"What is the difference after the kundalini awakens, and how do you know if it did?
About 25 years ago I was sitting alone by a creek in the morning, not formally meditating (which I've never done), just watching the water flow.
Suddenly there was an extremely intense ball of energy that formed at the base of my spine, buzzed there for a bit, then shot up my spine and 'exploded' in my head and 'out my eyes' and turned what I saw into a sort of mosaic made of the colors of what was there, but not the exact forms anymore.
A 2nd less intense one happened about 15 sec after the first. It scared me and I kind of blinked myself out of it.
Is that a kundalini awakening, and if not, do you know what it was? If it was, how do you specifically use it?
You've asked a great question that really hits at the heart of kundalini awakening. Having said that, there's no short answer. You really weren't expecting a YES or a NO were you? :)
At its most basic level awakening the kundalini completes the energy circuit between your 'potential energy' (dormant kundalini) and your 'spiritual energy' (those are my terms and they merely serve to signify the differences in the energy. Other folks name them differently) at your crown chakra. To paraphrase Glenn Morris "The kundalini just connects your (genitals) to your brain."
Along the way it tends to begin the process of awakening and cleansing and balancing your chakras and cleaning out the rest of your body. Everyone experiences it differently because everyone IS different at that level and we all get what we NEED individually. That's why some folks refer to the kundalini (Shakti) as 'intelligent' energy.
So here's where it gets sticky. EVERYONE who's experienced a kundalini awakening reports differently about it, and any external guidelines about what you SHOULD feel are merely that and can only be taken at face value, which is pretty close to nothing. :)
Some people experience very dramatic and extreme effects when their kundalini awakens, and some hit it like a minor speed bump and keep right on the way they were.
Some people end up on medication or in an asylum, while some give away all their possessions and pursue a 'spiritual path' (which can also lead to asylums, medication and being nailed to the closest available tree) and others just continue on their pre-chosen path almost as if nothing happened.
There are a lot of human variables in the above experiences and outcomes, just like anything else. For some people the grand 'realizations' are too much to deal with, or the siddhis (magics, extra-sensory perceptions that some people experience) may just be too much to deal with. Others simply don't recognize what's happened to them, and you have to face it, we live in a society that doesn't accept this as part of the norm, so it becomes a curse rather than a cure.
Others pursue it as a stepping stone (rather than the destination) on the path to personal mastery. Some seek it as the precursor to 'Enlightenment' and pursue it as if attaining it gives them some sort of bonus, like reduced auto insurance rates.
Some of the 'Enlightenment' seekers have actually managed to turn kundalini awakening into an ego-driven fad, which I find to be extremely amusing.
'Enlightenment' only exists as a relative term. There's complete ignorance and lack of awareness on one end of the scale, and 'Enlightenment' on the other. Neither exists independently, but rather as a moment to moment reaction to what's going on (going Om? Wisdom from the Land of Freudian Typo's?) around us. Is true enlightenment simply recognizing the connections that we all have to one another and REALLY treating others as we'd want to be treated, loving others as we should love ourselves?Awakening the kundalini or spending a decade in a cave on a mountain doesn't necessarily make one enlightened. Spending EVERY moment actually IN the moment and responding to the same divine spark in others that we also have within us possibly does.
One of the things that kundalini awakening does for a lot of people is get them onto the path they came here (this lifetime) to pursue, hence the dramatic lifestyle changes. Others may always have been on the right path and didn't need the dramatic changes.
In my case the kundalini was sort of like a hidden clue that I left myself before coming back. Once I finally began to pay attention to what was happening (and being particularly dense it was quite a ride) then I was able to finally put a lifetime of strangely jumbled experiences into a real order that made sense and see where it all ties in together and what I'm supposed to do with it. That doesn't mean that I always (or even frequently) get it 'right', but at least I'm to the point where learning the lessons is easier and I can get it through my thick melon with a little less suffering (he said hopefully). :)
As to this question;
"What is the difference after the kundalini awakens, and how do you know if it did?"
The answer is completely up to you and really can't be verified externally. It's all about your own self-awareness and your un-self-awareness. There are various signs that you can go by which help, but unfortunately it's not as simple as passing a test and getting 'certified'.My 'first' kundalini awakening happened while I was in the hospital during a near-death experience, but I didn't recognize that til over a decade later, in spite of the dramatic things that I experienced. It was only years later when I began to meet others who had experienced it and learn more about it that I realized what had happened.
So the short answer that I can give you is MAYBE. :)
As to "...how to specifically use it"? I can tell you that EXACTLY. :)
What you do to specifically use it is relax and surrender to it and see where it takes you. This requires a certain amount of faith and a willingness to go where it leads, which can obviously be pretty scary. A positive attitude is an absolute necessity here as the kundalini will enhance and magnify whatever you ARE, so spend your time BE-ing something that should be magnified.
As Glenn Morris once said in a seminar "The kundalini magnifies you, so if you were an asshole before you awakened then afterwards you become wide and gaping".
I hope all that helps.