I sat on a cushion in my bedroom, in darkness. I was 22 years old and like any normal kid my age I had resolved to meditate on an imaginary green triangle in my head for 45 minutes.
This was my third week of practising concentration meditation, a precursor to vipassana. The idea was to hold my focus on an object to quiet the mind. This had already resulted in tantalising bursts of rapture and bliss, but I wanted more, and felt curious about how much energy I could channel into this.
Until now, I had been using the breath, and now a triangle, as my object of concentration. In this particular sit, however, I noticed a subtle sound—the ringing of silence—and decided to focus on that, with as much effort as I could muster.
My mind locked on to the sound with an all-consuming intensity. I dropped into a trance-like state. My concentration expanded to the point where the raw immediacy of the sound felt like it was undercutting my very sense of attending to it.
And then there was just the ringing, right through me.
I had the distinct sense that something was coming, like the alien rush of a first orgasm. It felt like I was meditating, whilst simultaneously rushing towards myself. This bizarre feeling intensified until, without warning, something ignited at the tail of my spine.
A stream of energy began to push upwards, right through the centre of me. It felt warm, powerful and entirely benevolent. After taking on a sexual quality and meandering up through my navel, it peaked around my solar plexus, by which time the bliss was intense. I fell forward out of my cross-legged posture, giggling in a state of shock. The event lasted perhaps 7 or 8 seconds.
After basking in the afterglow and the excitement that something had actually happened, I tried to make it happen again. It wouldn’t happen again. Apparently these experiences were not on tap.
Over the next few days I tried to make sense of this phenomenon. I had already heard mentions of ‘kundalini’ or energetic openings, and the few first-person accounts I found sounded similar to what I had experienced.
But I had no idea they could happen just like this. The experience was so clear, profound and out-of-the-norm, and yet it did not feel ‘other-worldly’—it had happened here, to me, a merely curious meditator, sat on a cushion in the middle of my bedroom floor, concentrating on the ringing in my ears.
The experience left me with no doubts that this was a ride I wanted to stay on. I didn’t understand where it was taking me, or what exactly I was doing, but I knew something had changed, and that there was more to come.
5 May 2009