Please share links to the books and authors that have helped you on your journey. The most recommended will be added to the 'Help' section.
A couple of years after my awakening, I saw the movie "Meetings with Remarkable Men", which is the story of G. I. Gurdjieff and his travels to achieve enlightenment and inner growth, based on his book by the same name.
Here's a link to a clip from that movie containing some captivating dance movements and dialogue which, for me, was a calling to master the inner, spiritual life:
Here are the words in this clip which motivated me to follow the Sufi path of inner transformation:
"Listen, you have now found the conditions in which the desires of your heart can become the reality of your being. Stay here, until you acquire a force in you that nothing can destroy. Then, you will need to go back to life, and there, you will measure yourself constantly with forces which will show you your place."
Link for the book (USA Amazon):
Please see below resources recommended to me by Dr. Liane Hofmann, from IGPP (I copy and paste her email below:)
Bonnie Greenwell: "Energies of transformation" - The volume describes the phenomenology, traditional and modern explanatory models and gives advice on how to deal with Kundalini phenomena. It is no longer quite new but still highly recommended:
Greenwell B. Energies of Transformation (1990): A Guide to the Kundalini Process. Cupertino, CA: Shakti River Press.
A website containing a wealth of information around the Kundalini-process as well as literature and further links, is also provided by Bonnie Greenwell: http://www.kundaliniguide.com/.
(Please note: This website can still be found online but Bonnie Greenwell passed away about 2 years ago).
Some time ago, an anthology entitled "Kundalini Rising" was published, containing some interesting recent contributions on Kundalini:
Kaur Khalsa G, Newberg A, Sivandnda R, Wilber K, Selby J. (2009): Kundalini Rising. Exploring the Energy of Awakening. Boulder Colorado: Sounds True.
The following book-chapter of mine gives an overview of the cross-cultural transfer of the Kundalini concept from a psychological-historical perspective. It also describes the phenomenal pattern and current psychotherapeutic developments in this field:
Hofmann L. The Impact of Kundalini Yoga on Concepts and Diagnostic Practice in Psychology and Psychotherapy. In: Hauser B (ed). Yoga Traveling: Bodily Practice in Transcultural Perspective. Transcultural Research: Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context. Heidelberg: Springer 2013; 81–106.
(the whole book including this article on kundalini is available under: https://www.asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de/fileadmin/Pictures/Publications/springer_books /transcult_hauser_978-3-319-00314-6.pdf )
A standard reference on the subject of spiritual awakening and spiritual crises, written in a popular psychological stile and in which kundalini experiences are also described:
Grof S, Grof C (eds). Spiritual Emergency. When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis. Los Angeles: Jeremy Tarcher 1989.
Also recommended is "The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga," edited by psychology historian Sonu Shamdasani, which is devoted to C. G. Jung's reception of Kundalini Yoga and includes his original 1932 lecture:
Shamdasani S (Ed). (1999. Psychology of Kundalini Yoga: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1932 by C. G. Jung. Princeton University Press. And here are some more book chapters and articles about more recent scientific studies on the subject of Kundalini/ vegetative-energetic processes. Most of them are available online: · Sanches L, Daniels M. (2008). Kundalini and transpersonal development: development of a Kundalini awakening scale and a comparison between groups. Transpersonal Psychology Review 2008; 12: 73–83. · Scotton BW. The phenomenology and treatment of kundalini. In: Scotton BW, Chinen A, Battista JR (ed). Textbook of Transpersonal Psychiatry and Psychology. NY, USA: Basicbooks 1996; 261–70. · Woollacott, M. H., Kason, Y., Park, R.D. (2021). Investigation of the phenomenology, physiology and impact of spiritually transformative experiences - kundalini awakening. 17(6): 525-534. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2020.07.005. · Corneille, J.S. & Luke, D. (2021). Spontaneous Spiritual Awakenings: Phenomenology, Altered States, Individual Differences, and Well-Being Front. Psychol., 19 August 2021. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.720579 · Lindahl, J.R. ( 2017). Somatic Energies and Emotional Traumas: A Qualitative Study of Practice-Related Challenges Reported by Vajrayāna Buddhists. Religions 2017, 8, 153. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel8080153
I would like to recommend the book "The stormy search for the Self" by Christina Grof & Stan Grof. It covers all types of spiritual emergence/emergency and provides a wider context for understanding altered states of consciousness in different cultural contexts. I think the third part of the book; Strategies for Everyday Life and Guidelines for Family and Friends, is particularly helpful for those who are new to the process and are concerned about integrating back into daily life after an awakening.
Mysticism: A study in the nature and development of man's spiritual consciousness by Evelyn Underhill. Holy shit, wow! It's old and unfortunately most people just don't write like this anymore. It's deep, romantic, mystical, intriguing, and flat out sucks you into another level of reality. This book so amazingly delineates the stages of spiritual awakening, no matter what your spiritual or religious inclinations, that it just blows you away. I bought it for $4 at a used book store and it is by far the best and most influential book I've ever read.
I recently got recommended by Bonnie to read Chakra Healing Therapy by Glen Park. I would say it is a great book to get an understanding of how the chakras are working on different levels of our being (physical, psychological, psychic and spiritual). I will recite Bonnie from the cover of the book "the most clear and in-depth exposition of the chakra system I have read". It also includes some self chakra-healing exercises. I will review them later on :). I think she also could be an interesting therapist to see. She mixes Alexander Technique and Chakra healing. She lives in West Sussex, so for you Londoners it´s not that far to go. https://glenpark.uk/
One of the most helpful books I read is "Kundalini Rising: Exploring the Energy of Awakening." This is a collection of essays by a rich mix of people who have both experienced and studied/researched Kundalini awakenings. It covers a large variety of topics, and I remember actually being both elated and weeping as I read others' descriptions of things I was experiencing and learned that these are widely recognized phenomena, and that I wasn't going crazy!! This is an excellent book especially if your KA is fairly recent and you want to learn and understand more about what you're experiencing.
The people I highly recommend looking into are Dr. Bonnie Greenwell and Dr. Lawrence Edwards. Both have spent significant and noteworthy careers researching, writing about and counseling thousands of people experiencing a KA, in addition to having had their own personal experiences. There are also many interviews with people who have had Kundalini experiences on a fantastic series called "Buddha at the Gas Pump." The videos are available on the same-titled YouTube channel, podcast versions are also available and more info is on their website, batgap.com.
One final suggestion for now: if you are experiencing psychological issues, you may be well served finding and working with a transpersonal psychologist. I've been doing so for over a year and this has been incalculably helpful in all aspects of my awakening.
The Artists Way and The Art of Perseverance by Julia Cameron
These are great books for developing creativity through making space for your 'inner artist'. Julia talks candidly about her own struggles with alcoholism and living the creative lifestyle and it is easy to relate to her as a companion on the creative path. The books are structured in a number of weekly chapters with exercises in self enquiry and a focus for that week. She also advocates writing 'Morning pages' which are 3 pages of stream of conciousness writing to be written each morning, going for a weekly walk and a weekly 'artist's date' which is a visit to somewhere arty. I have found these books extremely helpful for developing self-expression through writing and art.
Carolyn Spring https://www.carolynspring.com/ has been hugely influential for me. She's a trauma survivor and trainer, not a kundalini teacher, but her story of overcoming adversity is groundshakingly powerful, and writting about the healing process full of wisdom and grounded advice. Highly reccomend her writings for anyone on a healing path.