The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
Bear I am sorry about you having a cold, they are no fun. Bear I am not a Buddhist, but I have studied their teachings and I have broken the three Darmha Seals and have explored the advanced Buddhist states of being. And the things that you are explaining and are talking about are new to me and very interesting to me.
Bear your question about how to control excess body energy is a good question. When you take your automobile out of gear it does not matter how fast the engine is running (as long as you don't burn up the engine) the automobile still does not go anywhere. When you disengage your mind from your body you can be in a high energy state but nothing happens because your mind is somewhere else so to speak. When a person can be in a quiet mind state or an unattached mind state the body can be in a high energy state without it affecting the mind. Deep meditation is required for achieving the higher understandings and levels of awareness. But the problem with deep meditation is one's body also becomes quiet and shut down. What the Vipassana meditations do is to keep the body on and awake or energized while one is in a deep meditative state. Which is probably why some monks and yogis and saints "glow" when they are in deep meditation. They are running high body energy states while their minds are somewhere else.
Bear I spent hundreds of hours learning how to shut down my body energy levels so that I could be in deep meditative states for long periods of time. It never occurred to me back then that I could run my body in a high energy state (on and running and filled with life) and still be in a deep meditative state. And now that I am now older it is now what I am practicing. I just didn't know that. Our discussion on this topic of high energy states has been very helpful to me . A quiet mind, a glowing body, and also walking around doing thinks ! Who knew?
Love you Bear!
i feel like im in the baby shoes, and maybe this topic is somewhat difficult to get grasped. i have been advised to avoid Vipassana for not to get energy surplus, and do physical exercises, good diet, being in nature, grounding, instead. at the same time as meditation is being encouraged generally for spiritual seekers, it gives some confusion. i guess it is about following your own awareness in that what is suitable for you, however awareness is not always easy to be listened to. also i believe philosophies or theory parts of Buddhism or yoga whatever are not taken out of someones hat like a rabbit but they know what they are saying from their point of view, if interpreted correctly. and meditation is often seen as a key, and i have bene advised not to do that much, and i feel Vipassana is suitable only for short periods of time. i remember understanding that a seeker needs to follow this kind of way:
1. Yama (The five "abstentions"): Ahimsa (Non-violence, non-harming other living beings), Satya (truthfulness, non-falsehood), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy, fidelity to one's partner), and Aparigraha (non-avarice, non-possessiveness).
2. Niyama (The five "observances"): Śauca (purity, clearness of mind, speech and body), Santosha (contentment, acceptance of others and of one's circumstances), Tapas (persistent meditation, perseverance, austerity), Svādhyāya (study of self, self-reflection, study of Vedas), and Ishvara-Pranidhana (contemplation of God/Supreme Being/True Self).
3. Asana: Literally means "seat", and in Patanjali's Sutras refers to the seated position used for meditation.
4. Pranayama ("Breath exercises"): Prāna, breath, "āyāma", to "stretch, extend, restrain, stop".
5. Pratyahara ("Abstraction"): Withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects.
6. Dharana ("Concentration"): Fixing the attention on a single object.
7. Dhyana ("Meditation"): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.
8. Samadhi ("Liberation"): merging consciousness with the object of meditation.
here the meditation is described only after all the other exercises, and maybe then a proper meditation practice needs to be only after a proper base. and the reason i need to focus on physical grounding is that my base is not good enough and im not fit for meditation after kundalini being invoked.
however i have also been told that it is these high energy states after kundalini is being invoked and thats why meditation is to be done in small amounts. but then why did Buddha meditate under the tree for days or whatever, was his kundalini not invoked.... or is it that
proper base + kundalini => meditation
no proper base + kundalini => no meditation
the good thing is i do like all the physical exercise and nature and stuff
I've practiced some of these, though mostly through studying the written instructions or following guided instruction via tape, CD, or online videos. Given the harsh nature that many seem to experience after the insight, it seems that all these different approaches are designed to strengthen and educate the nervous system for eventual Vipassana. It's interesting to note that this relates to Christian Apophatic theology as a 'negative theology' which is... "a type of theological thinking and religious practice that attempts to approach God, the Divine, by negation, to speak only in terms of what may not be said about the perfect goodness that is God." This quixotically(?) sounds like one of the states I experienced, and in fact, was the source of an understanding of 'implicit negation' which eventually led to several presentations and a treatise on its practical applications in the world of relational logic (and relational database architecture specifically). The difference in thinking is something like the difference between single-entry accounting (linear) vs. double-entry accounting (non-linear), though with much greater effect and pervasiveness.
While I've read a good deal on Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc... the descriptions of states, practices, expectations, and beliefs are so semantically similar (and not) that it can be rather frustrating in the attempt to sort it all out. It all seems to play into the discussion/definitions of enlightenment, nirvana, etc., though Vipassana does look to be a more objective description of the outcome. However, in all the descriptions, it seems that it might be said that, as compared to 'Awakening of Self' or 'Realization of Self', they all seem to suggest it's the 'Realization of Non-self' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_marks_of_existence).
A few years ago, I attended an event wherein a Buddist Monk who had spent some 30 years meditating in a cave gave a talk and answered questions. He volunteered upfront that he had not experienced Enlightenment, though when he described what Enlightenment entailed, I was both surprised and disappointed. He made it sound like one attains super-human abilities, though, to my knowledge, none of the enlightened were granted those powers, and in fact, only seem to live normal life spans (Gopi Krishna died at 81 years old, Paramahansa Yogananda at 59). It seems to be where the definitions lead to more confusion and misrepresentation that only hinders development because of the unrealistic expectations it creates. On the other hand, various systems of belief and learning do attempt to address the problem by providing a clear path and clear descriptions through strict paths of practice. I think a deep study of comparative beliefs, religions, and practices would be interesting, though maybe not entirely helpful in sorting it all out given the disparity between those systems. I'd probably fall into another "analysis-paralysis" abyss and never return <lol>
Anyways, just another 2c...
Namaste'This message has been edited. Last edited by: Les,
I love smiles Bear! Bear, you bring up some good stuff in your posts and Les brings up some good stuff in his post. Humm? Bear there are lots of different kinds and systems of meditations and Vipassana is only one kind and one system. And all of these different meditations and meditation systems all lead one, generally speaking, to the same place. A balanced awareness of things and themselves that most people do not have normally. And Bear Vipassana is not a true meditation. What it actually is is a "mind exercise" that teaches one's mind how to stimulate and activate their nervous system.
Meditate v. !.To reflect on; contemplate.
Meditation n. 1. b. A devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation.
6. Dhyana ("Meditation): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.
Anapana is a meditation because it leads to a quiet and relaxed mind that is needed for contemplation and the object of meditation is your breath. Vipassana is not a meditation it is a mind exercise that does not lead to contemplation, it leads to one's mind being able to control their bodies nervous system. Bear it is not that you need to quit meditating because the Vipassana is not a meditation, it is an exercise that trains your mind how to control your nervous system. If doing the Anapana meditation, which is actually a meditation, was causing you problems, then you would need to quit meditating. The confusion Bear is that the Vipassana is not a meditation and when you are doing it you are not actually meditating. The folks that taught the class have some how misled you about that part. Only the Anapana part is meditation. You went to the class to learn how to meditate and they taught you the Anapana, From there they begin to teach you something else that is not meditation or meditating. Bear that is why when I am talking to people about what I do, I do not call it meditation. I call it mind exercises that teach me different ways of and how to control and stimulate my nervous system with my mind.
When I actually meditate I start with 5. Pratyahara and from there I go into 6. Dharana, 7. Dhyana, and then 8. Samadi. And the focus of my contemplation is the oneness with the mind of God. Lately I have had to go back to the 4. Pranayma part because I skipped that part in my younger days Opps!
Bear you need to quit doing those "mind exercises" and start meditating !
Love you! tucker
intriguing thoughts here! deep study of comparative spiritual systems would indeed be fascinating particularly if the teacher had the clarity of it. =)
i really dont understand it all but maybe that is ok as not so many do anyway. =) Vipassana and kundalini seem to be greatly interacting and this may be something to do with the nervous system.
yes, what is it to meditate. for some it is to repeat some mantra, for some to do Vipassana, and for others just watching outside of the window without thoughts. and they all think they meditate. it does not make it easier that the original Finnish word for meditation is translated literally to be thinking (deeply). ((nowadays we use more of our version of the English word meditate)).
for me meditation has been of practicing awareness and being without thoughts. i have thought this can be done with anapana (focusing on breathing), vipassana (focusing on the body) and with many others.
but it is true that there is a distinction between the techniques. for me some are calming others energising. or as you put it, only some of them is called meditation. and that Buddhism says you need the both parts. whereas i had learned that you only need Vipassana. if it is here now right, in Vipassana course it is misleading.
thank you a lot for the advises, for me this clarified it!!
Bear you have helped me to understand things better also . "Practicing awareness and being without thoughts" is also what meditation is to me. And to me true meditation is like the meaning of the Finnish word "Thinking Deeply". With the Vipassana and other "action" (Kriya) type meditations, for lack of any other word, one is not without thoughts or has a quiet mind. Which makes the Kriya or action type so called meditations not true meditations. I call them doing mind gymnastics or mind exercises.
Bear when people get older their nervous system starts to shut down and turn parts of it off. Which then causes the body and mind to get sick and fall apart. Mind exercises like the Vipassana and the mind exercises that I do keep the mind and body turned on and awake so that things don't start shutting off or shutting down . Bear you are still young so you do not need those kind of mind exercises yet. But knowing how to do those kinds of mind exercises as you get older will come in handy because you will have already learned a technique for keeping things turned on and awake so that your body and nervous system won't be shutting down like things will be shutting down in normal other people as they get older .
Thanks Tucker for clearing that up. I thought these were mostly just states one experienced in meditation (Vispassana, Samatha, etc.). Kriya yoga and other energy controlling exercises always seemed to be various forms of yoga, even though some do incorporate mindfulness. How does one 'practice' Vipassana? Is it a type of mindfulness exercise, just often referred to as a type of 'meditation'?
Les, I have never thought about this before your post but Raja Yoga and Kriya Yoga both have physical exercises and mind exercises and sitting quietly and contemplating things is just generally not done. Hath Yoga, the yoga that most of us associate with the word "yoga" (which means "union or yoked") has more physical exercise and true meditation than it does mind exercises. To my knowledge anyway . Siddha Yoga has both physical exercises and mind exercises, and I am not sure how much true meditation they have.
And I didn't know before Bear presented his Kundalini problem that the Buddhist tradition has mind exercises as a part of it's waking up process. Les your question about how does one 'practice' Vipassana? is something that I can not answer . The only clue that I have is that it is another "Body Scanning" mind exercise technique. From basic yoga science we learn that what you put thought into lights up and is activated. With body scanning one 's mind travels around inside of their body noticing different parts of their body in a way that lights these parts up and activates or simulates them. A simple example of doing this would be to feel the area of your chest just below where your neck joins with the chest with your mind. And when you do this you should feel some interesting things happening and those things that you are feeling is your immune system being stimulated. And the more that you do this the stronger your immune system will be.
Less, I don't know the Vipassana technique, but I do know body scanning. Body Scanning 101 was the first thing that my yoga master Lord Jesus taught me when I asked Him to be my yoga master forty-five years and thousands of hours of meditation ago. He was already my master and guide as a mystic since I was five so when I couldn't find a yoga master to study under I ask Him to teach me what the yogis know. And after almost two years of having me stare into a candle flame for hours at a time He begin to teach me body scanning 101. He has been a wonderful Master and I have been one really rough student. But because of His love and patience over the years I now know what the advanced yogis, Siddhas, and Buddhists know. And I am really good at body scanning. I spent so much time in the higher levels of consciousness that I skipped the physical stuff so I have had to come back to that and put some real focus into it. And bringing my muscles back into basic functional is a real challenge at 68 .
I've been following these exchanges with interest, and will chime in regarding the meaning of meditation, at least as it has been practiced in Christianity. As bear notes in the quote below, it is something of a muddle, on the whole.
Tucker replied with some clarifications, most notably Meditation n. 1. b. A devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation.
That's more along the lines of the Christian understanding, where the term refers to a reflective engagement with scripture or some spiritual writing. There are a number of ways to do this, and some of them do entail a slow, prayerful, repetition of a word of phrase. Others are more intentional and probing: what does the passage say to me? how is God calling me to change? what is it telling me about God? how do I sense God speaking to me in the passage? The context for this is relational, dialogical -- one hopes to encounter God through the medium of the sacred Word, and this, in turn can lead to an encounter beyond words, which is what we mean by contemplation.
I have written a book on doing various forms of Christian meditation with the daily gospels -- the passages used at daily Mass.
- see http://shalomplace.com/view/praying.html
(Go buy lots and lots of copies and give them to everyone you know! )
Christian meditation forms the mind and the will and opens us to encounter the Mystery of God beyond all words. But Christianity also recognizes that God does encounter us as we are -- even as Egos -- through the medium of words and symbols, especially through the Person of Jesus.
The use of "meditation" in Eastern spiritualities seems almost the opposite, as bear has noted: no thought, no words, dropping every reflective tendency to non-reflectively encounter the Mystery that ever presses in on the human spirit. I do not doubt that this is possible, which is why the Eastern methods have been around for so long. But what I find lacking is the loving relational engagement with God that is fostered in Christian meditation and liturgy. It is almost as though some of these Eastern approaches view God as some kind of impersonal force or energy to be "realized" rather than a Person to be encountered in love. That's probably too broad a generalization, however.
This was what I experienced in '94, and you're right. From a Christian perspective, it was quite objective and most baffling, albeit undeniable. I'd read a lot of Eastern texts by then, and I remember thinking that this was what Chapter 14 of the Dao De Jing was speaking of as an introduction to the subject, especially regarding the quality of the 'Formless Form"...
"Look for it, it cannot be seen.
It is called the distant.
Listen for it, it cannot be heard.
It is called the rare.
Reach for it, it cannot be gotten.
It is called the subtle.
These three ultimately cannot be fathomed.
Therefore they join to become one.
Its top is not bright;
Its bottom is not dark;
Existing continuously, it cannot be named and it returns to no-thingness.
Thus, it is called the formless form,
The image of no-thing.
This is called the most obscure.
Go to meet it, you cannot see its face.
Follow it, you cannot see its back.
By holding to the ancient Way
You can manage present existence
And know the primordial beginning.
This is called the very beginning thread of the Way."
I don't think so. Your summarization expresses my own conundrum without diving into all the details. Is the Christian God the expression of the Mystery? ...and a whole litany of other questions when viewed from this (human) realm <sigh>
LesThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Les,
this Christian understanding of meditation probably explains the Finnish word to think (deeply) as we are Christian. i always wondered of it!
Vipassana is a body scanning meditation technique but not only that. in Vipassana you are _supposed to_ sit in the same position without moving the meditation period (like 1 hour). e.g. if you feel pain in your legs, you still dont move. so you practice not escaping the uncomfortable. also you practice not craving for the nice part -if you start to get spontaneous energy flows, you practice not to crave them more.
and this is kind of cool as in life we escape the uncomfortable and want to be in the comfortable, and we don't hence accept the way things are. Vipassana is one way to practice acceptance.
body scanning is used e.g. in treating anxiety disorder and that is kind of cool. i guess body scanning somehow grounds you and gives you more control of your feelings and reactions.
for me Vipassana/body scanning was before a calming technique and i also saw the psychological benefits of it. it is when kundalini stepped into the picture when things went upside down, and now body scanning is stimulating already stimulated body.
im reading now actually a book called the highly sensitive person. highly sensitive is a temperament trait (15-20% of population has it), and it refers to nervous system being more sensitive to stimuli and therefore more vigilant. highly sensitive get tired easier due to the stimulation overload as they process it all more than others. the trait has good stuff also such as depth of processing.
myself i am highly sensitive but this kundalini increased this sensitivity somehow. maybe it is related to feeling the body much of the time now, and that produces already "enough stimuli". i have no reason to go for looking any extra stimuli from the environment. living in a city has started to feel exhausting as it also gives so much stimuli. stimuli overload! of course practicing body scanning even a bit wont make it easier. :-) however, it is very nice also to feel the body, but the price of it is to sacrifice from doing part of life.
i have also noticed that Eastern spiritual systems lack some direct relation to God/Jesus that Christians may practice, which seems to bring so much of good stuff. that is why there is a small Christian in me also. i guess as i see it, via living in god and in love everything shines from within. there are also loving-kindness type of meditations such as Metta (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBWHkqSx91U). i have also heard from one yogi that devotion and loving heart is required to every single practice (and probably to every hour of life).
[QUOTE=Less]I don't think so. Your summarization expresses my own conundrum without diving into all the details. Is the Christian God the expression of the Mystery? ...and a whole litany of other questions when viewed from this (human) realm <sigh>[/QUOTE]
Boy, no truer words were ever said on that subject, in my opinion as a life long mystic anyway . "Is the Christian God the expression of the mystery?" And, "when viewed from this (human) realm <sigh>." And that question and statement are where all arguments and understandings about God take off in all the different directions. If you explore "The Christian God" through Lord Jesus, then He is the expression of the mystery and if you are persistent you will ultimately end up in the "formless Form" reality. If you explore "The Christian God" without Lord Jesus, then the Christian God is not an expression of the mystery and never will be.
The next question comes up, "Are we talking about the God of the Old testament or are we talking about the God of the new testament?" Without Lord Jesus the God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament and if you are not a loving humble person by nature the God of the Old Testament will eat you alive at the most and turn His face away from you at the least. Either way He is not the God of the Mysteries (actually He is but unless you are a loving humble person you will never get that far).
And then we have "viewed from this (human) realm." The first thing that the Eastern approaches teach you is that you have to give up the human realm part of that which is you . And if you don't you will never understand the Mysteries. And of course they are right about that. Now what is funny about that is, if you truly do that and then you go to the Christian God He becomes a loving God that brings you to our loving Lord and Savior as an understanding and as a person that is a gift to humankind. Until you give up the human realm part of that which is you there can be no understanding and all will appear to be conflict. And of course as a Christian the first thing that you learn, if you are paying attention to what Lord Jesus is saying, is to dump the human realm part of that which is you . And once you have done that, the Father of Jesus and the God of Christianity become the expression of the Mystery.
I am Christian and this is a Christian message board and the Christian God the Father of Lord Jesus is the expression of the Mystery if you dump the human realm part that is a part of you.
Les, I love the Tao te Ching and have read it many times. I think it's a very pure and authentic expression of the ineffable mystery of God, though they do not use that term. But it tells us about how to get in touch with this mystery beyond word and desire (Chapter 1) and what we might expect to encounter.
There are similar passages about God in the Old Testament Book of Wisdom (Catholic Bible) in reference to Wisdom. Note chapters 6 and 7, in particular. In chapter 7, we read:
Notice, however, the personal language -- "she," rather than "it."
This Wisdom (sophia) resonates with the Greek idea of Logos, or Word, who became incarnate as the man, Jesus. Wisdom is also associated with attributes of the Holy Spirit.
There are other writings about the mystery of God in the Bible, especially in the prophets. The encounter with God-beyond-form belongs to what is called the apophatic spiritual tradition, which is contrasted with the kataphatic -- encountering God through created forms. See http://shalomplace.org/eve/for.../18910625/m/76110806 for a long and convoluted discussion we had on this topic sometime back. In Christianity, at least, it's understood that the two need to go together.
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