A couple weeks ago, I was researching global warming…and became terrified and angry that it was way more urgent than I had imagined. I went through a dead feeling that day, looking around me and seeing how so many people are still stuck in the idea that they can disrespect nature without any repercussions.
Contempt arose for those who keep the people in ignorance, and for people like Donald Trump who still don’t believe global warming is even real, let alone a priority. Of course, it wasn’t just global warming I was thinking about. It was a lament for all of the ways we are blind and manipulated.
With the help of wise words and reflection, I came to a deep realization later that day, one which infiltrated my core and renewed me. This epiphany was that IT DOES NOT MATTER what happens, if we are aligned with our true nature and act from that alignment. Alignment itself is the real goal.
I used to be so inspired, and yet so frustrated, with Mohatma Gandhi’s axiom of “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I wasn’t sure how to implement it. Not genuinely. Not in a way that felt right.
But something clicked this time. Synchronistically, I was also reading a book and taking a class that touched on how to contact our deeper nature and release our potential. All of the emotion, knowledge, and support I was receiving collided.
I began feeling my latent qualities and allowing them to organically emerge. The mythologist Joseph Campbell once said “A vitalized person vitalizes.” By living your vision, you energize and inspire others. I noticed the shifts around me as I found more and more alignment within myself.
The change you wish to see represents YOUR greater potential wanting to express itself. If you want to experience a compassionate world, there’s a part of you that is compassionate. It just yearns to be freed through you. And this is a never-ending process, an action recreated in each moment.
You can start to access this potential with a few steps:
Get comfortable and get into a meditative state. Breath slowly and deeply, close your eyes, and let yourself melt.
Get mindful of your body and the energy behind it. Try to feel the blood pumping through you, and the air moving in your lungs. Then imagine the essence of who you are–just as a feeling, subtle at first.
Keep the feeling in mind and heart. Now, ask your essence to reveal your ideal self. Focus on this as a strong intention. Then ease, and be open to what comes. Stay relaxed. See if you can naturally picture what this ideal self looks and acts like.
Zero in on the feeling underneath any images or experiences that arise. This is the feeling of your ideal self and greater potential. As you inhale, let the feeling expand through you. Immerse yourself in it!
You can learn to experience this anywhere. Eventually, you can just jump straight to the feeling and not necessarily go through the whole series. It helps at first, though.
Try to focus on this feeling several times throughout the day, in short bursts. Then act on the inspiration that comes from this feeling (of course, be wise about your actions while also not tripping yourself up). You may start to see others becoming interested in your changes and seeking to do new things with their lives! We’re really more interconnected than it seems–a change in one place tends to elicit a change in another.
No politician or corporate leader can take away our power to co-create the society we want. Each of us is a building block. But regardless of what happens out there, the truly important work begins inside.
Good luck on your journeys!
Let us know
What do you feel describes the essence of who you are? What does your ideal society look like?
I couldn’t believe that the man lying on the bed before me was describing exactly what I was doing…with his eyes closed. I was gentle enough, but it seemed like he felt everything. This excited me.
Twisting. Turning. Violet light.
It was then that it really clicked for me that this thing called energy is real, and we can sense and direct it. I’d played with energy for several years, yet there had always been some skepticism. Feeling the warm, magnetic sensations emanating from my hands, I’d wondered if it was all just a placebo. But now I was getting direct feedback from someone who could have had no way of knowing what I was visualizing.
THE BREATH OF LIFE
When we talk about energy in the Industrial West, it’s usually tied in with sustainability or physics. We don’t have much of a maintained tradition that explains the invisible stuff that pervades all life (does Star Wars count as tradition?). However, this is accounted for in many other cultures.
In fact, there are systems for learning how to harness this energy. In China, there’s Qi Gong, which literally means “energy mastery.” In India, Pranayama essentially means the same thing (“energy control”). In both cultures, the word for energy is also used for breath, and not surprisingly, Qi Gong and Pranyama emphasize breath work.
There are methodologies for understanding energy in the West, but they’re less known to the public. Since the time of the ancient Mystery Schools in Greece and Egypt, these practices have existed. The Greeks called energy pneuma (which also refers to air or wind – see a connection?), yet a new Greek word (letter, actually) was used instead centuries later.
REINVENTING THE WHEEL
When I was a teenager, I became involved in experimental Internet communities seeking to grasp what life force is and how to use it. These practices were called psionics, giving a nod to the scientific research into “psi” phenomena from the early 20th Century, which investigated psychokinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance, and other abilities.
These groups helped me feel less crazy for diving into this kind of stuff. They helped me learn how to sense energy (psi) and direct it in creative ways. Yet, when I came across Qi Gong, I realized that this knowledge had existed for millennia, and that there was already an incredible storehouse of wisdom. Though the psionics groups were figuring things out by trial and error, it seemed to me that they’d have faster and deeper growth by complementing their experience with these ancient methodologies.
Despite the power of the ancient traditions, there have been some recent enhancements to energy practice. Robert Bruce, author of the books Astral Dynamics and Energy Work, devised a technique called tactile imaging, which was initially used to help the blind begin an energy practice without relying on visualization (which typifies many techniques). He discovered that the tactile imaging technique seemed to help many of his general students, also. Refining the method, he worked out strategies for leveraging one’s imagined sense of touch in manipulating energy inside and outside the body. Some of his practices include pretending you can feel a sponge rapidly move back and forth through a body part, or a brush caressing your skin.
So why go through all this trouble to learn how to work with energy? Sure, it seems cool, but what good does it do?
First, we are so accustomed to perceiving the world through a rather narrow lens. What is real to most of us is what we can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste with our physical senses. Working with energy allows you to expand your scope of perception and become more aware of a larger reality.
Second, energy plays a dynamic role in our health. If our energies are imbalanced, we might suffer physical, emotional, or mental affliction. By maintaining proper energetic hygiene and balance, we can enable our vitality and wellbeing.
Are you ready to get going with all this, and experience energy for yourself? Below are some simple ways you can start working with energy.
1. Be Mindful
Mindfulness is the nonjudgmental attention to anything that may arise in the moment. It can be a good idea to begin by noticing any of the body’s sensations. These might include temperature, pressure of the seat, the touch of a draft, your breath, etc. Just be intent on noticing what you might not have observed in daily life. This increased awareness will help you when it comes time to perceive the energy within and around you. Try to practice at least 20 mins a day.
2. Stimulate Your Body
Robert Bruce gives an excellent exercise on simulating the energy body. Basically, hold out your hand and gently yet fairly quickly brush it with the fingertip ends of your other hand. Memorize this sensation very clearly. Now stop the movement, and recreate the experience purely from memory. Absorb yourself in it, with a playful attitude. You will most likely notice that your hand feels a little different – perhaps heavier and “magnetic.” Experiment using other parts of your body. Keep practicing, and you won’t need to physically manipulate anything.
3. Create an Energy Ball
This is the classic energy shape made by many energy workers in training. Meditate a little, stimulate your energy body in both hands, then hold out your hands facing each other, as if you were holding a beach ball between them. As you inhale, imagine you are sucking up warm, glistening particles of light through your pores. As you exhale, imagine energy going into the ball. Feel the shape gather form. You may feel a heat, a static or magnetic feeling, or some other seemingly odd perception. Stay focused. Play with other ways to manipulate energy. Use the best techniques you learn or uncover.
4. Sensing Auras
We have a field that extends outward, representing our energetic natures. Try feeling these fields by asking an open minded friend or family member to participate. Have them sit still, then hold out your palms about 3-4 inches away. Take note of the sensations that arise. Imagine a stream of energy flowing from your hand into the person, with the thoughts behind it being positive and uplifting. Follow the same basic technique presented above. Ask your partner what he or she felt and describe what you felt afterwards, and see what insight might come. This process can help with empathy.
This is just the beginning! There are so many adventures in energy work you can embark on.
Please share below whether you work with energy, and how!