Teresa de Avila: The Levitating Saint

We usually relate cases of levitation with enlightened being belonging to eastern spiritual traditions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. The image that comes to our mind is that of  a Buddhist monk or a Hindu guru. However, the phenomena of levitation can also be found in the christian tradition. Teresa de Avila (1515-1582) is one of the most famous cases of levitation in the west. Her levitation experiences have been documented by herself and witnesses.

Her levitation incidents seem to have occurred spontaneously during states of spiritual rapture. During the incidents she would feel intimidated and have a sense of humility as she perceived the experience god-sent. Often Teresa would be in a state of trance while levitating. In some cases the nuns would try to keep her on the ground but would fail.

One of her disciples Ana de la Encarnacion described under oath one of the levitation incidents she witnessed. Teresa was on her knees praying for about a quarter of an hour. While Ana was looking at her, she was lifted half a yard off the floor without her feet touching the floor. Ana approached the trembling Teresa and put her hands under Teresa’s feet. Ana stayed there for about half an hour crying in a state of ecstasy. Suddenly Teresa came down and rested on her feet, and looking at Ana she asked her who she was, and if she had been there all that time. Ana replied that she had witnessed everything and Teresa commanded her not tell anyone of what she had seen.

It seems that Teresa de Avila did not cultivate the ability to levitate at will rather it was something that happened to her spontaneously. What is it that could cause levitation. Can some individuals willingy or unwillingly change their energy vibration to a certain vibration that can cause levitation?

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