The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
Just a word on the various yogic paths from the post above. Kapha types have the greatest tendency for bhakti yoga due to their greater capacity for nurturing and more loving and emotional nature. Relationships are very important to them. When Pitta types practice bhakti yoga, it will be with an attitude of a faithful and loyal warrior or servant. Vata types are least likely to be drawn to devotion because of their highly intellectual nature. That said, Vata types benefit the most from bhakti as they are prone to fear. (Perfect love casts out all fear!) So, ayurveda/yoga might also recommend certain spiritual practices from the different paths to bring about balance and fullness in a person.
I've taken this test several times and just did it again. The results were spread pretty evenly between the three doshas. Years ago I read a book by Deepak Chopra on this topic, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, in which he used this approach and related it to a wide variety of lifestyle issues. My sense is that, despite what the tests say, Pitta is strongest, then Vata, then Kapha.
I've noticed how Sheldon's body types correspond in many ways to the doshas. In Sheldon's schema, I come out as an Ecto-Mesomorph type.
- see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...itutional_psychology
And a chapter from a book by friends, Jim and Tyra Arraj
Well, if you are truly tridoshic, you are a very lucky individual! Some of those tests aren't always the most comprehensive, but they can usually steer people in the right direction.
Technically speaking though, the doshas are based on 10 pairs of attributes, which is why you can find great variations within a dosha, even people who seem very different from each other can have the same dosha.
Yes, I've seen Sheldon's work and was amazed at how much overlap there was. I actually like the way he has them mapped out in a continuum. The Ayurvedic diagrams usually depict classic examples of the pure doshas. Most people are not!
I don't know. These online test instruments aren't the best. Do you have one that you prefer using? The one I took years ago with the Chopra book came out Pitta, Vatta, Kapha, but the scores were close. I think knowledge of what these terms mean and seeing how one actually lives is better than a test instrument -- and working with someone who understands these concepts well, of course.
You can try http://www.ayurveda.com/pdf/constitution.pdf but take note of the instructions at the top of taking it three different times. Vasant Lad is a very well-respected ayurvedic doctor in the US/India trained in India and started the first school of Ayurveda in the US decades ago. His work is trustworthy and accessible. Ayurveda, like TCM, though does have some degree of freedom in interpretation and application.
A comprehensive test goes far more into depth such as looking at feet, ankle, calf, thigh, eyelashes, eyebrows, forehead, etc. It's not always necessary to be so thorough, but it can help ascertain constitution when there are multiple doshas present.
A good practitioner adjusts for gender tendencies (men are more pitta, women kapha), cultural influences, climate impact, lifestyle choices, ethnicity, etc., since they can lead to "vikruti" (deviation from the "prakriti/original constitution"). So, how a person lives his or her life is not enough of an indicator for determining prakriti.
Vata, Pitta, Kapha are causal terms, while ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph are bio-medical terms relavent to the physical world. Vata is the causal term for the potential for movement, change, and communication; pitta for transformation, kapha for moistening and structure.
All creation is composed of the doshas V, P and K. Vata manifests thus as the wind, the mind, the CNS, the movement of blood through the blood vessels, speech, the movement of a river, the passage of time, etc. Pitta manifests as every single transformation process in creation, metabolism, digestion, etc. Kapha is seen in anything that is substance.
We look for dosha dominance in an individual because "dosha" is your "sin", "fault", "that which errs", basically what will go out of balance and cause disease, death, decay. We are naturally inclined towards our dosha because it is rooted in ego (Vedic concept), and ego loves itself and protects itself. With self-knowledge though, one can bring out the best of one's constitution and avoid its vitiated state by living a life that balances one's dominant dosha. It can be quite a challenging undertaking!
So, I had another "incident" at Eucharistic Adoration this week. I have a string of 33 prayer beads that I sometimes use there. I began with a round of "Fiat mihi...", then the second of "Glory be.." Halfway through the third round of "Veni Sancte Spiritus", the chapel suddenly dimmed and a white haze filled the room. I felt a "shift" to a lighter me, as if ungrounded, and I felt unsettled. Suddenly, a bright ring of intense, pure white, flame-like light appeared along the outline of the the altar, the cabinet on top of the altar that holds the monstrance, and the large crucifix on the wall behind the alter. From my chair in the chapel it seemed like just a few inches of it radiating outward. Wow. I had to blink a few times. It didn't go away although the flames sometimes were there and sometimes just the intense light. I just finished my round on the beads, but was too distracted by the phenomenon and my desire to rationalize myself through it to continue praying. Were my eyes just tired? Were the candles on the side room casting the light somehow? What was that white haze? Obviously, something I need to work on...
Thanks for the info on doshas, acuveda. It sounds like an advanced approach to obtaining useful self-knowledge. I will read around some more and check out the test you recommend.
Through the years, I have also had extensive training in Enneagram, Jung's psychological types (MBTI), Sheldon's body types, family systems theory and other resources for self-knowledge. There's so much out there, and it seems that once one becomes generally proficient with a particular system, it can continue to serve as an inner resource for keeping one's life in balance. Something like the dosha approach would be most helpful to me at this time, as it seems a more sophisticated way of integrating with the body than anything else I've come across. And this aging body does have its "challenges."
It sounds like the experience you had before the Blessed Sacrament was a vision -- the term "shekinah" came to mind as I read your account. Shekinah is a vision of the glory or radiance of God. It could have been "tired eyes," as you noted, but maybe something wonderful! I wonder what would happen if you set the beads aside and opened yourself to receiving the vision and entering into it? Something to discern, for sure.
(I sent you a private message and email about using one of your posts to start a new thread. Let me know what you think, please.)
Vasant Lad has a compact book called Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing. It's amazingly comprehensive with great diagrams. It was the impetus for furthering my study of Ayurveda.
I've studied quite a bit of integrative and natural medicine, but of all of them, only Ayurveda starts out with the premise that the purpose of health is to carry out one's purpose earth: Surrender to God. Naturally, I'm a bit partial to the system.
As for combatting the aging process the two great systems of eastern medicine emphasize strengthening digestion ("Agni"/"Spleen"). TCM has another school of thought regarding aging, "Blood Stasis", i.e, blockage, which can have several causes, but ultimately leads to malnourishment of tissues and organs. Finding a good TCM herbalist might be helpful depending on what's going on.
Thank you so much for your insight on the vision-like experience. "Nimbus" came to mind, but I like the word "shekinah". It was so new, unexpected and immediate, and with several others in the chapel, I was a bit overwhelmed. I'm still grappling at times and would like to find a good spiritual advisor. In the meantime I will keep praying.
Thank you for the book recommendation, acuveda. I have interest in this topic, though no idea how deeply I will go into it. When I studied the Chopra book years ago, I took a few steps in the direction his writing seemed to indicate, and even purchased a few items from his web site (not cheap, I might add). The results were mixed, and I eventually fell away from it, using a holistic health center nearby to help manage some of my physiological issues. That center emphasized orthomolecular medicine, which resonated with my western, scientific bent. I even worked with them awhile, managing their web site (though it's been years).
- see https://riordanclinic.org/
One of their emphases is to eliminate allergenic foods, which they detect through a sophisticated blood test. I discovered I had serious allergies to several "health" foods -- like onions, cabbage, and grapefruit. One can live well without these, and getting them out of my diet was helpful. We had our whole family tested, and everyone seemed better for it.
Sometimes I wish I could just turn my diet and health plan over to some kind of coach who would have knowledge of all these systems and would provide me with what I really need. Alas, our budget cannot begin to accommodate this sort of help.
For a spiritual advisor, you will be hard pressed to find someone with a depth of knowledge in Eastern and Christian approaches, such as you have, but you might check out the web site at Spiritual Directors International, which does have a directory of members listed by state. Perhaps there's a name you'll recognize in your area. Most of them would do just fine if the focus is primarily growth in Christian spirituality.
- see http://sdiworld.org
Phil...find a highly qualified naturopath that is fully certified in NMT, preferably passive NMT. I went on a recommendation about 8years ago during a year when the tree pollen was so bad that I was taking 6 Benadryl/day, Prednisone, Inhaler, and Nasal spray...withing 24 hours after treatment I was off all meds and haven't had issue since. Amazing.
Thanks, Les. I have a friend who's very knowledgeable in naturopathic medicine, and he's got some good resources he's pointed me to.
Lest I give the wrong impression in this subtopic on health issues -- I really do feel pretty healthy! My greater concern is health maintenance and overall integration rather than intervening on a specific malady. My most serious health condition at this time is glaucoma, which my naturopathic friend would like me to address with acupuncture and diet. I've looked into it -- again, not cheap! Generic Timolol-Dorzolomide from the pharmacist ($7.00/month) is keeping the pressure down, so here's a case where I'm happy enough with conventional, allopathic medicine. Glaucoma is nothing to mess around with.
So many wonderful ways to get healthy, yet the biggest challenge is out of pocket cost and lack of insurance coverage. What a fine day it will be when we have affordable access to them. Just FYI, many acupuncturists across the country follow a delivery model called "community acupuncture", using a sliding scale usually between $15-50, at the patient's discretion, some are doing the herbal dispensary this way too.
Phil, you'll be interested then in knowing about growing field of nutrigenetics--individualized nutritional counseling based on a person's genetics. For example, some people benefit from coffee consumption, others are harmed, and the only way to find out which it is for you is through genetic testing for the gene that metabolizes caffeine. Researchers found that people were more motivated to change their diets when it was tailored to their genetics. So, it may be just around the corner.
You could continue with western meds to keep the condition under control and prevent damage, and at the same time do TCM herbs to heal the mechanisms that are out of balance. The Chinese are masters at utilizing the best of both medical worlds for maximum benefit to humanity. Their medical community is not so divided like ours is on integrative therapies.
I'm lucky we have a strong Franciscan influence in this small town, so I have been toying with checking out the spiritual directors here rather than drive 1.5 hours to the nearest big city. I also asked my parish priest for a recommendation. I suppose I won't know if I have a good fit unless I try.
Wouldn't it be marvelous if we could have nutrigenetic testing at an early age, and have our diet arranged for optimal health?
I mentioned my allergies to onions, cabbage and grapefruit above. Even before I was tested, I pretty much knew to stay away from these foods, as I'd noted a slight aversion to them, and lethargy after eating them. So it seems that sometimes we just sort of figure things out on our own, based on our experiences with foods, and how we feel drawn to or repulsed by them.
Good luck finding a spiritual director. I usually suggest to my directees that we meet at least three times, then evaluate how it's going. Sometimes it's difficult to know after just one meeting.
I'm so sorry Mt at getting back with you so late on this. Grief has kept me off the forum. Doing better now. I was addressing the belief that (at least to the ministers i spoke with) mystical experiences are not an acceptable part of Traditional Christianity. I spoke with around 15 local ministers about this over several years. A Catholic Priest was very clear in saying that they do not occur to lay people. Except for 2, the ministers felt this was mental illness including the Priest.
Just several years ago i spoke with a Methodist minister who told me the word mystical made him feel very uncomfortable. FINALLY another Methodist minister was able to address this topic. He said that the Methodist faith had all but lost that part of the Christian faith That there
were those within his faith, in correspondence with the Roman Catholics that were making an effort to regain this in their beliefs. They had developed a year long study introducing this to church members. Only a handful of people were interested. So what i began to see was the limitations being placed on members
of Christianity depending on the individual priest, minister, or particular
belief system within the Body of Christ.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Sue,
Mary Sue, I'm so sorry you've had to deal with these narrow-minded people, who don't know what they're talking about. For anyone to say that mystical experiences don't occur in lay people is absurd! Perhaps someone should tell the Holy Spirit to be more careful about where she moves?
Mt's comments above are quite sound and trustworthy. But this exchange does highlight the importance of spiritual direction to help discern where an experience is coming from. We can also look for the gifts and fruits of the Spirit as evidence of God's work within us. You and others might check out some of the conferences on the Holy Spirit I presented online years ago.
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