By David McCain

June 11, 2010

Below are excerpts from Awakening, my writing on transcendent consciousness. Here are a few quotes on pertinent definitions (awakening, transcendent consciousness and kundalini) and a bit of my explorations and considerations of internal modalities. I have added a conclusion about integrating internal modalities.

While the unfinished written piece—currently about 25 pages—obviously focuses on transcendent consciousness, there is a side consideration of internal modalities. Of course, internal modalities do not have to be directed to transcendent consciousness. Witness their use in many simple healing situations. The purpose here is to give impetus to the possible new integrations between standard disciplines of internal modalities by pointing out their underlying singularity of core mission.

Note that I say 'internal modalities' and emphasize the internal process of the mind as well as the workings of the body. For instance, in massage the client who actively participates in the process—albeit in a relaxed way—may gain much more than someone who takes the attitude of "fix me." Turning inward is the necessary approach to discover and promote the wholeness of body, mind and spirit.
You can skip right to Internal Modalities if that is your sole interest.



"Awakening is a matter of entering into very different conscious realms. There are a fairly large number of distinctly different realms, but for purposes here it can be said that there are three very basic divisions: 1) sleeping states 2) ordinary waking states and 3) transcendent states."

"The third division leads to full wakefulness in which spirit takes a lead in defining consciousness, but in the final resolution of opening or awakening to the Absolute the body, mind and spirit gain a general equivalence within the process. Awakening into the third division is characterized by experiences of direct encounter or apperception of Being....Experiences of Realized Being usually present one or more of several universal characteristics of Being. These include the realization of the oneness of all things, the realization of the essential emptiness at the core of all things, the realization that only the present moment exists, or other extraordinary realizations. For some seekers on spiritual paths the awakening to Realized Being is the ultimate goal although in different traditions it is named differently—[the word] 'enlightenment' is often used."



Kundalini can be defined broadly as the human drive to wholeness, and it is the ultimate alignment of body, mind and spirit. Here are some more specific aspects:
"Kundalini is the supreme internal energy channel of the body, and it is universal to all humans. The channel ascends the spine and goes into the brain. In traditional yoga and tantra teachings kundalini is considered to be almost always "sleeping" or dormant. According to the traditions, after lengthy assiduous practice a yogi may gain the proper movement and alignment of kundaini energy which lead to an experience of awakened enlightenment....Omega energy is kundalini energy fully transmuted, and with transmutation spirit is readily revealed."

"Kundalini underlies awakening in all of the different levels of consciousness....[In spite of its ancient roots] presently there is little understanding of kundalini let alone knowledgeable application of pertinent techniques for its development. Recognizing and feeling kundalini can make the process of gaining transcendent consciousness much more efficient. While direct knowledge of kundalini greatly facilitates the efficient and efficacious development of transcendent consciousness, the direct knowledge is not necessary. Kundalini usually proceeds as a hidden force. Probably few enlightened sages from all of the different cultures of the past ever heard of kundalini, but this did not prevent them from gaining transcendent consciousness. Kundalini is a natural human process, and it is at the core of our organic evolution, so kundalini is at work—however slight—even when a spiritual seeker is unaware of it.

As I have come to know it, kundalini is even at work in the daily life of everyone. Numerous expressions and even applications of kundalini also occur when people are not seeking transcendent consciousness. Perhaps the best example of an unconscious kundalini application is Alexander Technique, which is a body oriented method usually taught for reducing physical stress and promoting optimal performance. Alexander Technique connects directly with kundalini. Yet Alexander Technique teachers never speak of kundalini and only rarely speak of internal energy. Their focus is almost entirely on alignment based on the movements of muscles and bones. With a teacher's guidance an Alexander student learns to move with greater ease and grace. Stressful and even painful habits may be eliminated. This is a simple and very practical thing, but it is only half of the story because the opening to kundalini presents an even greater potential."


Internal Modalities

"There are numerous mind and body systems developed as disciplines to promote human health and advancement. While they have been developed under vastly different circumstances, these internal modalities may be loosely described as having a core element that promotes self help, personal growth, personal transformation or self actualization. These range from meditation to psychotherapy to creative arts therapies to yoga to reflexology to natural eyesight improvement to internal martial arts to much more, including, of course, Alexander Technique. While many of the practitioners of these disciplines would not appreciate being lumped together, I think it is useful to consider the internal modalities very broadly and find applications of specific personal transformation techniques for inner awareness, spiritual awakening and transpersonal unfolding. Some spiritual seekers do. Certainly I have found it useful for I have spent decades studying several such disciplines all with an eye to developing my kundalini and gaining a better handle on awakening. My own work with kundalini has demonstrated that there is much more to be learned of kundalini than what is found in the old kundalini traditions. It is my estimation that good investigations will likely uncover significant, hidden kundalini connections in all internal modalities. Contemporary times definitely offer new potentials for kundalini applications in inner work. Even beyond inner work it behooves humanity to investigate kundalini because it underlies all human activity."

"Who uses internal modalities and who's likely to pursue a spiritual path through internal modalities? Probably the majority of people who come to internal modalities have been wounded in some way. They may have suffered a painful experience or trauma—perhaps extreme, perhaps mild—and they are seeking healing. The wounds can be of the body or mind or both, but in any case there is a sense of violation. The sense of violation can occur even with ordinary, organic diseases. The violation strikes, and there is a vulnerability to feeling whole or complete. A violation always has a story that must be told in order to conduct a healing, and internal modalities easily lend themselves to telling stories of body, mind and spirit. And so, greatly traumatized or even slightly violated people studying internal modalities usually engage some aspects of a spiritual path whether they are conscious of this or nor. Now, whether they go further and seek a higher plane or transcendence is uncertain. I think more would pursue the opening to transcendence if the terms of spirituality were explained or demonstrated in personally relevant ways. Awareness of kundalini might help."


Internal Technology—

"In my opinion the entire array of techniques and acquired knowledge in transcendent consciousness, as well as the established internal modalities of various body and mind disciplines, are best described as internal technology."

"Perhaps with an eye for increased awareness on the universality of process, the 21st century offers a greater chance than the past to sharpen the terms of internal engagement through internal technologies so that greater numbers of people can share in the ultimate human dance [of transcendent consciousness]. Certainly the Western world's chances are better in spite of its overwhelming preoccupation with external 'reality' and external technology."


In Conclusion—

Internal modalities are created as specific disciplines by addressing certain aspects of the natural conditions of humans. Theory and practice develop around these aspects. On the surface it may appear that different modalities have competing or opposing approaches, but actually because their core missions are to gain or restore wholeness, there are ways and reasons for integrating various modalities into new, synergistic approaches. Purists will likely balk at this suggestion, but I think that the best hope for humanity is a lively engagement of integrating established modalities into new forms of theory and practice.

The term "integrative therapies" in the medical model is suggestive of internal modalities being employed to integrate into traditional western medical approaches. But we also know that internal modalities promote deep integration for our clients because the core mission of all modalities is achieving wholeness. What I am suggesting is that the idea of integration be taken to even greater levels. First, the various modalities themselves can be integrated in different combinations. Second, at the very core of wholeness is spiritual being, and thus internal modalities are underlain by spirituality. (Actually, all things are spiritual beings, including a grain of sand. I explain this latter, rather arcane statement elsewhere in the manuscript.)

When clients come to me with particular problems or concerns I don't automatically jump into these greater levels of integration. I hear them out and then tell them I may be able to help them with a certain modality. I explain that I can apply the modality in as pure as form as I have been taught; however, I also offer the option of exploring integrating different modalities if they so chose. Frequently clients do want these integrations of modalities. I rarely mention spiritually at first, but eventually I will make some references to kundalini and spirituality. For whatever reasons, few people who come to me want to pursue this second, greater level of integration, but at its core I know that the practices we are working with are coming from a mysterious natural order of great depth and that kundalini is an extremely useful awareness or tool in tapping that depth. Nertheless, it is not necessary speak of this with clients. Generally I work with religious fundamentalists as easily as I work with nonreligious clients. I don't push an agenda. As I see it, all internal modalities are best viewed as processes of self discovery. People will take for themselves what they need and want.