This is probably the weirdest thing about me.
No, wait. It definitely is.
When I was nineteen I started to get involved in new-agey stuff. Out of sheer curiosity I visited the local shop that sold dream catchers and patchuli face cream. As I was looking over the Kama Sutra books with explicit photos, I noticed a line of beautiful glass bowls on a wall. The keeper noted my interest and asked if I was familiar with chakras. I told her that Chaka Kahn was okay, but I didn’t like her later stuff. She laughed but I was serious.
She explained that one’s chakras consisted of seven energy centers in the body. Each corresponded to a particular color (seven major colors), keynote (seven major notes), and region of the body from the top of the head down to the base of the spine.
She asked me to sit in a chair and pulled out one of the bowls. They were made of quartz crystal and were hundreds of dollars per. She took a baton and started swirling around the inside edge. Suddenly the room began vibrating and my body started humming. She asked where in my body I was feeling energy and I said in my solar plexus. She told me that was right and that she had used the bowl that activates the solar plexus chakra. Another bowl was pulled from the wall, activated, and I felt humming in my throat. Yep – that was the throat chakra bowl. I was natural at this shit.
From then on I was convinced chakras were real. I bought a couple of chakra balancing cds by Steven Halpern who’s basically the Mozart of new age music. When listening to his electric piano at night, my head would oddly sway slightly left to right automatically. It felt natural and pleasant and I didn’t think anything of it. As soon as I turned off the cd my head would stop moving. No biggie.
A few years later I was at an eye exam seated in a darkened room in a comfortable chair. The optometrist left the room for a minute and I dropped into a trance. All of a sudden my head started bobbing up and down. It felt amazing – a pure endorphin release. I freaked out after a minute because MY HEAD WAS BOBBING UP AND DOWN BY ITSELF. I stopped the movements (by thinking it to stop) and assumed I must have a serious neurological condition.
I freaked out for a few weeks but then decided it wasn’t anything to worry about. I have no medical training, mind you. Smart move.
After that day at the eye doctor my head would bob whenever I relaxed. The most common time was as I got ready for bed. My melon would shake for a few moments before I drifted off. During the day the movements would only happen if I went into a meditative state (by the way, I’ve never meditated). I have listened to a lecture from a meditation teacher who said that people sway all the time when they go into trance. I asked a ton of people over the years, however – those who did meditation, yoga, or prayer, and nobody could relate to the bobbing.
Over the years the movements have evolved. My arms now flay and my feet squirm around as well. These days my head moves in various patterns, like when Eddie Murphy did the Stevie Wonder impression on SNL. I can stop the movements at any time, but I often let them go nuts. My ex-wife used to yell at me because it bothered her out so much. It’s a real freakshow.
Well, I finally decided that I must not be the only person who experiences this phenomenon. Turns out it’s a known thing (but uncommon) for meditators. The involuntary movements are called kriyas. There are all sorts of theories about what is happening and why (it’s a natural body purification, or the result of Kundalini energy rising). I don’t believe in any of that nonsense. I think I just get so relaxed that my body goes limp, and my unconscious thinks it’s fun to flop around like a moron. Despite the jerkiness of the movements, it’s quite relaxing. Like I said earlier – it’s pleasurable as hell. But spiritual? Nah.
There are dozens of YouTube videos where people demonstrate their kriyas. Some are dramatic, others subtle. But basically it’s head or body movements that happen on their own. I don’t know why my body does them, but it feels damned amazing. I almost filmed a video where you could watch it in action, but then thought better of it. You’d feel I was ready for the mental hospital.
Instead I decided to show you something way more gross. I can move my scalp back and forth and it’s super creepy. Enjoy.
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