Between Heaven And Earth: Grounding And Boundaries
©Seamas Manly 2006.
Edited by Amanda Knapp
Taoism teaches that everything originated out of the Tao (literally, "the way"), the unknowable, and unnamable One. It then subdivided itself into Yin and Yang. Among other qualities, Yin is Earth energy and Yang is Heaven energy. Heaven energy inspires us; Earth energy grounds the inspiration into physical form. Yang motivates, Yin embodies. Feelings and emotional process are Yin, the boundaries and definitions that we place around those processes are Yang. We are structured from the interplay between these two qualities. Yin and Yang are also consciousnesses which can be invoked as parts of our beings which we can develop and strengthen. What follow are some practical ways of doing this.
Earth energy (yin) runs at a slower frequency than our bodies. It therefore has a stabilizing effect on us. It enables our bodies to have solidity. Heaven energy (yang) runs at a faster frequency than our bodies. Large infusions of high frequency energies can be overwhelming to our bodies. This can trigger physical and emotional health crises, as well as what is referred to as "spiritual emergency".
Without a stable connection to Earth, we can get overloaded with Heaven energy (yang) through spiritual healing practices or meditation. Without earth energy, our energy becomes depleted because we source (draw energy) from Earth as well as from Heaven. Earth energy is also the receptive magnetic part (yin) that anchors the Yang Heaven energy into our bodies. Channeling Heaven energy without Earth energy to balance it is not sustainable. Doing spiritual healing work without emotional receptivity is similarly ungrounding. We are created to be the balance of Heaven and Earth. Different people fit into different places within this balance. Some of us resonate more to heaven energy, some more to earth energy, with all that this entails. One purpose of healing work is to restore this balance and so, as practitioners, we must embody it ourselves.
Some people are more naturally grounded than others. For those who are not, practicing grounding exercises allows excess energy to depart safely from our bodies without overloading our nervous systems. Whether working on oneself or with another person, adequate flow of earth energy is indispensable. It makes our relationships smoother since it helps us to have the balance of Heaven and Earth energies in our own bodies. When we lack this balance, we tend to seek what we lack in other people. This can create neediness and inappropriate exchange of energy. Grounding is the foundation of our spiritual sovereignty.
Without grounding our energy we cannot set clear boundaries or differentiate others' feelings from our own. We might find ourselves "having another person's emotional experience", and not knowing where it has come from. This can lead to irritation, unnecessary conflicts, and depletion of personal energy.
For those who channel energy to facilitate healing, grounding stabilizes us. An ungrounded practitioner is like a building on the prairies without a lightning rod. Grounding also gives our clients' pain a place to go. Stuck energy is freed up and becomes fertilizer for other things to grow. If other people's pain gets stuck in our bodies, it causes health problems, physical and emotional. Grounding is the foundation of our spiritual sovereignty. Without it, we can lose our sense of ourselves in doing healing work with others.
Practice grounding when you are about to enter into an agreement with somebody, before setting your intentions to manifest something, when you feel overwhelmed, when giving or receiving healing sessions, before meditating, and before and after relationship processes.
There are many useful methods of grounding. According to Bioenergetics, groundedness is the sense of being connected to our lower bodies and to the planet. It is helpful to have knees bent and pelvis relaxed, and to breathe into your lower belly.
One popular method involves visualizing/feeling a “grounding cord”. The grounding cord works with our innate connection into the core of the Earth. It is our umbilical cord into the planet which enables us to be physically embodied on Earth.* As a part of our anatomy, it needs attention, just like the rest of us. When it is weak, it needs exercise. When it is wounded, it needs healing*. Practitioners can also direct energy to the grounding cords of their clients. The first step in doing this is to cultivate a strong grounding cord for yourself.
The Grounding Cord and Egg of Light
Imagine a spiral cord or hollow tube of light from around your waist. Make it as wide as your body. Imagine it going down through the earth's crust, through the lava of the earth's mantle and plugging into the centre of the earth's core. When the cord plugs in, feel for a subtle locking in or clicking sensation and a feeling of increased heaviness in your body. Take a few breaths to strengthen this connection.
I personally find the spiral cord most effective as an image. I notice that when I do it on a daily basis, it becomes a constant part of my reality. I can sense when my grounding is disturbed, and know that I need to focus on it.
Then, imagine smaller grounding cords (two or three inches across) from the bottoms of your feet down into earth core. This is especially important for people who have difficulty grounding fully. For many people there is a lot of damage in the lower chakras. This makes it difficult to feel connected to Earth. The grounding cords on our feet help us to bring more energy and consciousness into our legs and lower bodies.
Once you feel anchored into Earth, try drawing Earth energy up into your legs and lower body. Earth energy pulses at a lower frequency than a healthy human body, so draw in a little bit, feel it circulate in your body, and then draw in a little bit more if you like. You can also draw in the different energies of the Earth’s core, the lava layer of the Earth’s mantle, and the soil, rock and water of the Earth’s crust. If you experiment, you will find that these are three distinctly different energies that can balance your body in different ways. Be aware also that some areas of Earth are less hospitable than others, most often because the Earth is holding old pain there, usually from the wars and other hostile activities of humans.
Send blessings of heart love and gratitude down into Earth Mother while doing this. Ask for her blessings in return and feel for her soft gentle energy. This can be drawn up into the body through the feet chakras and root chakra, then circulated and dispersed where it’s needed. Practise grounding at the beginning of meditations or healing sessions, and in times of stress. Daily practise is recommended to develop proficiency. After a few times the experience becomes more natural and results occur more easily. For some of us who have been scared out of our bodies, it may take years of practise for the grounding cord to become really focussed.
For those who are practitioners, it is also helpful to check the state of our client’s grounding cords. If their connection to Earth is weak, we can strengthen it for them as well as teaching them to do this for themselves. The process is simple. Ask their higher self for permission. Permission at the personality level is also a good idea. (See my forthcoming article “I Don’t Know Anything…” for suggestions on how not to create karma for yourself.) Use your discretion. If the person is extremely distraught, permission at the higher self level is probably enough. Run your own grounding cord, then, run energy through your hands as discussed elsewhere, and direct it from your friend’s waist down into the centre of the Earth. This is very beneficial for parents to do for their children, to help as the children ground into their own individual natures.
Boundaries are both psychological and energetic. Psychological boundaries entail knowing how and when to share, when to say no and when to remain silent. Boundaries are about being able to stand up for one self. They are the assertive balance point between the Rageaholic and the Doormat (both severe boundary dysfunctions, one of which steps on other people, while the other allows us to be walked on). Well focused psychological boundaries create clear communication and relationships. This requires clarity about where we stand.
Energetic boundaries help us to know at the personality level where I end, where you begin and where we overlap. Establishing awareness of energetic boundaries is helpful to our sense of self, since this allows us to become more aware of which energies are passing through our space. Energetic boundaries parallel our psychological boundaries. Our sense of our selves is inseparable from our energy awareness, even if we think that we don’t sense energy. Everyone’s subconscious senses energy all the time, and we all communicate with the subconscious aspects of other people. Body language and other subtle cues inform our behavior and our responses to other people. I believe that energy awareness is part of the package.
“From an energetic perspective, boundaries are arbitrary and learned. Though we are not separate energetically from the whole, we learn to establish “felt” separations. We can “end” at the skin, or down the block somewhere, or we can retire above the neck or behind our eyes. Where we feel ourselves separate depends on what we have learned. Always the question is: how much choice do you have? How do you want to live?” (From ‘The Lover Within” by Julie Henderson.)
Have you ever experienced yourself as ending down the block somewhere? Have you experienced events on the other side of the planet as if they were happening in your body? If so, were you able to manage the experience effectively? The difference between extreme energy awareness and mental illness is that the energy aware person is able to maintain their sense of self, and to reconstitute the container around their body after far out experiences, where the “mentally ill” person is not. For some people, some of these experiences may be too much, and should not be invited. Proper preparation is important. Sometimes, life catapults us into strong experiences, and we may need help to find our way back.
Have you tried to sense energy and felt that you weren’t able to? David Boadella says that when a person suffers a “rent in the veil” (tear in the auric field buffer that enables us to differentiate our body and personality from the rest of the universe), there is a tendency to become either overly armored or overly transcendent. The person who is overly transcendent may sense or feel far out of their body with no choice in the process. The person who is overly armored can not sense or feel energy in or around them no matter how strong their motivation. Either of these states could come about as a result of, say, early life energetic trauma such as seeing ghosts or experiencing some form of abuse.
Part of what we recommend for strengthening boundary awareness and personal choice is developing the ability to expand and contract our energy at will. “Aikido offers an exercise in which the instruction is ‘Expand your energy to include all of space and time. Next draw your energy back and bring it in and down to a speck. Disappear the speck. Repeat.’ Even though it may seem on the face of it an impossible exercise, try it. See how big you can let your universe be, how big you can let yourself be. If you can fill the whole universe of space and time, what separation is there between you and life?” (The Lover Within, Julie Henderson)
We also use the image of an egg of light around our bodies to strengthen the personal energy field, and thus, our ability to choose what energies we allow to flow through us. Our consciousness functions differently depending on whether our energy is more up around our heads (exhilarating, maybe ungrounding) or down around our feet (more grounded, maybe depressing). These are just two of the possibilities. We will explore this, as well as more practical techniques in the next section.
Soul Star and Earth Star.
The Earth Star Soul Star visualization is one effective boundary practice.
The Soul Star is a transpersonal chakra six inches above the crown chakra. (The seven chakras known to most people are the personal chakras. There are other chakras of a collective conscious nature, some of which are located outside of our physical bodies.) It provides a direct connection with higher self energies and with our existence as multidimensional beings. It is one of the anchoring points for higher self energies in our lives.
The Earth Star is a chakra six inches beneath our feet. It connects us to the Earth energy field and to the energetic grid lines that flow through the body of Earth. Through the Earth Star, we feel connected to the spirit of place. A person who moves from one location to another on the planet goes through a transplant process involving the Earth Star. This takes a while sometimes, which is one of the reasons for home sickness. We are connected to our local grids, as cats are; we just connect to a larger area.
The meditation which follows serves both to activate the Earth Star and Soul Star and to strengthen our boundaries. I also use it to bring myself fully back into my body after meditation and energy work.
Begin by running a grounding cord down into the centre of the Earth. Invoke Mother-Father Creator, and your Higher Self to be with you. Imagine the Soul Star as a bright ball of light six inches above your head. Gold is an effective color to use or you can ask your higher self for whichever colour is most appropriate for you. Take a few breaths to establish your connection with the Soul Star.
Now, breathe into the Soul Star as you inhale, and as you exhale, draw light down into your heart chakra, allowing the heart chakra to expand gently out to the front, back and sides.
Next, imagine the Earth Star as a ball of light six inches below your feet. Breathe into your heart chakra as you inhale, and exhale down through your feet into the Earth Star. Take a few deep breaths to establish the connection. Now, run energy from your Earth Star all the way down your grounding cord into Earth core. Take a few more breaths up from Earth core, filling your Earth Star with Energy from the core.
Draw fibers of light out of your Soul Star and bring them down around the periphery of your aura, perhaps two or three feet away from your body, and plug them into the Earth Star. Do this repeatedly until you feel that you have woven a strong egg shaped structure of light around yourself.
Paint the outside of your egg blue to stabilize the structure you have created. Now, breathe light from your Soul Star down into your heart chakra as you inhale and expand your heart out to fill your entire cocoon with light as you breathe out.
As with the grounding cord, with practice, you can also invoke this form of aura stabilization around another person. I use it with my clients at the end of all of my sessions, and also at the beginning if the person is feeling unstable. I have also used this practice many to protect my children from night terrors and other challenges.
Changing the Size and Shape of your Aura
Our purpose is to balance the aura, using intent, breath and movement. In this process we seek symmetry – to make the aura equal above the head, below the feet, in front of, behind, to the right and to the left of the body. After doing this, try pulling your aura closer to your body. Notice how you feel. Then, intentionally expand your aura. How do you feel now? It is useful to be able to expand your energy at will. It is equally important to be able to contract your energy when desired. Experiment, and note what feels best in different situations.
The Central Vertical Current
The central vertical current, or tube of light, is the central axis of our bodies. It runs from above the head, through the crown chakra, down through the centre of the body in front of the spine and out the root chakra. It is the central core from which the chakras emerge. It extends from three feet above our heads to the center of the earth (where another transpersonal chakra bonds us into earth core). The central vertical current is meant to be straight and continuous. However, it is subject to bending, breakage and other forms of deviation. These deviations are reflected in our thoughts, feelings and experiences. Sometimes, we damage ourselves when our intentions and our actions are out of balance.
One way of working with the Central Vertical Current is through the Hara Line Exercise (see accompanying chapter). Another method is the Maharic Seal exercise. The grounding cord is the portion of the Central Vertical Current that runs from the waist down to Earth core.
The Soul Star Earth Star meditation also strengthens the central vertical current. It is also very helpful to pray to Source, Universal Mind, God, your Higher Power, your Higher Self, or whatever you choose to believe in. You can particularly draw this energy in through your crown chakra. Feel the power of this and breathe it in through the core of your body, imagining the Central Vertical Current expanding with light and filling the core of your body. Make sure you balance this higher frequency spirit energy with enough earth energy so that you don’t fly away.
The Arm and Leg Routes
There are also secondary central vertical currents that run down the right and left sides of the body. They run from the middle finger, down one side of the body to the middle toe on the same side, and connect through the palm and sole chakras. In Qi Gong practice, these are called the “Arm and Leg Routes”. (See “Opening the Arm and Leg Routes” for particulars.)
Vertical integrity is the state in which our relationship with spirit and earth (mediated through the central vertical current) is well developed as the foundation for our relationships with other people. It is only possible to develop healthy vertical integrity when our survival needs for food, shelter and love have been met. People who do not receive loving nurturing as babies often grow up as hungry infants in adult bodies. This makes vertical integrity difficult. Vertical integrity is the foundation of well balanced relationships.
Without vertical integrity it is difficult to have balanced relationships, but perhaps we can only learn it by having somebody model it for us. This is especially true for wounded adults. We have to become the source of our own nurturing in order to give and receive in an equitable manner. The point of energetic work with grounding and boundaries is to become aware enough to know when we and others are acting like wounded children in adult bodies so that we can make conscious choices. This enables us to be supportive and nonjudgmental of everyone concerned, without sacrificing ourselves.
Balancing the Merkaba: (Intermediate) Merkaba means “counter-rotating light field”. It is made up of two cones of light which both revolve around the central vertical current. These two cones together are one level of the deeper template which generates the energy field. The top, yang cone brings in electrical heaven energy, and the bottom, yin cone brings in magnetic earth energy. There are various levels of the merkaba. For the purposes of this exercise, we will work with the Soul Level. The relevance of this is that if one of the cones is blocked, unblocking will help to straighten the central vertical current and balance the aura, as well as opening up energy channels in the body.
According to Keylontic Science (www.azuritepress.com for more information), the top cone spins approximately three times faster than the bottom cone. The ratio which we will invoke is 33 and 1/3 clockwise electric over 11 and 2/3 counterclockwise magnetic during the daytime, OR 11 and 2/3 counterclockwise magnetic under 33 and 1/3 clockwise electric at night. This is because daytime is more yang, and nighttime is more yin. Simply speaking and intending the correct spin ratios while holding space at the top and bottom of the merkaba will help to balance the merkaba.
Directions: Hold energy at the Earth Star and the Soul Star, six inches below the feet and above the head respectively. This can be done with yourself, or with a friend or client. Intend to feel and see the merkaba.
Sense how the two cones are spinning together, or not, as the case may be.
Invoke the correct ratios as follows: 33 and 1/3 clockwise electric over 11 and 2/3 counterclockwise magnetic during the daytime, OR 11 and 2/3 counterclockwise magnetic under 33 and 1/3 clockwise electric at night. Notice what happens, and how you and / or the other person feel as a result. Happy spinning! In conjunction with the Hara Line practice, you may notice that the Hara Line becomes straighter as a result.