Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice

 

Inner Work


For the week of November 20, 2006


Casting an Energy Net

The air around us not only contains nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases, but carries spiritual energies as well. This fact and the opportunity for inner nourishment it presents have for many centuries attracted corresponding practices of energy breathing in Sufism, Yoga, and Taoism, among others. Beyond simple awareness of the breath, energy breathing enables us, consciously and intentionally, to gather energies from the air and retain them in our body to feed our soul. The experience is direct, palpable, and unmistakable. For those who are able to come to it, energy breathing serves an invaluable role in their inner work, serving their progress on the sacred path.

The yogic “breath of fire” notwithstanding, energy breathing does not require any significant alteration of our physical breath. In fact any substantial, intentional change to our normal physical breathing can have serious, negative ramifications on our health. Instead, the essence of energy breathing lies in the “inner” breath.

Using your powers of attention and visualization, imagine that the air around you is filled with shimmering particles of energy. Visualize a net that you cast out from yourself and draw back in as you inhale. The net consists of attention and intention. Casting is almost instantaneous as it moves with the speed of attention. As you draw the net back in, you capture particles of airborne energy and bring them into your body. You can sense the energy entering you with the air. As you exhale, allow the energy particles to stay in your body and spread throughout it.

Repeat this cycle in a relaxed manner. Let your physical breathing remain more or less normal and unchanged. The “less” here refers to the possibility that you may slightly emphasize the inhalation. If you grow dizzy or experience any other ill effects, stop. It means that you need a more relaxed approach.

As you practice energy breathing, the energy accumulates in your body. After a few minutes you begin to notice that your bodily sensation grows more vivid and stronger. After the energy breathing session, the energy stays in you, available to support your practice of presence.

For this week, spend some time each day practicing energy breathing.


     

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