Tips for wild energy

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I have been in lots of workshops lately involving energy work, and in every workshop there are a couple of people going through some intense energetic issues. There are many forms that these issues take.  From shaking, to headaches, ears ringing, incredible anxiousness, or spontaneous uncontrollable movements.  I usually try to assure them that things can get better, and that these experiences are usually completely normal.  As a side note, I have experienced all of the above sensations in my process.  Many people in these workshops are there to learn a healing modality which will help them work through their stuff.  And to hang out with people who are similarly tuned into energy.  And these people often become exceptional healers themselves.  Very gifted.

In our conversations, people have asked me about such specific things like the third gate, tanden, chakras, kundalini, taoist alchemy, etc., looking for a way to figure out this energetic stuff.  I think these can be helpful, but more importantly, there is a fundamental shift which I feel to be more important than these models for understanding energetic transformation.

The big shift is when we begin to really see that the universe is trying to open us up.  Our bodies are responding to the harmony of the universe opening us up to it. But we are afraid of what is going to happen to us.  We feel out of control.  We cannot handle what is happening to us. We are tightening ourselves up in fear, and the energy moving through us is blocked in this fear, like a kinked electric wire.  This all sounds simple, but letting go into this great river of energy moving through us is not easy.  At times it is incredibly frightening. And it cannot be understood mentally.

Usually little by little we see that we cannot block this energy anymore.  It starts to ruin our life or our health.  It’s like standing next to a speaker at a rock concert and trying to have a normal conversation.  And we cannot be in control of this energy.  There are so many techniques out there.  So many books.  Complicated techniques.  But we don’t need these.  When we begin to get out of the way of this great process, we little by little gain confidence that reality, or God, life, is not against us in a fundamental way. Just this, is huge!  We somehow deeply believe that life is against us.  But through looking internally at our unique energetic process, little by little, in a cellular way, we discover that in the most basic sense, the energy which is us and is all around us, is our ally.

When we see this, something begins to change.  Fundamentally, we don’t have to fight life.  We don’t have to overcome life.  We don’t have to be better than everyone or everything.  We see that life is guiding us, in the most basic way.  The energy which is lifting us up as we read this, or as we walk on the sidewalk.  This is the universe guiding us, lifting us.  This is grace.  A grace which does not go away.

Sitting in meditation, or doing Qi gong, or contemplative prayer,  become more and more a way to surrender again and again, more and more, into this great guiding, loving grace bestowed upon us from the start.  We gradually come to believe that we can truly surrender into this great life energy.  This is such an incredibly beautiful process.  Worth spending a life exploring.  So, my hope is that a few people can read this and go out and discover what I am talking about.  For someone like me, hearing about the possibility of this put me on a conveyor belt to truth.  I tried to run away, to look away, but this great magnet of true nature had me.  I am so grateful for this.

That said, there are a few things which I have come up with in the past which have helped me in my process of letting go into this energy. In no specific order:

Dozo.  In Japanese, Dozo means “go ahead”.  It seems that dozo is said so often, all day long.  Like, “Dozo, please go ahead of me into the garden to view the cherry blossoms.” But I often find myself feeling that way about the energy moving through me.  Getting out of the way, saying dozo to the universal breath moving through me.  The universe is doing the meditating.  We gradually begin to trust it and let it completely penetrate us.

Become the room. When our awareness becomes too small and contained in our bodies, it can build in an unhealthy way.  Sometimes it is good to expand our awareness, become the room, in a cellular way, become one with the flavor of the room.  Harmonize with the room.  If the energy gets to be too much, and we feel like a pressure cooker, feel the room and allow the inside of your body to become one with the outside of your body.  Gradually allow this to extend outward.

Release the horses.  Often when we are sitting or standing, looking internally, we have a tendency to hold ourselves.  It can be helpful at times to remind ourselves to relax, release this energy.  Release it and release it and release it.  It is not ours.  Don’t try to guide it or control it.

Focus on feet.  Sometimes, if the ki (qi) is rising too much in excitement into our heads, crazy stuff happens.  It can feel like you have been cooked in the microwave.  It can be helpful in these times to focus on the feet.  Or to go out for a walk and focus on the soles of our feet.  And if it is really bad, have another person touch your feet and hold awareness there.

Focus on belly.  This one I have discussed earlier in posts.  See Tanden

Nature.  Walking or just hanging out in nature is incredibly healing and harmonizing for the system.  Walking in the bamboo forests in Japan saved my life a few times.

Have tea with an experienced person.  Sometimes it is really necessary to hang out with someone who has been through some of these experiences.  Their presence can be like an anchor for your ki, as they have harmonized that in themselves.  And if they have been through it, they know how to get through it from experience.

Channel.  If the core of your body is a channel, a line moving through the plum line of your spine, where on that line are you blocking that flow of light moving through you?  Chances are, you are thinking about something, and that has a somatic location on that plumb line.  For instance, often when we are getting angry and thinking about the past while sitting, our chest is also tightened.  So, recognizing this and using creativity to release it.

3 deep breaths.  Just taking three deep breaths can be very helpful for centering us, for calming us down.  I suggest following the breath out to our furthest exhalation, as is the practice of sussokan.  But do not force it.  Again, if you are having intense energy, it is more like learning to surf these waves than to control them.

Curiosity. Courage. Honesty.

Curiosity: When we are getting into this great process but not stabilized, it requires an obsessive curiosity to find out what is happening in our internal world.  It is like becoming an arrow in flight, our intense curiosity is never ceasing, driving to the target.  Like watching a child learn to walk.  They are obsessed, driven to it.

Courage:  In the midst of this process of working with this incredible energy, we have to face ourselves.  To face where we are afraid.  This is so scary.  So we need incredible courage to keep looking at it. Over and over.

Honesty:  Maybe the most important, is honesty.  Most of us are not honest enough to really look at our stuck places. We can look for a short time, we can look at it from the corner of our eyes.  But to really examine our most stuck places, this requires a different level of honesty than most of us are willing to do.  But we must! It is so worth it!!  Do it!

Sacred Space Sacred Time. We need a place to be able to focus and not be distracted, especially at first.  And we need a set time to do it.  Or we will inevitably be distracted.  For me, that was several years in a  monastery.  For others, it might be doing retreats in whatever spiritual form that turns you on.  Or, to start, a room or a corner of a room without distraction.  Or a place in the garden or the backyard.

No understanding. No agenda.  Please be willing to have no idea how this process is working itself out.  It is beyond comprehension.  And the more we try to figure it out, that blocks energy from releasing in the body.  So, to sit or stand with no agenda about how it will work itself out.  Thoughts like, “Any moment and I will have a deep satori and become completely enlightened.” We’ve all done it.  But this process is like being born.  How could we understand that?

Sometimes you just gotta ride it out.  If we are opening up more and more to this energy going through us, sometimes there are some growing pains involved.  It is as if the electric wire is being widened.  And we just have to ride it out.  Some people do not sleep much in this part of the process. But with time, it gets better!  Just keep going!

Please look at this deeply.  Thanks so much for reading.  Dozo on the comments.  Questions welcome.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Adrien says:

    Thank you for your article. It gives me some kind of hope. And it also just helps seeing that others are going/have been throught this.
    My question: What i’m mostly afraid of, is not so much the unknown, or that i don’t trust Life that this is a good thing. What i’m mostly afraid of is brain damage.
    I most of the time feel that the enerhy that wants to unblock is a lot of energy that was stuck for a long time in my basin/sacrum area. It has to do with sexual negation etc.
    Now that these notions of “sex is bad”, “God doesn’t want me to be happy” etc are slowly slowly going away, as a result of me questioning these things, sometimes i feel energy rushing up.
    And this is where i get scared, because i’m afraid it’s too much for the brain to handle at once.
    I’m very scared something could break in the brain by the effect of too much energy at once being flushed into it. Moreover because it’s stuck energy so it may not be so “clean” or whatever.
    But it’s mostly about the quantity and the pressure with which it would come into it.

    I’ve heard of QiGong practicionners trying to do Macrocosmic circulation while they were not really ready for that, and what happened is that they could get the energy up in the head but they couldn’t bring it down to the dan tien again.
    So yeah, what to do ?

    My intuition is that i shouldn’t force it. Because somehow i also WANT to do it. And it’s not clear to me where is the line between IT doing its job and me wanting to do it..

    Another thing i feel intuitevely, is to do general, slow opening of the body, chi kung, softly, so that the hole body opens and not only the central channel. So that if there is energy to be flushed out, it can be flushed by many channels. Through the arms and out the hands, and stuff.

    Could you please tell me what you think about this? Particularly about the energy flushing into the head, and that it could damage the brain.

    Best,

    Adrien

    1. Great question! I think that having some kind of body practice like tai chi or qi gong is very important to prepare the body to be able to handle energetic openings. We often hear about gurus who have huge openings but their system is all messed up from it. I really think that zen has really figured this out. In the monastery in Japan there is a lot of focus on tanden (please see my other post about Tanden) and on physical labor. Also, if you can sit in full lotus or half lotus this is exrtremely helpful to balance the energy in the body. So, yes the body is prepared for this opening to happen in a healthy, embodied way.
      As far a the energy getting stuck in the head and not being able to go back down, well, I can tell you that that probably will happen and it sucks for a while and then it gradually it evens out. It is what I was saying in my post about not sleeping much and the electric wire growing and growing. At first, the system has trouble handling the voltage. But luckily it is a practice and it will get better and better. This is my experience.
      I am not a fan of the microcosmic orbit, personally, because I do not agree with trying to put a plan on how the energy will open up in the body. Often when we sit, we are thinking the energy will open up in one way and it does just the opposite. Each time we have to completely be surprised by how the zazen will manifest, or it is not real zazen.
      But, I really feel that there is a point when we gradually begin to trust that the universe is on our side, and this energy is opening us up in a way that is harmonious with the universe. Then we are not afraid of the energy anymore. For someone who has been through this process, energy is just energy. Thanks for your question!! I hope this has been helpful!!

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