‘Deepening our connection to ourselves’- Meditation and the Energy System

By Kay Baxter

‘Being oneself’ is the ultimate ease of being that many people long for. It is the affinity with a ‘naturalness’ whereby we are easy and fluid in our connection and responsiveness to ourselves, to others and to all that presents in our lives. Many people have lost connection with this naturalness and are often undermined by their own unhelpful thought patterns, judgement, criticism and so on. These patterns can be firmly entrenched and pervasive and have an ongoing destructive effect on lives, determining the way we feel; our moods and states, our decisions and relationships. At the same time our precious energy is wastefully leaked. These mental patterns often operate below the threshold of awareness, presenting as an insidious background hum and flavour, like wallpaper or supermarket music.

Meditation and simple practices that focus on the body, the breath and the present moment, provide a wonderful container through which we can begin to get to know ourselves better, and including the patterns that operate to sabotage our best intentions and potential.

‘To be a human being means
to place first and foremost
the desire to know oneself.

Anandamayi Ma

We begin a process of getting to know our minds more through the awakening and application of witness consciousness; the ‘watcher’ who ‘sees’. In this awakening and ‘seeing’ we are no longer lost in the story. With ongoing practice, this deeper witness aspect is strengthened and we are able to see more clearly.

Practices with the energy body; the chakras and points in the energy system (nadis in yoga terminology), strengthen us and bring us into a more harmonious connection to ourselves. In this way we begin to know our own energy, are able to manage ourselves better and become less affected by circumstances and people around us. In the words of Ram Dass we become connoisseurs of ourselves.

With our connection to ourselves becoming stronger and more substantial we are better able to ‘hold’ ourselves and find our way, no matter what is presenting in our lives. At the same time we are in a better position to move out into the world with our qualities and gifts and to find our place and expression in the midst of it all.

As we develop our ‘feeling’ connection; tensions and tightness begin to loosen and we become more fully embodied. The hold of the unproductive, unhelpful ‘busy’ aspect of mind is loosened. This aspect of mind is a foreign installation that has ousted us away from our naturalness through unhelpful early experience. These include child rearing and educational practices, where uncomfortable experience as well as criticism, judgement, punishments or humiliation have driven awareness and attention away from the body.

There ensued a flight into the mind and away from the intolerable discomfort of ‘being’ in the body, in the midst of such onslaught. A confusion arises whereby the natural flow of yourself is at odds with what is demanded of you. As well as by opinions and beliefs that suggest that you are wrong and bad. The mind then takes on the role of busily trying to work it all out, in an attempt to protect oneself and find ways of being that would not be so uncomfortable. We become dis-embodied, lose some of our spontaneous naturalness.

Within unhelpful societal systems and practices, many of which are essentially inhospitable to humanity, as well as through our established patterns, we are delivered further and further away from our essential connectedness and free flow of being. And the mind through an absorption of experience, takes on the judgement, criticism and condemnation that drove us out of connection in the first place. These become internalized and often function below the level of consciousness. It is an insidious chipping away that wears us down and undermines, leaving in its wake vulnerability and unsure-ness of self.

It is not surprising that mental health issues (which broadly speaking affects the majority in one way or another) and prescription/street drugs used to alleviate the symptoms, have reached epidemic proportions. A scourge stretching through all classes and categories of peoples, and at the root of all dysfunction.

There is a way back. It is a process, it is a practice, it takes the time it takes, but little by little we begin to reclaim our true nature; our ‘pure being’ Self. It is finding and practising ways of going within, in order to switch on a light and open a door. It is a journey towards ‘sufficient’ stillness such that we can begin to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ in a fuller clearer way. It is the work of building a strong self. A strong self that is then able to flow out and express into making a worthwhile contribution to the world. It is, perhaps, the work of life.

‘Keep knocking and the joy inside will
eventually open a window and look
to see who’s there.’