Female Kundalini

Female Kundalini by Margaret Dempsey Book Cover

Margaret Dempsey on Female Kundalini

Female Kundalini is my story — a memoir, an adventure, my journey from Alpha to Omega. I wrote it because I have a story to tell that I didn’t have to begin with. In fact, spirituality was something that I fell into, rather than a goal I set for myself. As a young girl, turning towards “something” spiritual was a source of comfort in a confusing and bewildering world. I never found it in the convent boarding school I attended, a place that purported to be “spiritual,” but really prided itself on mindless conformity, strict obedience, and authoritarian rule. If anything, it should have dulled my ardor for spiritual meaning, but it didn’t. In fact, it strengthened it, eventually leading me to Kundalini. "Much of the negativity around Kundalini is the result of people practicing advanced energy cultivation techniques before their nervous system is strong enough to bear it.

“So, I urge extreme caution. The most effective way to work with this energy is with innocence, reverence and respect.

“By virtue of our being born as human beings, the potential for shifting consciousness to experience bliss, peace, and happiness lies within each of us. In the preparatory work for raising Kundalini, an innocent heart is as important as a trained mind. Kundalini is a paradox in that it requires single-mindedness; at the same time, it shuns attachment. This is the greatest test for those on the spiritual path.

"Kundalini rising marks a line in the sand of spiritual practice. Up to that point, practice and study are largely conceptual. The felt presence of the Kundalini energy shifts the consciousness of the external world of the senses to what lies within and to the world of self-awareness. Until this energy rises, the true spiritual journey has not begun. I recognize that this statement is controversial, but I stand by it as my experience has corroborated it.”

Margaret Dempsey

Paul Lyons Cogent Preface to Female Kundalini

Summing up Dempsey’s Unique Journey to Self, author Paul Lyons had this to say, “The inner event that awakens Kundalini remains a mystery. In Margaret Dempsey’s case, years of Buddhist meditation, galvanized by a traumatic contact with an attractive man, triggered the “uprising of Shakti.” Her honesty in not attempting to glamorize the awakening attests to its authenticity. The author’s real Self, to which Kundalini eventually brought her, is in evidence from page one, as she describes her upbringing in Catholic Ireland, her days in a boarding school run by nuns, her training as a nurse, and her escape to London, New York and India.

“Kundalini is nourished by sexual energy. The fundamental polarity of male and female is at the heart of the cosmos. The polarity of male, Siva, and female, Shakti, is also manifested in the human body, in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and the left and right sides of the brain, a subject on which Margaret Dempsey speaks with great insight. The polarity is also revealed in her life story. Her father’s favoring her over her mother, a young priest recovering from a nervous breakdown who speaks to the hearts of the teenage girls in his congregation, her meeting with Mooji, and the gorgeous man who rejected her, are a potent male presence, round which the author’s spiritualized womanhood dances. There is a marvellous moment when she speaks of surrender: ‘I had no idea what I was letting go of… I couldn’t have surrendered to nothingness. Somehow I knew there was something to surrender to.’

“In Tantra, the male god, Siva is both the “Destroyer” (of illusion and ego) and the “Immovable Stillness” of transcendence. The goddess, Shakti, is the energy of creation and manifestation. Kundalini is Shakti’s presence in the human body. The book’s title, Female Kundalini, is therefore apt, not just because it is the document of one woman’s Kundalini experience, but because Kundalini Herself, is fundamentally female, even in men.”

Selections From Female Kundalini

"My mother was pregnant with me before marrying my dad, which in 1960’s Catholic Ireland was a big deal. Out of shame, they left the small village in Ireland and moved to London where I was born. My dad wasn’t happy and would say hurtful things to my mum. I saw how she cried and was sad when he spoke that way to her. I didn’t understand the content, but I understood the impact firsthand.”

"That type of non-verbal communication, when attraction is present, was missing for me. I viewed every conversation I had with a man as being friendly without ulterior motives. I was the most naïve of the naïve, an innocent mind trapped in an adult body.”

"I don’t remember much of the conversation or how it ended. But when the nun told me the best I could hope for was a factory job, taking tins on and off conveyor belts, it felt like a punch in the stomach.”

“ 'Your parents are here,' she said.

"I asked her, 'What did you want to gain from bringing them here?’

"She said, 'It’s not acceptable for a book like that to be brought into the boarding school. They are waiting for you.’ I began to cry. We walked to the room where my parents were waiting. The moment I saw my dad, I ran over and burst into tears. He just looked at me and held me. My mother’s face said it all, such disapproval and distance.”

"What came next surprised me. His expression changed. I had a feeling he was going to propose something big. He looked intently into my eyes and said, 'Marry me, dear. I’ll be dead in a couple of years and you’ll be a very wealthy woman.’”

"One evening I was invited to a party to meet the man who had founded the organization. When I met him, I was disappointed. I expected a man who would personify the Buddhist qualities of wisdom and compassion. Instead, I met a man who was rude, obnoxious, and egomaniacal. And yet, the students were in awe of him.”

"As he spoke those words, I felt an energy rise up from within me, and I began to shake. Not an abnormal condition or convulsion, but a physical energy rocking my whole body.

'You’re shaking. Are you okay?' he asked. I desperately wanted to reassure him that I was, but I couldn’t speak. I was too engrossed in what was happening within my body. All I could do — my total awareness — was focused on staying connected to the shaking."

The Right Brain and Kundalini

“When something is new, fresh, unfamiliar, the right brain uses spacial and muscle memory to grasp the whole, and then, as the operation becomes familiar, the elements of that experience are “processed and managed” by the left brain — categorized and made familiar, which, counterproductively, it would seem, renders the experience lifeless and inert. For me, when this happened the kriya became something I did rather than experienced.

“Perhaps, it’s inevitable that the left brain does this with any new experience; perhaps it’s a way of making space for the right brain to take on new experiences. From my perspective as a right-brain dominant individual, it is only since Kundalini rose that I have been able to find the words to describe my experiences. Kundalini has activated more of my left brain so I can now classify and make sense of my experiences and for this reason I have come to realize its value in expanding consciousness. Without the input of the left brain, there would be no art or poetry, only experience without expression, which is fine if you want to be a mystic, but not so fine if there is any inclination to inspire people about what’s possible.”

Why I Wrote this Book

“I don’t have exhaustive knowledge about what triggers Kundalini; I have only my experience. However, judging from the many accounts I’ve read, the triggers are many and varied. So, I don’t work with people to raise Kundalini. It’s not my thing. What’s more, even if I wanted to, I don’t possess the ability to help others unlock the energy. Therefore, I stick to what I know and avoid claims I cannot deliver on.

“Nevertheless, I believe that my experience can prepare others for the kinds of challenges they might encounter in activating Kundalini. If readers understand that because “it happened for her, it can happen for me,” they will be better equipped to handle Kundalini and manage their practice. Not a self-help or practice from a video, but a Yoga class where the energy is treated with reverence and respect.

“I want people to trust the process and not be afraid or panic. The energy is natural and organic; discomfort is a sign of purification. Knowing this, the practitioner avoids resisting and surrenders to the benevolent and purifying energy, in what, for me, was a mix of agony and ecstasy.

“I want readers to realize that the shift that occurred in my life is a palpable opportunity for them. That they are not small people destined to live out ordinary lives, but have the potential within to live extraordinary lives.”