Monday, October 20, 2008

Subtle Energy Work: Basics

Subtle Energy Work: Basics

by Nick Totton

Preliminary Thoughts

1. Energy Follows Thought Follows Energy.
The first half of this says that, where our will, attention and visualization are focused, energy will follow. If we expect success or failure, health or illness, improvement or worsening, we'll tend to get it. Our most powerful, expectations, of course, are often unconscious! This is what 'channeling healing' is about - energy tends to flow where we imagine it flowing.

The other half is that thought follows energy: our ideas and feelings tend to flow with our energy; so that if this is concentrated around our head, say, or blocked at our heart, we will tend to be correspondingly 'heady' or 'cold-hearted. (Character theory in a nutshell).

The combination of these two makes, not a vicious circle, but a spiral of hope and growth - we have the opportunity at any point to leave the cycle of suffering, since every positive move is amplified by feedback.

2. Energy Isn't Good or Bad, It Just Is.
Energy is natural. Some people think of 'natural' as 'good', which certainly makes more sense than thinking of it as 'bad', but really it's just natural. Illness/unhappiness is not 'bad energy' that has to be 'got rid of'; but it may be energy that is standing still and needs to move again, because


3. Energy Moves.
Its playful, passionate pushiness is constantly washing away our walls, erupting under our floorboards, poking us in the bum...In our culture, many people have spent a lot of their lives trying to keep things still, to control this scary spontaneity: if you have a bad time in childhood, often the only salvation seems to lie in immobility and as low an energy level as possible. So symptoms are simultaneously the block to energy, and the energy bursting through.

4. Energy is Infinite
Living in a scarcity culture, the basic rule says there isn't enough to go round. This is only true of cultural artifacts like money which have scarcity built in. It's not even true of food, only of its distribution; and it's not remotely true of love, breath or energy. Working with energy we are working with ABUNDANCE, with PLENTY - which is itself a powerful healing message. To 'give energy' to someone is not to impoverish ourselves; if we can overcome our fear, we are an open channel, letting energy flow through us from the six directions, absorbing what we need as it flows.

5 .Energy is both/and.
You've already implied this: energy can't be stuffed into rational either/or models of reality - good/bad, plus/minus, this/that. Like the unconscious, it's bigger than us: what Buddhists call Big Mind (and Body and Spirit). Nor is energy a component of our make-up, with feelings, thoughts and physiology as other components. We often talk in this sort of way, but it's a leftover from Westernism. These categories are different ways of looking at a single process; one or another or more of them will be most helpful in a given situation, but that's all.

We can see the four as corresponding to the four elements: Earth for physiology, Air for thought, Water for feeling, Fire for energy. Some will find this useful, some not; there are a great many ways to look through the four element system, and again it's a question of Both/And....

6 .Energy systems are acts, not facts.
For practical healing purposes, this point is the key one. Since energy follows thought, it will follow whatever laws we think apply to it. Which is the essential reason why different people describe different energy structures in the body - chakras, auras, meridians etc. (They are different, however hard we try to make them fit together! But they use the same components: colour. number, sound, sensation, etc.) Very few of us are capable of simply perceiving without expectation, even unconscious expectation; and even then, as soon as we reach for words-or symbols to describe what we perceive, we are starting to alter it.

Yet again, though, thought follows energy; our processes of perception and symbolization are essentially natural, since we are part of nature. This is especially true of unconscious processes, which we access in dream, inspiration, art. These are the places to seek a healing system! Like the physicists and mathematicians, we find that what is beautiful also works. But such systems are very personal; we must think of them as recipes, as diaries, as invitations: 'I found that when I did such and such, such and ,such happened - why not give it a try?' In practice some sort of system is pretty essential; but we must return ourselves all the time to a central place of balance between system and spontaneity, throwing whatever has hardened-up back into the melting pot.

Exercises

1. Gathering and releasing energy
Sitting or standing, breathe tension etc. out into the ground, like water washing away, and breathe earth energy into your body, drawing it up to your center. What does it feel like? What color etc. is it? Breathe in as much as you want, then focus on the top of your head and breathe mental chatter and anxiety out into the sky, like mist dispersing. Then breathe sky energy in and draw it down to your center. What does it feel like? What color etc.? Let the two energies mix, the earth and the sky, and breathe them out into all parts of your body. After you have taken what you need, focus the energy especially into your hands and see what this feels like. When you've had enough, keep the energy you need and release the rest back into the universe - if you want you can focus mentally on somewhere you want to 'send' it, a person or a country etc.

2. Opening up your hands
Put your hands on someone else's body, and use visualization, thought, sensation or whatever channel works for you to feel the contact open up between your hands and them, so that energy can flow. Your hands must become yin, receptive: let them move gently with every little sway or breath of the person's body, like a surfer as the swell shifts under them. Imagine your hands sinking further and further into the body. Relax your hands, fingers, wrists, arms and shoulders more and more. Ideally you will lose all sense of where 'you' stop and 'they' begin. Allow whatever experience to flow from them into you - with as little assessment and judgment as possible, barely enough to record the experience in your memory. When you have finished, be sure to separate your energy slowly and thoroughly from theirs before you physically remove your hands.

3. Channeling
Place one hand on someone's body, the other on the ground or floor. Gather energy into yourself through earth and sky, and then let it flow as required into the other person's body through your hand - in other words, the process will be self-regulating. You may feel a 'reaction' of uncomfortable energy flowing back into your hand. If so, mentally 'direct' it through your other hand into the ground and away to be 'composted', recycled. When things stop happening, be sure to close off connection before removing your hands. It's wise to wash your hands in cold running water after this or any energy work.

Working with these three exercises will lead you into more and more subtle discriminations of energy and of what needs to happen. Dialogue with the client opens up many more possibilities - what are they experiencing? What do they feel is trying to happen? The goal is to move flexibly between energy work and all the other kinds of work, e.g. verbal, bodily etc. Color and imagery seem to be for many people especially important dimensions of subtle energy.

Energy focusing devices

This is the great rediscovery process going on at the moment :that there are ways of condensing, raising. channeling. focusing energy. Some of them use our body mind, some call on the help of allies like crystals, flower essences, guides, power spots. I want to finish by sharing some things I've learnt from my Reichian background about devices for working with life energy - which Reich called Orgone. Or rather, Orgone is one sort of life energy - one flavor, or tribe, or mood: an energy which has a special relationship with water (therefore with weather), which flows down the body, which is crucial in sex, and which can be focused through devices called Orgone accumulators.

The surprising thing about these is that they work! - in the only relevant sense, i.e. any reasonably open person - for instance children, animals, most women, some men - will spontaneously experience a difference when in contact with an accumulator. How this difference feels varies from person to person, as with most energy phenomena: often a tingling, often warmth, fullness, relaxation. But some people have a completely different experience.

An orgone accumulator essentially consists of alternating layers of two different substances. The important difference can be thought of in various ways: conductive/ nonconductive, organic/inorganic...Which pairs work well is basically down to trial and error; most devices so far have been built of alternating steel and wood, or steel wool and cotton. You can make a device in any shape you fancy: a box to sit in, a cushion or "muff". and so on. These can he used for energizing, relaxing, and speeding the healing process. There are also orgone devices for working with the weather - which Reich used successfully to relieve drought.

I've never been happy with the use of metal in orgone devices. I feel the power clearly, but there is an undertone I can only describe as, well, metallic...And I've been aware that many ancient sacred sites include what are fundamentally orgone devices without the metal - e.g. mounds built up in alternate layers of stone and turf. Many such sites have a powerful orgone feel even today - Newgrange in Co Meath, Ireland, being a particularly strong example.

So I was delighted when I came across, in Gurudas' book on Flower Essences,details of an orgone device built up in alternate layers of cotton and quartz powder. (Quartz is what most crystals consist of. Most stone circles etc. use rock which has quartz in it. Quartz has the property of producing electricity if compressed - 'piezoelectricity'.) After some experiment I made such a device - and it's lovely - a beautiful, calm, soft energy with no sense of overload (too much exposure to the metal version gives many people a headache and dizziness).

So I want to describe how to build an Orgone Crystal Pyramid (!) As many of you will know, a pyramidal shape seems to be another means of focusing energy for healing etc.

Take a cotton sheet (no artificial fibers) and cut out in the pattern below.

You'll end up with seven each of the four sides of a "Cheops pyramid" (the best kind). Then cut out seven layers of a base for the pyramid - i.e. a 93/8" square. To bind the quartz powder, I used Sodium Silicate (waterglass), which is very close to quartz in physical makeup. You can get this and powdered quartz from pottery suppliers; the ones I used were Potclays Ltd, Brickkiln Lane, Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent (0782 29816). They supply the quartz in a 5 kilo packet, and the sodium silicate in a 5 liter bucket; I used a bit over half of each.

So - smear onto each layer of cotton a thick paste of quartz powder and sodium silicate; sandwich it with the next layer, which will stick; and so on, ending with a layer of paste. Leave each set of seven to dry, and you'll have the four sides and base of your pyramid, stiff and solid. The quartz is the inside, "active" layer, as is metal when this is used. The four sides can be stuck together with strips of cotton soaked in sodium silicate, which will dry stiff; leave the base separate, and you put both things in the pyramid to empower them (e.g. flower essences) and turn the pyramid on its side to clean out and energize a room

It's a messy but satisfying job! I'd be glad to hear from anyone who makes a pyramid. I find there is a very clear 'plume' of energy from the tip of the pyramid, which can be felt and seen by most people. There are a number of other effects, but I don't want to bias your experiments.

Nick Totton
June 1994

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