Q: l have heard many interviews on batgap. Some people have kundalini experinces with awakening and subtle perception and abilities, some people have a simple recognition of their true nature. Is that possible? Yoganada has said that acid test for awakening is that the person should be able to stop his breath and enter superconscious state (formless samadhi) at will. What are your thoughts about this?
A: In my experience, there is a wide range of experiences in what people describe as awakening. My good friend, Jeffery Martin, is a neuroscientist researching awakening, and he has identified several different kinds of awakenings, which he calls locations. You can read more about his research in a popular book he released recently called The Finders.
I hold all of the maps of consciousness lightly including Jeffery's and even Yogananda's, as I do not think anyone's map is truly complete. But they do all hold elements of truth. i wrote a little about this in an article:
The most important thing is your own experience of consciousness. What is your awareness like in this moment? How has it or is it shifting and changing? Does it expand and contract? Is your awareness awake already? Anyone else's experience of awakening can really only show you what is possible. But your experience of the spiritual journey will be unique. The mystery does not even make two snowflakes that are alike, so why would it create two different humans with the same experience of awakening?
I hope this is helpful.