Is this magnificent experience normal?

Q: During my morning meditation listening to Tilopa’s teaching on Mahamudra I had a magnificent experience that I want to share and would like to hear if this kind of thing is normal and what it might be.

At the end of the meditation, energy exploded in my body and I can’t really describe how it felt, but very much bliss/orgasm like through the whole body and light entered my closed eyes.

As I needed to go to work, I was trying to assemble myself, but I had so much energy and started to shiver in pure ecstasy, as I now write I feel this same energy below my belly-button and it feels like it can burst out anytime.

Is it possible to get a bit clear of what is happening to me?

A: It’s good to hear that Tilopa’s jewel of a teaching had such an impact on you. These things can happen spontaneously from time to time and it is a good sign and experience if it is understood and worked with properly. 

The bliss and ecstasy you experienced is really just your own nature waking up to itself. When the mind becomes deeply calm and still in meditation and thoughts begin to dissolve, this inner bliss sometimes bursts forth and can feel very strong and sometimes overwhelming. There is nothing to be concerned about, but equally one has to be very careful not to get fixated on it and desire it with every meditation.

Like all experiences and states within this phenomenal world (and worlds beyond this world) they are all impermanent, changeful and not-self. If we can just allow these things to flow through us without any sense of ego gratification thinking we have ‘attained’ something, or cling to it as the best experience ever, we are on the right path of wisdom. Bliss and ecstasy are very nice and very intoxicating but ultimately it is not liberation if clung to and identified with as ‘me’ or ‘my experience’ or if one becomes overly excited by it  – so we need to discern this and keep working with it.

Within the yogic tradition, these experiences are termed kundalini awakenings and they can appear to originate in the lower chakras and feel like full body orgasms. They speak of it as a latent serpent, coiled in the lower chakra that wakes up suddenly and causes these intense waves of bliss and ecstasy to surge through the body. It’s all good, and is a sign that your energy is definitely moving and waking up. Just enjoy and flow with it but don’t get attached to it. These experiences and energies can become addictive – like narcotics – so we should be wary of this. When we cling and become addicted to them and constantly look for and desire them, then it is just the ego playing itself out again and again.

It’s worth just investigating that when the mind puts down all concepts and is fully relaxed, letting-go in each moment, what naturally arises is bliss and peace. As the energy settles down and you keep practising, you might notice that the energy settles and you experience more of a calm, all pervading peace, and the energy might move more to your heart chakra. When it resides more in the heart chakra, the feeling is one of openness, compassion, love, tenderness, forgiveness and a connection to all beings – seeing and feeling none as separate from ourselves. This energy is more conducive (as it’s less overwhelming) to settle into and for allowing the liberating insights to emerge of themselves. 

I would simply advise you to keep practising – keep listening to Tilopa’s teaching from time to time as there are so many layers contained within it. The depth of wisdom it contains is immense and the more you listen to it the more you will understand in your heart what this incredible Master is pointing to. It has all the jewels of true Dharma contained in it and can help us awaken more and more to Ultimate Reality and Liberation.

I hope some of these reflections and explanations might be of help for you in understanding this process and what is going on.