The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
Ever heard of children, who at the onset of puberty, are beset by uncontrolled motor activity, jerks and grotesque spasms? I had not until I read Kathryn Harrison's biography of St. Therese (pp. 46-55). The young Therese often threw herself (or was thrown) offer her bed and onto the floor. After periods of involuntary movement, often terrifying, she went into an introverted state, nearly insensible to her environment. She was diagnosed with chorea:
The malady ended with, not merely a cure, but more of a transformation. As her sisters were praying for her, Therese was granted a vision of the Virgin: "Beautiful, so beautiful," she wrote years later. "Her face was suffused with and ineffable benevolence and tenderness." Therese was restored: lucid, smiling, and relaxed... and she had a sacred secret.
I pass on this story for those of you who, like me, have experienced some, sometimes terrifying, spontaneous movements (mine nearly tossed me off my bed once ), a kind of second puberty, and have also experienced blessings to follow.
For more on Saint Vitus, see:
Ryan, are you thinking this might be kundalini related? I have my doubts, but who knows.
Ryan are you thinking this
may be kriyas?
I don't know. It is hard to say. But, labels aside, on the level of parallel symptoms -- a pattern of spasms followed by introversion and stillness and culminating in a vision of peaceful repose -- the young Therese's reported experience reminds me of my own.
I have felt a great kinship with Therese since a centering prayer retreat last summer where I was gifted with the scent of roses three times... while near icons of Therese... while under the spiritual direction of a nun whose baptismal name was Therese... a strangely emotional experience, it had me in tears when I first spoke of it.
Beginning in my late teens and early twenties, before any knowledge about kundalini or association with gurus, I have occasionally experienced a kind of jerking in bed.
However, what I experienced seems more classically like kundalni. While resting in bed, I would feel a mounting or building up of energy at the base of the spine for a few minutes. Then suddenly there would be a violent breaking forth of that energy and a powerful surge would cause me to be literally lifted up off of the mattress. A few minutes later, I would relax deeply and feel that mounting energy, again the release, and a violent jerking of my back so powerful that I was momentarily lifted off my bed. A deep relaxation and sense of peace would follow several of these 'explosions.'
Your sharing that you fell out of bed from your spasms reminded me of this, but I don't know if our experiences are in any way related.
Pretty crazy...makes me think seat belts are required at bedtime!
much peace to you,
Been spending time with Therese in the last 24. She takes my breath away...
Left leg jerking at bedtime last few months. Left side, kundalini related. Seems to fit, esp. after
reading El Collie and Jana Dixon. Too much coffee plus not enough excercise lately may be factors in my case. Thanks for the link,
Phil. Sasha, could you sleep on the floor?
Make that, nearly fell out of bed, in my case. But young Therese: she fell out of bed often.
Wow Shasha, thanks for sharing of your parallel symptoms. Have you read a bio of Therese? There are many. I bet you would enjoy her story.
The sources for the account of her involuntary movements are St Therese of Lisieux by Those Who Knew Her: Testimonies from the Process of Beatification, pp. 86, 184 (Tr. O'Mahony, '75) and her autobiography, Story of A Soul, pp. 61,62 (Tr. Clarke, '96).
Yes, Therese has a special charism. Michael, I'm glad to hear you are being blessed by the little flower too.
[FROM SASHA: "While resting in bed, I would feel a mounting or building up of energy at the base of the spine for a few minutes. Then suddenly there would be a violent breaking forth of that energy and a powerful surge would cause me to be literally lifted up off of the mattress."]
This is almost exactly how I experience it -- a gathering of energy along my spine, followed by an explosion of movement, a kind of left-to-right twisting that lifts me up and drops me, sometimes repeated dozens of times before sleep. It also happens in prayer, especially if there has been any kind of soul surrender or yielding to God. This, along with the almost constant insect buzz in my ears, is the main manifestation of kundalini energy for me, if you can label it that. In the year that it's been happening, I'm still not really used to it, but I've come to almost like it and be comforted by it. Haven't ever been thrown out of bed, though :-)
It really helps to have us talk about this from time to time.
Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was never *thrown out of my bed*. Just lifted off the mattress and fell back down in roughly the same spot. For me, it was kind of whip-lashing sort of movement, rapid arching of spine, back and forth at supernatural speed.
Yes, it helps to share with others...especially us misfits, we need this kind of internet group therapy.
By the way, one of the main benefits of group therapy is experiencing the sense that we are not alone (i.e. universality) and sharing of information. Other benefits are emotional expression, interpersonal learning , a sense of belonging, cohesiveness, and the installation of hope.
Thank you for being part of our group.
wishing you the peace of Christ,
Actually, I was speaking of Avila, but no matter, we are on the same page. I found one of Mahoney's books last week. I'll look for something about the "k." In Story of a Soul, on the pages which you mentioned, she attributes these "attacks" to the devil, who she believes was given external power over her. I'm not so sure, but who knows?
No, I've never read of Therese, either of them. Thanks for the reference. Reading of the lives of the Christian mystics never, ever fails to uplift me enormously...whatever my mood.
Speaking of possible signs of kundalini in the Christian mystics, does anybody know of a discussion or study on this topic...besides Phil's Kundalini book?
Thanks, with peace,
That is one of the the spontaneous movements my body went through too, over and over, like riding a horse, or better yet, becoming a centaur, one of those mythical half human, half horse creatures. The time I almost fell out of bed, I was on my side when that movement happened repeatedly and very very fast. Without realizing it, I was edging dangerously close to the side of the bed. Whiplash, yea, that's the word for it. For a while after, I wore a neck brace for protection before I went into meditation.
Thanks for looking that up. I can understand how nine year old Therese could attribute those sorts of movements to the devil. And if she thinks of it as coming from outside, it is understandable that she would have difficulty gaining control, or setting limits on the movement; thus, getting thrown off the bed over and over.
Ajoy--you mentioned kriyas. A bit of synchronicity. I've enountered spontaneous "motor automatisms" quite a bit myself and, lacking a formal term, hit upon the word kriya as an interim or approximate term. It seems to me I've noticed two varieties: (1) kinds that are associated with a corrective, transforming bodily experience--as though the human body undergoes a gradual process of "unfolding" throughout life, and various stages are marked by an experience of shaking etc. as the body adapts to a new form for a new stage--I'm talking about a postural alignment that is associated with a new or different level of personality organization; (2) kinds that are more just like "dances."
These all seem very constructive to me. I'm not sure of the original post in this thread speaks of the same thing, or something else, less positive.
In any case, if you have any suggestions for links where I can learn about kriyas (I've seen some sites on the kriya yoga of Yogananda) I'd appreciate seeing them.
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