through the practice of the system of Reiki we need to work in the correct way, by starting with the foundation. This is why Usui-san included practices like Joshin Kokyu Ho within Shoden level I. Joshin Kokyu Ho works with focusing and bringing our energy to the hara/tanden which in turn creates a solid foundation for the rest of the teachings to rest upon. This foundation is not established in a weekend workshop but might take a few years of daily practice. 

When we have prepared ourselves in the right way the experiences will not be overwhelming. Even if the experiences are strong relatively, we will know how to deal with them as we have created a solid foundation and prepared ourselves to experience these deeper layers of our True Self.

So make sure that if you are interested in delving into the deeper layers of the system of Reiki that, first of all, you chose a teacher who can guide you and that you prepare yourself.

Comments 8

  1. Avatar of Kris Azzarello

    The True Self is The True Self, regardless of different names for the same One. 

    Coming from a meditation tradition that honors the Kundalini, we know that the Kundalini always gives us what we need at that exact moment (sound familiar?).  We also know that we can have Kundalini experiences arising during meditation.  Some of the stronger, more dramatic experiences (colors, lights, visions) may make it seem that person is getting a “stronger” experience than someone who is very still and peaceful.  But, truly, Kundalini gives the experience that you need most at that exact moment.  My meditation teacher said that the visions, colors, lights, etc are a distraction so that the Kundalini can do what needs to be done without you trying to analyse or doubt it. 

    We were also taught that you need to have a good daily practice so as to be able to hold the energy (Kundalini).  Being a sturdy vessel that doesn’t leak, spill or waste the energy.  A good foundation is crucial, not only to being a good vessel, but to be able to to handle the kriyas, (experiences) that might be startling or disturbing.  That is why it is not recommended to begin a Kundalini Yoga class on your own; the postures are designed to awaken the Kundalini – but forcing an experience is never a good thing.  Best to be with a teacher you trust, regardless of which path you choose, to explore this.

    Meditating for almost 25 years now and having practiced Reiki for about 20 years, I see no conflict, no division.  The energy is the energy.  The True Self is the True Self.  I am extremely fortunate to have wonderful teachers in both!

  2. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Kris,

    I agree that some people think that when we have many visions or strong energetic experiences we are deeper on the path, but this is not the case, it is just another experience.

    Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda states: “But its [Kundalini] awakening is not a physical occurrence; it consist exclusively of a development in consciousness. This becomes more noticeable as our perceptions of cosmic vibrations and radiant energy become more sensitive, and our understanding of connections and laws within the universe deepens”.

    I also agree that we need to have a teacher we trust, this is why I am currently having 3 teachers myself, so that I can go deeper into my own personal practice and in Usui-san’s teachings.

    So true as well that we need to create a solid base, without a solid base cracks will appear in our practice/vessel.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

  3. Avatar of Elly

    Hi Frans! Sorry to go off-topice, but when you said you had three teachers, I thought that would be a fantastic topic for a blog post. How does a person find the right teacher(s) for them? How do they know when it’s time to move on, assuming it ever is? How did you choose your current three, and why, and how do you relate to each of them? As a revered teacher yourself, addressing this topic in a blog post would be so helpful to those who are starting out or who feel “stuck.” I think a lot of people are disappointed by Reiki because they took the first course they heard about and it wasn’t a good fit, or there was no support and followup, so they just gave up. And at the other end of the spectrum are the people who rush to take every class they possibly can to boost their “Reiki power” and credentials. Both are missing a wonderful opportunity to grow in Reiki, to grow, period. I would love to read a post with your thoughts on this!

  4. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Elly,
    That is a nice idea, let me think about it for a bit and see what comes up.

    I agree, I hear from many practitioners and teachers that they feel stuck in their practice, or that they collect different ways of teachings like trophies.

    Thanks for the idea 🙂

  5. Avatar of seeema Sahoo

    Thanks for this lovely article Frans.

    I have just started to go to Reiki shares and all I hear is every one talking about Kundalini experiences and how much it made them sick etc.

    Some are even obsessed by it that they actually are “looking ” it to happen and that is their soul aim . Meaning to have that kind of experience so suddenly they will have some “powers” 🙂

    I can see how it can be overwhelming and one can become fearful if it will happen suddenly and also if it happens in more subtle way where one can handle it…

    naga and dragon makes so much sense …

    Thank you

  6. Avatar of Katie Cheeseman
  7. Avatar of Gina

    Some years ago I was at a Cathedral here in DC for a labyrinth walking meditation. I was in kind of a state: miserable at work and not very happy in general. I started walking the labyrinth and started to feel very warm. I had been meditating somewhat regularly for a few years (only 4 years or so). As I made my way through the labyrinth, I felt warmer and warmer, like a bright yellow fire rising inside. By the time I reached the center, it felt like energy bursting out of my head and hands. I can’t really describe what I thought or felt about the experience, but the next day at work I remember how much more confident I felt. It was an unfamiliar feeling and I didn’t really know what to do with it. So I just kind of shut down. I don’t talk about it and the thought still scares me a little. I get uncomfortable when anyone mentions Kundalini. I had another experience a couple years ago at a Natural Living Expo in the DC area. It felt first like excess stuff grounding into the earth but then like energy rising, until it got to the middle of the forehead, then I started to panic. By this time (2013) I had been practicing Reiki but my regular meditation practice had fallen by the wayside and it seems there was something about it, something there I didn’t want to “see.” Kundalini or True Self or whatever it is, it scares me. When I get close, I shut down and pull back. If someone asks, a wall goes up.

  8. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Gina,
    Sometimes we fear the unknown, we fear letting go of our label, of we we think we are. To be able to let go of the fear we need to work on our grounding so we have a solid foundation to go deeper into the teachings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *