You speak of the physiological understanding and acceptance in our centering prayer practice, Cynthia. I am occasionally experiencing strong physical reactions in my sitting practice. I sense that i should let them happen. Are emotions releasing? Other sitting practices, other than kundalini yoga, have said to stop the movements. What do you think?
Thank you in advance for your advice!
No, Sharman, your assessment is right. Strong physical reactions are simply part of the “purification of the unconscious” that Fr. Thomas Keating talks about (or “strengthening the nervous system” as my dervish teacher Murat Yagan preferred to see it). Just let them be. If they happen too exuberantly in a time of group prayer, so that you’re in danger of distracting others, quietly remove yourself from the room and go on doing your CP just beyond the door.
The catch-22 in all spiritual work is that whatever you resist you inadvertently ENERGIZE, so the effort to restrain and cut off the physical expressions simply gives them more force. If you can NOT pay attention to them, simply allowing them to be, they will integrate and normalize more quickly, particularly if you spend time in your moving center walking, doing some bodily practice, or rhythmic exercise that grounds the energy.