The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
Hi all --
A brief history. I grew up in a Christian environment, and throughout my life, I never questioned that God existed. But I also didn't ever have a connection there. I believed because I couldn't fathom how everything could exist so perfectly otherwise, but my prayers were mostly just "talking out loud in case someone was listening."
I landed in a Kundalini yoga studio in July. I had no knowledge of kundalini and was basically looking for an exercise program. However, in that first class, I immediately felt like I was in the right place. Something just resonated intensely with me, and I went to 21 classes my first month. I'd never committed to anything like that ever! The mantras, the pranayam...it was all so lovely and just fit for some reason. The timing was most perfect too. I'd been off alcohol for a year (high function/high bottom), but I was struggling with an emotional low. In yoga, I felt something. Something wonderful.
It wasn't until a couple of months in that I really started reading about Kundalini. Around September or October during one of the meditations, I had the sensation that my head was open with a roaring waterfall of light pouring in. It startled me! Since then I continue to have:
- sensations of light shining on my head
- burning that rotates among my heart, solar plexus and navel centers (my heart is on fire now)
- feelings of a sunlamp type of heat on my head (forehead/top) or on my back
- hot spine in class
- 4am wake ups (I was always a very sound sleeper)
- occasional night sweats
- flashes of light when I close my eyes at night or a single purple beam of light moving around my head/face
- awakening to realize I am buzzing or vibrating
- sleep paralysis, or waking up with the inability to move
- a beautiful glow of soft, warming light enveloping me in meditation
I have read one shouldn't pursue Kundalini. Well, I guess I did, but it wasn't planned that way. But now here I am (right??), although pre-full blown awakening. I'm scared by some of what I read. I'm nervous to move forward, but I'm also afraid of going backward. From what I understand, I don't know that I could get off this ride now even if I wanted to...? I guess that's why I'm posting and what my question is. Even if it weren't too late, I would have a hard time quitting. The connected feeling is just so....divine.
(Excuse my choppy sentences...iPad typing)
well, I have no idea if it is too late. And too late for what exactly...
I don't suppose that experiencing k symptoms has to mean a "full awakening" of kundalini energy. Another things is that symptoms and the process are quite different in different individuals.
In years I came too think that I haven't experienced a full awakening of k. There are some things that I've never ever experienced, such as configurations of light with eyes closed, internal sounds and music, quiet mind with no thoughts (reported by Phil as a result of his process) or some permanent state of enlightenment or sixth chakra seeing. However, I've experienced many things that seem doubtless like k: spontaneous meditation two hours a day since the first meditation, feelings of energy flowing or hitting through my body in various areas, inner heat, opening of the head, spiritual "orgasms" for the lack of a more felicitous terms during prayer or meditation, pressure and pain in head, seeing particles of light with eyes open, inability to sleep after evening meditation etc. Six years ago I went through a time when reading and thinking about philosophy and theology gave me a "brain-ache" and it is sometimes still there at times, but it never, curiously, interfered with my academic work. In this period I also experienced pains in the head, periodical hypersensitivity to sounds (I was wearing ear-plugs at the dance-floor at my own wedding, looking really stupid...) and other unpleasant sensations. It lasted for months, but ended, most of it.
It did not result in a permanent, clear "enlightenment" state, so I don't think it was some final opening or cleansing of the highest chakras. However, I noticed after all those years that those feelings, when they were present, were always aroused in the context of prayer or sacraments. I started to think of it as a response to the energy of the Holy Spirit, a reaction of my being to the power from the above. I think that my kundalini has no independent, autonomous development. Perhaps, that is why some more bizzarre and tedious symptoms were never there and it was always to support my spiritual practice and pursuit. I might be wrong, but now I tend to see my k experiences as some partial reactions within the context of the development of mystical prayer. There are times, months or even years, when I was in a spiritual desert and at those times there was no k at all, no flow of energy, no shocks, no heat no nothing. When contemplative graces are back, k feelings and symptoms are back. But what I noticed in time is that as the years go by my experience is much more "spiritual" in the sense that there are less and less clear, felt repercussions at the level of the body (or the "subtle body" as the Hindu call it). for example, recently k related things appear usually in the charismatic context, during charismatic liturgy or prayers or in an intercessory prayer.
I don't know what Phil thinks about that, but I suppose that maybe in Christians some symptoms are reduced and toned down, because the HOly Spirit directs the whole thing, but his experience were different in that respect.
I don't want to advice you anything. But I suppose that any religious structure could be good for toning down the most painful or disorganizing k manifestations. After all, in the past it was usually awakened with a master and somehow 'controlled' in a monastic or religious setting in the Eastern religions. In Christianity it was contained within liturgy, sacraments, the Scripture and the community prayer life.
Welcome TexasGirl8, and thank you for sharing your story, and Mt, for the update on your own energy experiences and their relation to spiritual practice.
TexasGirl, we can evaluate something like K according to the fruits it produces, and in your case, they sound mostly positive. Whether it's "too late" or not in terms of pushing the genie back into the bottle is hard to say, and maybe not nearly as important as finding the right disciplines and practices to integrate this process. Have you talked about it with your yoga teacher? That might help. As Mt suggested, traditional Christian devotional practices can help to provide a "container" of sorts for the energy.
If we think of our human consciousness as having both a conscious and unconscious aspect, we can situate kundalini in the unconscious, specifically that dimension of the unconscious that is spiritual (rather than psychological or physical). It's spiritual, but in a human manner, in that it actualizes the spiritual potential of the human soul. That's what becomes more conscious, and at first seems very strange, lovely, and frightening, all at once.
- see http://shalomplace.org/eve/for.../25010765/m/87210765
The spiritual potentiality activated and made manifest in k awakenings does indeed put us in touch with our deep connection with all of creation, and with our God. The oneness is the experience called enlightenment, and the openness to God is the concern of religion. The two go together and need not be in conflict.
If I could make one suggestion, it would be to not push too hard. There's usually a kind of inner guidance that comes with K, and you can pray for that, too, of course. Stop meditating when you sense its time to stop; if unsure, do less rather than more. Notice what foods you feel like eating and avoiding, what stirs the energy uncomfortably, and what helps. Contact with nature is usually very helpful. If you are a Christian, turn the whole process over to Jesus and ask him to show you how to live in his love.
Keep us posted, TexasGirl8.
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