The Four Dark Nights & Four Awakenings

The Four Dark Nights & Awakenings

 What is the Dark Night of the Soul?

Dark night of the soul is a metaphor used in spiritual circles. The term describes a phase in one’s spiritual process, often marked by a sense of loneliness, desolation, and feeling of wanting to die and sometimes with the feeling of going crazy. It is common phenomena experienced on one’s soul journey of becoming spiritual, or of going from bodily identification to union with one’s higher self. What I define as dark night of the soul is like the story of Job in the bible where he feels that everything he loved has been taken away from him, his wife, his children, his farm and his way to make a living. You feel as if all is taken away from you and you cry for days on end, and you can feel like you no longer want to live anymore without what ‘was lost’, you feel you can’t go on and you might come near to the edge and think about ending your life.

I think a better name for this phenomenon would be dark night of the ego. This is because the soul or spirit represents the deepest energetic layer of true self, and the cause of this symptom has nothing to do with the soul. Rather the cause of this symptom is due to one’s attachment to an energetic layer of ego. Ego as used in this article is a synonym for ‘me’, my personality, bodily representation of self, how one views oneself or self-image. Ego is held together through identification with physical manifest aspects of self (that which we can observe or see), which exist at different vibration or energetic levels. As we move through each level of transformation of self, we encounter the next vibration level.

Having gone through a long process of transformation with hindsight I realized there was more than one dark night. The second time it happened, I noticed that all the issues that came up the first time were coming up again; nearly identical to the first time which I thought I had gone beyond. I felt like I was repeating, that I had been walking in circles for years and felt like a failure. When it happened the third time, then I knew for sure I was progressing, and could see that each dark night corresponded to a different set of issues, representing a different layer of identification with the personality.

On our journey of awakening there are four dark nights of the soul and three awakenings that happen between them, where each happens as one passes through the stage of dropping identification with one of the energetic layers of ego. There is then the 4th stage of awakening at the end of the process which can be seen as full enlightenment. The ego is held together from the three main ways that we attach to and identify with manifested energetic aspects of self. The three layers that make up the ego and to which we identify with are mind, emotions and body, where spirit is the base of all of them.

The journey to become our true self in body is like a healing of the personality, which happens in reverse order of how these layers were laid down in the building up of our personality. The first layer is cognitive (mental imprinting) which we learn approximately from the ages of 3 to 26 years, to the end of physical growing of the body and mind. The second layer is precognitive (emotional or fetal imprinting) which we learn approximately from the ages of conception to 3 years, before we have highly developed cognitive mind, and exist at a deep unconscious level. The last layer is the physical body at the DNA level, which we amassed over many lifetimes and also has ancestral imprinting influences due to our inherited genes from our mother and father.

Why are there 4 stages of physical transformation?

The reason why there are 4 stages of personal transformation is based on the fundamentals of how something is created. The journey of personal transformation is all about transmuting one’s personality into full awareness, it is all about recreating yourself as a new entity, thus it goes through the same steps of creation. We know how to create something as a human being in the world of objects:

1. We observe an object in the physical world using our sensory apparatus.

2. We process internally thinking about what we have seen and ask questions about it. We then decide what we want to do with it, of which answer to our question can come either from inspiration or from thinking itself, depending upon our ability. Having made the decision this forms our intention and direction for the use of our energy with action.

3. Once we have decided what to do, we need one more step and that is to use our will to actually do it. With our idea and will to do it, intention gets set and energy follows our focus. Energy charges move from the brain to the appropriate body muscles, allowing us to move our energy from thought to feeling to action or doing in the external world.

4. We move and do the action and the desired thing is created in the physical world.

Being an individual, as personality in a body, one might say one is created as that when one is born. To transform ourselves as we are in a body, we have to recreate that body by ourselves using the same principles of how we create some other object. This time the object we focus on is ourselves.

Pattern of transformation: Awakening and dark night cycles

Each layer of personal transformation goes through distinct phases. First there is identification or attachment with that layer of self. Due to this attachment misery and dissatisfaction eventually becomes the norm and because of this pain one becomes ready to give up another layer of attachment. At this point, you are on the verge of letting go of identification with the ego layer you are hanging onto. How many of the four cycles you will experience in your lifetime is not certain, it depends upon your starting point, from all you have learned so far and your current state of evolution. One can spend an entire lifetime in any one or these cycles.


In the instant one truly is able to stop clinging, spiritual awakening or rising of being happens, and a huge amount of energy you were previously holding in ‘tension’ as that energetic form is released. A transformation process ensues which is being fueled by this huge amount of energy, which is the biological aspect of awakening accompanied with profound healing and spiritual reactions. One feels elated and joyous for many days following the spiritual awakening. It is typical you encounter your true self as a spiritual being and you feel fully awake. You normally experience many charismatic symptoms such as tones, flashing lights, rushes of internal wind, numbness, tingling, going out of body, insights, crystal clarity, visions, repressed memories, telepathy, hyper-hearing, enhanced vision, loss in weight, elation, laughing, etc. The majority of these symptoms are a side-effect due to a biological transformation process going on in your body which is changing your nervous system including your mind.

The awakening energy settles down

After the big high and thrill of spiritual awakening, the released energy will continue to work strongly in the brain and body, going into deeper layers which will go on for many months. As this happens ego tends to activate strongly as old memories and emotions are stirred up from the depths. As the healing process intensifies you start to feel heavy and tired, you feel pains in the body, strong emotions are common, weird thoughts, old memories, dreams and memories of past lives start to flood in to your awareness. Because of this side-effect, one tends to identify strongly with the ego side of self again. It is common that many new and false ideas and beliefs are adopted during this stage, as ways to explain what is happening and what one is receiving. One tends to interpret many of the insights one receives, inventing a story and reason for them and thus tends to go into a kind of head trip. Because you are stronger energetically, a larger amount of energy is now getting diverted into making an ego much stronger than before. It is largely due to these phenomena, that one can get deeply enmeshed in the dark night of the soul.

Eventually, the big energy that was released appears to settle and one starts to feel like normal again. But one is not the same; one now knows oneself as essentially spiritual and through the process many revelations and insights have increased one’s knowledge which one will never forget. With this deepening of the healing and a feeling of return to normalcy, there is a growing sense that what was gained is now lost. It is typical that your entire value system changes after an awakening event, due to new information you receive. You reprocess everything known with the new information, and arrive at a new set of values, you see everything differently. Because of this one tends to let go of identification with all objects that were associated with the level you are going through. It is normal that one loses interest in old friends, family values, geographical location, money, possessions, beliefs, religious attachments, habits and career interest, to name the most common.

The Dark Night begins

As one comes back down to earth, one starts to feel normal again, and the elation of the spiritual high seems to be gone. Then it seems like one gave up so much and now has nothing left, that one starts to feel very alone and desolate. You start to wonder if you have a reason left to live. It is normal that a depression develops and one’s thinking and feelings started to become dominate. One’s thinking tends to get heavy and dark, and crying can often be non-stop for days on end. Prior to this event you had strong attachment to ego and could get some strong reactions out of it, but after this event you have more energy thus can get even stronger ego reactions than you could before. If you allow the old habit to be identified with thinking and feelings (chattering and emoting) to go on unabated, then the ego will get stronger and stronger. It seems when we feel we’ve lost something then we cling even stronger to what is known and familiar to us. Thus we start clinging to our mind and emotions again, and in a sense we start to get crazy, extremely sad, dark, we are getting lost in the mind and emotions again. At this moment we are firmly entrenched in the dark night of the soul. Even though this stage feels dark it is actually still part of the metamorphosis. Your level of energy vibration in the body and your awareness level remain higher than before your awakening, it is just working at deeper layers of blockages and elements of your personality. The dark night of the soul phenomena is actually a cleansing process, during it a huge amount of energy held in tension in the body, mind and emotions is released. Crying is often the form that this huge energy is released from personality. Crying frees tension from the mind and the heart. You will notice when you cry hard, your heart and your head hurts. Know that when it gets the darkest, the light is very near, just hang in there.

How to get through the Dark Night of the Soul

What has happened in the awakening event is your body and mind, and your entire nervous system has been changed due to that explosion of energy. How you process information and respond and react to happenings in daily life is now different due to those changes. However what hasn’t happened yet is you do not know how to use the new tools that you have been given and that are growing capacities in you. You are still used to the old habit of attaching to the object you are now in the process of letting go of. At this moment the amount of energy you have at your disposal is much greater than before the awakening, but you do not know how to direct this energy yet.

The way to get through this most efficiently and with least amount of pain is to seek center as much as you can, no matter which phase you are experiencing. The reason this is so, is to know that changes are being done to the brain itself, and thus thinking and feelings are very unreliable during this phase. The best thing to do is not to cling to the edges – meaning the symptoms happening (that which is visible and formed), which includes mind, emotions and body. One must seek center over and over to the space that provoked this event and that which is the source of everything. Being as one with your center, in your place of stillness, is like riding out the hurricane force that is happening now in your body and mind, by staying safely in the calm center which is like the eye of the hurricane.

There are many meditation tools that can help one go to center or achieve ‘quiet mind’ state so as to ride out this storm. Which tools works for you are partly personal preference, part experimentation and part what has worked for you in the past. Indeed before the awakening happened you were able to achieve quiet mind state and be fully in center, because that is how a surge in energy happens and what precedes an awakening event. Try to do that again. To repeat, the most I can say about it is to know you can’t trust your thinking and feelings at this point in time and to do everything you can to tune them out and get quiet. The more you practice with meditation tools, the better you will get at going to center, and the easier it will be to ride out this storm. On another note, each dark night you pass through will require a deeper level of getting quiet.

The 4 Dark Nights & 4 Awakenings


1st Dark Night – I think therefore I am

The first dark night can last a long time. It is the reality of the majority of humanity that has not yet awaked to one’s true self. In this stage, one is primarily identified with objects, where thought is the main object. Everything ones does and receives in life is filtered through thinking. One lives one’s life totally in one’s mind. While in the waking state, there is a non-stop chatter, or constant inner dialogue that is happening all day long. This often carries into one’s night where difficulty to sleep is an indication that one has little ability to turn off the mind. The personality is nearly always fully energized night and day. One is still in the process of building up the ego, and fully identified with one’s ability to think and self-reflect. In this state, there is no capability to be able to objectively observe the internal chatter. Because thinking is invisible to us, we and the thinker are one. I think therefore I am. While in this mindset, everything one does has the underlying purpose to gain validation and properties to build up one’s self-image in one’s own and others eyes. How one sees oneself and how one perceives that others see oneself is of primary importance. Everything is done to grow one’s personality to larger proportions, to amass more attributes. Attributes are widely varied as much as individuals vary, so even being seen as a bad egg, can be valuable to some and they will cultivate this property to the maximum. The negative side of this state is that nearly all actions coming out of it are harmful to self or others, because the main motivation is to gain for oneself, and this can only be done is somebody else loses. It’s the dog eat dog world we know today, full of violence, destruction, stealing, killing, fighting and sickness. One can actually be happy for quite some time in this state, as long as one is gaining properties and getting a sense of satisfaction from it. The dark night starts when the game no longer satisfies and problems of all kinds start.

1st Awakening –Being arises as mind

Eventually after enough possessions have been amassed to build up one’s self-image, one comes to realize that our activities in life are not resulting in a profound feeling of happiness and well being. We start to admit the reality that we are miserable inside and that getting things is not making us happy. This is a big turning point, where we withdraw our attention from our busy activities in the outside world to the inside world and start to look for answers from other sources. The old game of getting more has worn out, and we seek for something else. This stage is also known as the seeking stage. We start to investigate spirituality, read self help books, seek for a closer connection with God, or do things like therapy or spiritual exercise to get to the bottom of the problem. Innately we want to be happy and what we have determined is getting things doesn’t make us happy, so we are ready to try something else. This stage can take a long time, and there are many intermediate steps within it. It’s a lot like unraveling the layers of mind that make up the personality. It’s a time of self-questioning, observing oneself and gaining self-knowledge.

Awakening happens by itself when we fully stop the internal chatter, which can happen in many different ways. We can suddenly go quiet after an accident or great trauma, after a sudden insight, after seeing something beautiful or awe inspiring, or while sitting in one’s mediation. What is significant is for a moment we got quiet in mind, long enough to release held energy being imprisoned by our non-stop internal chatter. During that space of total quiet, our true self arises into our mind and we see our true nature and know we are not the thinker. We know we see we are the source behind the thinking, we have seen beyond the veil, beyond that which was blinding us. It is the first glimpse of our energetic self and we realize we are god-like creatures, we have awakened to our true nature.

2nd Dark Night – I am Spiritual & The Head Trip

The first time one has seen one’s true nature and is awakened, a flood of insights comes into one’s awareness as well a vision of one’s life purpose. It’s like receiving all the wisdom you need to go on, and giving you information of why you are here and what are your special gifts. As being first arises into the mind, all this information comes and one will also feel like they are like a super computer, the thinking goes so fast. The problem with information given at this point of time is that you tend to add your own level of interpretation to it, to be able to understand it. It’s like receiving pure information, but you are still the story teller, so you add your own words to connect the pieces of pure information together. This old habit of interpreting what we receive creates a lot of weird and wacky stories of why we are here and what is our life mission. We tend to go into a head trip after the first awakening, and many people never get out of it. The mental wards are full of people who have spiritually awakened and got stuck in the head trip, which is another appropriate name for this dark night. We come out of it thinking we are God’s chosen one, or we are Jesus reincarnated, or some other famous person. Now we want to save the world and while our intention is good, it is misguided, as we don’t know any better. We tend to get carried away with our new found meaning and purpose in life. It becomes our new identification.

As we drop identification with one object, it is still our nature to grab the next one, the newest one, and so we do. This can be another long dark night, but not as long as the previous one, each dark night gets shorter over time. After awakening one identifies now with one’s spiritual aspect and tends to totally ignore one’s mind and emotions, which results in creating a split in ones identity. This is very similar to what happens when people go crazy, just with normal craziness one tends to identify fully with the mind, while here it’s with the spirit. The split that is created, is one of non-reality where one is not really in the world, rather one is floating on a pink and fluffy cloud of spirituality which is not based in reality. One feels awake, one feels enlightened as one knows they went through the previous steps, it all feels so real, but it’s not. This is a hard phase to get out of, because one doesn’t trust the viewpoints of others. One doesn’t believe others, because one feels special having awakened and tends to think they can see better clearer than anyone else. If someone tells you that you’re acting crazy or irrational you will tend to dismiss it.

Hopefully, luckily, the message gets through and you see the new split you’ve created, you let it go and then come crashing down from the pink fluffy cloud you were on back to earth and into the 2nd dark night of the soul. And you will cry harder than you’ve ever cried before, but is this crying has a purpose it is releasing a ton of held emotional energy, it is cleaning old beliefs and values, it is very healing. After that big release of energy you will feel very spiritual. It’s like coasting downhill, as your awareness is high and as long as you keep working at it, insights continue to come and slowly you whittle away more cognitive layers of your personality and as you do your awareness keeps rising.

2nd awakening – Being arises as vibration in muscles – emotional

This step can be a long period of time, indeed an entire lifetime, and it seems the hardest one for spiritual people to go beyond.Because of this there are not too many people around today who have done this step, as they were not successful to go beyond all the myriad tricks that ego creates to keep the pretending game going. There are many steps within this phase to slowly unravel the cognitive layers of personality, and to continuously identify new games the ego has created to reinvent oneself as another new self-image. There are several common conceptual games that are tested out, and usually they are so satisfying, that one rarely questions them and drops them. The most common denominator of all of them is to develop the new self image as being spiritual, it can greatly help to keep this new identity in place by joining with other like minded people. The same confirmation games then are played in groups of people, giving validation for each other’s spirituality. Conceptual games that are tried out are acting like an authority, giving advice, becoming a spiritual teacher or guru, developing a technique for self and others to follow, and others. These activities are generally quite satisfying and therefore don’t encourage the seeker to look deeper, question oneself and let go of more of one’s attachments. One tends to believe one is fully awakened and there is not anything more to do along these lines.

If one stays on the path and does one’s spiritual work daily and keeps up the self-questioning and desire to get to the truth, these games will be seen in due time and one will drop each one as they are discovered. But then it is normal, that one will adopt a new one after having dropped the last one, and so it can go on like this for many years. This process during this time is like having mini awakenings and dark nights as one receives new insights and then eventually crashes later when one sees that they still aren’t fully aware. With each mini cycle in this phase, ones awareness is steadily rising and one’s personality is being reduced in its influence, a metamorphosis is happening.

Eventually one’s awareness will be high enough to be able to discover the root cause, which is fueling this endless game of adopting new ideas and trying to make them into one’s self-image or way of being. Then one will see that what is driving all this behavior is our tendency to believe that what we tell ourselves is truth. We are primarily attached to our version of happenings or our story. We are attached to our story, because it gives us the feeling that we know. When one recognizes this and realizes one is fooling oneself by listening to this made up story, eventually one starts to drop one’s story, to willingly quiet one’s mind over and over.

After many repetitions of practicing like this, awareness grows much stronger and will rise up strongly again. One encounters oneself again, but this time differently, not through an understanding that one is not one’s mind, but as a VIBRATION or FEELING, you know yourself to be the energetic vibration. When you realize this, you’re old way of being as the story maker, provoking your environment to be able to react with strong emotion you see is what was fooling you. You thought this was what was meant to be alive, when you see through the ruse by encountering your true vibration self, then you no longer are interested in getting your kick this way. The part of you that wanted to be the pretending one has died. After that you will be elated again and many more insights will come, it is much like the first awakening, but this time more insight comes about one’s own true nature where previously it is more like you are given general knowledge and your vision.

You see the game and now know there is no way to trust anything the story teller is telling you, there is only one thing left to do, and it is to go into quiet mind every opportunity you get. You know if you only do this then you will continue to grow. There is nothing more to learn about how to grow spiritually, there is no more concept you need to try out, there is no new identity to adopt, you are done with seeking and with all games. There is nothing more for you to do except to meditate as much as possible.

3rd dark night – Pretending, emoting, the story teller, am I crazy?

After the 2nd awakening if one is doing meditation effectively, then one starts to make huge gains in awareness levels. Insights continue to pour in, and now one is strong enough to drop one’s attachment to the emotional layer at the root of the personality, the earliest level of learning that was laid down from infancy and childhood. This is a period of transition where one feels like they are between the two worlds of physicality and spirituality, belonging in neither. One doesn’t yet know how to be and know in a world that doesn’t use the mind, there is no place of known comfort to rest. Like Jesus said, there is no place to lay your head. At this point you know you are not fully aware and you have lost all sense of knowing. You don’t yet have reliable access to intuition and you don’t trust your own story and even less the story of others. It is a period of becoming independent from all authorities, you must get your answers directly from source, and there is no way to get an answer by thinking it out… It also happens during this phase that very strong emotions are provoked from nearly any outside event. This is part of the healing process you are now within after the 2nd awakening event. Your emotions start to rage, and you start to feel very crazy. You start to seriously question your sanity and wonder if you have made any progress at all when you observe how crazy and emotional you are becoming. You start to think you are repeating and haven’t learned anything. That is a hard pill to swallow when you’ve been working so hard for so many years and think you are progressing. Once again you feel like you’ve lost everything and you enter the dark void. Another big cleansing is happening with lots of crying, much stronger than the prior one. The dark gets very dark, but also the light grows by leaps and bounds. When you see the deep emotional imprint clear, you understand why you’ve been acting the way you have for all of your life. After clearing this out, there is a huge freedom and independence from any person, place or thing.

3rd awakening – Being arises as springy light-energy in nervous system

After the emotional cleansing there is a huge gain in one’s energy and one’s meditation gets deeper very quickly and soon healing reactions start to happen sporadically in the body. These are pre-kundalini awakening symptoms. The only thing one wants to do with one’s free time is to meditate, to speed up the transformation process. During this phase ones energetic vibration is growing by leaps and bounds and one becomes very sensitive to energy inside and outside of oneself. It doesn’t take too long before one starts to feel springy and light inside one’s body, and being arises the 3rd time, but this time one feels it all over one’s body and each day it gets stronger. Eventually the full blown kundalini process is triggered, and one enters into the 4th dark night of the soul, which is a long transformation process, building the new brain and body.

 4th dark night – dropping all identification, the physical death & transformation

When there is enough energy withdrawn from the old structure of personality, a latent DNA growing instruction is triggered to start the growth of the new body. This trigger point is what I call full blown kundalini awakening.

After a few months of preparatory nervous system changes to the body, then eventually the changes move up through the chest and into the neck to make changes into the physical structure of the skull and brain. The fourth dark night at its most intense is experienced as a physical death. To be reborn in the flesh, you truly will have to die in the flesh. When dying you gasp as you take your last breath of air and make gurgling and choking sounds as the air is compressed out of you, as energy moves up the chest into deep tissues of body. You will stop breathing when this happens, now the challenge is to allow this death and go to center as the observer, knowing you are dying and allowing it. All physical changes are made this way. You can only get through the 4th dark night with a total physical surrender. But don’t worry when you reach this step you are strong enough to do it, all you have done before has prepared you for this step. In this step you are present as the observer, and of course you live through it… After you have passed through the physical death, then you are at the end of being ‘this personality’. You will never go back to having that personality in any future life, you are now well on your way to growing the new structure which will serve you for the next part of your journey. There is no going back, and no reason to do so.

4th awakening – Full awareness in new light body

It takes some time for the new body to grow, but when it is done the full transformation will be complete. The end of the 4th dark night and the 4th awakening will happen in the same moment, in the blink of an eye, as they are in truth happening together each day as the old is giving way to create the new. When complete, then you will physically be alive in a light body.

December 6, 2010

Additional resources:

Updated version of this article from my book: Our Light Body, Chapter 5: Four Stages Of Human Metamorphosis
Wikipedia: Kundalini Syndrome

Posted in Kundalini Awakening, Self-realization Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
59 comments on “The Four Dark Nights & Four Awakenings
  1. edwin roworth says:

    Thanks, I wonder if you are familiar with St. John of the Cross, and if so, do your stages coincide with his active and passive nights of Sense and Soul/Spirit..

    • betsy rabyor says:

      I am familiar with St. John, but not his stages. Why don’t you compare them for me? You have a reference to an article that discusses them?

    • sami says:

      I donno if to be happy or sad. I donno if it’s happening with me for what reason. But I’m going down and down and down. I think I’m regressing. I’m confused. I’m in traumatic mind. I can’t even explain. It’s like being helpless and crying, getting myself failed. I want to be a doctor but due to all this I can’t concentrate. I’m failed once giving the entrance exam. I’m trying again for it. I just want to do it. But this uncontrollable energy is ripping my head, my brain, my heart apart. I feel helpless. It’s like knowing all my enormous potential and doing nothing. My brain gets hang. I always loved spirituality and tried for kundalini awakening last year. This was for I thought it would increase my energy and concentration. When it didn’t (meditation) give result, I left it and concentrated on only studies. But when I failed, I lost my faith on me and from God. While the starting of next trial, I changed myself as the previous me wasn’t giving me benefits. From the last 3 years, I kept on experimenting on my self. I kept on filtering from good to bad then again good … Again bad. I thought I was evolving. But I donno what was I doing with my self. I think my feeling to be better day by day is killing me. I think I can’t live in satisfaction. I , from my childhood, am very highly ambitious. But I was lazy like everyone else. But my unending will to change myself is decreasing my abilities. Now last August 2016 , I was sleeping in my hostel. My roommate was home. N in midnight, I felt this intense energy blast out of my body . I thought it was dream. And told, cried on me to get up from such nightmare. I thought I would get in pieces. I saw the blast in the shape of eagle which centered on my bed. I got faint. I thought it was ghost. Help me!!!! Please I , can’t be a failure. I alwayz wanted to be a good person. Always wanted to sacrifice my life for the sake of India and world. I wanted to explore my spirituality. But now I just feel guilty of not going towards my dreams, my goals. That night I felt that I was going to burst. The next morning I got faint while doing Yoga. I was afraid . I thought I’m gonna be a psycho. I forgot to tell you that from my last 2 years, I wanted to be A Psychiatrist. But now I feel like. Crazy. I can’t see my ambitions clear. I can’t study, can’t concentrate. From my childhood, I used to think I am the source of energy to this world. I’m the one due to which this world works. I always felt an intense faith on my spirit. I feel so extraordinary that I can’t control the powers. Plzz help me or I’ll ruin myself, I’ll burn myself with my energy. Plzz don’t let me die of my energy. My whole body and eyes Burns. My body aches for no reason. Please show me path. I can’t concentrate. I feel like top the exams, I was an intelligent student. But from my last failure. All these things happening with me. This is not depression. I just … Help me.
      Anyone.. plzz.. it’s where u can help.

      • betsy rabyor says:

        Dear Sami,

        Thanks for opening your heart and trusting to share your current challenges with the awakening. Many people today are having spontaneous awakening experience after not having done so much meditation, it seems we are just ripening to awaken. One does not get to choose when this happens, it just happens when we are strong enough and ready to awaken. Awakening is happening to many who are in college or married with children these days, and many are able to balance both the awakening and their work or school, so you can do both if you believe you can do it. If you rather feel it is too much to do both, then suggest you focus on the one that feels most important for you, which seems to be awakening. I think once you get stable in the awakening process, then it would be much easier to do the school as your mind would be calm and focused. Many people with awakening, the first challenge to overcome is fear of this process itself. This energy is not coming from some source outside oneself, like somebody doing something to you, rather it is your own self-energy stirring to awaken. The next fear that arises is that of going crazy, which has to do with the mind-chatter habit we have as non-awakened beings long entertained as normal mode of operation. So ‘mental health challenges’ is often the first thing that arises that we need to understand where this comes from and to clear it. After awakening happens, we have more ‘free energy’, so then whatever we are thinking about in our mind, gets exaggerated, which means our ego manifests stronger, with all it’s fears, uncertainties, etc. To go further in our awakening, we need to understand how our thoughts, create our experience, and how undertone or pattern of our thinking is often defensive to protect our personality, creates our emotional state. When we have fearful thoughts, we feel fearful. So it is to understand, that our thoughts create our experience. Once you can see this clearly, then you can recognize this thought pattern when it arises, not believe it is truth and make clear decision to no longer believe that story nor entertain it. You do this by doing deep breathing and relaxing body and mind, and just not listening to the story. You just go into natural observing state. The more you do this when you get strong emotional trigger of any kind, just by observing and staying calm in mind and body, the less these auto-pilot programs we learned long ago are triggered. With enough repetitions of not reinforcing a programmed (conditioned) reaction we have, it will eventually be erased, leaving one less program to trip us up.

        I have several articles related to this topic:

        Hope that helps!
        love & blessings,

        • Jessica says:

          Wow, that was an amazing reply. Thank you for being you and writing all of this. The article, your response here. I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this page. I am definitely reading more. I hear everything loud and clear, suddenly. I can’t thank you enough. Exactly what I needed to hear.

  2. edwin roworth says:

    Yes, the your above 4 part plan initially follows, that of John of the cross..But the Catholic teaching stops at the letting go of ego, charkras1-3..

  3. edwin roworth says:

    Betsy..I was wondering if you are familiar with the so called 3 knots in the Kundalini proscess.. The knots, IMHO, guard the person from Kundalini, reaction, the first knot, at the base chakra, opens the person to kundalini, the 2nd at the heart chakra, allow kundalini past the heart and into higher centers, but the 3rd knot is at the 3rd eye, allowing kundalini to activate the crown chakra..? does the piercing of the 3rd knot correspond to your 4th dark night? blessing Ed

    • betsy rabyor says:

      No, I consider all these 3 kundalini knots in the last stage, with full blown kundalini awakening. The crown chakra actually opens first in the awakening process (the mental body awakens) and the root last (the physical body awakens). When the root physically opens that is start of full blown kundalini awakening. Then you go through the chakras in the other order from root to crown, as part of the light expansion process. But once the energy gets to the crown guess what happens? It comes back down to the root and another pass works up the body from root to crown. This continues for years, each pass through the body taking less time, to where eventually, you feel the energy everywhere at once, there being no distance along the spine. I would suggest you read my free online book, as this should answer most of your questions.

      • LaLee says:

        !!! Knots! Ok. I can verify these are actually part of the process. The root, then the heart & finally (I thought it was crown at the time, but come to think it may have been third eye – just coming to know the importance of that particular chakra now) one of the upper chakras created a gnashing clash of energies as they opened. And I had a intuition it wouldn’t stop ‘opening’ at crown either – that the energy would turn around and move back down again – I agree with what you said Betsy (sounds like you may have truly had a full awakening – tho if you have you don’t need me to confirm!) but I may actually just be in the final crown opening stages … and not fully awake … perhaps the intuition saying it would then travel down was just gearing me up for a longer process (I thought the final gnashing of energies was my crown – if it was just the pineal then I’d have some ways to go still & would need to be prepared for more time). The other way I could intuit the energy traveling back down is by sort of utilizing the power of the philosophers stone (the awakened pineal gland) to create opulence in every area each chakra controls. Every awakening process is different I think, based on what you’re here to bring, but some of these stages probably happen to most. Thanks for sharing this stuff!!

  4. edwin roworth says:

    Your book has been ordered, thank you..There may be 3 trips through each chakra, physical, spiritual and a full blown kundalini awakening..but this experientally is extremely rare..blessings Ed

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Ah Ed… I wasn’t my intention to plug my book… Let me know what you think after you read it.
      I appreciate your comments. Love & Blessings, Betsy

  5. Kellin says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for this post with the explanations. I have been traveling through what seems to be the 3rd dark night for 5months and have stopped practicing altogether except for intending to live from my heart center. This has helped as well as surrendering to the fact that there is nothing to intellectually figure out. I have cried more in these five months than I have in my entire life. Moments of clarity followed by painful purification. So in due time things settle, right? Funny thing as I write this the ego is in there trying to figure something out. Laughing I guess is the only thing to do. My spiritual teacher that shared the technique with which blasted me into this dark night mentioned it but did not go into depth. Advice given was not to be attached and sit and observe from the heart. This was good info but along with what you have written it has added to my sense of relief. I intend to begin practice again although I get the feeling that there is no need to practice but just be. The only thing left is to surrender. Thanks again

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Hi Kellin, thanks for opening sharing your journey and for your appreciation of the article. I would agree with your teacher, to continue to practice not being attached and just observing what appears in your consciousness, whether it is strong emotion, thoughts or sensory information. This practise creates more distance from clinging on the body and mind, and thus increases you ability to ‘just be’ or purely observe or just SEE. So it needs more wisdom and insights, to actually be able to ‘just be’. The witnessing meditation gives you this skill. That is surrendering, letting go of clinging to body / mind. It’s hard to do this in daily life because of all the distractions, so why setting aside time each day to do witnessing practise is more effective. If you still need help with the strong emotion that can get triggered (although i think much of yours was just releasing stored emotion, like a dumping of the pain body energy), you might like the tool on this page:

  6. Tara says:

    Betsy- I have experienced full blown kundalini awakening this winter. I was in a highly ecstatic states for about two months and now I am experiencing what i could call “shedding”of ego/dissolving of the illusions. I find your blog very interesting and helpful although I have some doubts about it. How can you know there are only four of these during our lifetime? Enlightenment is a process and as far as I can tell it goes on infinitely… I understand the cycle has four stages but in the natural world everything repeats many times. I find it difficult to believe that this is supposed to be my last dark night ever… 🙂

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Hi Tara, congratulations on your continued awakening process. This article came from revelation and from my own journey. Since I have found out from other material there are 4 energy bodies, that compose ourselves. So it makes even more sense today. Of course we keep growing, there is no end to evolution and expansion of our being, so we continuously enlighten. I am speaking in context here of reaching the point of being a spontaneous and alive being which is no longer identified with their mind and body as oneself and is free from suffering. Being in the dark night for so many lifetimes, it can be hard to comprehend there can be such a state as ‘free from suffering’ forever. How I see it, that is what the earth experience is all about, to come to that point, then I would imagine after that we can come back and help others or move on to another dimension and have experience there. Whatever, there is always a new challenge that wish push us to grow and evolve — so it is never ‘easy’ or nothing to achieve.

  7. Krisu Lintunen says:

    So when did you physically die and when was your funeral? How come you’re still here writing on the internet if you’re physically dead? Or is this all just bullshit?

    • betsy rabyor says:

      The last part hasn’t happened to me yet, see them as notes I wrote to myself about what is to come.

      • Janice says:

        Hi Betsy, you say you have not come through that 4th dark night stage yet, can you tell me what stage you are at now in your awakening and how long since the kundalini energy was triggered (your full blown awakening started).
        I have been reading a lot of your articles here and your diary posts over on your other site (Our Light Body)…right now i am going through a bad time, i think i am into the 4th dark night, intense hard crying, the energy is rampaging through out my body very strong and seems erratic, working all different areas at once.

        Have things calmed down for you at all, going by your diary post you had a pretty rough time during that first year, did things settle down, if so when, how long was it from the Kundalini energy being triggered to things settle down?

        Sorry for all the questions Betsy, hope you don’t mind.

        • betsy rabyor says:

          Hi Janice, thanks for your questions and sharing your experience. My crown awakening was in 1999, then in 2006 the full-blown kundalini awakening. I am in the 10th year of this process and it is very easy at this time. I’ve always enjoyed it and found it to be amazing experience, even if that is not apparent in my journal. Sorry it is hard for you at this time. Things will calm down the more efficiently you work with it, the more you accept it and don’t resist and the more you gain insight into your true nature. I can’t tell where you are at in this process with what you have shared. The amount of time it takes has so many variables, past life work, current life work, level of self-awareness, self-knowledge, how long it’s been going on, how much you work with meditation (letting go ID with mind/body self) and self-inquiry, your age, physical defects, level of health and even the time it started. As many people are awakening right now, it is making our collective energy stronger, so this makes the transformation process go faster for many people at this time, as well they can access more information on how to work with it. Betsy

          • Janice says:

            Hi Betsy, thank you for replying, so glad to hear things are nice and easy for you now…you full blown awakening triggered in 2006, when did things start to settle down?

            Well, i am 54 years old now, about 11 years ago i went through what can only be described as an horrendous ending to an 8 year toxic relationship. I was in a mess, suffering depression, anxiety, aches, pains, stiffness, exhaustion, sensitivity to light, sounds, smells, intolerance to people, noise, alcohol, i cried all the time, i developed circulation problems, vision problems, digestion/bowel problems, spacing out, going off into unconscious states…yep, i was in a mess!
            All the doctors kept saying was that i was depressed and of course gave me antidepressants…however, i just knew there was more to it, i knew it wasn’t just depression…for 8 years i battled with the doctor to try and get him to listen to me, in the end i changed my doctor and was immediately tested for everything going!
            All tests came back clear so it was assumed by all (me included) that i was suffering from ME/CFS and was diagnosed as such.
            Over those years battling with the doctors i had bad times and good times, times i could not work and times i was ok to work…it really did seem that i had ME/CFS.
            So from 2004 to 2006 i was quite bad (dark night), i was sort of ok then till around 2010 when things started getting bad again and in 2011 i hit another dark night.
            Then in May 2014 (about 17 months now) the full blown awakening was triggered.

            Now, what you need to know is prior to the full blown awakening 17 months ago i knew absolutely nothing about kundalini energy, spiritual awakening, meditation, yoga or anything spiritual, i had been a single working mum for my entire adult life, it was a life of working, taking care of my kids and keeping house and home together, there was never any time to pursue anything of this nature even if i had wanted to…having said that though, for as long as i can remember i also knew there was something more, i just never knew what!
            So you see, when i was dealing with the doctors and all these pre-awakening symptoms i honestly thought i was ill, i had no reason to suspect anything of this nature and when the full blown awakening hit me last May it hit me hard, i had no idea what was happening, i was hurled into the deep end with no life belt so to speak, i was so frightened it triggered 2 sever panic attacks that put me in the hospital.

            Since then i have read many accounts written by others such as yourself who have already gone through it and it has helped tremendously, it has allowed me to figure things out…i even learned CFS is something others have dealt with too!
            You see i do not have anyone close i can talk to about this, no coach, teacher, guide or anything…i had to go through it alone and figure it all out as i went along so other peoples accounts have been invaluable to me.

            It has been a rough ride this last 17 months and i believe it has been hard on me because it was completely spontaneous and my body and mind was completely unprepared…as i said, i knew nothing about kundalini and did not partake in any spiritual practice of any kind so i just assumed i was ill, i never expected anything like this but now i look back…it all makes perfect sense!

            Well that’s the back story!…lol…hope i didn’t bore you!

            Right now i am in a change of energy situation…for weeks i have had really bad stomach, bloated belly, lots of energy that seemed to pool and create a knot that was stuck in the solar plexus area, there’s been a lot of hard crying, my mind was rambling and ranting with one thought after another about all sorts of stuff, lots of prickling, stinging and pressure around my face and head and a lot of pain coming up into my neck and head that caused neck stretches and head crunching and stretching in an attempt to clear it, there’s been Kriyas of all kinds, from ritual temple dance, to tradition dance to yoga positions to stretching and shaking…I even spoke in a strange language at one point!
            A couple of days ago things came to a bit of a head, i had a really bad day and night, lots of crying, bowel problems and stomach issues, pains in my head and energy surging through my body like it was trying to work every cell at once but was out of sync, it felt erratic and made me feel uneasy. The last couple of days have seemed calmer, no crying, the energy that keeps knotting at my solar plexus seems to be gradually moving up into my chest and throat, still lots of energy working around my face and head but my mood has lifted a lot and i am getting more gentler waves of energy wash over me now…also, all chakras seem active, i feel pulsing and spinning at all chakra points.

            I am allowing the energy as much quiet time as i can, it has been difficult to quiet the mind though as the energy has been quite erratic causing all sorts of thoughts and fears to emerge…i am learning all this quiet mind and meditation stuff a bit late in the game due to the way it’s all occurred so i am struggling a bit.

            What i don’t understand is why?…why someone like me with no spiritual background what so ever and did not partake in any spiritual practice would be thrown into a full blown kundalini awakening at my age!

            Oh dear, hope this posts, it’s a bit long!…lol

          • betsy rabyor says:

            Janice, thanks for sharing your journey. A common trigger for awakening happens when relationships end also around age of menopause in women. As awakening happens and light expands in body, things are healed. It is normal to have the Fibromyalgia/ CFS symptoms, sensitivity to all kinds of things, and healing of the underlying persistent thought pattern (anxiety or otherwise), unloading of pent up emotion, etc. I went through most of what you mention as well. So you were in a healing process, as the energy channels opened in mind and body, all those reactions were signs of that. Even one might not know one is in an pre-awakening process, I feel this is what was happening during those years. You did not mention any profound spiritual experience during this time frame or that you were working with self-inquiry or meditation, so I presume this was all pre-awakening. Then in May 2014, you had the kundalini awakening.

            It is quite common these days that people are getting spontaneous awakenings, with no prior spiritual work, so know in this you are not alone. When there is no preparation *this lifetime*, a common reaction to these happenings is strong fear and feeling alone with it, so no wonder you had some panic attacks. Sounds like your process is accelerating from your description. Nice to hear your emotions are calming down, that will make it easier. From what you describe, it seems it has only been a few weeks with the kriyas, so hard to tell yet if this is full blown or not. I don’t hear any of the descriptions of noticing the energy channels opening, different patterns in body as well profound spiritual insights or experiences. The first awakening is crown opening, which also has deluge of kundalini reactions, but it is not full blown. The stronger kundalini reactions after that, last about 6 months to one year.

            Anyway, where you are at in this process is not that important, what is important is working with it, and learning how to gain wisdom about true nature of self and learning to not attach to the mind and emotions, and learn how to let energy pass through you — without resistance. Also to question your thoughts, feelings, etc, to gain insight as in self-inquiry – to find out the answer to: “Who Am I?”

            I think the Why is because it is time for all people to awaken, we are all ripening. I feel those that get stronger awakening experiences are those with stronger spirits. Even though you did not work with spiritual growth this lifetime, apparently in past lifetimes you did. The good news is that awakening today is easier because our collective consciousness level is higher, so this supports you giving you more energy and wisdom to tap into as well the transformation process is likely to be much quicker today then it was when I did the majority of my work. Sounds like you are doing good now and going with the flow more each day.

            Love & Blessings,

          • Janice says:

            Hi Betsy, replying to earlier comment as thee’s no reply button under the last message you left me!

            Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for your response, not sure where i am at with my awakening, being a spontaneous awakening has made it difficult to match up to any of the stages you mention, i seem to relate to more of the info you have on the full blown awakening and 4th dark night than to anything else. but the energy is active constantly (24/7), the kriyas have been going on for over a year, they started out as ritual dance like movements then went into a more traditional dance style, then into yoga and stretching movements, right now it is mainly stretching movements. the energy seems to be active all over my body now with extra attention being paid to certain areas, the activity around my head and face has been going on a long while, lots of prickling, stinging, crawling sensations and pressure building up. It’s certainly progressing quickly now though, as i just get on top of what’s occurring when something new happens…this last couple of days i have felt more activity all up through my entire back from my pelvis area right up to my shoulders, not just up the spine, it’s all over, from one side to the other, the head and face work continues and there’s work being done in the throat, lots of pains around my neck and head, lots of neck stretching and head crunches to clear these pains.
            Lots of strong energy surges through the body, including the legs, feet, arms, hands. I feel activity at all chakra points (pulsing, spinning, heat, vibration). The emotions seem to have settled a bit (for now) but sleeping is not good as the energy is working constantly, my nights are very restless and unsettled, i doze a little then i am awake, then i will doze a little then awake again so i am very tired all the time.

            Thank you for taking the time to reply Betsy, oh and if you can put this message after your last message to me, as i said earlier there was no reply button.

          • betsy rabyor says:

            Hi Janice, thanks for sharing more about your awakening, sounds like you are going full steam. As I said before, I think where you are at in this process is not that important. The most important is working with self-inquiry, as awakening does not happen through body changes itself — it needs wisdom about true nature of self. Love & Blessings, Betsy

  8. James Notter says:

    Hi…I liked the article, it touched a couple of pertinent points I’m involved with.
    I photographed some fungus today which was growing on a downed tree. Does the fungus grow/form in spite of my anxiety and judgements, or because of them?

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Without the sun there would be no growth. Each day the suns shines on the Earth and on you.
      You are alive, growing and having a different experience in the body each day.
      For sure you are growing, each day you are a different person and the body ages to show you that fact.
      So today your experience is noticing that you have judgements and anxiety. That is like your shadow, or what is visible due to the sunlight.
      The anxiety is not you, the judgements are not you, that is just a momentary state of being.

      Tomorrow it if turns out that the anxiety and judgements are still there, then it means you are still clinging to some momentary state.
      (you are thinking about what happened in past or what might happen in future. Anxiety pattern is usually fear-based and doing what-if’s about the future.) So quit clinging to triggered thoughts and making up a story around them and that old habit will *eventually* go away.
      It just takes ‘growing time’ for the old programmed reaction pattern in the mind to to go away. As you stay alert to your inner state (keep eye on inside reactions in body and mind), you can notice these things happening and then just make the decision to withdraw your attention and energy from doing that ‘mind-chatter’. What you are doing with withdrawal of energy/attention is removing the program that is in the mind to react this way, because you are no longer reinforcing it. You don’t have to put another program in either, just erase the old one by not doing it anymore.

      Awakening is about removing conditioned responses (programs). The more you remove the more spontaneous and free you become.

      Hope that helps!

      • James Notter says:

        Hi Betsy…..I always appreciate responses which have points of view that move me to think and consider either new ideas or to reinforce what I believe in, or tend toward..
        And speaking of the sun, I’m a person who NEEDS to see and feel the sun in order to keep my sanity. It’s been rough this summer with the amount of overcast and rain.

        • betsy rabyor says:

          Hi James, I could not have made that kind of reply without your creative comment. Is it inbuilt urge that we all want to SEE and FEEL the Sun. I did sun gazing for one year which covered a time in the rainy season. Rather than skip my standing meditation to not gaze on the sun-less days, I made the decision I would just gaze at what was there which were the clouds. The reality is the Sun is shining even when it’s cloudy. With everything that happens we always have the opportunity to hone our SEEING and FEELING skills. Love & Blessings, Betsy

  9. aka says:

    Hi Betsy

    Great article and find that I can relate so much too it. I am currently going through the second dark night and what you described for 1st dark night,1st awakening and 2nd dark night matches so much.

    I have been reading for last few months and believe dark nights are 3 knots are related. According to astrology there are 3 knots to be unraveled (Gandanta=knots at end and release huge amount of energy).My dark nights corresponds to when planets for my birth chart are at Gandanta (first dark night and awakening in dec, second ongoing).
    My energy flow is from top and only top 4 seems to be active yet.


    • betsy rabyor says:

      Hi Aka, thanks for your appreciation and insight that the dark nights and Gandanta knots may be related.

      Could you tell me what time periods those would be for me if i give you my birth date, place/time information?
      I would like to check and see if there is correlation.

      When you speak of only top 4 being active, are you referring to chakras
      and do you think you are experiencing a top-down awakening? And if so, why?


      • aka says:

        Hi Betsy

        I am no astrologer. I only went through and found out once I went through it.
        I had one dark night and awakening in Dec 2014 and second one in July 2015. Second one was very intense and felt as I almost died.
        Only after the events had happened I found that planets were in Gandanta for me.

        During first dark night the top 4 chakras started getting active.
        The third eye chakra remained active during the time between the 2 dark nights and then again the top chakras became active during second dark night. It felt as if someone was trying to protect me through them.

        I feel I would have further dark nights and awakenings few years later as now I am returning to normal life.
        To make it complex I feel there is some twin flame connection to all this as I am getting spiritually cleaned first as my first dark night was triggered by a separation and with the heart chakra being super active the pain of separation went away

        • betsy rabyor says:

          Hi Aka, thanks for replying with your clarification. It is a common trigger that people have awakening experiences after a separation or loss of a loved one. It makes one let go of clinging to the physical world, as in ‘wanting to die’. That is like surrender or let go of attachment to the ego-self, which then results in release of energy or reception — however you want to see it. So as far as the future is concerned, what it tells me is best to just be present and aware in the moment, rather than to believe you know what will happen next. This allows a fresh spontaneous way to respond to what turns up. Love & Blessings, Betsy

  10. Miles says:

    Hey Betsy,
    I just want to say that when i first skimmed this article because of my own longing to be out of the dark night, i took so much offense to the last part that i ended up facing death in my meditation space–expecting it to come at first very fearfully. I think accepting physical death is just where i was in the journey and my soul must have led me to this article to resonate the repressed pain. I’ve been dissolving the “pain body” since last november through meditation and forgiveness after a few weeks of ecstasy, and while i started in my lower chakras and hands and feet, now im primarily healing pain in my head and chest. I want to thank you for taking the time to write this article, it helped me to not hide from what needs to be loved and felt inside.
    All best,

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Thanks Miles, I appreciate you taking the time to let me know the article was helpful for you. It motivates me to keep writing… Love & Blessings, Betsy

  11. john says:

    hi betsy, I had my initial awakening 2 years ago.
    I have had dark nights before but never really lasted for to long, however this last couple of months I have felt I am going crazy and my mind tortures me with stark threats and impending doom. my sacral chakra feels raw at times and painful, and after a clearing another bundle of energy shows up in the same area about a week later. my mind seems quite chaotic and the stories seems so real that it tells and I find myself caught up in them.

    im losing interest in my job something I thought I loved, but now I cant stand it although I can feel it slipping away all the same. is there any meditation practices you recommend? im currently doing walking meditation or guided meditation.

    by the way I love your blog


    • betsy rabyor says:

      Hi John, thanks for sharing and trusting in me to ask your question. The thing that comes to me to tell you is to not listen to the stories, to keep pulling your attention away from them. Don’t believe they are truth. To me this is the step you are working on, to go beyond identification with the thoughts and the story. Who you are is beyond the story, the observer of all this. So part of this is to find that real Self. I would suggest you do witnessing meditation, directions are on this website, under transformation tools, it’s a link to “Stress Release Exercise”. It can also be good to learn to sustain focus, by gazing at a dot on paper (see Dot meditation). You might also find the healing music helpful, from home page see My Favorite Music link near bottom of page. The first one there is very healing, and listening to sounds or feeling the music is good way to help quiet the self-talk. So the challenge is to find tools or ways to focus your attention that effectively take you out of clinging to the thoughts and weaving a story. Try several different things and observe the result, find out what works for you. Work can be challenging in a time like this, just do your best, this won’t last forever. Hope that helps!

      I just found this meditation today, I find it to be a helpful, it’s short and easy to work in when you need it.
      Dolana Meditation


  12. john says:

    thanks betsy for your reply.
    im 42 years old and I like many others suffered abuse as a child at the result of my parents and they didcnt even know they were doing it. I left school at 16 with no qualifications at all, I started drinking at 18 and continued drinking every weekend I got of work as it suppressed the things I was never wanting to look at. im sober 5 months and don’t miss it at all, but the emotions that’s coming to the surface I cant begin to describe to you, I don’t even know if theres words to describe it. 2 months into stopping drinking I was all clean and I was loving it however now is not the case, the release that comes up knocks me clean of my feet for upto a week maybe even more, and my insides scream like something crying to get freed, I feel weak, drained and so tired when this happens. im experiencing anxiety something I had as a child when being dragged to school by my father and I can remember that terror.
    only yesterday I had a release of fear which lasted 4 hrs and it was very intense all though I sat through it even as I thought I was going to pass out, once it passed was puire bliss and it was something else. I have started seeing a councillor this last few weeks and she digs up a lot of my childhood and how my parents treated me and its very emotional. 5 months im sober without any outside help and im doing ok until these intense emotions comes screaming to the surface, to be honest if these keep getting much more intense I don’t know if I can continue on and cope with them. I was on 225mg vensir for depression, circumstancioul depression they called it, im of them tablets over a year now. recently I have been feeling I cant go any longer I feel defeated, giving up is getting closer and closer.
    I don’t know if it was of any use sharing this with you
    rant over

    much love john

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Hi John, congratulations on getting sober. I know about about it, because I also quit drinking. I had been stuffing those emotions for years, fear too, and when i stopped drinking then this shit that we stuffed all those years comes up. That’s why we drank, to not look at this stuff that was inside. It is normal to cry, to go through all this, it is the healing process itself. Suppressed, held, emotional energy is being released. With it will come memories, dreams, fears, all kinds of stuff — but also bliss feeling. When i quit drinking I did it through AA, and I found around this point I started working the 12 steps of AA, and the support of the AA community really helped me. I got a sponsor and she helped me get honest with myself and work through these steps. But AA is not to everyone’s tastes, for me it was perfect. The main thing seeing recovered people and how normal and happy they looked and hearing all their stories and seeing how much they also had been through and came out the other side, happy, with work and normal lifes and having fun without needing alcohol. That’s what i wanted so bad, to just know I could be normal and not need to drink. I also decided to get therapy help at one point, working on several issues from past that were hard to work through by myself.

      This emotional release won’t last forever, it will eventually pass and you will have released a ton of held energy and feel much better when it is over. The other thing I noticed when I quit drinking was I didn’t know how to deal with emotions, i had emotional maturity of about the time i started drinking to quit feeling them, around 15 years old. So John, we have to learn how to feel again and how to let out all those feelings we did not acknowledge for so long. It just takes time and is a hard part of stopping drinking, but now you can see the reason why you wanted to drink — to not feel this stuff. Once you feel these old memories, your heal it by adding emotion to it. It’s like partial memories in the memory bank, they become repressed because they have no emotion attached to it. So to heal it, it’s like you have to relive the happening and feel it, to have that *experience* with emotion, then you don’t have to do that again. You have the memory still, but you’ve dealt with it, and it’s in the past and no longer eats at your insides.

      When you get the strong emotions triggered, then you just be one with it, sink into the feeling of it and ride it out, like you did with the release of fear that lasted 4 hours. Don’t think about anything, you might notice memories coming with it, that may give an idea of where it came from, but that okay — don’t focus on thinking about it, just ride it to the end. Amazing to me how you knew to ‘ride it out’, like that. So… just keep doing that, it’s an energetic release, because you quit drinking now your energy level is rising, you are healing, awakening and part of this is healing the stuffed emotions. Another part is the mental health will get healed, so that is the anxiety or depression part (whatever is your typical thought pattern). You are strong and can heal all these things, just understand this is part of what is needed to be healed, you will be much better soon. Hang in there.

      these two articles have tools to help with mental and emotional healing steps:

      Hope that helps!

      PS: The AA steps are very helpful, but you need to work them with someone in person who can guide your through them. I started doing the steps (by myself of course), when I went to AA. but then when i got to the 5th step, i realized I couldn’t do that one by myself. so then i got a sponsor, it was never easy for me to ask others for help. but i did it, because I wanted to heal and could not go back to drinking, knowing i was killing myself. then i had to start the AA steps all over from step 1… a long story.

  13. john says:

    hi betsy thanks for taking the time to reply.

    I recently joined the local gym and this week is my first appearance at the AA,i thought I would go along and see what its like. im looking you advice on something that’s bothering me.

    I have been having lots of energy moving through me and it feels quite exhausting, I feel my subconscious is producing a lot of thoughts and im somehow believing in them, however when this energy comes I cant even see the thoughts, its exhausting to be honest. I meditate morning and evening I have done for several months now, but I feel my identification with thought isn’t weakening at all. when I first started out on this journey I started it by witnessing my thoughts then I was adviced to stop it because it could turn into a technique. for 3 or 4 months now I have been meditating twice a day. will I ever get past this identification with thought stage?

    hope to hear from you
    love john

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Hi John, nice to hear you are taking steps and investigating options. The gym will help too, to get out excess energy and increase your energy level. It takes higher awareness level to be able to observe the thoughts, the first one notices is often the emotional reaction, stress, tiredness, etc. From this you get information that the mind has been too active. Observing the truth that over-active mind makes one’s tired and one tends to believe how one perceives things is truth are steps themselves. Last note, I had suggested tools for working with emotional energy. You learn how to release this tension from body, and after you do that, learn to relax and let go this tension, then the mind will naturally quiet down. The more you keep tabs on your body tension throughout the day and work to relax triggered emotion, the less it will build up. The less the mind will chatter too. Witnessing thoughts cannot ever be a technique if doing correctly (just observing), although one can believe they are witnessing thoughts and actually aren’t, in which case it is a technique. In the end, you have to trust in your own decision, which seems you are doing as you’ve been meditating 2x per day for about 3 months. Learning to go beyond ID with thoughts, needs wisdom and diligence, to keep working at it and sharpening one’s ability to observe and find out where they come from, etc. We’ve been doing this a long, long, time, so it naturally takes time to learn how to let go of ID with appearances. You will get wisdom on the way, new insights as you go forward, which will lesson ID with thoughts over time. It’s not like an on / off switch and instantly goes away. There are many layers of ID with them. But each layer you discover and drop, your life will be much better, more wise, more joyful, etc. These benefits keep you motivated to keep going.

      So always focus in deeper on your current obstacle or main problem you are encountering, that is what is presenting for detachment or ID. Why do you believe what you tell yourself is truth? Look at it from all angles and test it in way you can. Is what you tell yourself helpful? Harmful? Valuable? Meaningful? New Wisdom or just repetitions? How often do certain thoughts repeat during a day? How often are there new thoughts? Where do thoughts come from? What triggers them? How long do they stick around if you don’t get involved with them? Can you simply sit quiet when thoughts are too active and watch them melt away? Do you notice you are more tired when the mind is more active, etc.

      Hope that helps!

  14. Dana says:

    Thank you so much, gave some clarification for what I was experiencing. So, the physical death and not breathing IS part of the process..okay. xD

    • betsy rabyor says:

      What you describe is likely a transition point, which happens when one lets go of clinging to mind and then body identification. The breathing then can stop or it can feel like it’s happening by itself, nearly like you are out of body, but you are there observing whatever movements of energy are happening in the body. Betsy

  15. Elaine says:

    Hello Betsy, I first want to thank you for sharing so much of your journey. In 2013 I lost a business of 6 figures a year to 6 digits, I didn’t understand what was happening at the time I just thought I was losing my mind. it was rough in the beginning, the loneliness, isolation, thoughts of failure seperation from friends etc. I had a mentor that is into healing but she never explained what I was going through but was allowed me to vent and was there through my fears. she mentioned dark nigt of the soul but never went into details. the pain I felt for a little over a year was unbarable at times. but then there was a period of relief, well I mean the knowledge that begin to come to me was amazing, I started meditating and it getting a down load of knowledge that was not something you hear everyday, so my desire was to endure the process as long as God gave me strength. Fast forward so at work I came across st John book dark night of the soul, Packing it for a customer I read the intro and thought interesting but kinda forgot about it. one day at home it came to mind so I googled it and bought the book I could not believe that everything I read finally had a explanation of what I had been through. So now I have been going through a lot of emotions, I thought this was over I don’t feel that strong spiritual connection that I had for so many months and my thoughts is that I did something wrong. I have been crying alot. I thought once i settled me and my kids I would be happy. I cant seem to pray much and that bothers me. I don’t have the desire to go to church as I feel nothing can help me get back to that place but being in my thoughts. But i am tired all the time I work 10 hr shifts and don’t find much energy to do anything. Sorry so long but, finding this page has blessed me, it helps me to know that Im ok. But Im not that familiar with the process other then what Ive read from St John and you. so my question is what stage am I at and what can I do to find the peace again? Im tired, very tired all the time and have to push myself for my children self. I welcome any advice or wisdom please. thank you again. I hope I was not all over the place just trying to fit everything in. Blessings

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Hi Elaine, thank you for your kind words and appreciation. Nice to hear you started meditating, which obviously helped to lift you out of the darkness and you started to feel closer connection and calling towards God and then just happen to run into books and information that speaks to you… It is normal along this journey to get the energy spikes or peak experiences, then to get feeling of losing it. What happens is one has fallen back into identity with the self, so one has to work at it more to do the meditation, prayer and self-inquiry to continue to grow. It is not like you get one awakening and it is over (on easy street), the truth is it needs consistent effort over long period of time. So the best is to establish regular meditation schedule, twice per day is ideal and not to skip days. A very important part of this is to question oneself, and to find out “Who Am I?”, and to find out what are emotions, thoughts, what causes them, as well as everything that appears in the mind or causes any level of suffering in daily life. Question your own reactions, to find out the cause.

      An hour of meditation actually gives you energy, because it releases stress tension and is healing, and the mind gets a good healing the better one gets at it. So an effective hour of meditation, can be worth as much as an entire night of sleep. It is never a waste of time. But the ego-self, does not want to do this, and will nearly always come up with a reason why not to do it. The ego-self does not like to cede control and be put into a spot of ‘doing nothing’. The ego always wants to be busy and doing, which is what drains one’s energy. I know you can find time to do meditation if that is your desire, because I did it while working full time, with 4 children to take care of, a dog to walk 2x per day, being home owner and needing to do all the yard work, cleaning and cooking (single parent). I even had a boyfriend to work into all that. I did an hour meditation by waking up an hour before anyone else in the morning and did an hour after everyone else went to sleep at night. At work, i used my lunch hour to do a walking meditation outside. Anytime, I had to wait in a line or at a stoplight if driving, I used it to meditate. Weekends and days off, I would dedicate to doing more. It looks like you are at the stage to develop a consistent practice, to learn to tune into yourself more and give yourself time to do that. On this website, I have many articles, transformation tools, books references, videos, etc, to help with this. Also check out “My Favorite Books” section.
      Love & Blessings, Betsy

  16. Loveisallyouneed says:

    Flu like days with glowing swirls around me and throwing up and feeling of glowing and crowing. Now I feel that emptiness. Left sided brain fog is fading and I kinda feel like the right side leads the way. The world looks the same but different. Where is this ? 4th?
    Its also mostly silent in NY head now. I have also had glimpses of other things but its gone now that was a few days ago

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Thanks for sharing your observations and experiences in your awakening journey. After awakening, your energy vibration can be very high, so you will get glimpse in that state of seeing reality how it really is, which can look like a 3d Movie. You will also notice healing reactions and can get insights, visions, etc. Yes, it tends to settle down after some time and one returns back to a near normal feeling, but never forgets realizing they are not the “me”, but rather the spiritual and invisible energy behind the projection.

  17. Haku says:

    Hi Betsy, just want to thank you for this very helpful post. Whenever I feel lost and overwhelmed during these heavy dark nights I would come here and read it again and again. I’ve experienced everything mentioned so far up to the third dark night, which is where I am now and to say it’s been difficult is an understatement. So reading it has been very comforting, knowing that I’m not alone helps to re-stabilize my faith for this process. Thank you.

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Hi Haku, thank you for taking the time to let me know this article has been helpful for you on your journey. Trust in our essential nature is very important. The more we can let go and just let ourselves unfold in a natural way – the easier it goes. Love & Blessings, Betsy

  18. Ali says:

    Dear Betsy,

    Thanks for your well-written article about the DNS. My Kundalini awoke nearly ten months after my twin flame and I split up. My first dark night of the soul happened at the time. Then, I felt a little blissful, but when Kundalini started cleansing my lower chakras. I felt extremely lost and depressed again. Within six months, Kundalini reached my heart chakra, and opened it hard. It was actually like a heart attack. Since my heart chakra opened, Mentally I have been feeling very well, but not physically. I get these terrible headaches, and feel absolutely exhausted. In fact, every inch of my body is sore. You see, Kundalini has reached my throat chakra for a year now, and has even become more painful. I have awful ear and jaw aches. I guess, it is working hard on my throat, jaws and ears. I really have no idea how much longer it is going to take?!! My intuition is getting stranger and stronger. I am telepathically learning the secrets of alchemy. To be honest with you, I do not believe in spirituality. I have learned to be my authentic self, and accept myself as exactly I am. I am a very grounded person without a deluded mind. Both my logic and emotions freely flow through my being. In fact, I do appreciate balance and equilibrium.

    Regarding the final DNS, I was just wondering if you ever went through it personally? Is that a theory or…? I guess, no physical death happens, it just goes back and resides in the heart. Please let me know your thoughts.

    looking forward to your reply.

    Best always

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Dear Ali,

      Thank you for your appreciation of the article and sharing your awakening experience and challenges.
      Sorry it is so hard for you at the moment. It can take a long time. How long it takes is highly variable between individuals, so it’s just how long it takes for us to transmute our own personality. The more we allow the kundalini energy to flow through us without controlling it with our mind or body, the more we gain skills in witnessing consciousness by doing things such as vipassana meditation and the more wisdom we gain about how our mind works, the nature of reality, and find out: Who Am I? – the more efficient it will be.

      Personally, I feel going into the secrets of alchemy is a distraction from awakening.

      I really cannot be sure how many dark nights of the soul there are, what I write comes from what I have experienced. I feel I am near to finish this transition.

      It is best to drop beliefs when they are uncovered, so I think it’s good you don’t have a belief in spirituality (whatever that means for you) as that is one thing you need to drop.

      There is no way ‘to be’ one’s authentic self as authentic self happens spontaneously with no control.

      At the end, there is a profound change in the brain which greatly changes how one sees reality. This happens when one compeletely lets go of identity with the personality, but this cannot happen until self-knowledge is gained.

      Love & Blessings,

      PS: maybe you would like to join my FB discussion group for Awakening & Kundalini:

      • Ali says:

        Dear Betsy,

        Thanks for your early reply.

        What I mean by the “secrets of alchemy” is the truth of life and creation. These things had actually been “secrets” in my life (at least for me). Life and creation are all based on the balance between growth and decay, then transformation. In fact. these concepts and their details had been hidden to me, and now I am naturally learning them without forcing anything. It is truly my natural expression.

        Regarding “being my authentic self”, I also have to mention that I just ride the natural flow of life in the now moment ,and naturally
        let my instinct and intuition speak to me.

        At this stage, my headaches and other physical pains are bad enough, are my symptoms going to develop further once Kundalini reaches my third eye or seventh chakra? This is something which I am really worried about as I work a full time job, and do not like my symptoms to really get in the way of my daily routine.

        Best always,

        • betsy rabyor says:

          Dear Ali,

          Thanks for the clarification.

          As far as your physical pains and headaches go, the more you can learn to be with that feeling and merge with the energy flow, the less painful it will feel and the more effective and quicker the expansion will be. The transformation can go on a long time, how long it takes has many variables. The less resistant we are to this flow and the more we self-knowledge we have, the quicker and more enjoyable it is. I wouldn’t be concerned about what is ‘next’ so much, just take it moment by moment. Go with the natural flow of life in the Now and trust in your inner guidance.

          Love & Blessings,

  19. betsy rabyor says:

    I’m posting a comment from Lisa Smith: “Thank you for this. I have not heard of multiple awakenings although I perceived it because I have felt like this is what I have been experiencing for some time. I recently had an experience that I just remembered today where I felt and saw the two hemispheres of my brain (as if a shadow in my minds eye) – I felt and saw one side “freeze” or stop while the other side remained active. It somewhat startled me because I’d never felt or seen anything like this before. However it caused me to try to google an answer for what the experience was, which ultimately led me here.”

  20. Nicola says:

    Hi there,
    I’ve been on the path for 11 years and the kundalini is now working through my skull and brain. I’m at the end of a dark night. am i going to die a physical death?
    I’ve felt since I was little that Inwould never die in the flesh. what is going on???
    it’s gotten really intense!!

    • betsy rabyor says:

      Hi Nicola, the kundalini will work through every cell in the body and eventually is strong enough to work more in the skull and brain. The future is unknown, although for sure these bodies are only momentary and one day will return to the Earth. One can go through death absorption’s in the enlightenment stage, which is not a physical death but can *feel* like it. From what you have shared having just come out of a dark night, it doesn’t look like you near that stage. Once you are near that stage, you will be ready for it in the sense there will be no fear and because you will know there is no separation. From the little you shared, it sounds like the kundalini is now becoming more active. If you want to know more about this, please see my free online book at There is nothing to fear, except fear itself. Love & Blessings, Betsy

  21. gulin says:

    Thank you very much for this great enlightening article, Betsy. I thought the dark night of the soul happens once in a lifetime (I had one in 2016) and if so, I wondered what it is that I’m experiencing right now for months, and then came up with this article. It helped me to have great insight. Still I feel empty and useless, I feel like vomitting and strangled but now I know I’m getting ready for the next phase. I hope all would be easy for everyone getting through their dark knights. Thanks again with love.

  22. Vaishnavi says:

    A day when you have no clue what is going on with your life which was so aligned the other day and totally shattered in the next , stuff like this and the work Betsy is doing, is your escape and ultimate support.
    The dark nights and the awakenings are topics seldom people want to talk about or even understand.
    This makes the journey a lot more confusing and disturbing. Talking about a 18 year old myself, It’s my second year of this spiritual journey and I was able to resonate with the article and found myself probably stepping into the second dark night of the soul. It has come with a mimic repetition of feelings of first dark night. But now after having read the article, I m peaceful and in a better position to handle whatever that is coming for me.
    Thank you Miss Betsy for the day u sat down and wrote this chapter. It is helping many.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


12 − eleven =