If you can find a copy of "Impact of God" by Iain Matthew, it might provide further support for letting go of our need for special experiences, as they can be a sign of distrust, as well as developmental processes gone awry. Matthew is a Carmelite, and this book on St. John of the Cross is considered essential reading by Ronald Rolheiser and Jean Vanier, the latter writing the forward to the book.
This book is one that is rich from page to page; it is simple but culls a depth that really slows the reader down and allows us to feel the friendship of the saint in his counsels to us regarding prayer as relationship. Matthew succeeds in showing how the aridities arise because God is seeking us ever so deeply, which is simply beyond the means of our sensory faculties, leaving us feeling arid as He knows us without our being able to know Him and beyond our images until the soul is purified, all happening in stages.
re: the book "Impact of God," there are copies available via Amazon under "new and used." If you order directly from Amazon you'll not get this book for months.
I guess you are reading: BERNARDINO DE LAREDO. The Ascent of Mount Sion. Being the third book of the treatise of that name translated with an introduction and notes by E. Allison Peers.
A bit hard to find. I'll look. I've read Osuna's Third Spiritual Alphabet, another book that influenced Teresa. You?
Dissimulate. I had to look that one up. It means disguise. The antonym, simulate, which means to imitate. If someone dissimulates rapture (apparently unlike the man he interviewed) they become difficult to imitate.
So what are you saying about your experience with the charismatic/pentecostal movement? Too much simulation, not enough dissimulation?
Working up the goosebumps or the tingles down the spine. Addiction. Making the Holy Spirit into a performing circus clown as we have seen on TV. Holy Laugher ala Rodney Howard Brown. Benny Hinn slaying people in the Spirit. Once we know better, this is a real no, no. I let the Spirit blow as the wind where it listeth, not where I listeth. I never have had a REAL rapture in the manner of Theresa, but I have a picture of the famous sculpture by Bernini in the bathroom, the bedroom, the hallway. I used to have it as a screensaver.
It has become my icon for mystical Christianity during the last half decade. Takes my breath away!
No, haven't learned my spiritual alphabet yet, although I was fortunate to discover Mount Sion.
I've seen some of the Benny Hinn show on TV. I'm not drawn to it. Congrats on getting out.
That is an amazing work of art, very evocative. And a well done photo too. Interesting how it moves people who, like yourself, have not experienced full blown "rapture" as Teresa did. She had such a wonderful gift of sharing her faith through experience.
This last week has been so amazing. I have been seeking contemplative prayer for so long, and have never managed to find fulfilment in it, though I have always thought that I should/would. This has meant that I have never practiced this form of prayer on a regular basis, but only here and there every once in a while. This week I have finally managed to pray consecutively for 4 days now and each day has been amazing. I have been doing something along the lines of the breath prayer described in the first link. It has been awesome.
I have a question though. I am not fully aware of God during the prayer (some days I am, some not). Is is still Christian prayer if all you are aware of is your breath (it feels really awesome and nourishing though).
Yesterday the breathing led into a kind of deep humming and "moaning/groaning" this felt very much like humming and moaning for God and I felt very connected to God in worship. I also felt led to bow and stretch out and lift my hands. I almost felt my body wanted me to move a certain way and groan and hum a certain way.
I have asked God to give me the gift of a kundalini awakening if it is His will. Is this a bad thing to ask for? Are some of the things I am describing purely from the Christian tradition or may they be hinting toward a kundalini type experience.
I feel like I am being silly, getting all excited over 4 days of prayer, but it really has been so wonderful!
That's good, Jacques. Keep praying.
I suppose almost any meditative practice can be "Christian" if it's undertaken with the intent to grow closer to God through the mediation of Christ. Even so, sometimes we are more aware of breath or self than God, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It can help to calm the mind and expand one's sense of inner freedom.
Here's a quote below about infused contemplation from Jim Arraj. Maybe that will help.
No, don't pray for kundalini awakening; pray to draw closer to God, and if kundalini happens, then so be it. If it happens outside of such a context, then God help you.
that was helpful, one question though. Kundalini seems to have been such a positive, albeit difficult, process for you and others. I would never desire it apart from, or above God but why shouldn't I desire it in God?
Your question touched me because for many years I used to desire and pray for the gift of speaking in tongues. I wanted something that would be unmistakably God, something supernatural, something that I knew I couldn�t fake or produce by myself. Down deep, I wanted proof that God existed, was paying attention to me, and would give me what I asked for. Needless to say, I never received that gift.
Many years later, I began to fall in love with God, with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to desire more than anything simply to know and be with the Holy One. And as that desire ripened and grew, so that I could hardly resist spending time in prayer and meditation, there began this strange kundalini thing, which I didn�t understand, didn�t ask for, had never heard of, and was �blown away� by. Ironically, it did what I had wanted 40 years ago (I definitely couldn�t fake or self-produce it!) but by this time, I was no longer looking for proofs or asking for gifts. I just wanted God.
Over the last 9 months, I have begun to �make friends with� this kundalini energy, but at times, it has been a real mixed blessing. Sometimes it is still very disconcerting! Mainly, it has been a very humbling, chastening, emptying experience.
When I reflect on all of this, and think of God as Lover, I can�t help but compare it to my marriage relationship. In earlier, insecure days, lovemaking might include a lot of anxious directions: �Touch me here. No, not there, here. NO, HERE!� �a guaranteed squelcher of passion! Today, with 30 years of love and trust between us, there is none of that. I simply want him, and he me, and it unfolds. There is no goal, and no �gift� other than the loving presence of each other.
God knows what you desire, and more importantly, God knows why you desire it. If you desire k. because you deeply want to love God with your entire embodied self, don�t be surprised if your prayer is answered. It just might not be in the way you imagined. And if you desire it for some other reason, as I had desired speaking in tongues for all the wrong reasons, trust that God will purify your desires and will give you everything you need, at exactly the right time. And as Phil says, keep on praying! But don't bother to pray for kundalini awakening. As much as lies within you, pray, ask for, and desire only God. God will do the rest.
Thank you very much Revkah, I really enjoined reading your post and appreciate the insights and guidance.
I am pretty sure I agree with all you said. I think another element that I would just like to add is that I may already be experiencing some energy movements or kundalini symptoms, but not a full awakening. Is it possible to discern whether I am right or will I just find out as time goes on?
Also, on further reflection, I feel kundalini would be helpful in its ability to help me overcome myself as an obstacle to deeper relationship with God.
Whether this is true to what kundalini does I am not sure, I suppose it is the impression I get when I study it and its effects on people.
Much love in the Lord Jesus
Back before I was a Christian and I used to meditate, my right ear would block. I have sinus problems and so I thought that it was probably the reason. I went to the doctor though and he said he couldn't see a problem.
Since that time I have often had a blocked right ear (it blocks and becomes unblocked all the time). It had not been blocked for a while, and then when I sat down to pray this morning and began breathing, my ear blocked again.
I found that if I hummed deeply in certain ways/frequencies that the ear unblocks.
This left me wondering about whether it is only physical or perhaps spiritual and what role music/frequencies/chanting/ etc. plays in the spiritual development and energy movements in the subtle energy body.
I've had right ear energy ordeals for years and have searched and read widely on this topic, with few of my questions answered. The way I've come to understand it is that what's being experienced is the resonance of energies in the acupressure points of the ear.
- see http://www.americanacupuncture...acp_points/ear02.gif
Gently massaging the ear using your thumb and forefinger can help . . . sort of a "poor-man's massage." The energy on the right side of the body is weaker than the left and when you "raise the thermostate" using some kind of apophatic practice like centering prayer, this sometimes shows up in the ears.
So Phil, the fact that I am pretty sure I have not had a kundalini awakening doesn't necesarily negate the possibility of this being tied to my breath prayers?
I have usually tried to kind of "toilet plundger" the blockage with my finger. It usually only helps for a second or two. I just tried the massage it appears to be holding for longer than the plundger.
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