by Michael Maciel
When it comes to the spiritual energy in our own bodies, our innate wisdom is our best teacher. While there are many fine programs and techniques available in books and on websites, none can compare to what we already know. Learning how to access our own wisdom is more important than which process we should use or whose teaching we should follow.
The New Age is more than a movement. It is an evolutionary event. The changes we are experiencing are being caused by fundamental shifts in the spiritual energies in which we live. More than a change in our "worldview", these shifts are happening at a deeper level than our intellect. Our inner vision is being illuminated as never before by the ever-increasing power of the Spirit. As a result, it is we who are changing, and in turn, we are changing the world.
The energies that are driving these changes are now our teachers. Spiritual knowledge comes more by feel than by concepts. The feel oftentimes precedes the ideas that are supposed to bring about the experience. First we have the experience, and then we look for a teaching that will explain it. This used to only happen to saints, but now it is happening to everyone. The energies we are living in have become that strong.
Here are eight ways to tune in to this new and accelerated spiritual environment:
- Become aware of the energy in your spine. Nerve energy is less spiritual than the life spirit that motivates it, but it is more spiritual than physical matter. It is the "interface" between us and God. When we put our attention on it, it grows stronger, and so does the interface. Our intuition gets better, events occur with greater synchronicity, and our thoughts manifest much more quickly. This is not a patented technique. We were all born with it.
- Sit up straight and stand erect. This is a yoga exercise you can do all day long. In Buddhism, there is a concept called axis mundi. It means "center of the world". It is where Buddha sat when he came into enlightenment, and its represented in Christianity by Christ on the cross. It is the "lifting up of the serpent" by Moses in the wilderness, and it is the Central Mountain of the World of the Ogallala Sioux.
When the ancient philosophers insisted that the Earth was the center of the universe, they were talking about axis mundi (philosophy and science had not yet separated). By sitting up straight and standing erect, we are telling the universe, with our bodies and our intention, that we are one with axis mundi.
- Breathe. This is the first and last thing we do on Earth, and it is the most important tool in our spiritual tool bag. I saw a bumper sticker once that said, "Stop Holding Your Breath." My reaction was, "Who, me?" It is fear (apprehension and stress) that makes us hold our breath. And if Saint Paul was right, when he said that perfect love casts out all fear, then breath and love are directly related. The formula is simple: when we breathe properly, our heart chakra opens.
- Be grateful.As Unity writer Jim Rosemergy says, be grateful not for what you are experiencing, but be grateful regardless of what you are experiencing. Gratitude is the reset button of spiritual energy work. No matter what is happening or how you are feeling, gratitude restores the flow of grace. Gratitude is the one virtue within everyones immediate grasp. Why is gratitude so important? Because it dissolves resistance. And resistance, according to Ohms Law, stops the flow of energy.
- Relax. When I was a teenager, I was into alpine ski racing. You wouldnt believe how slippery snow can be when it turns to ice, especially when youre skittering across a steep slope of it at 60 mph. Next to strong leg muscles, controlled relaxation is the most important acquired skill. If the upper body gets tense, it becomes impossible to maintain balance and control, regardless of how strong you are. Similarly, if youre walking on icy pavement, let your shoulders drop. It lowers your center of gravity and makes you less likely to fall. Spiritually, it works the same way. When we try to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, we tense up. Rapid changes can throw us. Also, the smooth muscles in our bodies, like the ones in our stomach and small intestine, react to stress in a way that we cannot immediately control. They have a mind of their own, and like a tortoise with its head pulled back into its shell, they will not relax until the coast is clear. Just telling yourself to relax is not enough. The body has to be trained over time to relax, through practice and repetition.
- Meditate. The most difficult method of meditation is to turn your awareness inward upon itself. Its like shining a flashlight into a mirrorwithout the mirror. This is the most advanced meditation technique, and up until now has been reserved for renunciates and sanyassins. But, lucky for us, since the energy in our spiritual environment is so accelerated now, because of the New Age, what was once very difficult is now not so hard. Its like a get-out-of-jail-free card. And while it is the most direct method of meditation, it is also the simplest. You just detach awareness from its objects and direct it back upon itself. It's like turning around and facing the One Who is looking at the world through you. Not easy (though easier than before), but simple. Why learn practices that were designed for a different environment? Thats like going out and buying Windows 95!
- Find a way to serve others. In water pumps, there is a component called a check valve. Its a spring-loaded valve that lets the water flow in only one direction. We all need an activity in our lives that employs the spiritual equivalent of a check valve. This means giving 100% without getting something back. The two keywords here are giving and 100%. Giving means giving something of value, such as your time or your money. Compliments, promises, and pats on the back dont count. 100% means that you cant give to some and not to others. No room for prejudice and bias here. Like the rain that falleth on the just and the unjust, you have to give freely, without thought of return. Serving and gratitude go hand in hand. Whereas gratitude dissolves resistance, self-forgetting service brings that resistance right up to the surface. So simple, so fast, and so elegant.
- Master the art of forgetfulness. That old saying, "I can forgive, but I cant forget", has it exactly backwards. It is forgetting that makes forgiveness possible. How do we forget? We forget by refusing to think about past hurts and debts owed to us. While forgiveness is of the heart, forgetting is of the mind. We cannot tell ourselves how to feel, but we can tell ourselves what to think. And like relaxation, this is a skill that takes practice and repetition. Anything you can do to sharpen and strengthen your mind will help you in replacing unwanted thoughts with words and images oriented toward your hearts desire, as long as this is what you want to do. Revenge is not of the heart, it comes out of the solar plexus. Lust is not of the heart, it comes from
well, we all know where it comes from. This is not rocket science (or maybe it is, as in missle envy). The heart knows only one thinglove. Fear shuts the heart down, and fear comes from vengeful and lustful thoughts.
We do not need exotic and complicated spiritual practices to cultivate our spiritual energies. Everything we need is already within us. By simplifying our approach and our understanding of spiritual principles, we can achieve greater health, a higher consciousness, and a pure heart. The oracles of Delphi had it right: "WoMan, know thyself." After all, what good is a spiritual practice if you cant live it every day?