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Questions. Does anyone know of resources on Christian Understanding and Management of Energy Systems? I am not speaking soley of Kundalini here but mental thought forms and emotional issues as well.

I believe it was Jung who believed the Unconscious/Conscious Mind was a closed system, that when you see an evacuation of the unconscious in one area, there is a movement of energy in another.

Sometimes, even when practising Contemplative prayer, and experiencing the peace of the momemt, you will see an increase in sexual energy and temptation of the flesh which arise as the evacuation of the unconscious takes place in prayer, etc. Or there may be anger or other vices which manifest. Its like the proverbial Refiners Fire- as the ugly ore of gold or silver is heated and melted, the dross comes to the surface, and the actual precious metal is refined or purified.

Bt is there any Christian Contemplative works which deal with these issues from the perspective of Energy Systems and how to manage them?
 
Posts: 16 | Registered: 06 August 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<w.c.>
posted
Fr. Aidan:

Within a contemplative context, you might consider

"Towards Mystical Union: A modern commentary on the mystical text 'The Interior Castle' by St. Teresa of Avila" by Julienne McLean.

McLean is a Jungian-trained psychotherapist who maintains a clear distinction between transcendental grace and kundalini, but explores their emerging relationship as spiritual transformation unleashes subconscious material for an alchemy leading to increased self-awareness/integration.

And I would plug a version of Focusing developed by two Catholic priests, Peter Campbell and Edwin McMahon. Their book is

"Biospirituality: Focusing As A Way To Grow."
 
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Thanks WC for the book recommendations.
 
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Fr. Aidan, perhaps this essay by Jim Arraj would be helpful to you. It's now an appendix in the second edition of my book on kundalini.

See also http://shalomplace.com/res/anthrp.html
- http://shalomplace.com/res/idnst.html
- http://shalomplace.com/res/chakras.html
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Phil

Thanks for the recs. I'll check 'em out soon.

To be more frank about my question about a A Christian Understanding of Energy Systems is in relation to "Genital Energy," if I may be frank here. Most men Im sure struggle with this just in the normal routines of life. As a priest I know it is a common concern for Christian men.

But in regard to the practise of Yoga and Christian Meditation/Centering Prayer I have been aware of an increased energy in regard to this area.

So my question about A Christian Understanding of Energy Systems, is in reagard to a Christian approach for manipulating or redirecting this energy elsewhere. Certainly there is the Hindu Pranayam and Chakra approach but these techniques must be mastered over time and as a new Yogi student is not in my skill level yet.

Does anyone have references to Christian sources, techniques/devotional aides that help manipulate energy to redirect such energies mentioned elsewhere.

Hope Im making sense here. Thanks
 
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Good reply, w.c.

Fr. Aidan, see also http://shalomplace.com/ubb/ult...t_topic;f=4;t=000093 where we once had an extensive discussion on kundalini and sexual energy issues.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks WC and Phil. I appreciate the insights. Its just that I have often noticed, (though I never really connected them with an issue of energy, even as a metaphor, until taking Yoga and considering Kundalini in light of the discussions on this forum), that there is often a sexual or genital type of energy following charismatic renewals or my practise of meditation. In Jungian terms, where there is a movement in one place there is often a manifestation of energy in another, or something like that in regard to his idea of a "closed system."
 
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quote:
Originally posted by w.c.:
[qb] You can also invite Christ to come right into the passion. This is rather daring, as we tend to be in such subtle shame about sexual desire that the idea of prayer in this way is taboo. But in my experience, He loves to join us where we are wounded, and as the second person of the Trinity already knows about all of this anyway. It took me many years to trust this - to actually accept the sexual hunger in the moment while letting Him "in," right where the passion was being experienced in my body.[/qb]
This is great stuff, wc, and has been my experience also... it seems all to simple but it really is true! If we can invite the indwelling presence of Jesus Christ to come to us right in the middle of these anxieties and care for them He is faithful!

Blessings,

Caneman
 
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<w.c.>
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Caneman:

Yes, it is quite surprising. Maybe this sort of thing is easier for women to allow. Glad to know we can enter into that sort of receptivity without too much psychological posturing, as it were!!
 
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http://www.actheals.org/Publications/Reports.html

Seems to be a very interesting link on this issue

Fred
 
Posts: 175 | Registered: 09 April 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's a lot of resource, Fred. Might you comment on what you've found helpful.

I checked out Appendix 3 by Fr. Robert Sears, S.J., Ph. D. at http://actheals.org/Inquiry/Energy.html and found it to be an excellent resource. I highly recommend it. Lots of good teaching on natural/supernatural and discernment.
 
Posts: 3864 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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yes, Phil, Sears is very helpful.
I didn't read Oschman, I came across his name through 'The Clinical Jesus' the chapter on 'Psycho-energetic psychotherapy'.
This stuff interests me alot beacues I am in this breath/energy/mindfulness 'therapy' in the Netherlands which is in fact much more than therapy. So I am interested in the relation of Christ and energies.
I have also noticed this: http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Su...ianity/dp/0345434242 in the footnotes but I think it is quite speculative.

Note 2. Recent Scholarship (Palmer, 2001) shows that, beginning in 640 A.D., Nestorian Christian monks dialogued with
the Buddhist and Taoist communities that flourished during the Tang Dynasty. Attempting to make their version
of Christ’s teachings intelligible to the Chinese mind, the Nestorian’s wrote the Jesus Sutras, wherein the
Nestorians depict a Jesus who strengthens his disciples by providing them with “qi” or invigorating life energy

Do you know of any good study on the body/breath/intuition/imagination... in/throughout Christian spirituality (historically, anthropologically, theologically...)?

PAX,
Fred
 
Posts: 175 | Registered: 09 April 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Fred et al, check out Appendix 5 on http://actheals.org/Inquiry/Energy.html which is part of a site you recommended above. There's a method for praying with the Spirit to order one's energies that seems quite sound. There's also a good description by the author of her experience of "life energy" and its workings, which sounds like kundalini -- the energy of the "soul." It's quite perceptive and seems to keep a good perspective on everything.
quote:
I want to return now to the design and purpose of life energy which is to communicate within ourselves the knowledge of who we are and how we are to function. When life energy is damaged or interfered with, messages are sent and received incorrectly, blocked or distorted. Some of our life energy remains in communion with God for we are alive and functioning, though out of balance and malfunctioning.
In the dominion that God has given us and in the ordering of the line of authority, a way in which to begin to take authority over what is out of order emerges. The line of authority through which life energy communicates our proper "being" is Godhead (Trinity), Holy Spirit (within the Trinity), to human spirit then throughout our being (spirit, mind/emotion and physical body). Within each (spirit, mind/emotion, physical body) life energy flows connecting all to all, instructing and ordering. In an area that is restricted for any reason, and the message is not received correctly, function, well-being, and order can be disrupted. It is my premise that a person, given authority in the name of Jesus Christ, can cooperate to correct some of the difficulties. In an ongoing prayer position with Jesus Christ and focusing on the physical body, I see a way to begin.


Then follows the prayer process.
 
Posts: 3864 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dear Phil,

Why am I always anxious about certain things?
I read your post and this passage:

It is my premise that a person, given authority in the name of Jesus Christ, can cooperate to correct some of the difficulties. In an ongoing prayer position with Jesus Christ and focusing on the physical body, I see a way to begin.

The person I am working with is not a Christian in the 'orthodox' sense of the word. It is all about initiation and the enlightenment of the body and possibly quite esoterical (f.e. on the grail within us). I agree that the body is a kind of a cathedral and very symbolical (see Annick de Souzenelle!)and that Christian tradition except hesychasm doesn't tell us much about all this.

I cannot send articles of Peter Kampschuur http://peterkampschuur.blogspot.com/ since they are in Dutch. He is in the line of von Dürckheim and his student Hetty Draayer who as a Christian once had a vision of an Egyptian highpriest who learned her the acupuncture or meridian system. She prayed about this and then saw clearly Jesus and this highpriest standing side by side.

It is a deep psycho-energetic (more than a) therapy and I feel that the breath exercices are quite intensive, although Hetty Draayer adviced to let the breath be as it is... Maybe it is my attitude of relentlessness that interferes with it...

Last week-end after the 2 sessions on Friday, I had so much tension in my chest I almost couldn' t stand it.
Etty Hillesum said somewhere that she had to work more on the outside before the inside had taken shape...(???)Manual labor?
But with this bureau work i am doing, this is of course impossible at the moment.

Fred
 
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Hi Fred--I hope it's okay if I add my thoughts to your discussion with Phil. Smiler

I'm not quite sure if I'm taking your "Manual labor?" thought as you meant it in your post, but speaking from my own experience, I've found simple manual labor to often have an almost meditative quality. Gardening, especially, settles anxiety for me like few other things. Then, too, I have horses that I have to take care of day in and day out, and sometimes it's when I least want to go out in all kinds of weather for them that I find I'm most relaxed by the work they generously provide for me.

I know not everyone needs to do hands-on labor on a daily basis, but isn't it a part of many spiritual communities? Sorry again if I'm intruding on your conversation, but I wanted to say what a gift manual labor can be for some people.
 
Posts: 578 | Location: east coast, US | Registered: 20 July 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks Ariel. Very kind remark of you. I agree with you. My head is as full as the cup of tea in the little Zen story. I don't have a garden as before but I have started painting my whole appartment.
I think I have read far enough, but I admit it has become a kind of addiction. I have faith in my breath 'therapy' (which is more of a transformative daily exercice or meditative acupuncture)but it will take time of course. And sometimes I have problems about the relation of it with my Christian faith.
I wish to stay with one thing now but resistance of the ego is strong!!!

PAX,
Fred
 
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Hang in there, Fred. Smiler
 
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quote:
I wish to stay with one thing now but resistance of the ego is strong!!!


Sorry to hear of your ongoing struggles, Fred. I'm wondering what you mean by the statement above, however. What "one thing" are you referring to, and what are you "resisting?" Depending on what you're talking about, here, there could be some kind of inner wisdom implicit in that resistance you refer to.

I've mentioned this before, but I wonder if it would help to read less and just stick to some very basic disciplines, including exercise and manual labor as Ariel mentioned above. Too much inner work and heavy reading can itself stress one's system and overly stimulate the mind and emotions.
 
Posts: 3864 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 27 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dear Phil et al.

I hope Phil that you'll read this post.
The one thing I mentioned is my daily exercice (2x 45 minutes on tape by this therapist) of proper breathing deep down. Kampschuur has also had a profound kundalini experience and recently wrote this book: http://www.bol.com/nl/p/boeken...581C95C04102A8.ps139
It is a pity you cannot read about his work.
Since 30 years he is exercising and teaching himself this breath therapy, which is much more than therapy. Hetty Draayer (now more than 90 years old)was kind of a visionary woman regarding the human body.
Yesterday I have been painting in my house and the pain (a sharp division of my body, exhausting breathing problems) was so immense that I could not breathe properly deep down in the so-called chi-point. There is much symbolism in all this as the esotericists, hermeticists and sophianists seem to know
The energies have to be balanced, harmonized in the pelvis (first stone of the alchemists?) before Christ can be born in the mystic heart (second stone). Many Christian mystics also speak of the birth of Christ in us...
look at google =) Annick de Souzenelle (youtubes) (amazing!)

I have to be very vigilant about reading too much, indeed!!! I have 'burned' myself with this for far too long...

Today I received this post. Cynthia Bourgeault gave me the name of this Robert Powell, translator of 'Meditations on the Tarot':

Dear Fred,

I forwarded your question to Robert, who has finally had a break from his workshop schedule and been able to provide an answer to your question regarding two kinds of prayer– kataphatic/devotional prayer versus apophatic/meditative prayer.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

“Kataphatic (the Greek term for what the Hindu's call "bhakti"/devotional prayer) is heart centered and according to the hermetic tradition relates to the path of mysticism . Likewise, apophatic/meditative prayer (the Greek term for "jnani" in Hindu) relates to the path of gnosis in the hermetic tradition and is mind centered, involving holding a question, seeking for higher knowledge,etc. Similarly, the hermetic term "sacred magic" refers to prayerful intuition which informs our actions or will forces. The hermetic ideal is when the head becomes the willing "limb" of the heart.”

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

So Meditations on the Tarot as a tool toward a meditative path is a good place to start.

Robert also suggests Lazarus Come Forth (formerly Covenant of the Heart) as it deals with the Breath of Life in the last part. Moreover, it also deals with the resurrection of the life forces through contact with the Christ, who speaks of himself as "I am the way, the truth and the life".”

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

A central teaching in the Christian faith tradition is the promise of the capacity of the listening heart to connect with the healing presense of Christ, whose entire body is radiating healing toward bringing the human being into resonance with the "Tree of Life". Robert's book The Christ Mystery may be of help toward an understanding of the body of Christ in our present day as a healing presense now permeating the etheric/life body of the earth.



I would also suggest, and Robert confirms, the book Christ and Sophia, containing Valentin Tomberg’s esoteric Biblical studies of the Old and New Testaments.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

The following suggestion has been made by Robert’s partner and co-author, Laquanna Paul, who among other things is a Qi Gong teacher.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

“My intuition is that Fred would greatly be helped by beginning a regular morning and nightly practice of lying quietly with his right hand resting softly on his heart center and his left hand resting on the Virgo point of his abdoman the left hand side (the mother point) of the energy body. And then to just listen silently to the pain in his heart. Let his own heart tell its story. This will require that he really feel with compassion the suffering in his heart. And then to feel Christ's all knowing love and compassion for the suffering of the human condition. In relation to this, the practice of "listening to the beating of the World Heart" (1st Arcanum of Meditations on the Tarot).

This exercise is profoundly healing and will bring a lemniscatory flow of chi moving from the heart to the abdomen and back again to include the crown. This as the pattern of the sun's movement between the earth and the central sun and this same movement is present in the body of the human being when we are in harmony with our listening heart which is attuned to the rhythm of the sun."

She also suggests that you look at the attached document from HeartMath, which contains much interesting material put together by Robert. Also, this link for the electromagnetic field of the heart http://daily.finerminds.com/mind/discover-the ultimate-power-of-your-heart/ (see attachment).

I hope this is of help to you. I have been dealing with somewhat similar health issues, so you have my heartfelt wishes for your recovery.

Blessings,

Molly Rose

Administrator

Sophia Foundation of North America
3143 Avalon Court
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Ph./fax: 650-494-9900
email:sophia@sophiafoundation.org
website: www.sophiafoundation.org

PS I cannot put this Heartmath attachment here but it is really amazing!
 
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The energies have to be balanced, harmonized in the pelvis (first stone of the alchemists?) before Christ can be born in the mystic heart (second stone). Many Christian mystics also speak of the birth of Christ in us...

Fred, with all due respect, I don't think you'll find a single Catholic mystic who speaks of balancing and harmonizing energies as a pre-requisite for mystical experience. Rather, Christian mystical experience is generally a deepening of love borne of faith, leading one beyond word and symbol to a peaceful resting in the divine presence. Any "doings" on our part to create mystical experiences are of dubious value, imo.

You mention "proper breathing exercises" that you do for long periods, and I know that for me any deliberate breathing done for more than just a few minutes has me feeling steam coming out of my ears and screws up my autonomic nervous system, sometimes for days. Now my preference is to surrender my breath to the Spirit and, without forcing anything, just follow the natural flow of breath. If the breath doesn't seem to be centered in the navel area, then I don't try to force it to be so (who says it should be, anyway?). Breathing patterns seem concommitant with states of consciousness, and so, as I've noted, I have doubts about using breathing exercises to catalyze mystical states. In some mystical states, it seems there is practically no breathing, or else very shallow and from the heart. The term, "takes my breath away," refers to ecstatic experiences of all kinds, including mystical ones.

Anyway, it would be ideal if you were to meet regularly with a good spiritual director, who would keep before you the question of how these various disciplines you pursue affect your relationship with God and your sense of God's presence in your life. Those that are helpful unto this end would probably have a beneficial influence on your physical and emotional health as well.
 
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quote:
The energies have to be balanced, harmonized in the pelvis (first stone of the alchemists?) before Christ can be born in the mystic heart (second stone). Many Christian mystics also speak of the birth of Christ in us...

Fred, with all due respect, I don't think you'll find a single Catholic mystic who speaks of balancing and harmonizing energies as a pre-requisite for mystical experience. Rather, Christian mystical experience is generally a deepening of love borne of faith, leading one beyond word and symbol to a peaceful resting in the divine presence. Any "doings" on our part to create mystical experiences are of dubious value, imo.

You mention "proper breathing exercises" that you do for long periods, and I know that for me any deliberate breathing done for more than just a few minutes has me feeling steam coming out of my ears and screws up my autonomic nervous system, sometimes for days. Now my preference is to surrender my breath to the Spirit and, without forcing anything, just follow the natural flow of breath. If the breath doesn't seem to be centered in the navel area, then I don't try to force it to be so (who says it should be, anyway?). Breathing patterns seem concommitant with states of consciousness, and so, as I've noted, I have doubts about using breathing exercises to catalyze mystical states. In some mystical states, it seems there is practically no breathing, or else very shallow and from the heart. The term, "takes my breath away," refers to ecstatic experiences of all kinds, including mystical ones.

Anyway, it would be ideal if you were to meet regularly with a good spiritual director, who would keep before you the question of how these various disciplines you pursue affect your relationship with God and your sense of God's presence in your life. Those that are helpful unto this end would probably have a beneficial influence on your physical and emotional health as well.
 
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Dear Phil,

Ah, what a mess this is!!!
I understand what you are saying completely. I feel that my pain is still increasing these last weeks. I have had different exchanges by e-mail with Kampschuur about this. The directions on tape are very 'wordy, it is all quite intense... I know that in Zen a.o. practices one let the breath be as it is.
But then he replied that you have to breathe through everything and not escpae from 'feeling'(through) things.
I don't know what your own perception/evaluation is of psycho-energetic approaches...

This whole issue is in my experience also linked to the relation of 'orthodox' Catholic faith and Christian esotericism/hermeticism/gnosticism/kabbala/sophianism...
I have to say I am at the same time attracted
and doubtful about all this wisdom after having read these books about it:

http://www.amazon.com/Inner-Ch...dition/dp/1570628106

http://www.amazon.com/Differen...itions/dp/079142572X

http://www.amazon.com/New-Man-...Nicoll/dp/0394723902

http://www.amazon.com/Kabbalah...n/dp/0877286876#noop

As I see it, there is a difference between mysticism (direct intimate relation with God) and esotericism (exploration of the intermediary states of consciousness and levels of being).

I have erad so much and still it is not clear to me how these things reakte to each other:
Catherina of Genoa could say: 'My Me is God' and this whole 'contemplative' tradition speaking of the false self and the True self (nous, Kingdom of God, ...) versus devotion to/adoration of Jesus (Holy Heart...). Everyone knows that John Paul II loved the rosary.
Is the rosary not more than just a pathway to contemplation? Mother Mary in all her appearances even speaks of her need for prayer so that she can do things or withold the 'righteous arm' of the Father!

So, I was struck by the explanation in Smoley's book of the Genesis account. I asked myself why the Church doesn't speak of these symbolic/archetypical levels of Scripture...On the other hand I notice that f.e. Jesus seems to speak of Adam as a historical figure and not a collective 'sum total of all men and women in their ulterior differentiation' (Papus, the Martinist).

The same with the human body/intuition/imagination...
Did most of the Christian mystics really have any notion of the compex symbolic unity of the human body?

Moreover, there is within my always an ongoing tension field between on the one hand the need for simplicity ('Children entering the Kingdom', 'Blessed are the poor in spirit', .'Hidden for the wise, revealed to children'...) and on the other hand my own complexity and woundedness and the relation of spirituality and psychology

I understand you, Phil, but your post makes me also confused again about this therapy...
i have prayed a lot and searched for relief but I don't really know anymore what to do now...
WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT???

Fred
 
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Van: Molly Rose [mailto:sophia@mail.sophiafoundation.org]
Verzonden: dinsdag 15 september 2009 20:14
Aan: DELAMEILLEURE, FREDDY
Onderwerp: Re:


Dear Fred,
She is speaking of the Virgo gesture we do in Choreocosmos, based on Rudolf Steiner's Eurythmy. We place the palm of the hand on the left of the abdomen, between the midline and the side, slightly below the level of the naval. If you were a woman, it would be over the place where the ovary resides.

I completely understand about the zen cup of tea and the need to keep things simple. Becoming overwhelmed with too much spiritual information and too many parctices has been a problem for me too, and I can begin to feel what I call "spiritual indigestion." Interestingly, Virgo relates to the digestive organs as well as the womb. Also, the first Beatitude– becoming poor in spirit– refers to the process of self emptying so that one can be filled with Spirit.

I pretty much gave you what I got from Robert and Lucky (Laquanna Paul). I think Lucky was intending that you continue with your deep breathing work but think about having a time where you place your hands as she indicated and tune into your heart. For a long time, I have instinctively used this posture at night and in the mornings for deep breathing and found it to be a great comfort and very centering.

It might interest you to know that I have heard the womb referred to as a second heart. I take this not only literally, but also spiritually and I think this is why I have instinctively placed a hand on both the heart and the belly.
So yes, I agree with your last statement.
Blessings on your recovery process,
Molly
 
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And, Phil, I realize the importance of a spiritual director but as I said before, after having met several people it seems to be very hard to find a good spiritual director here in Belgium! This is not the US you know!
 
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