energy, awareness, flow

There is this energy aspect to our reality that we have somehow come to overlook almost entirely, which is unfortunate because it seems like something we should all be aware of, and which awareness we ought to seriously cultivate.

When energy is felt, experienced directly instead of just vaguely theorized, we gain a greater perspective and awareness in general. The pieces of the puzzle start to fit together a little better.

In order to experience and feel directly this enigmatic energy, we have been given the gifts of meditation and yoga, and of course martial arts. All entail mindfulness and awareness, including specific techniques and teachings to aid the practitioner in developing concentration skill and the like. By increasing and clarifying our awareness of reality, we approach a more harmonious consciousness within ourselves and in relation to everything “outside of us.”

By putting our attention on different parts of our body, for example, we can begin to feel this energy. That’s all it takes – attention! Do it now. Look at your left hand. Now feel it. Do you feel the tingling in your fingertips? Do you feel the blood pulsing in your thumb? Now feel your hand from the inside. Feel the energy of your hand. Direct your consciousness there. Just sit and feel your hand. Then you can work your way up and try to feel the energy of your whole arm. Then your whole body. Soon you’ll be able to feel the energy of your whole body as this dynamic pulsating vibrating field of intensity power and bliss which responds to your consciousness. The more conscious awareness you bring to this energy field, the more brilliant it becomes. It is as if the energy were itself consciousness. The more you focus on that to the exclusion of any thoughts the more it is allowed to “be brought forth.” Allow that energy to take you over. Release any resistance you may feel by relaxing any tension in your body, and consciously surrender to the power of this energy as you do so. Intensely allow.

If you feel resistance, tension, or blockage in your body somewhere, bring intense consciousness to that area. Feel the tension. Feel it intensely. Feel the energy there getting stronger and direct the energy flow through the area to break up the blockage. Intensely allow the energy to take over that area. Breathe into the area with intensity and surrender and feel the whole energy field getting more intense and brilliant as you do so.

Feel that energy like a wave of ecstasy and allow it to seduce you.

If I say that your chi or energy is strong, I am not talking about YOUR chi, but the degree to which you allow THE chi to flow through you – the energy that is all around at all times in all things. Cultivation is like this, whether in martial arts, meditation, or spirituality – as these are all just “methods” or paths of cultivation of the same thing – this allowing of energy to flow through you. This “ability” goes hand in hand with the cultivation of your state of mind. It is all just awareness – when we become aware in general we become aware of our thoughts as of the energy that courses through us. This awareness then allows us to make any adjustments necessary so that we may be in harmony with all. So that we may flow instead of struggling.

Jet Li illustrates this nicely for us in Tai Chi Master:

Yip Man doing the siu lim tau – first form in wing chun – is another fine illustration of ‘cultivating awareness’ of energy, body, and mind:

The form is simple, and yet the repetition of these movements over time actually trains your unconscious mind, while through your very focus and sustained attention on the process you are cultivating awareness, oneness of mind. As far as martial arts, your mind and body are learning the basic movements of wing chun, the punches, the blocks, the posture, the feel of the movement, the flow of the energy through the movement – you are training every aspect of your self – body, mind, energy – and bringing them into harmony, with eachother and with everything else, until finally that harmony becomes oneness, nonduality, unity.

energy consciousness vibration form
are simultaneous
all the same thing

My favorite exercise in wing chun is chi sau, because it is a fun and powerful method of rewiring your brain in exquisite ways. It is easier to show than to explain:

You learn to feel without looking, to react automatically, without thinking. You feel the energy going back and forth between you and the other person in this circuit the two of you create. And you start to feel the way it’s supposed to go, your movements become fluid and strong but graceful, unhindered, you transfer the energy in your movement in a way that is natural, smooth, flowing, you feel it. And this feeling, this understanding of how the energy flows naturally, stays with you when the exercise is over, and gets stronger the more you do it.

put yourself in the consciousness of the energy


Quotes from various sources on Energy and the Energy Body / Subtle Body / Light Body / Body of Light:

We are beginning to realize that all our
finely drawn analyses of those intellectual
abstractions from the full concrete reality
of life which we classify as the physical,
biological and psychological orders of existence,
are inadequate, even when taken
together, to give us that sufficient knowledge
of ourselves and of our fellows which we so
earnestly desiderate.

One passes through the veil of the exterior world (which, as in Yoga, but in another sense, becomes “unreal” by comparison as one passes beyond) one creates a subtle body (instrument is a better term) called the body of Light; this one develops and controls; it gains new powers as one progresses, usually by means of what is called “initiation:” finally, one carries on almost one’s whole life in this Body of Light, and achieves in its own way the mastery of the Universe.

Man’s subtle body is of the material order,
but of a more dynamic nature than his
physically sensible frame.

Under the general heading of chi kung, or Chinese internal alchemy, these practices are designed to create and mature a body of subtle astral and etheric energy that is capable of existence independent of material consciousness. This body is also thought to be capable of infusing the material body with sufficient energy to allow it to become more subtle and ‘etherial’. This ‘etherialization’ is said to make the physical body, under the direction of the adept, capable of de-materialization at the time of death. Enoch, Ezekiel, the ascension of Jesus, his mother Mary, and even Mohammed with his horse, are often given as examples of this form of dematerialization in Western spiritual literature. Unfortunately, while Eastern systems have maintained a working technical tradition of the theory and its application needed to achieve this goal, little information remains in the West of a similar nature. The idea of the ‘simulacrum’ is the closest we have, and may very well be the starting point of such experimentation. It can be seen from the Eastern literature available, that the idea of the “Body of Light” often called the “Rainbow” or “Diamond Body” is the perfection of a vehicle for the exteriorization (projection), and continuation of consciousness beyond material reality.

Picture 2




The third essence we must consider on the spiritual trail is shen, which is yet even more refined than jing or chi. The I-Ching tells us that shen has no direction or form, and “it cannot be measured by yin or yang.” Thus unlike jing or chi, shen is a non-material spiritual essence that belongs to the realm of the formless. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine comments, “shen illuminates all things and when it becomes clear, it’s as if the wind has blown away all the clouds.” Another Taoist text states, “shen is the awareness that shines out of our eyes when we are truly awake.” Hence shen has a definite correlation with the state of luminosity we refer to as transcendental wisdom, and for this reason Taoism often translates shen as “spirit” or “light.”

*references coming soon . . . or not

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