What We Notice
The primary factors that influence a subjective experience are the clarity at the time, the existing general development or overall perspective, and where the awareness is positioned relative to the object of experience. How the mind then interprets that experience from its concepts and memory further influences interpretation. Not to mention how open we are to it. Do we see a pattern in a series of experiences? Is it really there? Are they stronger subjective experiences related to what’s purifying and leaving rather than developing? Shakti may just blow in and create whatever circumstance is required. Thus someone may associate awakening with almost any chakra. Depends on what the last barrier is too.
The overall process can be mild, medium or intense. For some, it will be very vivid but for others, almost unnoticed. For many it will vary – some things noticed, some quietly shift. It depends on how it unfolds and how suddenly a big knot is released. Everyone will certainly have some experiences of the energy physiology purifying but that may or may not be associated with energy or even seemingly related at all. Maybe just an odd day or some vivid dreams or twitching. Our energy physiology is a network of many thousands of channels (nadis) throughout the body. Many of the smaller shifts will be seen as passing experiences, unrecognized as marking anything. Other minor things may seem very important.
As well, certain practices will tend to encourage or reduce certain kinds of experiences. Some kundalini techniques encourage “pushing” which may result it more intense experiences but also in a rougher ride. It’s better to let this process unfold naturally.
Where It’s Actually Happening
To further confuse the interpretation, the apparent location of an experience may not be the source. You’re probably familiar with how Chinese medicine can stimulate a point on the skin and bring relief to an organ or muscle in another part of the body. Similarly, we can have subjective experiences in one place that actually originate in activity somewhere else in the body. Body awareness techniques teach how to follow the attention back to the source to help facilitate a release. But we may not notice this during a spontaneous experience.
You may have noticed back on koshas that the Prana level is relatively dense. Changes in subtler bodies will shift the energy more profoundly yet the source may be too subtle to recognize. Again, we’ll attribute it to the sensations in the more gross areas at the time.
Another player in this is where we’re experiencing from. Inside the koshas, we’ll tend to experience things relative to that kosha. For example, how the chakras (wheels) are experienced. You hear descriptions of chakras as multicoloured energy spirals or as flowers with petals and roots or as geometric forms. These lead to some of the symbolism we see. Closer to the physical, energy healers describe cones of spiraling energy coming out the front and back of the body near the chakras. Same chakras, different viewing.
Some describe how there is in actuality only one cosmic body, appearing as all of us. All purification is actually taking place only in the cosmic. (an Atmamaya kosha perspective) This means another persons purification may affect your clarity and vice versa.
Each of the traditions we discussed are founded in someones or a group of people’s experiences and the minds attempt to model the process they recognized as occurring. They’ll likely be led by specific practices. Some teachers will be relating their own experience and some expounding a teaching derived from someone else’s, often historical.
Thus, some of the variation may be the same process but with different aspects and locations noticed subjectively. But more deeply, the kundalini process is not what drives awakening. The process itself is something much deeper that comes to the surface in our subjective experience as this or that happening here or there. Most of this is just opening and clearing, revealing what is already there. And that is the far more important part than the experiences we had in the process.
Understanding the energy system is a useful way to understand how we are in the world and why we experience it in certain ways. But the underlying process of awakening is driven by something much deeper than kundalini or prana. Deeper even than our cosmic self and cosmic body.
That cosmic body is shared by all life. It is seeded with one set of 7 chakras in this universe. Our individual forms draw energy from those 7 centres to structure the apparent body. All 7 express Shakti but do so at different qualities and density, allowing us to express and function on all levels, if we’re awake to it.
Awareness is aware of itself both globally (omnipresently) and at every point. Ultimately, our apparent body is simple interactions or relationships between clusters of points of awareness; the devata that express creation; the self-interacting dynamics of consciousness.
These relationships are the music of life.