There are many individuals who found themselves in kundalini awakenings after attending revival services in Churches and receiving the Toronto Blessing. They are unaware that this phenonema of kundalini could not possible have been given in a blessing like shaktipat of a guru.
I have met someone who having been misinformed as to the blessing not being kundalini imagined himself to be special and chosen by his spiritual experiences believing they came from the Holy Spirit of God. When told that his experiences may not have been as he imagined, he felt deceived by the Church and the Pastor.
This may be one of the reasons the revival movement in Churches has slowed down, which is unfortunate.
Toronto Blessing: These are not my views, but may help Steve in his research.
As a PS to this thread -I did some further searching online for narratives and discussions relating experiences of sleep paralysis, out-of-body or lucid dreaming to kundalini. I suspect they are spiritually related phenomena, though I wouldn't presume to state it with any certainty. The comparison comes up more frequently on other non-Christian discussion boards. It appears I did overlook this thread on Shalom Place.
One oft-cited researcher of ASP (Awareness during Sleep Paralysis), Sirley Marques Bonham, PhD, has speculated about its commonality with kundalini:
See also her article jointly with Jean-Christophe Terrillon, PhD -one of my first finds online some years ago explaining my own sleep paralysis experience, yet I completely overlooked their discussion of resemblance to kundalini:
(Found in section heading, Is RISP Conductive to Paranormal Phenomena?)
Searching on "kundalini and sleep" or "nighttime kundalini" reveals numerous acknowledgements of how kundalini imposes upon sleep or dreaming as various energy movements, visionary, auditory or tactile encounters. The common element is a sharpened consciousness during sleep-time. Several kundalini instructors have published assurances that altered sleep-consciousness is normal at some point during the kundalini process. I also found testimonials of kundalini arousal first initiated during sleep or dreaming:
One discussion participant confessed the discovery (by her sleep partner) that frequent nighttime kriyas (spontaneous movements) were not happening physically as first supposed, so personal awareness must somehow have been transferred to activity of the etheric or dream body during sleep. This is very typical of ASP "false awakenings" wherein the experiencer truly believes, at first, that it was normal physical awareness. OBE's are reported similarly, sometimes involving extremely contorted body positions as the subtle body is attempting to separate from its material counterpart.
Look toward the end of this page (section headings Kriyas and Sleep Disturbances) for the writer's reference to "the physical body literally being risen off the bed and the body completely arching backwards". Elsewhere, she also claims experience of full body levitation.
Are such events more likely memory of subtle body movements during ASP/OBE? Again, the keenly conscious ASP experiencer may not be able to distinguish energy body movements from physical until some extraordinary happening finally persuades him/her that this awakening was "false" in the physical sense.
I have already referenced the similarity of ASP to ergot and LSD induced experiences. Here is a similar study comparing psychedelic drugs and the kundalini.
Consider the writings of Sri Aurobindo for a more comprehensive system prescribing top-down awakening (my recent experience). Chapter 9 sections regarding transformed sleep-consciousness and experiences therein (overcoming fear, encountering objects and entities that represent aspects of one's own soul, touring alternate realities) are very reminiscent of ASP.
Again, I don't think there is yet enough research to conclude that ASP-type experiences are kundalini. But neither do I find much more than speculation regarding the neuro-physiology of kundalini transformation. Hindu and Buddhist explanations are long-standing and quite specific as to the origin, process and purpose of these energies (though contradictions are found also, i.e. Tibetan gTummo Kundalini, Sri Aurobindo).
Personally, I don't need or expect to find physical verification of the ancient spiritual sciences. In regard to subtle bodies, the old science is probably on the right track, and modern science will eventually embrace those realities. Where eastern sciences have missed the mark, distorted fact, compounded erroneous assumptions--I guess we can only pray that Heaven's grace may minimize personal and cosmic consequences.
That's really good work, Steve. Thanks for posting these updates into your research and reflections, which do indeed suggest a broader understanding of kundalini and its connection to spiritual awakening.
I especially enjoyed http://www.awakening.net/Epiphany.html which seems a wonderful description of enlightenment.
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