In my 40 years of listening to Kundalini awakening stories, I've heard so many trigger variations it is nearly impossible to categorize them. Everything from meditation to drugs, physical exertion to sexual ecstasy to Shaktipat to minding one's own business. My trigger was meditation.
Triggers and Effects
I use the notions of triggers and effects to denote causes and results in describing Kundalini arousals, triggers being the cause and effects being the result.
How you activate it (Triggers)
In my 40 years of listening to Kundalini awakening stories, I have heard so many trigger variations it is nearly impossible to categorize them. Everything from meditation to drugs, physical exertion to sexual ecstasy to Shaktipat to minding one's own business. For me, my trigger was meditation.
But my activation method only applies to me and to those who have practiced the Golden Flower Meditation method. Once you practice a given method, and get to a point where the sublimation process becomes active, it is difficult to change course and begin all over again with a new method.
Dal Lake, Kashmir - I stayed on a houseboat here during my meeting with Gopi Krishna
This is especially true for those whose Kundalini is permanent. I could no more undo my permanently active Kundalini, go back to a time before it was active, and start over with a new method than I could reinsert myself into my mother’s womb and be born again.
So what does this tell us? Simply that there is no one size-fits-all trigger for arousing Kundalini and no guarantee that a given trigger will actually work in a specific case...so if you're looking for one, you may not find it in books, conversations, or retreats. It just may up and hit you when you least expect it...or not. However your experience is triggered accept it as the ultimate experiment in the laboratory of your own body.
And while we're at it, the triggers I referred to are really only different kinds of detonators. The actual explosion occurs when a quantity of stored-up, distilled sexual energy collides preternaturally with certain elements in the brain.
No matter the detonator — be it drugs, meditation, or sexual rapture — each detonation causes a release of life force energy. The initiate may not feel sexual activity during the release — kundalini works at a deep neurological level, — but the sensations/effects/symptoms the individual does feel when kundalini activates are related to the release and upward climb of sexual energy to the brain. For example, you may feel tired, enthralled, frightened, or depressed without any erotic undercurrents. Nevertheless, sexual energy is present. The reason you may not feel sexually aroused is because the energy kundalini releases to the brain initiates a rewiring of neural and cerebral circuits, which once fired, can cause behavioral irregularities, up to and including bliss, psychosis, and depression. If the initiate realizes what he/she is undergoing is benign, any aberrant mental and psychic states can be stabilized by accepting kundalini, not fighting it. So be patient. Let the rewiring and the restorative work begin. As Osho said:
“Kundalini is not felt because it is rising; kundalini is only felt if you do not have a very clear passage. If the passage is completely clear-cut, then the energy flows, but you cannot feel it. You feel it when there is something there that resists the flow. If the energy flows upward and you have blocks in the passage, only then do you feel it. So the person who feels more kundalini is really blocked: there are many blocks in the passage, so the kundalini cannot flow.”
There’s another element that must be accounted for, a deterministic element I call the Field. Not every person seeking to activate Kundalini is able to do so. At the same time, not every person in whom Kundalini becomes active wants it to happen. This is especially important at the present time when so many people are striving to activate it by so many different methods. Most of them have no idea what awaits them if they succeed. And if and when they do succeed, they are often ill-prepared to deal with the aftermath.
So how is the determination made on who’s going to succeed? This is important because forcing a Kundalini activation is almost beside the point in evolutionary terms: we’re going to get there anyway over time — to even higher states of consciousness. Evolution will see to it; that’s how evolution works.
For the trigger and the explosive charge to collide, the Field must move them into alignment; that’s it’s deterministic nature. This Field could be called The Energy Continuum or Consciousness or even a Quantum or a Karmic event, one whose moment is come to pass: the collision in time and space of Detonator (sexual energy), Explosive charge (brain matter), brought together by the Field (quantum event) whose purpose is to escort an individual destiny through an evolutionary leap.
Today, there's so much buzz and crosstalk about Kundalini, but so little sharing of Kundalini knowledge and experience. Everyone’s off in his or her corner, trying to protect his or her itzy bit of Kundalini turf, scared someone else will steal it or, at the least, somehow diminish its gainfulness. Trying to convince the world that one trigger is better than another is counterproductive. I could tell you that my method is the one true and only method, but I’ve found that promoting exclusivity leads to a compartmentalization of knowledge. Kundalini doesn’t need insider bickering among adepts; there’s enough hostility, doubt, and prejudice directed at it from outside sources. Better to spend time sharing information on triggers and testing them under laboratory conditions.
Sailing Through the Storms of Life
As far as I know, there are no statistics on the success rate of any given trigger, so although there's a lot of information out there, it's muddled. How do you choose a method or a trigger? In my case, my method chose me. Someone gave me a copy of The Secret of the Golden Flower and I practiced the method in the book. One factor that helped me succeed was sticking with a single method once IT found me. Doers complete the journey; dabblers get nowhere. Recognize the difference.
What It does for/to you (Effects)
The foregoing applies to the activation method (the trigger); however, when we speak of the effects and aftermath of Kundalini common among practitioners, we find many effects are shared. However, each case is different. It would be great if that wasn’t the case, but it is. Until there is a trigger that produces the same effects time after time over a given population, and a critical mass of practitioners who share a comparable set of effects, we won’t achieve unanimous acceptance from researchers. So even though I’d like to consider my method as capable of producing uniform results, the sample group of practitioners is as yet too small.
Normal people are like a piano with three octaves; kundalini adds five more octaves. Whether you learn to take advantage of all eight octaves is up to you. At least, you have the additional instrumentation at your disposal.
The general question “What does kundalini do for you?” must be rephrased as “What did it do for me?” This I can answer. For me, the effects included, but were not limited to:
And it didn't necessarily stop there. Not all of the effects come “online” as soon as activation takes place. Kundalini is still DOING me — forty years after I activated it! And it doesn’t operate wantonly! Kundalini is intelligent.
What’s more, these are not the only effects I will ever experience; new effects are happening all the time, without warning. Kundalini doesn’t stand still. And that’s part of the challenge: Don’t try to contend with the power of Kundalini; don’t try to control it because you won’t be able to. Once permanently activated, it’s best to submit to whatever Kundalini has in store for you.
So how can you tell if your Kundalini is really awakened? For Gopi Krishna and myself, two persons who practiced Kundalini meditation, we were able to observe somatic and metabolic changes in the body as the sexual sublimation process engaged and as it ultimately reached a dramatic crescendo, ushering waves of pranic energy into the brain, igniting all chakras. In these cases, the proof is incremental: The trigger induces the effects and you can follow the process as you would follow a laboratory experiment.
What about those whose Kundalini has been ignited surreptitiously? In these cases, you have to work inductively, from the effects back to the cause. If you can identify a number of acknowledged Kundalini effects/symptoms, you can conclude that Kundalini has somehow been aroused. Nevertheless, this is tricky. There is a tendency to attribute Kundalini symptoms to various mental states, persuading yourself that Kundalini has actually awakened when it hasn't. In such cases, you must verify everything you see, hear, or feel.
Finding Someone to Help
For me, the effects have been benign. Whether this holds true in your case, I can't say. And whether you're able to withstand the effects depends on your ability to accept Kundalini and adapt yourself to its dictates. Perhaps, like me, you’ll find people who will help you.
I’ve talked with many people who have shared some, if not all, of the effects included in my list above, and, in doing so, have thrived. Nevertheless, since effects vary from subject to subject, but are also shared in many instances, I believe it would be useful to classify effects by triggers and then rate each effect by impact from negative to positive. That way we might learn which triggers to avoid, if possible, and which ones produce positive effects.
What about ecstatic states of bliss? Yes, they are common, especially in the beginning. But don’t get caught up in them; they take you away from the real world. And as long as we inhabit bodies, the real world makes demands on us, and we must balance these demands with the thrall an awakening experience casts over us as we learn to put the layers of past conditioning into proper perspective.