The Kundalini Process: A Christian Understanding
Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality
- by Philip St. Romain
Paperback and digital editions
Welcome Penelope, and thank you for sharing your story. There are indeed Christians who have come to experience kundalini phenomena and we're not crazy, possessed, or unfaithful.
It sounds like, for now, things are going well with you, and that's great. As almost always seems to happen, an inner guidance seems to come forth, and it's good that you're taking heed.
Personally, I wouldn't encourage anyone to endeavor to awaken this process. It's best that it arises naturally during the course of one's deepening relationship with God. And when, as in your case, it is stirred up through practices unrelated to Christian faith, it's not the end of the world. Committing it to the care of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit can set things aright, though there might well be discomforting experiences as well.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Phil,
I'm so happy to welcome you to SP. We are very delighted that you choose to take that brave step and post a bit about your journey.
Other than the speculated k experiences in childhood, my first full-blown k. opening was in connection to Siddha Yoga, which led to a string of other unfortunate, destructive moves searching for answers to what the heck is k.? I got into some BAD stuff with gurus and Goddess worship (as kundalini). So you're not the only one who came to k. through a non-Christian path.
As far as the evil spirit phenomena, it sounds like you understand it to have been something demonic that did leave you. Thank you Jesus for deliverance! It's pretty common for people to pick up unsavory spirits through contact with the occult. My experience suggests that occult practices that seek to prod and poke k. also call on various spirits, forces, energies to help them in that endeavor. It's these spirits that occult leaders summon, through mantras, chanting, drumming, etc., to bind with the seeker's spirit. These seekers are "sitting ducks" to those forces because they're so open and want what the leaders promise to deliver.
Good to know that you have found Christ as your true Home...
Feel free to share more with us if you like.
BTW, St. Teresa of Avila is one of the top Carmelites, as you may know, and there's a thread related to that as well as a lot of great info Phil has posted on contemplative prayer.
Hi Penelope!! It sounds like you're really on the right track now, please don't beat yourself up for things past, the Carmelite saints have so much to teach us, and they really can answer many of our questions, check out Therese of Lisieux and St. John of the Cross too!!
I am very attracted to the Carmelite spirituality and it gives me great peace, solid direction and that in itself helps with anxiety for me. Love and prayers!!! Donna
Thank you for such a warm welcome. It makes me feel I'm among good and caring friends and that is so comforting. It was good to share, I am much more relieved now, as if a burden had been lifted off my shoulders.
Now, after the experience, I agree with Phil that kundalini should not be awaken intentionally. Unfortunately, I didn't think like that before. I guess I was a bit like Eve in the garden of Eden.
Shasha, I would love to hear more about your experience. Have you written about it online? If you have, please could you direct me to it?
Donna, thanks for the suggestions. I have already downloaded St. John of the Cross - The Dark Night of the Soul and a few other ebooks available on the Christian Mystics website. So they are definitely on my reading list.
Blessings to all,
So glad to hear you feel welcomed and safe here.
Years ago, I posted a kind of summary of my conversion to Christ on the Tranformative Experiences thread here at SP. It's called "From Seeker to Saved." As years have elapsed and I've integrated and reflected on my experiences, I'd change a few of the interpretations I made and clear up some ambiguities. I maintain my basic warnings about the presence of demonic forces, disguised as "God" and illusions of the "Divine within" propogated by Eastern mysticism and k
manipulators. I just wish I had been clearer about how I arrived at those conclusions.
Feel free to dialogue with me about any of that. There are many others here too who I'm sure would be open to sharing with you.
God's Love and peace to you,
Faustina (and other readers),
Here is my story on what might be my experience with kundalini awakening. This my first post. Sorry for its length. I don’t know if there are rules regarding size.
Background. I am now (and really always have been) a traditional Roman Catholic and have no agita with the magisterial teaching authority of the church. I am a grandfather and now attend daily mass and frequent Eucharistic adoration. As such, my comments that follow throughout are flavored by my background and by my experience in living Catholic life. I have very limited understanding of Hindu religion (pretty much what Phillip has written about in this website and in his book on Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality plus some exposure recently to a Kundalini Yoga how-to book by John Selby, and via some other books or articles on contemplation or from the Pope's books on Truth and Tolerance and Many Religions, One Covenant all of which incorporate some tidbits of information on Eastern Religions.
Faith/Religious/Contemplative Experience. I was (back in the 70's) involved in the charismatic renewal for almost 10 years until our local prayer group fizzed away (probably the natural phenomena of new wine). Early on though, after the 'Baptism in the Spirit' I was drawn to (beside a real thirst for the Bible), books on contemplation and to contemplative prayer: The Cloud of Unknowing, the Scale, the classic works of Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and numerous others. (Pretty much I am most influenced by John of the Cross). I have been to Carmelite Forums and a Vipassna Retreat, and I also have enjoyed Fr. Keating's books that those readers familiar with Contemplative Outreach may be aware of. In my years in the charismatic renewal I had attended several national conferences at Notre Dame, the ecumenical conference at Kansas City, Regional Conferences in NJ and one in Steubenville.
Regarding Kundalini energizing ( I say energizing, since I don't consider that I have fully attained kundalini). As I understand my personal experience of what I think may be kundalini energizing (based on Phillip's book) I had previously considered this sensory experience to be along the line of the 'spiritual unctions' John of the Cross discusses in The Ascent of Mt. Carmel and his other works. Whatever term for my sensory experiences is correct, they came as an outcome of my contemplative prayer life -- as did Phillip's based on his book.
However, perhaps (based on what another webpage [the late Jim Arraj’s] informs me is termed shaktipat by Hindus) one might argue that it (the initial sensory touch or initial kundalini energizing of my 6th chakra) may have well been initially triggered by shaktipat as explained below. (Of course, God the Holy Spirit is the root of all my religious practice and spirituality, and I trust these sensory touches are from Him).
The first real gusto I ever experienced was in the mid-70's when I was at a day retreat and in the period after lunch was seated before the exposed Blessed Sacrament for an hour. After a while I realized that my face was hot and its skin tight -- kind of like what happens when sitting close to a campfire for a while or when having gotten a good sunburn (for me this was Sonburn). It lasted all through the day till after midnight when I retired to bed with it. So the perhaps kundalini-like gusto I will describe in the following paragraph was not my first sensory touch, and this first touch before the Blessed Sacrament was not kundalini energizing (in my opinion).
A year or two later I was at a service at a non-denom Protestant church (at the intense request of a Protestant friend from work). I had arrived very late having gotten lost. Didn't get to hear any of the speaker's discussion. I was standing at the back door vestibule of a packed church when the featured speaker who was advertised to be giving out gifts of the Holy Spirit stood up and began to pray for a release of gifts. (I was praying for protection and for openness at the same time). While he was praying I experienced a line of sensation across my forehead (like you might feel if you draw your fingernail across the center of your forehead with a bit of pressure). Kind of like being etched across my forehead. I had that sensation for a good amount of time that day. (This perhaps is what people might call activation of the 6th Chakra or third eye. That's my belief of what it may have been based on kundalini terminology (and I’m not sure that kundalini terminology is an identical equivalent to the unctions of the Holy Spirit terminology that Catholic mystics use). Over the decades prior to learning about kundalini, I had considered its continuing presence, albeit sporadically, as a gusto, as an intimate touch of God immanent ). Anyway, that appeared periodically over the years ever since. Sometimes during periods of the prayer of quiet and sometimes out of the blue when I wasn't even thinking about God. Just driving down the road perhaps after a hard day at work. Very nice. Intimate. Like God letting me know He is present, and on some occasions: in an atta-boy sense -- like He was rejoicing with me - in me. I felt like a firefly lighting up by the attraction of the Holy Spirit. In Carmelite terms, these unctions are gustos or consolations.
Might one claim that the initiation of that sensory experience was a direct consequence of the Holy Spirit working through the instrumentality of that featured speaker that day? That such an initial occurrence was an activating of my sixth chakra (third eye) via what a Hindu would term shaktipat -- via this individual's prayer, who in this instance, was functioning as the agent of the Holy Spirit ? I suppose so -- given shaktipat can be effected from a distance of 75 feet and without physical touching by the agent. I have no depth of knowledge as to whether shaktipat can be accomplished in such a manner. The agent was a Christian however, and not a Hindu guru who had achieved enlightenment via Hindu mysticism. Until this writing, I hadn't conceptualized the receipt of this favor as shaktipat in accordance with Hindu terminology, but had considered this sensory experience as a gift -- a gift that I have over the years come to enjoy more and more and which has expanded more and more through contemplative prayer practice as well as my sacramental ingestion via Eucharist physically, and non-physically via sitting before the exposed host in the monstrance.
Nowadays I think of sitting before the Blessed Sacrament as sitting before the presence of (and spiritually taking in energetically, the qi [chi] of) Jesus -- that is to say, as an optimum place to be in prayer, be it contemplative or non. I believe that this sensation in the forehead by its fruit of incentivizing, or better stated: making more intimate, my devotion has deepened my relationship to Christ in prayer and action and is 'from the Lord'.
As an aside, I have since noticed that qigong and a group of Tibetan lama exercises also energize substantially as do kundalini yoga breathing methods. These mechanical methods of energizing our bodies are not methods for loving God per se. We can thank God for our humanity, glorify God in our bodies and explore a fuller realization of our body's human potential, but these practices are not the same as loving one's neighbor as thyself, of growth in humility, of carrying the cross, of warring against our flesh, of doing inner work, of contemplative prayer, nor of the pursuit of loving God above all else. But these mechanical methods do manifest sensation at chakras. [As an aside, the prophets of Baal were able to manifest prophetic and psychic powers, so mechanical methods can produce effects undoubtedly. These are not necessarily the product of the Holy Spirit's actions. An interesting reflection for consideration in this regard is Matt 24:24: "False messiahs and false prophets will appear, performing signs and wonders so great as to mislead even the chosen if that were possible." and of course -- verse 25: "Remember, I have told you all about it beforehand." ].
So, continuing…. the lighting-up of my forehead became more and more frequent over the years (though not under my control) and has since spread sensation-wise throughout my face and often is felt in my back and hands and chest. (Chest being 4th chakra activation I guess -- based upon my understanding of kundalini energizing. I have an almost constant current-like sensation in my teeth at the front of my mouth even when not in prayer -- even when in 'working mind' as a Buddhist might phrase things -- and which I am experiencing even now as I type this. If my lips or teeth are closed, a current is flowing. Does this imply 5th chakra activation? I have no idea. It's not in the throat. It could be from qigong which I started doing about a year ago. Pretty much it doesn't matter. The goal of life and the goal of prayer is the love of God and not kundalini energizing per se (though in some instances that may attend one's unfolding relationship with God, one's deepening intimacy with God). One's focus is to be centered on God not self . To be moved by the Spirit not by one's ego. (Easier said than done; and in the end only achievable by the grace of God). But a grace God (Father and Son) is anxious to see is given to us (by the Holy Spirit). Obedience is pre-requisite however for experiencing God‘s indwelling, as scripture tells us in Jn 14: 23. Nothing scripturally about kundalini meditation techniques being pre-requisite or even fruitful. John of the Cross recommends side-stepping all received sensations (Ascent ). Not
that he necessarily discounts them. (Indeed he refers to spiritual unctions as desirable --given they are truly from the Spirit and not sought for themselves but rather gifted us by God when, and as, and to whom God pleases. Certainly John of the Cross does not recommend pursuit of sensations nor would he thereby recommend pursuing kundalini energizing via yogic methods as prayer (methinks).
Are the unctions of the spirit that John of the Cross speaks of identical to awakened chakras (4-7 for example)? Very possibly they are -- at least a subset of spiritual unctions are likely awakened chakras, I would think. However, not having attained either transforming union or enlightenment I have no firm knowledge. And yet, St. John's description of the unction of the Holy Spirit (Flame 2:22) as is sometimes manifested, does not appear to be simply energizing of chakra.
I can't believe that enlightenment (which Jim Arraj’s webpage material indicated is the state of full kundalini activation) is equivalent to transforming union. While I have not personally met anyone manifesting either of those states, I doubt that any enlightened Hindus confess that Jesus is Lord; therefore how could they be in the heights of intimate union with Jesus. If they believe Jesus is Lord and if their relationship with Him has reached the depth of transforming union they would become Christians. 'Mine know Me', Jesus said.
In the end, how much enlightenment does it take really, to love another as oneself and to worship God in praise and thanksgiving. So kundalini energizing passively received and not actively sought might well accompany infused contemplation and seems (to me) to be a valid and viable occurrence in one's spiritual life as a Christian. Phillip in his book (SAB) did a nice job, methinks, in explaining the distinction between kundalini and Christian spirituality. I appreciate his book. The chin lock information I have utilized on occasion for relief.
I have also read the how-to Kundalini Awakening by John Selby (not a Christian spirituality book per se). I found John Selby's book informationally apt, and I am glad to have read it. I have qualms concerning active pursuit of kundalini however. The breathing techniques I dabble in now and again. (They do energize that's for sure, but I am ambivalent about using them a lot. Here I sometimes do question my defensiveness I must admit, because God can work through secular means and perhaps my new awareness of these practices have been shown me by the Holy Spirit; though again, maybe not for putting into practice as much as for being aware they exist as false or as a minimum potentially precarious paths on the contemporary scene). While I'm ambivalent about the breathing exercises, I'm definitely uncomfortable with the use of the mandalas. I see them (the mandalas) as conditioning and I don't like the idea of being conditioned by someone's drawings, nor of the thought that one day a picture or resemblance of a mandala picture could trigger one of my chakras. Temptations are hard enough sometimes to overcome, without some external supercharging kicking in. That seems to me to be giving up freedom to potential control or influence and therefore not of the Holy Spirit. Similarly, I do not trust the chants. I want to always be led by the Holy Spirit and to respond to my shepherd's voice (Jesus) rather than some vibrational chant going on nearby. I heard on the news recently about digital drugs -- wild stuff. Who's to say that these kundalini chants are not similar stimuli that could obsess or control rather than maintain human freedom. So, I'm sticking with John of the Cross and leaving the continuing evolution of my spiritual life to the passive receipt of whatever and whenever I receive from the Holy Spirit and not what I actively pursue myself. St. John maintains that there is no need to understand. We are to proceed in the darkness of faith. That minimizes the potential of my ego's dysfunction impeding my growth. I will pursue God in the darkness of faith aphophatically while endeavoring to be faithful to my Catholic faith and practicing a being Here, Now, in Love type of spirituality. (Some Buddhist and Tolle similarities in that, as well as Christian).
While I can understand why Hindus consider kundalini a divine energy, and I would agree that kundalini is a great energy and a grace when received, I don't see it as divine energy or therefore the Holy Spirit. Paranormal energy, supernatural energy perhaps, but not divine. The angels and devils are supernatural but not divine. Psychic, paranormal, supernatural -- such powers, energies, and entities exist but are not the Holy Trinity per se.
My belief is that on a practical level Christians should not be encouraged to pursue the kundalini experience as a means to union with God. I believe St. John of the Cross would agree with this. One's focus is to be on Jesus not on kundalini; to be on love of God not on spiritual power in its own right -- nor on psychic abilities of any kind.
I really enjoy the scripture Sirach 3:21. It's in a section under the heading of humility. It reads: "What is committed to you, attend to: for what is hidden is not your concern".
Ascent II.11.1-8 provides the counsel of St. John on received sensory feelings (a subset of what he terms apprehensions, and also includes visions, locutions and fragrances as well) in the course of the pursuit of a contemplative prayer life. Interestingly, it seems to me that the troubles mentioned in some of the webpage comments substantiate for me the wisdom of St. John in Ascent II.11.8 where he states: "Regardless of the cause of these apprehensions, it is always good for a man to reject them with closed eyes. If he fails to do so, he will make room for those having a diabolical origin, and empower the devil to impose his communications. Not only this, but the diabolical representations will multiply while those from God will gradually cease, so that eventually all will come from the devil and none at all from God. This has occurred with many incautious and uninstructed people who in their sureness concerning the reception of these communications encountered real difficulty in returning to God ......." , (italics mine)
Nonetheless, St. John clearly states ( Ascent III.14.2) that God indeed does communicate touches and spiritual feelings in the course of contemplate prayer practice. And elsewhere in his works, and in St.Teresa's, these delights and others are indicated as part of the betrothal process by which God woos the soul.
John indicates in other places that his counsels can keep one from having to endure dislocated bones and other physical pain, since his counsels aid the contemplative soul to advance in God's timeframe, by His mode of leading the soul and in keeping with His purposes and desires for the individual soul.
Who is to say (just yet), but perhaps the now more widely known how-to information on attainment of kundalini powers by mechanical methods might signal the removal of the restraints on Satan's powers and the onset towards an unleashing of apocalyptic events. Maybe signs and wonders from false messiahs and prophets are in the wings awaiting kundalini-equipped instruments with ignoble hearts. (That sounds more negative and dramatic than I mean it to be, but maybe there’s some cause for prudent consideration therein).
Welcome, Pop-pop (interesting name!), and thank you for sharing your experience and reflections. (For those put off by the length of it, I would say to read it when you have time, as it's very rich and would be worth your while.)
Seems we have similar insights and I appreciate your efforts to properly discern what's going on. Increasingly, I think a missing piece in our Christian metaphysical understanding has been this level that pertains to etheric energy, chi, prana, qi, etc. There's nothing quite like it in our tradition, and it may well be that allusions to "sensations" and what not by John of the Cross and others refers to intensifying chi flows and how that feels in the body. Perhaps some of the references to ruah (Hebrew) and pneuma (Greek) refer to the human spirit, per se, and its energizing movement in the body, but that's not very well developed in scripture or tradition, either. Most likely, we didn't give it much regard because what we were focusing on -- deepening relationship with God -- was more to the point, the rest being considered "distractions."
Re. "shaktipat" . . . I've also come to understand more through the years that something like this dynamic is indeed at work in Christianity, though we're fairly ignorant about it. Many times have I heard stories of people who were "prayed over" experiencing energy upheavals and even a kind of energy-imprinting on one or more individuals who did the praying. If one has a bona fide charism of healing, I suspect it's less likely to happen, as the grace of the Spirit would move through the pray-er more purely. But "energy touches" are alive and well in Christianity and were probably part of the early Christians' (and now, pentecostal) experience of the gift of the Spirit.
One note about Arraj and his reflections on k and enlightenment. He did indeed become convinced that the k process per se is oriented toward a full, integrated enlightenment experience, and I agree with him on this. He would also say, however, that one can come to enlightenment without k, just as one can grow in the Holy Spirit without k phenomena showing up.
There's a lot of mystery about all this, is there not? Gopi Krishna was convinced that there is a genetic factor at work. Why knows?
I think everyone here would agree with that.
The question is, though, what's to be done if Christians inadvertently begin having kundalini experiences?
Derek, Christine, Phil, and the invisible throng,
Re: ‘What’s to be done if Christians inadvertently begin having kundalini experiences?’
My dibs in response to Derek’s question and Christine’s comment:
I, in the main agree with Christine –except for the part about keeping out of books.
I’m still new to all of this and so I am not ready to believe with certainty that unctions of the Holy Spirit are always direct equivalents to kundalini. Since we only have one physiology with which to experience sensory unctions, chakra locations in large measure are probably the centers of our nervous / glandular systems at which the sensations will focus or emanate from. The question for me is who is the initiator of the received sensations (apprehensions in John of the Cross terms). The reception of the sensation may necessarily be at chakras of course, but is their source on all, some, or no occasions as yet (depending on where along the contemplative path a person today is) really the Holy Spirit? John cautions that such sensory feelings may not always be sourced in the Holy Spirit. Accordingly, he cautions us to sidestep these sensations at all times. My understanding of this is that he means our focus (intentionality) is to be on growing in the love of God and not on the love of sensations, not on unctions, not on kundalini. And most certainly we need to be super cautious in using sensations for guidance.
(John being a man and therefore from Mars I guess, recommends we [includes his sweet soul sisters] remain sufficiently ‘heady’ to guide ourselves well. Venusians say men never ask for directions but Martians say Venusians never listen to directions since they might be ‘heady’ in content. LOL.)
Sprinkling a little ‘heady’ Mars onto her Venus, I would reply that unctions of the Holy Spirit (sensations not necessarily kundalini) when passively awakened (meaning not by mechanical methods self initiated through kundalini - yoga nor by the solicited input of a guru (shaktipat) or faith in guru teachings where they contradict ours) can be:
1). expected [as the fulfillment of scriptures JN 14: 21 & 22], and
2). enjoyed, indeed as John says in FLAME Stanza 3:64 we should one day be able to swim in the unctions of God.
BUT; BUT! There are important caveats to all this. Are the felt sensations one may be experiencing truly unctions of the Holy Spirit? Are unctions always kundalini and is kundalini always unctions. St. John (I believe) would say no regarding the latter. Methinks he might say no to the former as well.
Is stigmata an unction? Is stigmata a form of kundalini? Any thoughts on that? I would consider that stigmata satisfies what an unction is -- an overflow of the caverns of the spirit and soul into the body -- an affective manifestation in the body of the activity of the soul and spirit.
In all honesty, I am thoroughly enjoying the sensations I experience. I know myself to be living the commandments and a concerted life of prayer (satisfying JN 14). I like the fact that when I am heading to church for mass or for adoration, and though I might be thinking on one level about needing to check the air in my tires today, sensation occurs by surprise in my heart because at some deeper level I’m on the way to the blessed sacrament. I also like feeling myself light up sensation-wise during mass. It’s truly neat and I wish everyone else in the congregation could be responding to liturgy in the same way. I wonder what an entire church at liturgy and experiencing these same feelings would be like. The church would levitate! I wonder what it would be like if everyone at shalomplace were to attend liturgy together once. (Christine could be music ministry. I’d love to hear her 5th chakra wail). And I like the sensations that occur in prayer and often throughout the day.
All that said, I also know that these sensations do not preclude my unnecessary roughness at times in changing my mother’s dirty diapers, or my unnecessary curtness in responding to her increasing diminishment and repeated senile questions as to where she is to sleep tonight and where her dentures are and being awakened in the middle of the night (again) to ask these same questions or just because she wanted to know if I was in the house. Etc.etc. My imperfections are always in my face. God’s lapidary machine grinding on. Prayer the only recourse. “Where else shall I go?”
Where the rubber meets the road, and not sensations per se, is where the Spirit does the most work. But not ALL His work. He woos. And this He does via unctions to be sure.
Secondly, I am as yet still hesitant to jump into adopting the jargon of Eastern Religious Mysticism in favor of Christian. I think that a mistake. The Holy Spirit’s unctions though felt at chakras have love not power as their beginning and as their end goal--by definition. Kundalini is mixed bag.
Also, (where I’m at anyway) I do not believe that ‘enlightenment’ is the equivalent of ‘transforming union’. I think we need to be careful with our jargon because our conceptualizing will follow our jargon.
Jesus said John the Baptist was the greatest man that ever lived. (Somehow he must have been enlightened I would have to believe). And yet… and yet…. the least born into the kingdom is greater than he! Wow! How shall I understand this?
On another tack: I question the wisdom of folk today in going outside the vine in the pursuit of greater life in the vine -- a deeper spirituality to be found outside the vine? Doesn’t make sense to me.
When one studies Eastern Religious thought he/she should be doing so already persuaded of the validity of Christian faith, and ready and knowledgeable in the faith so as to be able to test the spirits AS he/she studies. That means NOT OPEN. That means ever sifting. The Gospels and Epistles are rich with cautions regarding false teachers and teachings. Not politically correct about open-mindedness being a virtue.
“What is committed to you attend to, for what is hidden is not your concern”. Daily life reveals God at work and plenty of dysfunction to work through.
I am not a seeker of Ultimate Mystery. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ-- a practitioner of the Revelation already given us. I am already in the Vine, not seeking another in Eastern Religions. And there is no equivalent vine.
I think John of the Cross said it all so wonderfully in Ascent II.22.5: [There, God the Father is speaking about His Son Jesus]: "...He is My entire locution and response, vision and revelation, which I have already spoken, answered, manifested, and revealed to you, by giving Him to you as brother, companion, master, ransom, and reward. Since that day when I descended upon Him with My Spirit on Mount Tabor proclaiming: 'This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased, hear Him.'...Hear Him because I have no more faith to reveal, nor truths to manifest."
Post is probably too long again, though shorter than the first so I am making progress. I may have to change my name from Pop-pop to Airbag.
Another very good post from you, pop-pop. Thanks. I appreciate the depth of your Christian commitment and your effort to discern where things come from and where they go.
Yes, that's all true. A Christian friend who's also studied with Eastern teachers once told me that K will go through any door that's open, which is why it causes so many problems, at times. Our human nature has been profoundly wounded/damaged by sin, and that shows up in how the k flows. Trying to take control of the energy process and "manage" it ourselves only seems to make things worse. That doesn't mean K process is a bad thing, however. It's just that it can't accomplish what it's meant to apart from the guidance of divine grace.
Hi Pop-pop and welcome to Shalom Place!
Thank you very, very much for posting your thoughtful reflections and sharing so much of your experiences with us. I found myself in total agreement with so much of what you said. I've been invovled in Eastern mysticism and the Charismatic renewal and have had opportunity to study and learn about these two paths.
I'm in agreement with you that transforming union is not the same as enlightenment. The most obvious evidence of this is based on what these people say about their experiences. Enlightened people don't preach, because they don't *know*, that Christ is Lord. We've discussed this issue across a few different threads on this forum. There have been some great reflections on this topic if you get a chance to check them out.
Also, for what it's worth, I've been around people who are enlightened (at least 3) and I have been around people whom I suspect/gather are living in transforming union or pretty darn close to it. These latter folks are too humble to out-right say as much. My intuition/perception of enlightened folks is that they are, in a profound sense, 'not there.' There is an emptiness slash expansion of their consciousness which, somehow, I can 'see.' They obviously enjoy this state, but are without knowledge of its cost as they have no sense of dependence of God, perceiving themselves one with divinity. Those who are close to the Lord, not merely those advanced on the path to transforming union, emanate a kind of Light and solidity of their personhood, even as they are riddled with brokenness. The New Creation does not need expanded consciousness of any sort, or perfection of any kind, only Faith in Christ.
I like your metaphor about going outside the vine for higher spiritual life. That's a great analogy for so much of what is happening to the Church. I share with you concerns about the dark potential in k practices, including shaktipat, mandalas, mantras, etc. This conclusion is drawn from my experiences, which I feel I've discerned from delusions/illusions of persecution or fearful close-mindedness.
Christ's peace to all,
My name is Bob and I am brand new here.
Trying to make this short as possible. I am in the process of reading Phil's book. Many things I can relate to.
I began my spiritual journey back in about 1975 with the Castaneda books. Teachings of Don Juan.
I stopped the world which was the/a goal of his teachings. Found myself living in two worlds at once. Synchronicities became constant and I was surrounded by people who did not appear as people any more.
Having gone through this I knew I had to get my "feet on the ground" and came back to my home.
I and a friend found a teacher,..the late John Scudder of Homewood IL.
He was a Christian Mystic, Pator and Faith Healer and had gone through a spontaneous opening of the Kundalini, very similar to Gopi Krishna's experience. He used the book Kundalini, the Evolutionary Energy in Man for teaching. I stayed in John's church for 14 years attending weekend meditations and classes in Qabalah, healing and meditation, etc.
Following John's direction I had practiced celebacy and certain specific meditations.
One night while doing the "Point Meditation" (in the West it is so called but identicle to the thousand Petaled Lotus) putting my consciousness acove my head in line with the spinal collumn.
From there I reached up as high as I could putting my attention on a point far above my head.
At a certain point, hours into the medtation, my awareness was drawn back to my body. I noticed a heat building in my feet. There was also a sound (white noise) that is almost always there during medtation or disscussion of spiritual things.
As the sound grew in volume so did the heat that was now rising up my legs.
The sound and heat grew to where I was afraid that the sound would tear my eardrums and the heat and vibrations would tear my body apart.
I kneew that I would have to escape my body or be destroyed. This was beyond anything I had experienced before. I just kept my attention on the sound and source high above and I actually came out of the top of my head. It felt like I was being born. Actually sqeezing out of the womb through the top of my head..
At this point, still trying to keep my awareness on that point far above, something/someone grabbed me and pulled me up at great speed for a great "distance"... The phrase "whether in the body or in the spirit, I know not," is the best way to descibe this. The journey was one of balance. I felt like I was in a drag race and whenever emotion would enter I was in danger of losing my track and crashing.
The heat was still there and the roaring but with no body. I was stopped at a certain point and found myself in an ocean of blue/white liqiud lightning. Not a bolt of lightning, but an ocean of lightning. I was spread out in this burning ocean and was part of it and felt what it felt. It was pure consciousness and energy and I was immersed in it, a part of it.
As I calmed myself the burning and noise turned into Joy and Ecstacy and a beautiful sound.
I felt as if I was in an orgasm of cosmic proportions. Light heat and consciousness. At one point I focused on the light and it seemed as if it was made up of particles of enegry/light that were moving in a circular motion and that motion was all directed at/toward me.
If I had to guess, I would say this experience lasted for twenty minutes to a half an hour.
This is so far beyond anything I had experienced before or since as concerns pure power and energy. I believe it is what the bible refers to as the Baptism of Fire. Full immersion, so to speak.
The next day I related this experience to my teacher, John, and asked him if this was the Kundalini. He said that it was the beginings of it.
Since that experience I have had many other spiritual experiences and relate them to both biblical and Qabala.
Many of the phenomena that are in Phil's book are familiar, though I am sure it varies from individual to individual depending on our particular mental and emoitional and physiological blocks.
One thing that has really affected me in the past is burning. It had affected my teacher also.
I mean actual burns throughout my entire digetive system. Hopefully, this is in the past.
My teacher actually had blisters on his tongue at certain times and I have had my tongue turn bright red,..all of the coating gone.
But the colon is the worst. It feels like you are actually sunburnt inside.
The good far outways the bad. Especially the insight into the bible.
There are three phases of baptism, but baptism is one. Water Air and Fire. But the fire is already kindled and it is difficult separating what is One.
In Hebrew the "Mother" letters Mem, Aleph, and Shin all designate the Spirit. Yet the word formed from these three spell Fire.
Very generous sharing, Bob. Thank you, and welcome to the forum.
Your experience sounds very similar to Gopi Krishna's, which, as you know, was very difficult for him to integrate. It sounds like you're getting along well, for the most part, despite the burning sensations, at times. I agree with your point that the process is different for each individual, which makes it difficult to come to a clear definition of kundalini. All sorts of experiences and phenomena go by this name.
What a beautiful mystical experience you describe -- maybe a prelude of what death is like? How did you come to return to your bodily existence after that? Must have been a let-down.
I, too, always have some kind of "white noise" in my head, often very soothing. I'm sure my doctor would call it tinnitus. I also experience blue, swirling "liquid light" in my inner vision during times of deep prayer -- have for many years now. Very peaceful and healing. I don't know if it's God or just how the visual center of my brain is stimulated by the brain waves/energies. Doesn't matter!
Hi Phil, thanks for the welcome.
I don't think it was anywhere near the experience of Gopi Krishna. Both he and my teacher were hovering between life and death for weeks or months before beginning to come back to anything near normal.
The fire is what interests me. The threefold cleansing makes it possible to become more aware of the things of God. But not many people seem to write about this. Most that I've come across seem to think the baptism that Jesus was baptised with and that he promised to James and John was a baptism of suffering. But few seem to know about the fire.
Yes, "let down" is a good way to put it. One minute I was in that ocean of energy and then gradually found myself sitting in my meditation chair, completely stunned.
But when I have had experiences which I consider true "spiritual experiences", not merely psychic phenomena, I find that I am living in a very different world for a few weeks afterwards.
My teacher said that sometimes we experience things that are way beyond our abilities. Maybe it's something to look forward to again. It is all a gift anyway and the Spirit knows better than me what I need when I need it.
If the "white noise" were tinnitus I would have been deaf years ago. It is just the opposite with me. My hearing is very sensitive and I have a hard time getting to sleep sometimes just because of little sounds around the house or outside of the house waking me before I get fully to sleep.
I read in your book, which I just finished tonight, your description of the billowing tunnel of lights and colors. I have experienced this many times in relaxation or meditation. Mostly violets and blues. Sometimes other colors. I think it has something to do with the third eye. But it may be, as you said, energy in the visual cortex.
The burnt digestive system thing has backed off quite a bit.
Something I have had happen quite a lot in the past few years is violent muscle twitches,.. many times accompanied by a feeling like someone stuck me with a needle. Usually when dropping off to sleep.
I had a real strange one a few months ago in which a very small muscle in my forearm began to twitch. It gradually got faster and faster until I would describe it as a vibration rather than a twitch. It took about 3-5 minutes to finish what it was doing and then just stopped. I was completely relaxed and just sat there observing it when it happened.
This is all very interesting and mysterious stuff.
Yes, Bob, all very interesting and mysterious, for sure.
I do not think experiences such as you've shared and I've written about are very common (though I've heard from numerous people through the years who've described a wide variety of energy phenomena), nor do I believe that this was what Jesus had in mind when he spoke of baptizing us in the Holy Spirit and fire. It's more likely that the "fire" reference is to charismatic spirituality, which was common in the early Church (and in some Christian groups today) and which is often (not always) accompanied by kundalini phenomena. And so I have resisted going along with teachings that draw and equivalence between k and the Holy Spirit, noting that the gifts and fruits of the Spirit are obvious in many, many Christians who show no signs of k. My general sense is that k is something of an overlow of spiritual energy into the body and the "etheric" interface between body and soul. You hardly ever find k phenomena apart from charismatic spirituality or intense meditation practices such as you described. So I'm hesitant to go along with the idea that this is something Jesus intended for everyone, even though the fruit of it can be very good.
When did you have the awakening experience described above? Have you ever had a "repeat" or something similar?
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