Inner  Frontier
Fourth Way Spiritual Practice


Inner Work

For the week of July 7, 2014

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Energy Practice


We may hear about spiritual energies, but we cannot perceive them nor understand what they are unless we engage in actual spiritual practice, in particular practices designed to access, accumulate, generate, and transform the various energies. These energies shape our moment-to-moment experience, in every moment.

There are a number of qualities, types, or levels of inner energies. Each is quite different in character from the others, so different that training ourselves to perceive one level of energy does little to prepare us to recognize a higher level. We tend to keep looking in the same old way, assuming that all the stuff of the world is like the stuff we already know about. Yet the reality is not like that and invites exploration.

The energies of most interest to our inner work, to our spiritual practice, are the sensitive, the conscious, and the creative energies. The energy level below the sensitive is the automatic, which enables our default mode of living on autopilot, with little freedom and rote awareness. There are also energies above the creative, but our recognized contact with them is irregular and the bulk of spiritual inner work does not reach to those levels. Nevertheless, the highest energies, those of Love and the Transcendent, do affect us and form the fundamental substrate of existence: the loving, benign, yet powerful character of the Sacred.

In this series on energy practice, we will describe the characteristics of the various energies and introduce methods for perceiving and acting on or opening to them. Why does this matter? What difference do these energies make to us?

First, as already noted, energies shape our moment-to-moment experience, in every moment. The quality or level of energy predominating in any given moment determines the possible quality, breadth, and depth of our experience; it sets the size of the box we live in. The energies are the medium of experience itself. If we deplete a particular energy, that quality of experience evaporates until the energy is replenished. For example, our ability to pay prolonged, active attention diminishes after a while and we need a rest to replenish it. The quantity of energy also determines the possible intensity of experience. More inner energy yields a more vivid awareness, our senses come alive. So whether we know it or not, energies affect us directly and affect the quality of our life.

The second major reason to work on energy practice is that energies form the very substance of our soul. One purpose of spiritual inner work is to develop our soul. That development has two aspects. The first aspect is will, which concerns who we are and what we do. Will is a big and important subject, which we discuss elsewhere. The second important aspect of soul development involves collecting, producing, transforming, and organizing our inner energies into a coherent, permanent soul. This is a sacred quest that requires a lifetime of heartfelt dedication and intelligent effort. It concerns our very destiny, individually and collectively.

Which leads us to the third major reason why energy practice matters: through such practice we serve not just ourselves but also our fellow human beings, our planet, and the Sacred. The simplest part of this to see and understand is that our inner state affects the people around us, and vice versa. Someone who is agitated or angry, brings out the same in others. Someone who is calm, kind, and conscientious, brings that out in others. Those effects appear to act through the mechanism of our five senses. But our energy states affect other people directly. A person who is in a heightened state of awareness or has joy or love in their heart, without exhibiting outward signs, attracts a similar state in others. Walk into a room where people are meditating and your own awareness level is almost immediately raised: the conscious energy is at work. If raising the level of our own energies can have a positive impact on the people around us, then by extension, it can impact our planet and serve the Sacred.

For this week, please pay attention to how other people’s energy states affect you.

    1. Contact with Sensation
    2. Breathing Energy
    3. Inhabiting the Sensitive Energy
    4. Sensitive Energy in Body, Mind, and Heart
    5. Conserving Inner Energy
    6. Consciousness: The Metacognitive Energy
    7. Sacred Light Energy
    8. Love
    9. The Transcendent


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