The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
Hello St Rubia, I haven't checked into this site in awhile. I underwent a kundalini awakening 3 years ago. The first couple weeks were crazy. The energy cleared some trauma I believe but never ascended past that. The past few years I just have been dealing with this energy which has simply settled in my lower abdomen (sacral area) for lack of a better term. I know there is an blockage likely due to childhood sexual abuse. It has resulted in no sex drive, no desire for food and especially anything toxic and constant constipation. I did see an acupuncturist prior to the awakening because I had a bad chiro adjustment and subsequent pain on a scale of 9. After 3 treatments I had this awakening. But I had been experiencing all of the previous symptoms of awakening as in sleeping 3-4 hours a night, sensitive to light and sounds, certain foods, heart palpitations. I was also reading the Bible every night I could not sleep. I didn't even know what kundalini was either and I saw the word one day and I experienced a check in my spirit. I was also intuitively doing intense grounding in my gardens. However I am starting talk therapy this week with a woman who does somatic release and is a spiritual companion as well. I still have kids at home and I am concerned about the kriyas happening. As it is my husband already thought I was going crazy a few years ago and he clearly sees this watermelon of a stomach I have been carrying for awhile. Do you think this therapy is what caused the kriyas? If so I may to approach movement of this energy in another way. I don't need my family thinking I am possessed and cause them to fear spirituality.
Oh, hello, Agape Love. It's nice to hear from someone experiencing this weird stuff at the same time I am. I don't know what causes this. In Phil's book, I think I read that it can be caused by trauma and energy stuff like charismatic experiences/reiki etc., but mostly by sustained spiritual/contemplative practice.
In my case, I think it was a combination of all these things.
[U]Trauma[/U]: I went through a dramatic "collapse" of my regular life in the year before this stuff happened (2018 to early 2019): I.e Lost my job while in a foreign country which compromised my residence status quite a bit, experienced a betrayal from a close person, was in a foreign country risking deportation and unsure what to do for some months, trying to write a book and start a business in case I couldn't get a job, and then hit middle-age without a spouse or children and experienced some intense anxiety around that (sheer terror) and heart-breaking experiences while dating out of that "reproductive anxiety" if you know what I mean. All this stuff in 2018 came after 2 years of very miserabl. lonely experiences at that job. Bfore then, I also had experienced other forms of struggles that I used to write about here and for which I got advice several times from Phil, Derek and the rest.
At around January, 2019, I experienced a suicidal thought for the first time in my life, and having lost a close relative to suicide some months before (they died about a month or two after I lost my job), I was spooked and started looking for a way to do self-therapy; i.e. I took the thought/threat seriously because of what had happened to that relative. Which brings me to the other possible cause:
[U]Energetic Exercises[/U] After my suicidal thought hit me, especially, I did some "benign" energetic stuff (I.e. acceptable from a Catholic perspective) and came across Peter Levine and Somatic experiencing I think soon after that, maybe around February? I practiced the Peter Levine stuff lightly, which involved mainly focussing attention on discomfitting emotions and accompanying sensations in the body instead of "running away" bit by bit till they cleared. I did it very often but without consistency. And while I used to notice some points of pain in my body associated with emotional pain before (my back), it was while doing the Levine that I really started to feel it!!! I had no idea I had such deep wounds in my body before!
But nothing happened till around July/mid of the year 2019 when I came across the trembling exercise I described early, designed to release trauma in the body, and it was on my second session that all the weirdness broke out. It was that weirdness that eventually led me to make this thread.
[U]Spiritual/Contemplative Practice[/U]: I had a VERY devout catholic practice since my early 20s after undergoing a life-changing mystical experience in which I knew experientially, for the first time, that I was loved for my own sake, by the creator of the universe. I had a few mystical experiences after that and generally made good progress and was steady in faith for like a decade, which saw m through very trying experiences, the biggest of which was witnessing my father develop and eventually succumb to degeneration over a period of a decade. My faith held steady through that and other struggles, and for some reason, it broke rather suddenly in the early reign of Pope Francis. The controversies that engulffed the church then shook my faith in the church to the core, and after that, I began having doubts even about the reality of God and of Christ's divinity. It was this, "What if all this is for nothing?" thought. It was probably the worst interior crisis of my life before this latest one that I think is Kundalini. I didn't know if I was Catholic or who I was in the world. This was right as I moved to a foreign country and started a new job. It happened to have a very toxic culture and without my grounded faith, this all proved too much for me. A few years later, I lost the job and went through an INTENSE year, then this weirdness broke out in mid-2019: And brought its own roller coaster.
So . . . What caused it? I don't know. I think a combination.
Thank you so much for your interest in my journey. You are right, I discovered SOOOO much buried emotional pain. After that, I became aware of their connection to physical sensations. In the past year or so, since be4 Corona, I have come to be aware, experientially, of the (somewhat physical) chakra centres and their emotional/mental/energetic contents. I now think of them as nerve centres of some sort.
For many, many months, like from 2019 to late 2020, I experienced "action" in my lower centres mostly, especially my sacral. I had something of a "creative" awakening and a very keen interest in metaphysics, including magic (though I was careful about activities I engaged in). Towards December, that "action" shifted to my midsection (stomach/chest/throat) and I haven't experienced movements in my sacral since which is a bit weird as they used to be very frequent and intense. I used to experience jerks/contortions and sometimes bliss.
Starting September, my focus began to shift to this thing in my upper back. I had a bump grow there out of nowhere and I was scared as I was aware of a deep emotional wound there that I could hardly "touch" with Levine's method due to the intensity of the pain. My fear was I had suppressed it to such a level that it was coming out as a tumor (I got very much into Jungian concepts). I also experienced a lot of vomiting sensations there whenever I decided to do things that turned out bad for me later on.
In late December, my "passion" and creative energies seemed to go to sleep, stalling my bazillion projects, and instead, I got this intense sleepiness. Very heavy energy and need to sleep throughout the day, as if I was carrying a load. I still have it from time to time, though I've become more energetic over the past month or so.
By January this year, I was also experiencing strange burping that has continued to the present. I've come to see it as a way to expel negative energy or bad thoughts etc since the sensation always follows emotional turmoil. It feels as if it comes from the exact area of the suffering, too, sometimes my stomach, though mostly it starts as a lump/knot I can't "untie" in my heart chakra, thymus chakra, and throat chakras (at first mostly at the back, but these days, in the front as well). What I've realized as I've gone through these repeated cycles countless times is that if I "remember" that the knot is expressing some painful concept and try to simply experience the associated emotion in order to understand, the knot soon turns into a "ballooning" sensation, as if a gas is stuck in a narrow pipe and is trying to push through in a big "swell". (Since 2020, (I think even before) I used to experience a knife-like thing "cutting/stabbing" at this super-sensitive knots, which is why Levine's methods were impossible/unbearable sometimes.) Then I start burping. I can burp continously for an hour or more . . . even a day! But usually, when it's over, I feel freedom from the initial painful emotional/physical "knot." L
At first, I was sort of just going by faith, assuming it was a clearing phase and that one day, the knots would not be a big problem. But I didn't know for sure. Till the last few weeks! I have felt that the knots are considerably smaller, less harassing/stabbing/painful. I much prefer the sense of gas moving through me, leading to burping than the sense of a knife cutting my tissues from inside!
I should mention that in late December, 2020, to February this year, I started moving into a more spiritual direction (in the Catholic sense). I not only realized I was pursuing my projects for the wrong reasons, I generally found I had the need to ask myself about my "why" for everything I was doing. It seemed wrong to pursue money etc fr its own sake. I had the thought to do an energy clearling exercise in February, which, though learned from a new age lady, I adapted to my faith, so I used figures from faith and used formulas I considered kosher. I gathered all the things I had done during my "curiousity about magic" phase, like notebookes etc, and burned them outside our house. Then I started saying my rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet every morning, during the Divine Mercy novena right be4 Easter.
At around this time (right be4, I think), in late March, I one day realized what my vocation is! This was part of my angst/confusion/turmoil for years! It was part of what drove my career/creative crisis and endeavors. It was very simple. It came to in a simple thought on the annunciation day, "My purpose is to Love, Serve, and Save my family, and those God has put in my way/life." I was to Love them in ordinary life and positive intentions/will, serve them with my skills, and "save them" with my offered prayers and little sacrifices as St. Therese practiced.
It was very healing to realize this! I understood I had been living it, however imperfectly, throughout my "search" for "my purpose" and "what should I do with my life" before and after the Kundalini stuff. Part of my struggles before was how I was always caught up doing "thankless" things for people, never getting credit, and feeling I was always getting shafted and involved in very unequal relationships. I had come to understand it as a CURSE! Now, I saw it as part of my nature and understood that I was DESIGNED to care for the people in my life and was very miserable when I wasn't doing it!
I realized it would be impossible for me to love those I deeply resented (all the rage and even hate boiling in my unconscious having been revealed since 2019! and through an avalanche of bewildering and painful "contradictions" from strangers and close/loved ones for the past 3 years since my job), so at the same time, I had this huge awakening of my absolute need for grace. It's like I saw in a simple way the gulf between what I was called to and what I was capable of. So I began to try to release the MOUNTAIN of resentment I have piled on over the years in a different way, this time: I was consciously relying on grace, prayer, and calling on God and his saints throughout the day, specifically asking to have my heart and intentions purified so that I'd be capable of true humility and charity.
I had struggled to pray consistently for years because I found no pleasure in it, but for some reason, that did not stop me this time. I kept going. Started reading books on the mystical life, and began invoking the prayer of spiritual communion throughout the day. I prayed for a spiritual director and found one in a wonderful priest. Without telling him my later realizations, he essentially repeated all my "realizations" to me about where to focus On Love etc etc.
So over a few weeks, without experiencing any sweetness, I revived my old practice of frequent confession, Mass, Daily Prayer, this time with the sense of stability and purpose that comes from a clear vocation! And I have kept going. While I feel no sweetness, I have the sense of strength to do it, like a kind of faith. I hope it carries on. So far, so good! So, you see, I lost my first "Why" for practicing my particular faith about 6 years ago, but now I have a new "Why": I go to gain grace and strength to allow me to become who I was made to be.
I used to ask God the painful/bitter why question "Why did you let all this pain/loss/humiliation happen to me?" At around the time I found my vocation, I also realized that God was trying to detach me from things I was deeply attached to, like the good esteem of other people (being thought well of) and my animal/human need for pleasantness/good experiences both within and in exterior life situations. I always knew it in my mind, but now I *really* know it in my flesh and heart, too! How much my flesh craves and how much this craving controls/determines my life! All this is why God allowed everything.
So, I'm in a new phase. Kundalini is still going on. I still experience intense sensations and some physical pain from time to time, and releases, but at least this time, my spiritual life has been resurrected. This is a HUGE deal to me because my loss of my spiritual identity at around 2014-2015 was the big underlying crisis that, I belief, lead to the other two big crises (first, my life-collapse started by job loss, then the stuff that has come after Kundalini started). So, it's like full circle, 6 years later!
Just thought I'd make another update on my journey!
So, I've continued to practice my faith with steady commitment, though I experienced a crisis in November and stumbled a bit. Nonetheless, I'm keeping on going! I still mostly experience no sweetness and mental prayer is impossible, but I love saying my rosary and going to mass frequently!
The knots are still there but far, faaaar less painful. I just remembered as I was reading my most previous post that they used to be unbearable! I can't believe I forgot! But it's very good news to realize how far I've come from those days! I also remembered through same reading that I used to burp for hours! That doesn't happen any more. It's prolly only a few seconds or a few minutes at most now. The connection between it and the emotions, along with the other expelling experiences is also far clearer than back then.
My Kundalini action is mostly in my upper back/shoulders-to-head areas, now. It feels like cracks and poppings all over my neck and head happen a lot! But they are not painful. I haven't seen any visions or heard any weird sounds except for this faint, almost-cricket-like-but-not-quite sound in different spots from my neck to my head. I get the sense it's the sound of a teeny, tiny fissure through which air escapes an air-tight space. I also get a sensation in what feels like the core of my brain that compells me to close my eyes and get kinda sleepy, I think it's some kind of half-trance. That one is pleasant. I just recently started experiencing jerks again, this time associated with a knot consisting of past humiliating experiences under my neck, in my left shoulder blade area. They are not as severe as the first ones, in 2019! Though they have happened to me in the pew before and during mass! Sheesh! Thank God for social distancing . . . I think people havent noticed it too much.
About my life: It has gotten much more streamlined now! I'm well on my way to picking up on my doctoral degree that just stopped three years ago! Also to securing a good job. I'm far better organized than I've ever been in my life! And like I said, I'm much better at keeping up with my spiritual practices than I've ever been, I think.
I'm also, mostly, genuinely happy most of the time!
I hope things keep going this way and getting better and better! Thank you all for your support over the years. Off now, till the next update!
Thanks for the update, St. Rubia. Sounds like improvement, overall. All sorts of phenomena you describe, but good to hear that it is not too painful for you and that you can begin to have a more active life again.
I think that "half-trance" state you describe is significant, especially if it comes during prayer. It may be that this is a taste of infused contemplation, as it sounds like it's a pleasant pull to rest in a peaceful state of consciousness. Maybe let yourself experience this and see what happens.
Thanks for your updates through the years. As you can tell, this community isn't so active any more, people having moved on to social media of different types.
A blessed Advent and merry Christmas to you and anyone else reading this.
I have just recently had my own experience. Long story short... A 15 year cannabis addiction came to a severe hult after I started to lose lung function to the point of them feeling like they were collapsing. I had deep anxiety through my soul and body because I knew this had to stop. I stopped smoking and started my healing process. I have been coaching, competing and practicing martial arts for a decade, however the last few years because of life circumstances I have not been able to train, which is the best way I would take care of my mental and physical health, so instead to deal with my anxiety I began to lean on the cannabis far too much, to the point of abuse. About 1 month ago I hit rock bottom wih my physical and mental health. Working a job that I dont enjoy and ir began to break my body down, and lungs were in bad shape. I had strong gut feeling I needwd to somehow heal. I stopped smoking, started to fast along with a clean vegan diet. Now I will get to the point!... Through my years of martials arts training I developed sort of my own system which is a warm up/ stretch routine which quickly opens up all of tje energetic blockages and muscle tension throughout the body. So in my new healing routine I would do this before I sat down to do deep breathing exercises to attempt to strengthen my diaphram and gain back some lung function that I lost through the heavy cannabis use. On I believe my 3rd day of this healing process, after I did my stretch and warm up routine... I felt something instinctual come through me and without much thought I stood up straight, put my feet about should width apart and bent my knees slightly to gain goos balance and grounding, and then it began! It felt almost as if a deeper intellegence grabbed a hold of me and started guiding me through these movements and contorsions of the upper body. It started slowly, almost snake like movements from the waist up, rolling my hips and chest. Then something sub-conciously was telling me to go with this and let this happen, so the movements became stronger and eventually I was moving everything from the waste up, head, neck, shoulders,arms, hands, rolling my waist and creating so much un-orthodox movement in my chest. It would be easy and slow, and then all of a sudden it felt like something would grab a hold of me and start to throw me back and forth in strange ways, im sure if someone was witnessing this they would bd terrified! However even though the movements and contorsions were unusual and sometimes almost felt aggressive, nothing hurt or injured me, actually it felt like every little bit of tension I was holding in my mind and body was literally being shaken out. As things in my chest really started to loosen up, I stopped the movements and stood there to breath, and I felt like I could scan my whole body with super sensitive perception of what is going on inside of it. I could now feel this pain in my right lung and pain down my right side, which I could not feel so clearly before this experience happened. The pain that I could feel slowly subsided and disapeared when it felt like the 'body scan' was over. It was like something I have never experienced, and this also came along with an overwhelming amount of spiritual contemplation and prayer. I had to re-search what I had experienced because it was so intense, and that lead me here!! Just thought I would like to share this, any of your thoughts would be interesting to hear. I dont know if this is kundalini energy, or what it is and now I am fascinated to find out! Feels like some type of deeper, primal forgotten form of healing.
Welcome to Shalom Place. The involuntary movements do sound like the "kriyas" associated with kundalini. Maybe you have already read about them.
Seconding Derek's welcome, Jacob, and thank you for sharing your experience of energy, movement and healing. As Derek noted, these sounds like kriyas, or spontaneous movements, the purpose of which is to help facilitate a healing and renewing movement of energy. Whether this ought to be considered kundalini or not depends on whether it continues and how you are affected by it. What you describe sounds positive and beneficial, but it might be the kind of thing that doesn't happen regularly, or not with the same degree of impact. Nevertheless, you can see from your experience where many yogic asanas and chi-gong type movements came from, and you can always do those to stay loose and open.
Can you say more about the experience of contemplation and prayer and that you mention? It sounds like you're connecting it with this healing experience. Of course, those can happen without fireworks, and that just might be the case more frequently for you from now on.
Thank you so much, Phil.
Well, I've hit a bit of a snag. Things were going so well there for a minute, in my spiritual routines and general sense of moving forward in life. I even got a rare, almost perfect opportunity for the perfect job. And I passed all stages, shortlisting, competency tests, but come the interview, it all went really bad. This was in February and it has really disorganized/disoriented from my former career path as I really thought I was going to get it. I discovered it after a month of consecration to St. Joseph, saw it just in time, applied, and every step was accompanied with a knowing and strong sense of being guided plus synchronicities.
I find myself in a weird mental place. I have something like paranoia though I'm not sure my perception is all false. Because something told me not to tell many people and I ignored it, thinking this was superstitious, but then I experienced this anxiety that would not go away since the day I was told I'd been scheduled for my interview. The sense of knowing went away. The saints disappeared (I'd been feeling their closeness through petitions and a general sense of them somewhat teaching me about the meaning of mass, love, heaven, forgiveness). Then afterwards, I learned there were people in my life "praying" I wouldn't get the job so I'd stay in the country (job is abroad). Then half my clothes were stolen and my laptop cable died and has proved shockingly impossible to replace. Job leads I'd been following since last year have also vanished. After bring out of work so long and then seeing hope, you can imagine how disorienting this change has been, making me feel like I might be heading back to the maze I seemed to escape after I recovered a stable spiritual life early last year. I've found myself asking God again and again "I don't understand. Why?' I still pray though, but now I have tempting thoughts like "You're kidding yourself: See for yourself that you're on your own. You made up that whole thing about finally being on a good path and being guided directly by God and the saints."
I've been dealing with a strong sense of being in a perpetual loop of being blocked everytime I work hard and get to the last steps of some goal. A bit like Homer in the Odyssey. I thought it must be the reflection of a complex I haven't dissolved yet as I've had this very strong mirror-sense since last year, where I really feel the world outside in a certain sense matches/reflects what's going on interiorly.
For example, Ever since my spiritual life stabilized, so did my life begin to. And I've had strange synchronicities where people seemed repulsed by me, even babies, then changed with the dissolution of an energetic knot. Like after the bad interview, I experienced a painful knot in my neck which I worked through. Then it dissolved and the change in the people around me (ongoing for at least two years!) was instant! The same happened with family who had become VERY difficult. I started forgiving offenses deliberately, last year, having given up on some relationships that had become unbearable, and relying on grace as it was often impossible to forgive some of the slights, and in October, during my consecration to St. Joseph, I felt at some point something like a "hard" piece of flesh "break off" from my heart and float up through a kind of stream and just go away. And I truly lost my resentment after that! Then these people, very close family, seemed to just turn around almost overnight! Suddenly insisting on my company and basically a ting the exact opposite of what I had come to expect. It was nothing short of a miracle. They had been on my case for nearly a year and a half.
So now I'm wondering if there's a similar knot I should dissolve around the issue of my work/projects/money, but I'm a bit lost as to what it is. The week before interview, I kept waking up with this movement in my back of something coming from further below and severely hitting a spot at the base of my neck that always fills me with rage or dread depending on the circumstances. Actually, it's more accurate to call it extreme frustration. I've been trying to work through it since 2nd week of February. Last year I felt knots in my stomach and hearts. They were so strong, they'd even happen during Mass, and as they dissolved, so did concrete situations in my life. So I'm hoping this is something similar. I feel like I'm being tempted sometimes to hate myself, other people, or God (yikes!!!)
I should mention that while I was definitely making progress in terms of avoiding all habitual and deliberate "smaller" sins, I've had trouble with this one habit of listening to Tarot videos on YouTube.
I got a kind of connection to this combination of numbers about two years ago while I was still in my maze and started watching videos that had it and somehow found enough synchronicities to get me hooked. But ever since I regularized my spiritual life, I've been dropping and picking up the habit again and again, especially when I'm feeling scared about my future. A part of my mind says it's a sin since it's divination while another says it's not a sin since it's just synchronicities leading me to certain videos which tend to be uncanny. One priest told me in confession it wasn't a big deal while another told me it was the sin of idolatry. Plus the daily mass readings (which I use for daily prayer) kept being about idolatry and it's punishment when I was watching them. I found a book on Occult Phenomena by an old priest likely dead now, and it matches my own sense that these things were more about my own mind than anything demonic, whose involvement is what makes it idolatry/sin. But I've never thought of doing anything like that. However, despite my disagreement, I decided to obey the direction not to watch them, in order to obey the church. But I've struggled. Do if anything, it at least revealed I had a addiction.
So I often wonder if God punished me for this sin by giving me an opportunity that perfectly matches everything I've wanted in a job, only to snatch it away at the last minute after closing all/most other doors I was pursuing.
Anyway, the afternoon after the interview,I was so distraught, I told God if he took away this thing like he had others, I wasn't going to be able to bear it. It'd break me. And indeed I've greatly suffered in the past few weeks. But I haven't dropped my prayer life. What has stalled is my daily life routine (chores and work schedules) which I'm starting to recover. A few days ago, I experienced a grace, whereby I felt comforted and then saw that I had sinned and repented for essentially throwing a tantrum with God and demanding answers, forgetting everything belongs to him. Now I feel normal again but not quite.
Oh wow, I've just read my last update (before today) and seen that I had already began talking about this knot, tied to past humiliation, even then! And now it makes more sense.
By then the relationship issues had largely dissolved and knots had moved from my heart further up in the upper chest/shoulder area, with occasional head experiences. Well, now it's like 90% the neck itself, from the base of the skull to the base of the neck. That's where most "action" seems to concentrate, though nowadays my root has also been active. When my neck experience is pleasant and not painful, the root "dances" along, which looks like a bit like belly-dancing but is actually further below (my sitting area). When the neck is painful, there's no such movement. Occasionally, some knot will come up further below, in my heart or stomach, but these ones do "move" after I've worked through the corresponding ideas/thoughts/emotions that come up with them, ending up in the neck area. I'm assuming this is because I'm still not sufficiently done with the main things buried in the neck.
I've also been revisiting, mentally, past humiliating experiences around my sense of competence! Both of my own making, and others. Failures, horrible mistakes seemingly inexcusable or otherwise unfair (where the interference was external). I've also had a humbling discovery of envy and comparison with others which I would've sworn was not one of my issues for all the preceding years of my life. It has been accompanied by unpleasant synchronicities whereby people around me seem to get EXACTLY the thing I most want at exactly the time I'm not/have just failed to. It's been happening a lot since December and I had to start giving thanks deliberately in prayer on their behalf to avoid falling into the trap of covetousness/envy I felt sharply coming up. It has been both shocking and humbling.
Also, about the half-trance Phil speculated might be contemplative, it still happens, sometimes during prayer and often prayer is dry as licking a piece of wood, and even more so since my latest crisis in February. A few days ago, I did just "let it happen' and stopped trying to be active and felt a deep rest. When I got up, I experienced a repentance as I mentioned earlier, and gave the lost job (and other things) back to God, to whom it all belongs anyway!
Another strange thing is a perpetual cough, now maybe 5 months. I associate it with knots because it tends to happen a lot when I'm doing the dissolution work.
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