This is the third account of how once you start on the path of energy work, you can increase your sensitivity to energy and you may have certain energetic experiences.
Before, I continue, I should add a warning.
It can be risky to mix and match systems. Once you pick one energy system, you must stick to that. Though the ultimate goal may be similar, the techniques each system uses can be different.
It is kind of like trying to force a British electrical appliance into an European plug socket. There will be a mismatch of voltage. Accidents can occur. Some energetic systems can contradict or reverse each other.
Some people do search and seek out different masters and try out different classes and systems. In the early stages, this is fine. But once you find a system or teacher. Stick to them, and them alone.
This is the approach I took. In my 20s, I went through a process of seeking. I visited different classes and teachers to see what I may feel. In the end, I did not stick with any of them as it did not fit me.
In this article, I will discuss the strong energetic sensations I experienced when visiting a Sahaja Yoga Class.
3. My visit to the Sahaja yoga class
My third occasion occurred unexpectedly at a yoga meditation class in Swiss Cottage, North London. I had picked up a flyer for Sahaja yoga meditation classes held at the library. At the time, I was an acupuncture student, and was open to trying out all things energy, for example – Buddhism classes, meditation, yoga, qigong and tai chi.
Sahaja yoga is a system of meditation created by the Indian guru, a woman called Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923 – 2011)
Sri Mataji maintains that there is an innate spiritual potential inside all of us and that it can be spontaneous awakened leading got self realisation. This yoga specifically works on raising the Kundalini energy.
Sri Mataji traveled and lectured around the world for 40 years. Also they do not accept payment. I do not recall if I ever paid for a class when I attended. I may have paid a donation, but I don’t recall.
Her organisation is huge with classes and branches in many different countries.
My first class
The class started out with a regular meditation session. I am not particularly keen on group meditation. I am also self-conscious about my stomach growling or gurgling or the need to swallow saliva. This quiet and perfectly natural bodily functions seem to become as loud as thunder when you are sitting among a group of people in silence. Even worse if you have gas.
I always wondered why yogis eat the types of food that are highly likely to cause gas – vegetables, lentils and pulses.
Sorry for my British toilet humour.
Pair work exercise
When the meditation came to an end, the leader introduced an exercise we were to carry out. It was not anything I had experienced before. We were to pair up and in turn, one person had to sit on a chair, whilst the other stood behind to do some kind of energy work.
The standing person had to position themselves behind them and carry out some kind of hand activity whereby they moved energy up the spine by, making a waving motion with the hand in an upwards direction along the spine.
At first, I did not really understand just what was the purpose of this activity. A middle-aged lady, with a warm glint in her eye, readily paired up with me. She beckoned to me to sit down. I was glad to be the first to sit in the chair.
This lady stood behind me. I closed my eyes, not really sure what to expect. I assumed it might be some kind of Reiki treatment. I’d had a few Reiki treatments previously, which I had found relaxing, but nothing more.
But this time was different – very different. I did not know what the lady behind me was doing, but I did feel something quite unusual and very noticeable.
A rising sensation
I had an unusual sensation of something rising up my spine. It was quite sudden. And then I could feel my heart beating crazily. I was having palpitations. At the time, I was in my 20’s and had no heart problems. So this sensation really took me by surprise.
I also felt very hot. ‘What the hell is going on!?’ – I thought.
I opened my eyes and watched the other class members in front of me. They did not seem to be doing anything unusual. The person behind the sitting person was simply waving her hands in an upward fashion up the spine of the seated person.
Being British, I didn’t want to complain, so I kept these sensations to myself, but they were becoming quite intense, and I was getting a little worried. I spoke out:
“I’m feeling a bit uncomfortable”
That was an understatement. Actually I was feeling very uncomfortable – I was hot, sweating excessively, and my heart was beating wildly. I could actually hear my own heart thundering in my chest. I wondered if it might explode.
The lady brought the exercises to an end and faced me. I told her – “That was powerful and very strange, I could really feel something”.
The lady said to me, “I couldn’t get it to rise all the way”. What did she mean by ‘it’? I thought.
She told me – “You have some blockages in your throat as well as your abdomen.
I had read up on some concepts of Traditional Indian medicine, and in particular the chakra system. So I took her statement to mean that she was referring to my throat chakra and second chakra.
I thought it interesting how her findings fit in with my own understanding of my own unique energetic pathology and health condition.
Blockages – energetic and physical
For example, in my 20s, I suffered with a digestive disease called ulcerative colitis. This kind of condition affects the lower abdomen causing inflammation in my gut (the second chakra area).
In my late teens and 20s, I metaphorically swallowed up a lot of emotions – anger, frustration and self-esteem areas in my gut. My stomach muscles have always been tight since.
As regards the blockage in my throat chakra, this also fits. Ever since I was a child, I have had difficulties in fully expressing myself. I was a very late talker and grew up in a broken family. It may have come from my upbringing. Communication is related to the throat chakra.
Even ten years later as I write this, I am aware I still have these blockages present. Guess I’m a bit lazy when it comes to spiritual work.
Truthfully after this experience I was bewildered. I did not understand just what kind of exercise this was about. I didn’t get an opportunity to do the hand movements on my partner as our time ran out. On that occasion, I got the full-time for myself.
That day, I did not see anyone else react with any unusual sensations. I wondered if this was because the person I partnered up with had some special ability or was this exercise the same for everyone?
But then people probably feel different things. Maybe other people got a pleasant sensation from this exercise, which made them happy to keep returning
Return to the yoga class
I found the answer to that question, when I returned to the class once more. I did not want to wait a week, so I attended the next available class. This was at a different location in Hampstead. The people there were different.
The class format was the same, although there was one guy at the front who had removed his socks during the meditation. We were all packed into a small room, it was summer and he didn’t seem to care that everyone in the room had to smell his feet.
We moved on the pair exercise and I partnered up with an older pleasant-looking women. I took my seat eagerly waiting to see what would come.
But this time, there was nothing. After she had finished, I told the lady I had felt relaxed. But I was a little disappointed that I did not get a repeat of the first occurrence.
Then we switched places and I tried out doing the exercise on her. I had to ask the teacher for guidance on what I was meant to be doing. She did not feel anything from my efforts and neither did I.
In hindsight, I felt that the initial reaction must have been because the first women doing it to me, was sensitive to the energy and could feel exactly what she was doing. Whereas on the second occasion, the person doing the movements, did not have the same level of sensitivity and was still a student.
I was in two minds whether I should pursue this class and keep going. Was it right for me? A part of me felt a little fearful, as I did not know what I was getting into. These palpitations and chest sweating was quite an extreme sensation.
Perhaps I should have been brave – not a pussy, and gone and done it.
Asking for a Second opinion
I decided to ask my qigong teacher, Dorothea, at the time for her opinion. I still had some doubts and fears from what I had briefly experienced.
I considered that this yoga class was designed to manually activate and raise the kundalini energy. However, I had read accounts that there were risks when the kundalini energy rose. The biggest concern I had was whether this was safe for me. Dorothea shared some stories about her previous teacher and then she answered my question.
Dorothea was a student of the sufi master Irina Tweedy. For a short time, Dorothea was my qigong and tai chi teacher. And taught me other things.
One of the stories Dorothea told me was of how one time she was walking to see her teacher at her home in North London. As she came close, she felt a strong presence. It was Ms Tweedy’s energy and she felt it all the way up to her house.
Another story she told me was that on one occasion, Ms Tweedy told Dorothea she would do something for her. And like a switch being turned on, Dorothea felt an incredible state of bliss. She felt incredibly good and at peace in the world. This bliss was to last a short period of time. Afterwards, Ms Tweedy asked her how she enjoyed the feeling?
I wish at the time, I had recorded her stories in better detail. It is now almost ten years later that I write this, and some of these stories are not as clear for me. This is my lost opportunity. I needed to be writing earlier.
Should I manually awaken the kundalini?
But anyway, as regards the Kundalini awakening. I asked Dorothea, is it right to have the kundalini energy manually awakened like this? Is it safe?
And Dorothea told me:
“When you are ready for it, it will awaken by itself. It is better this way then to try to raise it yourself.”
What does this mean? Well, instead of forcing something powerful like the kundalini to rise prematurely – it is better instead, to put the ground work in. Build the foundations. Spend years of your life practicing meditation, yoga, qigong, Taoism – clearing your blockages, strengthening your mind, removing your desires, cleansing your body. And this is better carried out under the guidance of a trusted teacher.
Then a time comes, when spiritually and physically your body is ready for it. Then it happens naturally. Or maybe it never comes – not in this lifetime. And that is because you are not ready for it.
That is how I interpreted Dorothea’s advice.
There have been other occasions some years ago, when I have felt a mild wave in my lower spine during periods when I have regularly practiced meditation. I wondered what would happen if I focused on those sensations. Yet, I chose not to. Mentally, I don’t feel ready for any kind of bizarre and strong energetic occurrence. And certainly not for a kundalini awakening, which i have read to be a turbulent experience. So I don’t chase it.
I have read accounts from people whose kundalini had awoken spontaneously or through intense meditation practice. In some of these stories, it caused lots of disruptions to these people mentally and physically. There was one story I read where this woman’s life was completely torn upside down by the kundalini rising.
Granted, there are other stories of people where the kundalini rose and the person was able to deal with it experiencing all sorts of psychic phenomena and abilities. This is very tempting for people to chase. Especially young men.
Many men would like to have X-Men Powers. X-Ray vision is especially useful to adolescent boys.
I decided that in my case, I will let the Kundalini rise by itself and without participating in specific exercises designed to manually rise it. If that means it will never rise in my lifetime, then I am fine with that.
So I never went back to any of these Sarajah yoga classes.
Do we need to follow gurus?
Without intended to be too critical (though I suppose it will sound like it), I wanted to share some personal thoughts about Sri Mataji.
Whenever I saw a picture of this women, I did not find her particularly attractive. I know – she is an elderly women, but what I mean is, that I don’t get any positive vibes from seeing her image. She has passed away now.
Physically, she seemed a bit overweight and was not really what I consider as someone in good physical condition or health.
In comparison I would say my father is far healthier looking. He doesn’t meditate. He does simple (yet physically hard) gardening work, doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, and eats simple foods.
Also my qigong teacher, Dorothea was in really good physical condition due to her tai qi and qigong practice, even though she was in her 70s (or late 60s) at the time, I met her. I trusted her.
I understand that when you follow this system, you have to spend a lot of time meditating on her image, the same way Buddhists meditate on an image of Buddha.
But personally, I don’t want to meditate on her image.
Conclusion of these three energetic accounts
These three accounts I have shared are not meant to give the impression that I am a particularly spiritual or mystical person. Obviously, I am not. These accounts are certainly very mild compared to things that other people, spiritual students or mystics have described.
I’ve had no hallucinations or synchronicities, no books flying off shelves, no visions in the jungle after taking ayahuasca. Or downloads from higher spiritual entities passing on their knowledge to me. Heck not even any aliens shoving things up my butt.
Just a basic perceiving of the energy.
I include these simple accounts for several reasons. Firstly, to show that energetic encounters and experiences are not so unusual and can be common.
We can all experience such things if we practice energy exercises, do meditation, and keep an open mind. There are lots of people out there that work and live with energy or do spiritual work and such things are accepted as a part of reality.
We are energy. For acupuncturists or other healers, we must remind ourselves that we are first and foremost energy healers. What we find on the body – the symptoms are a disorder of the energy flow. Whether that is meridians, chakras, or the auric field.
Though we may use a system, we are still working essentially with energy. It is easy to forget that and become systematic with our treatments. But this is the same as with western medicine – attempting to treat everyone as though they are the same.
Our work is about energy. Therefore developing our sensitivity to energy can only be to our advantage.
It is no coincidence that qigong is related to Chinese medicine. There is a historic relation.
Is energy work necessary for an energy worker?
It is true that we do not need to practice energy work in order to be good at acupuncture or healing, especially in Japan, where there are many acupuncturist who don’t do any qigong.
I do think they develop their sensitivities in other ways. For example, by repeating the same needling movement (in Toyohari) and regularly practicing in study groups.
But it is the energy work that provides that deeper dimension to acupuncture and healing.
“Put on the sunglasses”
Once you open up your awareness of energy, it does risk reminding a person that the physical world we live in is broader than our 5 senses tell us.
It even risks bringing other annoying questions to the forefront of our overactive minds.
Is there more to life than what we think? To this physical reality?
Or even more dangerous: Is the purpose of our life – to work 8 hours, sleep 8 hours, play 8 hours, the largest illusion thrust upon modern mindkind?
The path less trodden
To attempt to follow a set path laid out in front of us and feel miserable if we fail at it. To consume goods and to compete with each other. All the time turning a blind eye to the contradictions and the destructions heaped upon the world.
Also to take our cue from the media, and voices of authority surrounding us, which in the last year has become almost hypnotic. This is the normal path.
Or do we dare to venture off the path. Ah… but there be risks. Like getting lost in the forest and wild animals. But it does open us up to new adventures, encounters and a broadening of our horizons. Along with the ability to at least see – that there is writing on the wall.
This is surely the shamanic path.
I leave it to the reader to decide for themselves based on their own filters and awareness whether to choose to believe what I say or to think I am mistaken or any other explanation. I don’t care either way. I know what I have experienced.
Perhaps I will have more significant and deeper spiritual and energetic experiences in the future. If I do, I’ll write about them here.
If anyone else has any stories to share, do please comment. I am open to listen.
- Encounters with Spontaneous Qi (10a): Canterbury Cathedral
- Swimming in the Qi: Encounters with Spontaneous Qi (10b)
- Spontaneous Qigong Book Review: Zifa Gong by Alexander Brighton
This content includes referral or affiliated links to products or services. Visit my disclosure page for more information.