The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
I've never heard of kundalini or spiritual emergencies. What does this mean?
Spiritual emergencies are times of transition related to a deepening of one's spiritual life. They are called emergencies because sometimes they can be very unsettling to the psyche, producing a wide range of symptoms from disorientation to depression, mania, expanded states of consciousness, psychic openings, and all sorts of energy experiences.
One type of spiritual emergency is kundalini awakening. Such awakenings are not always spiritual emergencies, but often they are.
Kundalini is a Hindu term meaning coiled, and refers to an energy process that is very real and sometimes disruptive. This process may be an arousal, which is short-lived, or a full-blown awakening, which goes on and on.
Typically, kundalini process brings all sorts of energy experiences, mainly in the spine and the brain. These can be pleasurable, but are sometimes painful as well. One has a sense of energy "pushing" in a certain part of the body--almost like someone or something is working to open something new. As a friend put it, it feels like something big is trying to pass through something small. Often there is a sense of the energy being blocked somewhere, and sometimes great relief when the blockage is opened.
The goal of the kundalini process seems to be transformation of one's nervous system so that higher states of consciousness may be embodied. These higher states are sometimes described in terms of the higher chakras, or centers of consciousness, and/or in terms of enlightenment.
Perhaps we can discuss all this some more in this and other threads. The topic is of interest to me as I have personally struggled to integrate kundalini energy since 1985.
This is all very much new to me. I've never run into the term kundalini in the Catholic literature, but it sounds like something I need to know more about as I become more interested in comtemplative spirituality.
It looks like you're building up this area as a resource center. Is that right? Sorry I haven't much to offer to help out, but I'll keep my ears open in case anyone might benefit from it.
That's right, Concerned, it's meant to be a resource area and a place where people struggling with this issue can get some help. I realize that there will be some who won't benefit from it, which is why we have the other forums. But I hope that by making this one public some awareness will be raised.
>>>Spiritual emergencies are times of transition related to a deepening of one's spiritual life. They are called emergencies because sometimes they can be very unsettling to the psyche, producing a wide range of symptoms from disorientation to depression, mania, expanded states of consciousness, psychic openings, and all sorts of energy experiences.>>>
I definitely relate to this description. But the only thing I had come across that seemed similar was "the dark night of the soul". And I started kind of wondering if it was really some kind of mental unhealth rationalized as "spiritual". But on the other hand, when I emerged on the other side of the experience, I seemed to have integrated spiritually at a "higher" level. Very interesting. But does this in some way undercut the incarnation by emphasizing the reality of the spiritual over the material? I'm not sure I'm on the right thread with this. This is the only one I've seen with several "topics". Should I be posting elsewhere? Lola
And I started kind of wondering if it was really some kind of mental unhealth rationalized as "spiritual".
Interesting point. Some of the presenters at various kundalini related conferences I've been to surmise that it's the other way around--that many neuroses and even psychoses are a consequence of spiritual growth gone awry, energies blocked or disordered, etc.
But does this in some way undercut the incarnation by emphasizing the reality of the spiritual over the material? I'm not sure I'm on the right thread with this. This is the only one I've seen with several "topics". Should I be posting elsewhere?
LOL! Where DOES one post about these matters?
I don't see it as an either-or concerning spirit and matter. Dark nights/emergence processes are transformational times which enable the body to become more transparent to the Spirit. That seems very incarnational to me. Maybe we understand that term differently?
this makes sense to me -- in the same way that I can fairly easily believe that a good percentage of people with severe mental illness may be "demon-possessed" (however you view that).
P.S. Is there some kind of "guidebook" or online help for how to use the features of this site? thanks -- Lola
I have ABSOLUTELY no idea what I'm doing - this whole message board is very intimidating as I don't understand all the symbols etc! However, hopefully this message will show up somewhere!
We spoke via email in Feb. as I was going through a difficult time. Coming down from a difficult Kundalini experience. I am now down and more down than I would ever care to be ie. it feels like depression to me - with anxiety.
I'd really like to find referrals of people in the Toronto area who could be good supports for me right now. I feel like this whole process need not be as painful as it has been for me. You gave me a few names but I lost them! Any suggestions would be most appreciated. I think theres some sort of Spiritual Emergency Network but haven't been able to find much about it.
Anyways, our discussion - which you asked me to post on here came to the concept of "Does God give us more than we can bear?" when we are going through these dark nights of the soul.
I would love to discuss this with you further and look forward to any more info you have on contacts in my area.
Paula, you did just fine with the message board. Even made a little smiley, I saw.
I do recall our conversations, and the Toronto area name that came to me was Paul Pond. I'm not sure where he is, though.
Check out this page which has many resources, including a link to the Spiritual Emergency Network of Canada. Maybe you can find some local help there.
I'm no expert on helping people integrate the energy, but I can lend a sympathetic and supportive ear, if that would help. My email address is at the bottom of this page under Contact Us.
I would say we are always and perpetually in a state of spiritual emergency, running the good race for winning the crown- as St Paul says. I never know when the time comes to go Home to the Lord, and He expects me to be busy with my work at salvation when He comes, and the spiritual life has always a sense of urgency and emergency every day. Sometimes it can even be paralysing, making us unable to pray, and the most we can do at those times is at least keep chantimg the Name of God. Often I can do no more than keep muttering Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, and I have read a little of Hindu Sages who are reputed to have done nothing more than chanting one word for eons of time, as it were, leading to the awakening of Kundalini. NAM JAPA, as it is called, Prayer of the Name, just one monosyllabe or short word, as The Author of The Cloud of Unknowing recommends. Thank you all.
I've been thinking about your first point, sakthi, and need to clarify the point about spiritual emergency. While it's true that we're always "on the way" and contending with a certain amount of disorder and brokenness in our lives, that's not really what a spiritual emergency is. Although the term, "spiritual emergency," is used in various ways, the Spiritual Emergence Network (which "coined" the term) gives the following examples:
Loss or change of faith
Existential and/ or spiritual crisis
Experience of unitive consciousness or altered states
Difficulties with a meditation practice
Sometimes these experiences are very disorienting and even very painful and, because they seem to be consequences of spiritual or related practices, people experiencing them don't always know where to talk about them.
The Spiritual Emergence Network has attempted to provide trained helpers to people undergoing spiritual emergencies. I was once affiliated, but haven't heard much from them for awhile; I think it might be inactive now.
This forum is made available somewhat in the spirit of SEN, but in the context of Christian spirituality and theology.
Thank you very much.I certainly need the kind of help you have mentioned, having perpetual problems with my praying and meditation, suffering from lack of concentration and of devotion and dedication, and I am grateful to be here with you.Also thanks for explaining what is Emergency.
"We should prepare for an earthshaking Pentecost....Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach us to pray life-changing, world-shaking prayers..."- from Liturgical Reflections Webs.
That puts us into a sense of urgency and doing our very best in our prayerlife currently. Fr Jayaraj in India who is drawing fruitful inspirations from ancient Hindu Religious Poetry tells us that Pentecost is a very good time to pray for the Awakening of Kundalini. Thank you all, God bless you.
Now is Pentecost, Now is the time for Awakening with the help of the Holy Spirit.
With the self serene, freed of fear, practise Yoga of centering all thoughts upon me!- says Bagavat Gita, Chapter6, Sloka 14. That is the way to get the Power, Kundalini, awakened. And then we will all be able to do things even greater than what I did, says Our Lord Jesus. The Kundalini image is that of a red female cobra sleeping dormant within us. It should shake off its lethargy, uncoil itself,and drink the Nectar of Eternal Life.May we all have a glorious and joyful Pentecost with Our Blessed Mother Virgin Mary nourishing our spiritual life.
Earlier on, Phil and me have agreed that kundalini is the purification process. Actually my interest is to know if the activity of kundalini is limited or not. If kundalini is a process of purification it must be quitted when the object is purified. If kundalini continues throughout the whole life we can have two options here. Either we will never be totally purified while we are here on earth or kundalini is more than purification process. Please add your opinions on this topic.
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