The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
Greetings to everyone. I've joined this online community to try and gain some perspective regarding an experience I had about 5 years ago that I am still unable to process adequately. The experience was perhaps the most profound thing that has ever happened to me in my milquetoast life, yet as much of a skeptic as I am, I am still unwilling to believe it at face value. I am hoping that somebody (or multiple somebody) can read the following excerpt from my blog and help me to put the narrative into perspective that a skeptical, lukewarm Christian can understand.
Excerpt begins here:
<i>In the ~2 years between my first vision experience and the evening of 12/8/2012, my readings and studies led me to and through a number of topics. Life was increasingly frustrating and stressful – protracted unemployment coupled with being thrust into the role of a primary caregiver for a terminally ill parent – and I continued my periodic pseudo-meditations in order to try to keep my sanity and experience a bit of relaxation from time to time. Most of the time, I just sat quietly and could slow my breathing and calm my mind. Sometimes, I’d relax so much I would fall asleep and eventually wake up with my head drooped, drooling on myself.
One of the topics I encountered during my studies was the topic of chakras. As much as I eschewed most of what I considered Eastern mysticism, I was for some reason oddly drawn to reading about chakras and how they correspond to natural energy centers in the human body. While I found a lot, if not most, of the accounts of people experiencing “things” associated with eastern mysticism to sound like outright lies if not at least gross exaggerations of simple sensations, the info I found about chakras seemed much more consistent. The reports I read of people experiencing the rising of this natural energy through their body had a commonality that to me, gave credibility to both the people reporting their experiences as well as the experience itself.
Late in the evening on December 8th, 2012 I retired to my room after my Dad had fallen asleep for the evening. I grabbed my mp3 player and headphones from the bookshelf in my room and took my seat in the old chair I had placed at the foot of my bed. Scrolling through the tracks stored on the device, I queued up the track I wanted to listen to. I took a long, deep breath in and let it out and pushed ‘play’ on my player. The music began to play and as I had done so many time before, I made conscious effort to relax my muscles and concentrate on the sensation of my breathing. As my chest rose and fell with each breath, the breaths came easier and slower. My thoughts slowed and my mind became quiet and still.
Thoughts that would enter my mind were given acknowledgment but were allowed to pass by. I continued to focus on my breathing, my heart beating, the feel of my body in the chair and the feel of the air on my skin. As I withdrew further and further into myself, I became more and more aware of my interaction with the things that were “not me”. I began to focus my attention at the tips of my toes and experience how and what they felt. Moving up my body, through my feet, to my ankles, up my calves to my knees. I felt the dull throb of my knees which have pained me for many years. My focus moved up my thighs to my hips and I once again felt dull pain from hip joints that were injured many years ago. I began to feel a new sensation vying for my attention, yet it was not one I had directed myself to. The sensation came from deep within me at the very base of my spine in the area between my testicles and anus. A warm, swirling, slowly pulsating feeling. My attention became transfixed and as I gave more attention to this sensation, it intensified. The pulsation increased and magnified. The energy I was aware of began to swell and to rise.
To be quite frank, I thought what I was noticing there in my perineum region was nothing more than some kind of pressure brought about from sitting in the chair. I couldn’t ignore it and my attention was focused on it, but I couldn’t assign any meaning to it and was rather dismissive of it. That began to change when another sensation began to come into focus. Higher up my body, this sensation seemed to pulse around and past my genitals themselves. The sensation, delicate at first, began to become more and more intense as the moments passed. I began to feel a sensation that was somewhat similar to the pulsations that occur during orgasm, yet there was no carnal aspect to them. There was a wanting, a yearning, and the pulse, pulse, pulse of this portion of my body, and what I perceived to be energy was moving back and firth in time with my own heartbeat between my perineum region and the area around my genitals. Again, the energy and sensations felt as though they were rising.
My next perceptible feeling was centered just below my diaphragm, and there was a sensation that felt, as best I can describe it, like a gentle version of being punched in the gut and losing your wind. I felt my body become more erect and I began to sit up straighter in the chair. As the energy swirled and moved up and down my body, I became aware of what was happening to me, and my initial reaction was one of terror. If what is happening to me is what I think might be, I am NOT ready for this. The evidence of my experience was leading me to only one conclusion I thought was logical – I was experiencing a Kundalini awakening. Spontaneously. Without the aid of a learned teacher. This was happening to me and I didn’t know why. Oh shit. Something else is happening to me that I don’t understand. Why??? What am I supposed to do now? My internal debate raged; my fears rose; my logic failed me. The energy continued to rise further and further upwards.
When the energetic sensation made it’s way to the middle of my chest, I had no further doubts about what was happening to me. I was going through this, and there wasn’t anything I could do about it, and nobody could help me. I could either fight against this, or submit to it and allow it to carry me. I chose to allow it to carry me. Not out of a faith or trust. No. Curiosity is what drove me, and as strange as the experience was, I did not feel pain in any classical sense nor did I sense danger. I submitted to the experience. As my heart beat, the energy surged up and down my body from where it began to my heart, and with every heart beat, the sensation in my chest intensified.
I became overcome with emotion. It is still difficult for me to properly frame it in language, but the way I choose to explain it is like the feeling of every leap of your heart; every recognition and acknowledgment of romantic love; every heartbreak – throughout a hundred lifetimes – all at once. It was a squeezing embrace upon my heart, and while a unique sensation to feel and rather uncomfortable, it was not painful, at least not physically. The emotions though. Oh the emotions sprang forth from me. As tears welled and then began to run out of the corners of my closed eyes, an image came to the forefront of my consciousness. A flower whose blossom was closed began to open, and as it reached it’s full open position, it continued to blossom and more and more petals came into view. Every heartbeat more intense than the previous, and as I felt energy surge through me, up and down, I became apprehensive about the energy moving upwards after this. I was becoming overwhelmed and I didn’t know how much more of this I could withstand.
Energy moved up to my throat, and as it pulsed in time with my own, I unconsciously began to utter a very low guttural sound. A low growl emanating from me, I had the sensation of needing to cough, but could not carry out the action. I could not swallow, yet did not feel the need to. I could feel the vibration of my low growl as it moved through my neck and down into my chest, and the vibrations seemed to be amplifying the surge of energy each time it rose from below. Now more intense than ever, the apprehension and anxiety gripped me. I was able to utter a single word to be heard by anyone within earshot in my room, yet spoken to nobody in particular “Please...”
The next sensations were focused in my head, between and behind my eyes and at the top of my head. There was a squeezing pressure between my eyes and what I can describe as an expansion of the top of my head. Uncomfortable, yes, yet not painful. I lost track of my body. I couldn’t feel my body at all. The only thing I could feel was the energy moving up and down my body and the distinct sensations at 7 points along it from the very base of my spine through to the top of my skull. I could not sense that I was sitting in a chair. I could not feel the rise and fall of my chest as I breathed in and out. The only way I could detect my own heart beating was the syncopation between the rising and falling of energy and the beating of my heart. All other indication that I even had a body was gone. I felt disembodied. Time ceased to have any meaning. I am not sure how long I remained in that state of just experiencing my energy flow.
When I eventually recovered, I found myself sitting comfortably in my chair, my cheeks wet with tears that had been streaming down my face. I felt a sense of calm and relaxation, yet also felt an emotional confusion. Once again, I had an experience I didn’t have understanding of to make sense of. Once again, I was left as the recipient of an experience I didn’t understand and wasn’t sure how to proceed with making sense of it. Why was this happening to me? What am I to do?
No answers would come that night, and thus far, I have not had an experience to equal that one. The experience of December 8th, 2012 was so fundamentally profound to me that I, years later, paid homage to it by tattooing a symbolic representation of it along the length of my spine. That night changed something in me, or more accurate to say, was the beginning of a series of major changes in my life, and while I do not yet understand the reason behind the unsolicited rising of my energies, I cannot deny it’s occurrence, nor will I deny the way it changed my perception of what was becoming a quest to understand my own spirituality.</i>
Excerpt ends here. Questions begin here:
1. Was this experience associated with Kundalini?
2. Was this experience a hallucination or some other psychological condition that is easily explained?
3. Was this experience something that "happened to me" or is it something I imagined due to having read up on chakras and Kundalini in the months prior to the night of the experience? Confirmation bias?
4. If the experience was "real", then why has it only happened that one time? I've never felt anything like it since, which leads me to doubt it really happened at all.
I'd appreciate any insight or help in making sense of this. Thank you.
I can't answer your questions about kundalini, but these bits do sound like a profound emotional release. I would guess the reason for your confusion is that our cognitive structures are shaped by our emotions, both the ones we accept and the ones we suppress. When you shake things up by releasing feelings, your cognitive structures take a while to re-form. The subjective experience during the transitional period is one of "not understanding," "not being able to make sense."
Is any of that any use to you?
Emotionally, I've always been rather dulled in my responses to things. I've rarely ever cried in my life, and the times I did were for things of great emotional pain like death of a loved one. Crying out of a place of happiness is something that has been foreign to me.
Right. So when the dams burst, they did so with great force.
Jonitus... your experience suggests that yes, you had a Kundalini awakening. Have you explored information on the process that will continue to unfold? You might want to read Phil's books on the subject... his latest was just released. He lists them on the website, and you can also find the latest on Amazon... (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076ZWLDFY/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title)
My own journey (fairly concise) is also available on Amazon... (https://www.amazon.com/Making-Christian-Mystic-Awakening-Enlightenment-ebook/dp/B06WWD2QJJ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1512248365&sr=1-1&keywords=cardwell+mystic)
For a very in-depth study, Evelyn Underhill's book is quite thorough... (https://www.amazon.com/Mysticism-Nature-Development-Spiritual-Consciousness-ebook/dp/B00A62YEAE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1512248469&sr=1-1&keywords=evelyn+underhill+mysticism)
I've done a LOT of reading and research since that night, but haven't found any answers, or at least none that I'm willing to accept.
Most of what I read about Kundalini comes from people I view as new-age posers trying to portray themselves as some sort of learned masters and I wouldn't ask those folks for directions if I were lost in a bad neighborhood. Yes, that sounds bad. I know.
I think part of my issue in accepting what happened to me as being "real" is that I don't see anything at all about myself as being worthy of having some sort of experience as this. I've always, always, always hated myself, and I think I can't accept that someone like me can have some sort of experience as wonderful as a Kundalini awakening. Even if I were to accept that it did happen, I doubt I'd be able to understand "why" it happened.
I hate not knowing. I hate being ignorant about things. I hate having all these questions.
Attending to physical sensations is very powerful:
How I Beat Depression — Forever
Can you share about your daily life after this experience? What changed for you?
Those are very good questions Mt! Those questions are an important part of Jonitus understanding his experience.
Jonitus, I am a 68 year old American mystic and yogi, and I have spent most of my life in meditation both as a mystic and as a yogi. Jonitus what you have accomplished is the raising of the female Kundalini. If you had raised the male Kundalini you would have felt overwhelming power, almost god like. The female Kundalini is a very emotional experience when you hit the heart center part of the center of your chest . The male kundalini not so much.
Now with that said, what you have done is usually done in small meditation pieces and not done all at the same time. When you do it all of the same time it becomes an overwhelming experience because everything wakes up at once. The reason that you have not been able to have that experience again is because you do not want to have that kind of an overwhelming experience again without understanding what happened. And I would say that that is reasonable .
Now Jonitus, if you should decide to do that meditation sequence again, my suggestion would be to skip over the Solar Plexus part of the meditation sequence and go straight to the center of your chest which is actually the real heart chakra. The Raja Yoga folks and the exercise Yoga folks (which is actually the exercise part of Raja Yoga) call the Solar Plexus area the Heart chakra, but it isn't. The Solar Plexus chakra is an neural plexus area that when stimulated causes the fear response to kick in, which is a necessary part of the meditation sequences that they do to raise the male Kundalini. So anyway Jonitus skip the Solar Plexus part of that meditation sequence and you will not get the fear that you had during the first experience.
Welcome to the forum, Jonitus, and good to see this interaction with you.
I concur with those who acknowledge your experience as an example of kundalini. It sounds like you were somewhat accustomed to meditation practice, and that this was a slower time in life for you. You were also obviously very interested in the chakras, which indicates some attention to them.
It's not common for someone without a regular meditative/contemplative practice to experience kundalini activation, but it's no unheard of, either. No one can predict how and when and why these happen (and they are very real), but in your own case, it sounds like your interest in the chakras could have "set the stage," as it were, for the experience. From what you share, it sounds like it was an isolated event, which is not to diminish its significance, but which would make it more of an arousal than an activation or awakening. With the latter two, there's no doubt that something continues to unfold.
Like Mt, I'd like to hear more about how this has affected your life, and what you might be doing to integrate the experience.
Thanks again for posting.
I spent the first few months after the experience trying to figure out why it happened. With my very low opinion of myself, I felt unworthy to have had something profound happen to me, so on some level, I did not want to believe it happened even though I could not deny what I felt.
As for changes, they were gradual, but themselves very profound. I slowly began craving different foods and eating differently. My migraine headaches that I had suffered for nearly a decade vanished and I haven't had one since. My libido disappeared entirely. I began to feel more connected to things outside of myself - animals, my gardening, the feel of the breeze blowing on my skin, being transfixed when looking at the night sky.
I also stopped meditating almost entirely. That, I think, is totally on me and it comes from a place of fear. I don't know if I can handle another experience like that again. Sure, there's a part of me that is curious and wants to experience that again, because there was a wonderful, loving, powerful undertone to it all...but the other part of me fears that I am far too ignorant to be messing with forces I don't understand. Were I to decide to pursue this experience again, I'd want to be in the company of a learned person who knows how to guide me through it. As you might well imagine though, finding someone in central Iowa who can impart Kundalini Shaktipat is not an easy thing.
The major take-away I got from the experience was that I realized and was confronted with evidence that there is a LOT more to existence than simply occupying a flesh suit and struggling for resources. The experience ignited a curiosity in me, and that's why I continue to search for answers.
Thanks for that update, Jonitus. It surely sounds like the experience has been transformative in many positive ways.
Others have mentioned that I have written books on this topic, and you'll find a link to them at the top of the page. The one on "The Kundalini Process" might be more helpful to you at this time.
My own sense is that the kundalini process is best integrated in the context of ongoing spiritual practice, which helps to both sustain the activation and facilitate holistic integration. I don't think you need a kundalini master and shaktipat for this to happen, but you do need to clarify your own religious beliefs and decide which spiritual practices are best. A spiritual director can help you to do this, to some extent, but some you will need to do on your own.
* What do you believe about God?
* What do you believe about Jesus Christ?
* How do you understand our connection to God?
* What do you seek from God?
Ultimately, the kundalini process connects us with a deep unconscious level -- the Ground of Being -- where we receive our existence from God in every moment. The process is all about establishing the body, psyche and spiritual parts of our being in alignment with the Ground. It has its own inner intelligence as it pushes from within, but the conscious part of our being (the spiritual part) needs to learn to cooperate with the process. From what you share, it seems you still have considerable fear about entrusting yourself to this process, and that's where your relationship with a Higher Power comes in.
My relationship with God the Father and God the Son is complicated. There are many questions I have and lack a proper avenue to discuss them in. The Internet forums I've been members of are not welcoming to any discussion of any topic that isn't on the short list of "approved" topics in their little group. I call those folks "christians in name only" because they exude an enormous amount of hate about things outside their frame of reference, and you can guarantee they classify Kundalini experiences to be "of the debbil".
Jonitus, I address the kundalini/demonic issue in my book mentioned above. It sounds like you've had very limited experience with Christians -- maybe mostly fundamentalist types. There's a much larger Christian world out there, with many excellent books and web sites you could pursue. We have a forum here for moral and theological discussion if you're interested. I've never kicked anyone off the board for raising questions, only for repetitive trolling, and that's hardly ever happened.
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