KAP ~ The Most Transformative Process You’ve Never Heard Of
A Tale of Transformation
I’m about to share something deeply personal, yet so profound that I have no choice. It’s a tale of transformation that, perhaps on the surface doesn’t seem overwhelmingly explosive, but which for anyone who battles quietly on an internal level, will be recognizable as life-changing. But first, we must address a question fundamental to the topic at hand: What is Kundalini?
If you do a google search for “kundalini awakening” or “kundalini rising” you will on the one hand be inundated with alluring tales of enlightenment and unfathomable bliss, while on the other hand, be faced with a frightening deluge of ‘risings gone awry’. There are a million bits of information at our fingertips, all of which will continue to leave most of us with very little understanding of what Kundalini actually is.
Whether or not you’ve ever heard of Kundalini, or regardless of what you think you know, Kundalini is probably one of the most esoteric, little-understood, yet frequently sought-after and perplexingly difficult propositions on the spiritual path and in the yogic world.
To define, in a teeny-tiny, less than adequate nutshell, Kundalini is a latent, divine energy that every human is born with. Writer and yogi, Gopi Krishna, in chronicling his own Kundalini awakening, calls it “the evolutionary energy in man” and famed psychoanalyst Carl Jung said “To activate the unconscious means to awaken the divine, the devi Kundalini – to begin the development of the supra-personal within the individual in order to kindle the light of the gods.”
This energy is the means for us to evolve into our highest self, enabling us to work through all the issues embedded in our psyche (and subsequently our bodies) in order to find our truest purpose in this life: connection to our pristine, higher consciousness and the birthright of our bliss.
Kundalini is an intelligent energy and it’s ascent is an intelligent process that will always give you what you need in that moment of time.
As it is commonly explained, Kundalini energy remains latent in the root chakra at the base of your spine until it is opened (either via conscious effort or some other karmic event) and then it begins it’s ascent through the network of subtle energy channels in the body, ultimately working its way towards it’s true home, our crown chakra. Once at the crown, our energetic place of pure consciousness, you are fully connected to the same energy that comprises the entire cosmos… an energy that you are already a part of, but have simply lost your awareness of. Kundalini is your gateway to reconnecting and remembering.
Kundalini is an intelligent energy and it’s ascent is an intelligent process that will always give you what you need (which to be clear, is most often in direct contradiction to what you think you want.) Kundalini, often symbolized by a snake rising up the spine, is also known as Shakti, the force of the Divine Feminine, creator of life, and she is a healer. She is the ultimate healer.
For millennia, yogi’s have been actively trying to raise their Kundalini, as doing so helps us work through our karmic issues and not only brings us closer to that unfathomable goal of ‘enlightenment’ but more practically helps us simply sort ourselves out and work through all the painful intricacies of what it means to be human. So although we all have our individual motivations for why we seek out yoga and the spiritual growth it brings, whether we realize it or not, the practices themselves are in one way or another systematically and ultimately preparing the body and mind to fully open so as to better house this brilliant and powerful energy when the time comes.
If you’re to believe all the practices and teachings available on the world wide web, awakening and raising this energy sounds fairly straight-forward, but most who endeavor toward this end will tell you it’s not so simple. And while I personally have had definitive moments of growth and exponential shifts in understanding over the years while watching and feeling this energy start to open and move sensuously through my body, the path has been long and complicated. And frustrating. My frustration was not merely at the slow ascending pace of this energy, but with the corresponding grief and pain I was continuing to experience in my life despite the practices. I needed help, but no matter where I looked, it evaded me. And then, two months ago, my path intersected with something extraordinary.
I must preface this tale of transformation by saying that coaxing the rise of my own Kundalini energy has been something I’ve been working on for quite awhile through various methods and means, all in hopes of helping me work through some deeply held, life-long issues I just couldn’t seem to resolve. So when a friend randomly forwarded me a notice about an event called “Kundalini Activation Process” that was set to happen in just a few days, I was super intrigued. I read what little information there was about the event, tried to do some deeper research on the man behind the process but didn’t come up with very much… and then just decided what the heck. With equal parts intrigue and skepticism, I signed up not just for the upcoming evening class, but for the entire weekend immersion that was being offered. I was compelled, and yet somewhere in the back of my mind I thought, this will either be a complete waste of time and money… just another thing in my relentless search, or it will be THE thing I’ve been searching for. I left for that initial class expecting the former and praying for the latter.
When you reach a certain place in your life, it’s fair to say you pretty much know what all your shit is. Your shadow side has had ample time to show itself over the years, and if you’re on any sort of self-growth or spiritual path, bringing these dark parts out of the shadows and into the light, embracing the entirety of what you are… well it can be an exhausting, full time job. And one that is most often accompanied by a fair amount of frustration, anger and sadness. We learn and re-learn lessons over and over again, and just when we think “yes, I finally worked through that!” – BAM. Another situation arises that will smack your ego down so hard it hurts. No, the Universe says… you haven’t quite finished that lesson yet. And so it goes, on and on.
I have some stuff I have been working through for basically, ever. For the sake of simplicity, I will call it compulsiveness paired with a pretty solid lack of boundaries. It has worn so many masks over the years and has embedded itself into pretty much every aspect of my being. For as long as I can remember, even from childhood, I would have mildly compulsive thinking and behavior patterns. Then most notably, through my teens and twenties I spent years and years enmeshed in an unhealthy, compulsive relationship with food. In other more subtle ways, I constantly found myself in difficult situations because of my compulsions and inability to put up necessary boundaries with people.
Some of these things were blatantly problematic (like the eating disorder) but other things took many years of self-observation to even see, much less understand. And sometimes my compulsiveness even took on the disguise of a gift, like in work situations, where my habits shined as a brilliant organizational skill, or I was able to twist my lack of boundaries in ways that not only seemed proper, but advantageous to everyone involved, including myself. But deep inside, the divide between contentment and discontent continued to grow. There was a piece of myself I did not care for, but couldn’t seem to control… the piece that over-did things despite knowing better, or that repeatedly made choices which ended up hurting me. On the outside, I was a highly functional, responsible and successful person. But inside, something was silently plaguing me.
Over the years, I found peace with food and began to learn how to find boundaries with people… and I credit my yoga, meditation and self-reflection practice for this. I felt I was healing, and in many subtle ways, I was. But then, a couple of years ago I turned around only to realize that my compulsive habits, while non-existent on old fronts, had simply resurfaced elsewhere, and one of the most noticeable places was around alcohol. I was drinking daily because I liked it. Because it made me happy. Because I was bored. Because me and bad habits have an alluring and co-dependent relationship. Because I wanted to just numb out for a bit (I liked to call it ‘relaxing after a hard day’, even if the day wasn’t at all hard) and mostly, because that little compulsive part of my brain that hijacks the mind needed something to fixate on. It always does. Compulsive behavior, for me, was becoming like Whack-a-Mole. Fix it in one area and it simply popped up somewhere else.
Needless to say, as my awareness continued to grow, these last couple of years brought with them an extraordinary amount of frustration. They also brought on a period of deep depression and hopelessness that I simply wasn’t getting anywhere despite all my hard work… and yet so much in my life was going exceedingly well. But this is how the unintegrated shadow works. On the one hand I was growing and thriving as a yoga teacher, knowing without question that I had found my passion and my true path, while on the other hand, as I dove deeper and deeper into my personal spiritual work, I felt nothing but frustration and sadness. Each time I felt I had progressed, I ended up hitting a wall. The same wall. And I was growing increasingly tired of doing the goddamn work and feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere. So tired, in fact, that I was trying everything I could possibly think of to help me break through.
I will never give up my yoga and meditation practice, as the fruits have been far too plentiful, but to go deeper I needed help. I sought out ayahuasca ceremonies on numerous occasions over the years, believing fully in the ability of this plant medicine. And yes, there were break-throughs… but eventually I found myself back in the same rut with nothing more than some bits of deeper intellectual understanding. Helpful, yes, but not exceedingly transformative in the ways I had hoped for. There have also been other psychedelics, intense meditation retreats, and of course diving deeper into every facet of the traditional yogic teachings. I’ve also had a long (and what I always considered healthy) relationship with marijuana, feeling that it’s been an avenue for me to connect to my creativity and push past the rigid boundaries of my mind. But that too, would sometimes become fuel for my compulsive habits.
Eventually, as this ongoing striving for answers escalated, I realized I was breaking one of the foundational teachings of yoga: that of Abhyasa and Vairagya: the unwavering balance between strong, dedicated effort, and complete, total surrender. I realized I was all effort and very little ease. And so I decided to take a step (or 10) back, and just let things rest for awhile, compulsions and all.
It was in this place of loosening my grip on trying to heal, that this gift arrived. Venant Wong, the founder of KAP, is a true healer. Like all healers, he had to travel his own path toward self-discovery (you can read more here) and what he found along the way was the gift of transmission… the giving of Life-Force energy to other people. He is a vehicle for universal, Divine energy, and his unique transmission brings this energy down through the crown toward your root chakra, letting it build and igniting your own Kundalini to awaken in the process. Once activated, she takes over and does the work she is meant to do, and your job is quite simple: get out of your head and just surrender to the process.
…the changes that have spontaneously occurred would be unbelievable to me if I weren’t living them.
Over the last two months I have had the opportunity to spend numerous hours in transmission sessions with Venant (along with his partner Sigrid, who is a healer in her own right) and the changes that have spontaneously occurred would be unbelievable to me if I weren’t living them. So what exactly, has changed since my time with him?
First and foremost, I’ve stopped drinking. Now, let me be clear here. I have given up alcohol many times in the past, sometimes without much difficulty, other times with a fair amount of struggle. Either way, in the recesses of my mind, I always knew there was an end-date. I knew I still had a desire to drink, and I also knew that when the time came I would fall back into my old habits, because those grooves ran deep and because my will power only ever took me so far. The compulsion, even if she was resting, was still alive, and the feelings of failure and despair were always lurking nearby.
But after my very first KAP session, not only have I not had a single drink, there is simply no desire. I keep waiting for it to resurface, like when I’m out with a friend for dinner and they order a glass of wine. Previously, this would have been a 100% absolute sure-fire situation where I would have said “screw it,” letting myself fall right back into old traps. But no. It’s just not happening. And it’s not happening because it’s no longer a battle of the will. Something fundamental has shifted in my brain, and it has rewired the way my mind approaches things. And that is what this transmission of Kundalini does. This energy is a clearing-out of all the “knots” in the mind… those blockages that keep us trapped in places we’d rather not be.
What’s even more interesting, is that my diet has suddenly and radically changed as well… and this wasn’t even something that I was actively seeking. Although my relationship with food and eating had finally reached a copacetic place after years filled with battle, and although I felt I ate reasonably well, I was still aware that under the surface of that contentment remained the outline of my shadow. For instance, I have been wanting to become a vegetarian for years, but simply couldn’t find the will power to see it through. Worse, aside from the spiritual aspect of not wanting to eat meat, I was having an increasingly difficult time around the humane aspect of the dairy and farming industry, but I knew if I couldn’t even find the will power to go vegetarian, vegan was out of the question. Instead, I just chose not think about it.
But the divide between what I really wanted for myself and what I was incapable of following through on, was a familiar place. A familiar, uncomfortable and frustrating place. But after KAP, suddenly the wisdom of the body took over while the mind stayed uncharacteristically silent. It’s not so much what has transpired, but more the manner in which it manifested. For the first time ever, there is simply no effort in the process. No alcohol. No pot. No meat. No dairy – no problem.
If there were any doubt about the innate intelligence of this energy, there can now be no question.
There are other profound things as well, like the deep, as-of-yet unwavering feeling of happiness and contentment that has nothing to do with my external circumstances. It has simply become my ongoing, resting state. There has also been a huge shift toward knowing exactly what steps I need to take in order to really and truly take care of myself… something that has not always been easy for me to do… and then to actually take them without any fuss or mental wavering.
And the icing on the cake? The physical healing. Gone are the annoying little tweaky spots in my body that have been plaguing me for ages, not to mention the incredibly quick healing of a fracture I incurred a mere two weeks ago. If there were any doubt about the innate intelligence of this energy, there can now be no question.
So here is where Kundalini has shown me her true potential. Intellectually, I have understood her capacity and her purpose for a long time. And on an embodied level, I have felt her stirrings, but knew enough about the process to know that while there were many baby steps, no real great strides had taken place. But today, as a result of this energy being ignited for me, I’m able to see her real power with great clarity. More importantly I’m able to feel it and live it. And it has altered the course of my life.
Most of us “doing the work” can greatly identify with how frustrating the process can be. And one of the things I’ve learned in the last two months, is that while some are fortunate enough to spontaneously awaken, most of us are just stuck with having to walk through the fire, again and again. But for a fortunate few, we are given the gift of transmission… and more often than not, this transmission is a necessary factor in order for us to make the great strides we so desire. The yogi’s call this Shaktipat and other teachings call it transmission of Qi energy. Venant’s transmission is unique as it does not follow any other specific lineages, but is a unique transmission lineage in and of itself.
I wanted to share this experience and felt it necessary to reveal the depth of my process over the last couple years in order for others to understand the profundity of the last couple months, but really, I write all this as a preamble toward something even greater. While I am literally ecstatic on a daily basis about these shifts and changes, I am overwhelmed with excitement about the future.
While Venant is a master at transmission, he also has the capacity to give others he deems sensitive enough the ability to transmit this energy. Last week I joined a group of 20 people from all over the U.S, hand-picked by Venant, and completed the first US KAP Facilitators Training Program in order to join the small ranks of facilitators who are already doing this work in other parts of the world. Through his ability to work with energy in very specific ways, coupled with our own deep desire to heal not only ourselves, but others, he has imparted on us the ability to now transmit this energy ourselves. To say I am grateful to be a part of this would be a colossal understatement. I am humbled beyond words, incredibly honored, and joyful beyond measure to begin sharing this experience.
I won’t, not even for a moment, pretend that any of us new facilitators are anywhere in the same stratosphere as Venant… he is a true master. However the energy is tangible, the results are self-evident and the process works. It’s just that simple. The last two months of my life have been rather phenomenal… but not nearly as phenomenal as the stark contrast between where I was and where I currently am. And so now, post-training, the next part of the journey begins: the real-world application of giving this gift to others.
With excitement I can barely contain, I look forward to sharing this new beginning, this gift, and this joy with you! Please stay tuned…