The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
bear, I think that once the kundalini process is activated, the ordinary teachings on spiritual disciplines have to be considered differently. It might be a good thing for a beginner to hold fast to doing some particular practice like vipassana regardless of how they feel, just to counteract one's innate laziness and selfishness, but kundalini is already pushing hard against those tendencies, undoing blockages and defenses that keep them embodied, and seeking to cleanse the whole human system. What's needed is more co-operation with the process rather than trying to force it to accommodate a particular discipline. So if vipassana, centering prayer, jogging, pranayama, vegan diet, fasting, etc. overly stimulate the k process or distort it in some manner, that's feedback to be honored. Don't worry, we are still called to spiritual practice, and always will be, but it might be something more gentle, grounding, and integrative.
Also, as we've noted, it might be too general to speak of "the Eastern" this or that, though I am as guilty of it as anyone else. There are, in Hinduism and Buddhism, as you allude to, pathways to the divine that emphasize a relational, loving approach. Bhakti yoga and pure land Buddhism come to mind, here. It's only natural that we should find all religions appealing to this relational, social disposition of humans, and it's not necessarily anthropomorphizing to do so. All religions note that we're something of an image and likeness of God (they don't all use those terms, which are from Judaism), and so we embody attributes that must also be present in God, in some manner.
Tucker, I'm not sure I understand what you mean about dumping "the human realm that is part of you." Maybe you could clarify?
The whole point of Christianity is that God becomes present to humans as a human -- that human nature itself embodies and mediates God's presence. We are called to be transformed from selfish sinners to Christlike lovers, thus participating more fully in the human/divine life of Christ. But we shall never cease to be human; even the risen Christ is still human, with a body, mind, relational disposition, etc.
Also, the God of the Old and New Testaments are the same God. The Father of Jesus is YHWH, the God of the Old Testament. But what Jesus reveals clearly is God's true attitude and nature, which wasn't always clear in the Old Testament -- probably what you meant.
But to your response to Les' question, "is the Christian God the expression of the Mystery?" and your affirmation, I am in agreement. The whole point of Christian teaching is that God has come to us in human form and revealed to us who God is, how God loves and forgives us, and calls us to relationship. Jesus, the Christian will say, IS Lord, the begotten Son of God, high above all other saints and yogis and avatars, and so to be given a different regard than we give to those other holy people (who do teach us something of God). As one of our theologians put it, "Jesus is not merely a significant revealer of God, he is the decisive revelation of God. We believe this because of his resurrection from the dead, which places him in a unique position to be available to all people in all of time. Through Jesus, we gain a new access to God, and in such manner as to heal and deify (or divinize) our humanity.
As you all can tell, I think this is extremely important. Christianity is all for mystical experience, but also very much about truth, community building, healing the human, social justice, etc. It's concerned with the quality of this life in this world, and not just some mystical encounter that cracks the door to the next.
Thanks Phil... that helps more than you know.
"The encounter with God-beyond-form belongs to what is called the apophatic spiritual tradition." Phil I love your message board, I am constantly learning new things ! "In Christianity it is understood that the two (apophatic and kataphatic) need to go together."
When I do the center of the spine kundalini I do it as the very quite "formless Breath of God" all the way up to and including the area between and just above my eyebrows. That mind exercise type meditation has a heck of a kick to it . Phil, based on my experience as a mystic the kataphsatic and the apophatic are degrees of the same thing. If one follows the kataphatic into its depths, for lack of any other term, it becomes the apopgatic. And vice versa.
I guess where I am at at this time as a mystic is that I am a form that is dwelling in the formless and all is perfectly fine. The hard part is staying in the form part and participating in the world of form while existing in the formless at the same time. What do I mean by dumping the this world's (human) realm of things? Everything that says, "This is me or I am, but love." The Buddhist's call it breaking the third Seal, the yogi's call it becoming self realized, and the Christian's call it being in this world but not of it. You are in union with the formless and are one of the world of form at the same time with no conflict between these two realities. It is similar to being childlike where a child hasn't developed a strong or real personality yet. Awake and aware without judgment. The "you" as the kataphatic and the apophatic at the same time without there being any conflict between the two. No either or, just both.
See what your last book did to me Phil , once you understand the kundalini of the center of the spine, everything changes. As an advanced mystic it was the one thing that I was missing. I did what they did with Lord Jesus as my Master and I didn't need any other or their masters Phil ! And all the masters and proponents of the other ways said it couldn't be done as a Christian because only their masters knew how to do it. I did it with my Master Christ Jesus. Yes it took a whole lifetime, but it takes a whole lifetime with their masters too .
This is probably way too intuitive guys . So, thanks for your patience guys.
Phil, thanks for the advice, i guess it would be easier if there were clear absolute detailed external guidelines what to follow rather than trying to figure out the essential and following heart for the rest. :-) but then it wouldn't perhaps be so fun. =)
and Tucker, WOW. it is cool to read what you write so thank you.
You are welcome bear .
Love you, tucker
Les, I'm glad you found my posts helpful.
And bear, I'd like those set guidelines, too, and there are some general principles, for sure. But mostly one has to learn from the process.
Tucker, you said: Phil, based on my experience as a mystic the kataphsatic and the apophatic are degrees of the same thing. If one follows the kataphatic into its depths, for lack of any other term, it becomes the apopgatic. And vice versa.
It is usually the case that kataphatic meditation becomes simple and eventually open to apophatic experience; it's more rare to find things going the other way, as apophatic meditation tends to leave one indisposed to say much about the experience. That where the old saying comes from:
Those who say (kataphatic) do not know (apophatic),
And those who know (apophatic) do not say (kataphatic).
I'm really not following how my book contributed to the kinds of kundalini experiences you're describing, but it all sounds like a very significant development for you, and I'm glad about that. It's good to hear you speaking of Jesus as your Master in this sense; that's my conviction as well.
Humm ? My problem was that I was hung up on the two, male[snake] and female[bird], snakes (the right and left parts of the body's and mind's nervous system wiring that is outside of the spinal column) as Kundalinis. Your book shared a concept of the third kundalini (the wiring inside of the spinal column) in a way that allowed me to understand and experience the whole picture, so to speak.
And then we have, until one understands and is the kataphatic to the apophatic and back so that they are both the kataphatic and the apophatic at the same time, they have not arrived, so to speak. And as your saying says, the kataphatic is the words part of what is experienced and the apophatic is the no words part of what is experienced.
I have the best Master in the whole world both as a yogi and as a mystic, no other is His equal .
Well Phil, at 68 I have now done my whole bucket list and I have nothing left to do but get old and pass on. And actually it is kind of nice to be in that situation . Love you, tucker
You're not that old, Tucker. Better not be! I'm 67, so not far behind you.
Not many people can say they've done their whole bucket list, so that must feel quite satisfying.
I'm still surprised and delighted to hear how my book helped you. Almost all of the literature I've ever come across spoke of leading kundalini through the sushumna nadi (spinal canal) as that's considered the safest and most fruitful path. Personally, I've never had a sense of guiding it there, but, like you, trusted Jesus and the Spirit to guide the process. I cannot even tell you if in my own process the energy goes through the sushumna -- only that it conduces to the center of the brain and up to the 3rd eye and beyond. That's when things are going well, which happens more and more frequently every year.
I have no real bucket list to fill, but I do feel a call to continue serving my family and the larger community in various ways. There is satisfaction in doing so and a sense of God in relationships. Onward!
Phil, I admire you and the things that you do and you do do a lot of good for others. Other than years and years and hours and hours of meditation and exploring things as a mystic I haven't ever done anything. And my goal was to know what the old yogis and mystic knew. And now I do thanks to the years and your book tidying things up for me . From here on out it is just taking on mass (the more thought you put into things the more they wake up, so to speak) and see where it goes.
Phil, now that I have the kundalinis tamed and on automatic, I am now doing or becoming the "Tree". I am going to have to go see if I can find a picture of what I am talking about, I wish I had some of Les' computer skills . I need a yogi sitting under a tree. Love you, tucker
Ok Phil, this one is pretty graphic . The area that is above your head that you are using the center of the spine kundalini to wake up so that you can better to experience The Father/God looks like the tree in the picture and is as big as the tree in the picture. Sitting under a tree and feeling the tree's mass in the area above your head or a visual meditation of your self sitting under a tree helps also to wake up that area above your head. And that area is the same area that you are using the kundalini to wake up without help. Feeling your tail bone and the tree at your back and above your head at the same time really wakes things up. Anyway that is how the yogis do it and why the kundalini that you talk about in your book is so important. Because, that kundalini is that energy that wakes up that tree ! You just aren't aware of it yet. The Shakti energy goes up the trunk of the tree and into the Shiva that is the limbs and leafy part of the tree. Phil, people do not really understand what it is that they are attempting to do or to wake up . But, this picture is a graphic representation of what you and they are playing with. Love, tucker
Hi Phil & Tucker
I am coming to a personal understanding of Kundalini & part of where I am heading has to do with people experiencing OOB or not. Tucker it sounds to me like you do. Phil do you?
I did in the early days but decided to stay in body. I'd like to share where i'm heading with my understanding of things shortly.
Happy 4th of July
Hi Mary Sue,
The Kundalini that Phil writes about in his book does not lead to or give a person an "out of body (oob)" experience. And I do not do out of body types of things. I have experienced that phenomenon by accident when I was exploring the raising of the male kundalini which is a Raja and Kriya Yoga exercise so I do know how it is done by the folks that do that kind of stuff, but I do not do that kind of stuff. Because it is very dangerous I also recommend that others do not do it or try to do it either.
The waking up of the areas above your head will give you a mind's eye experience where you experience an expanded vision and understanding of things. Which is what brings one closer to the Divine. But that is not an "out of body" experience and shouldn't be confused with one.
Hi Mary Sue,
Actually, we do it all the time in our sleep. If you journal your dreams daily, and it can become rather time consuming because you begin remembering more and more, a whole new awareness begins to emerge.
The enlightenment/nirvana experience for me was OOB/OBE, and not something one imagines, dreams, or hallucinates. But, I digress... you can read about it here... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WWD2QJJ
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