Hi wegs. I was interested in hearing more on this too but Gwen popped in and out before I had a chance to reply. I'm devoutly atheist as I think you know but I have tried meditation as a matter of curiosity, completely devoid of any actual acceptance of the spiritual or divine elements of mysticism. Along the way I encountered this belief in the Kundalini energy and applied it as a means of inducing a deep state of what is probably best characterized as self-hypnosis. (Part of the brain seems to be asleep and part is awake). The experience was so remarkable I continued this over many sessions, and each time the experiences were connected, as if I was picking up where I left off. It was in part like a vivid dream and in part like a screenplay that unfolded in response to questions I had prepared in advance (wondering about certain mysteries of physics, such as wave propagation, relativity, and the origin of space and time--not unlike some of the thread titles here). I suppose it might be comparable to a controlled daydream, but it was not at all without intense emotions so strong I had to struggle afterward to shake off the irrational belief that came later, that what I experienced had some deep cosmic meaning. The way I applied this (since I was also exploring methods for inducing self-hypnosis) was to do as suggested without attaching any belief to it; namely to treat the Kundalini as metaphor for conscious energy. My particular method began with to practicing visualization. (trying to deliberately induce something almost like a visual hallucination). That is, close your eyes in very quiet place (actually I would play trance music though some sound dampening headphones). Try to first remove all sense of imagery playing in your mind, and then just try to make a bright light appear. Next imagine that this bright light is at the bottom of your spine. I would even visualize the vertebra and disks illuminated by this light. Allow the light to advance up the spinal column, pausing at each vertebra and not moving higher until that vertebra is "visible". This is a lot harder than it sounds. I would also count them according to their medical nomenclature (S5, S4 ... S1 for the sacrum, L5, L4 ... L1 for the lumbar, T and C for thoracic and cervical -- 12 and 7 respectively), and I used those designations to remind myself of where I was as I walked my focus up my spinal column. After 4 or 5 attempts at this, which led to some deep dream like states I finally was able to "reach" the brain stem. At this point I experienced a fantastic illusion which could best be described as an "awakening". It was more like a hallucination than a dream. That is, it was a little too coherent to be a normal dream. And it extended over about 4 of these sessions. I think I tried this over a period of 12 weeks or so. It was a weekly experiment which I would prepare for in advance. As it began to pay off my desire to do it again increased as did my anticipation. I would always get all of my chores behind me on the prescribed day, I would prepare an exotic meal of flavors I would not normally combine, and I would have a long hot bath and loosen all my muscles and joints before I began. At some point the exigencies of life broke my pace and I put it away for a rainy day. Eventually I'll go back to it. I have no doubt that this is very much like religious experience, or that a religious person would not be able to "shake it off" as I did. I also think this may open doors in the minds of people not mentally fit (such as inducing hallucination) and probably should be done with some professional advice. Also since so many people report quasi hallucinatory experiences from meditation, but they all seem to use different methods for achieving that state, it may be that this method I arrived at wouldn't work for anyone else. Each person may need to design their own definition of Kundalini (or whatever you want to call it) which for me just began as a recommended technique for opening the door to self-hypnosis. I should say that the benefits of this were remarkable. It left me feeling invigorated, with maybe just a trace of lingering euphoria--or at least a sense of well being that lasted into the week. This may also be partly what religious people experience in their various forms of meditative prayer or contemplation. Whatever it was Gwen set out to tell us, I probably have departed from that. But I thought I'd pass this on to you as related information anyway since you expressed some interest in Gwen's post.