A student, wanted to know if Kundalini Awakening and Kundalini Rising were the same thing. And they are. He wanted to know what to expect. What could he do to make it rise safely and where does it rise. Does it rise through the inner spine or the outer. In Kundalini Yoga, the Most Important Thing is Experience. Your experience goes right into your heart. Dear' A',
Kundalini awakening is followed by Kundalini Rising, but Kundalini awakens in various centers. It rises as enerhy consciousness increase, like a barometer, but it's also pulled or drawn to its source, when you realize the Self in your Spiritual Heart.
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan incorporates many sets of postures, movements, breathing techniques, mantra chants, with Kriyas and meditations.
The intent of these is to systematically develop a sustained voltage, so that you become accustomed to a kind of a radiance throughout the body field.
This radiance brightens your awareness so that you will feel the 2 lobes of the cranial brain beginning to radiate, which would be the halo effect you see in pictures of saints. At the same time the enteric Brain, yogis call the Kundal region, which you're experiencing begins to activate. This puts a charge on the sex glands which produce seminal fluid, a drop of which gets into the spinal fluid and triggers an electric force through the spine.
Whenever anyone concentrates or makes love, this fluid which is always passing through a duct to the heart to circulate to where there is a demand for energy has a burst of that fluid. So you feel love, tenderness or an expansion of intuition, depending on where the need is for sustained electric current. When it moves through the spine it's greater.
But there are also other systems in the body, a comparable ida and pingala along the front of the body and comparable sushumna, which is the vagus nerve system.
When you take daily classes in KY all these systems will open.
In particular there is a polarity between the enteric brain and the cranial brain. You'll feel the 2 hemispheres of the brain starting to open. This is the idea of the 10 pedaled lotus opening, but in fact it awakens intuitive pure intelligence which reflects the Self in the Hrdayam, which in KY we call the One Star, which is the seat of Being, where you point when you say "I" – to the right side of the chest, about 2 digits from the sternum, it's also mentioned in Ecclesiastics 10:2. It's what Christ meant when he said "The Pure in Heart shall see God, God being that of the Old testament "I AM THAT I AM." Christ's name is actually not Jesus, its meaning is "I am saves." But in all the religions, Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism Vedanta, "I am" without images associated, like the screen in a movie, the substratum to name and form is what is meant by God.
Islam is different, because the name Allah, is the name of a Pagan God worshiped in those days back to the time of Babylon, the Moon God, which has nothing to do with Christianity or Judaism, Mohammed only said it did as a gimmick to get converts on the idea that his God Allah was the same as the God of Abraham and Moses and Christ. This isn't to say that there aren't Islamic Saints, such as Rumi, but they related to the writings of Mohammed in Mecca, when he lived amongst Christians and Jews, not to the Jihad writings that followed in Medina, where Mohammed became a powerful warlord disavowing the Mecca writings. In the time of Moses many people worshiped this Pagan God Allah. When Moses went up to Mt Sinai and returned with the 10 Commandments, he was horrified to find that the gold objects made were as Idles were the Pagan God Allah, which stamp of the moon in a crescent moon was on the forehead of the bulls and other objects, which he then destroyed in an earth quake caused when he throws the Ten Commandments at the Allah idols. (Sorry for the tangent)
As the 2 hemispheres of the brain open, which has the term Parmahansa, hansa meaning swan, they radiate a feeling of goodness and purity in the mind and cause the mind to turn inward towards the Spiritual heart. When this happens it's called "hearing" because a state of intense silent listening flows from the brain to the heart, listening for the soundless sound of "I" pulsing as "I" versus "I am this and that."
With this rises a sense of recollection that who you are is not "I am this and that" but "I am that I am." You experience yourself as a single pervasive field of being consciousness upon which, within which the body and mind appear. Another way of explaining this is that you feel like someone that has been in the fog of amnesia, or a kind of a stupor and you recollect who you are. When this remembrance becomes strong, you experience what Christ experienced when he came from the desert, "I am Consciousness Itself." ("I am the light of the world – the light that lights each man / woman born into the world) and "I am the Truth." Which is a feeling like intense grounding as though the thoughts are being sucked in and obliterated by a graviton, while living light streams through the atoms of the body, a feeling of decontracting, which can be called transfiguration. In the Sikh Dharma, Guru Nanak is so intensely drawn inwards that he goes ito a cave to meditate, same idea as Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree resolved to get at the Truth, and when Guru Nanak came out he said Sat Nam, which is to say "I am the Truth." Which is single pervasive being.
The reason that the Heart is called the Ik Tar or One Star in Kundalini Yoga taught by Yogi Bhajan is that it both pulls in the mind and outshines the mind, like a Sun in the Heart. The Hindus have a mantra that they say as the sun rises: Aditya Hrdayam Puniam sarv shatru bina shaman, meaning all evil vanishes for he that keeps the Sun (Aditya) in his Heart (Hrdayam).
What you begin to experience is that the sense of "I" which is associated with identity to thoughts shifts to its core in the heart and there arises a radical relinquishment of thoughts and images, a sense of abiding as both the Heat and as pervasive being.
The practice of Kundalini Yoga needs to accompany the reading of spiritual texts and the lives of Saints and Saviors, because these stories and teachings trigger a remembrance by the Self of Itself. Moreover, the purity and blessedness of the stories generates a feeling of devotion, such as reading a text and getting choked up or tears streaming from the eyes. What happens is that you are experiencing your divine body, the body of who you are as an awakened being. You discover that these stories aren't metaphors or allegories but that they are true because you experience within yourself those attributes.
Suddenly the sense of Self disengages entirely from the brain and you are Self illuminated being, space like, pervasive. You, the individual unit of consciousness with the idea that you (Atman) are a body (gross) with a mind (subtle) are really spirit (pure). When this pure being recognizes itself, there is a release of identity to the thoughts and emotions and images, which is what is meant by the Commandment that there be no images before the "I am" – God, not the vanity of assuming identity of That "I am" to thoughts and images.
In all the religions you have the three aspects "hearing" "remembrance or recollection" and "abiding" which in Kundalini yoga is covered under the term "Pradupati" or "Crystallization."
Yoga begins with this "hearing" – Sunia (Sikh), Sravana (Hindu/Vedanta).
The practice of the yoga generates, energy (physical sensation) – consciousness (seeing/brightness) – Intelligence (single abiding in the source of Intelligence, the Heart or One Star), which are different words meaning the same thing.
So what happens is that you get drawn inward listening for the soundless sound of the pulsing of the "I as I" a sensation of being transfixed or transfigured with thoughts entirely in abatement, relinquished, discarded, a state of dissolution, yet at the same time electric radiance, as though the light in the movie projector shining through the frames of the film from reel to real representing your life, has been turned up and the images fade to white. In fact you still see the images, but your identity to them is initially in abatement and then radically discarded, just as someone with amnesia, in remembering who they are throws off the false identity and resumes who they were. In this case each of us is a Sun
As a way of understanding this, Christ after the sermon on the Mount gathers the Apostles to him and says he's going to tell them the Truth without Parables and analogues and says in Luke 11:34, "The eyes (the seer) is the light of the body. When thine eye (seer) is single (held without regard for what's seen), thy whole body will be filled with light (in yogic terms: the Enlightenment of the Whole Body)."
So you abide as the seer. As you practice, each day this abidance becomes more and more indrawn and rises in you throughout the day, often as you go to sleep. The Self is what in yoga is called Turya, or the state beyond the waking state, sub conscious dream state and unconscious deep sleep state. When you are awake in each of these the energy involved is exponentially greater. But the Self which is beyond all these also relinquishes them as well.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patenjali which is translated and commented on by Vivekananda in his book Raja Yoga, the third aphorism is "The purpose of Yoga is to isolate the seer." And that's the meaning and intent of all the yogas, all the scriptures and all the Saints and Saviors.
So, regarding the questions you asked, if you want a balanced opening of the various systems of the body, the silver cord between the base of the spine and crown, the gold cord between the ajna or third eye and the sahasrara or crown / thousand-pedaled, the frontal vagus nerve system, the meridian system powered through the solar plexus, the chakra glandular secretion system and the atma nadi or paranadi between the crown and the Hrdayam, then find one or 2 certified Kundalini Yoga teachers teaching the yoga that Yogi Bhajan brought to the west and take the classes and eventually start a Sadhana of your own to do a set every morning and meditate on the Self in the Hrdayam / One Star. Then everything I wrote above will come together for you quickly.
Myself, I practice about 1.5 hours once or twice a day, but periodically throughout the day, my mind is drawn inwards, suspends. As the mind stops, the breath stops. The spine straightens, the chest expands forward and the whole body radiates with light beyond the energy of the body. You see without the senses as a field of self-radiant being. The knot in the Hrdayam is sundered, and the link of identity of the all-pervasive uncaused unconditioned timeless Self simply vanishes, like a mirage. Even the pulsing of the "I as I' vanishes.
Here's a prayer a maha siddha / self realized being would experience:
Blessed am I
In freedom am I
I am the infinite in my Soul
I can find no beginning
All is my Self
All is my Self
God is found in the "I am" seer. Dwell in God, Abide in the seer the "I" of your notional "I."
Listen to this from Yogi Bhajan:
PS: Here's a Poem called Faith Mind by the Third Zen Patriarch
I have my own copy by Baba Ram Dass from 1970 that I've heard a thousand times.
You might also link to any Facebook page on Ramana Maharshi and Nassagadatta Maharaj and just read the occasional texts. Again these kinds of texts elicit remembrance and spontaneous Self abidance. Saviors are simply Beings that abide as the Sun in the Heart, but their intent is to get each one to remember that that is who they are.
"All you say he says, all you see is he, all is Sat Nam."