In 1993 I was initiated into a Rajadhiraja Tantra Yoga tradition by a. I adopted a healthy vegetarian lifestyle without drugs or alcohol and practiced yoga daily.  Within a few months the kundalini began with what would be a very long and intense awakening. As a student of psychology and world literature, I had heard of kundalini and other mystical energies but I had never thought they were real, live forces.  I thought it was just interesting archaic symbolism, and not an actual force within the human body that rises up through the spinal column to awaken higher states of awareness.  The universal symbol for this force is the serpent. It is said to be a covert, spiritual force beneath the surface of conscious awareness, like a coiled snake. Kundalini is the fundamental intelligence behind life and evolution, waiting to be awakened when the mind finally desires liberation from finite mental bondages. As this divine “serpent power” rises through the spinal column, one experiences states of deep spiritual realization. For the yogi, kundalini is the force that unites the human with the divine.

One day after classes and a short meditation, at which I was merely a beginner, I laid down on my back due to exhaustion. I felt a soothing force begin to rise up my spine. As this point of white, soft energy rose up into the thoracic region of the spine, I began to hear the sacred Om sound. It became frightening because there was only Om and nothing else. I opened my eyes but could not see anything. My faculties of sight and hearing were unified and there only existed Om. I knew I was being dissolved in a force that was vibrating within every particle of the universe. It was ecstatic and exhilarating but terrifying. I felt my whole identity would disappear and never return. The kundalini was entering the medulla. I began to repeat my mantra for meditation but it only made the experience more intense. Instead, I began to repeat my birth name, William Enckhausen, over and over and trying to remember that I was a student in Austin, Texas on the physical plane of reality. The kundalini began to go back down as Om diminished. I couldn’t take any more.

After that experience I became very confident but experienced a lot of mental turmoil. It was very productive turmoil in that all negative memories from my past were being quickly purged and purified. I began to feel completely whole and that I had already lived a very complete life. The second time the kundalini rose was a few months later. I saw the same light in my spine although this time it was an infinitesimally small point. Physical reality disappeared and I began to “see” from the crown of my head a turquoise bird flying closer and closer as the point rose higher and higher. The bird landed on the crown of my head at the same time the point rose to the same place. Heaven and earth had met and I was lost in an infinite web of sound vibration where I could no longer see even this beautiful vision. My last thought before losing awareness of not just the outer world, but also the inner world of vision, was that the forms looked Meso-American. Only years later would I learn of the Mesoamerican concept of kundalini, what they call Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent. The quetzal is a colorful bird of Chiapas and the Mayan symbol for the kundalini, and is most often depicted as half bird and half serpent. The Quetzal-kundalini awakens the inner spirit that soars only towards the infinite sky.

by William Enckhausen email: william@williamenck.art