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 Building a Daily Practice with Self-Pacing
 Grounding
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hopeless meditator

United Kingdom
38 Posts

Posted - Apr 07 2007 :  10:07:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit hopeless meditator's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Good day, all. I am interested to know what works for YOU personally, to keep you grounded.

Happy Easter to one and all.

Edited by - AYPforum on Apr 07 2007 11:38:40 PM

Manipura

USA
870 Posts

Posted - Apr 07 2007 :  11:03:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit Manipura's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Timely question. Here are some of the things that work for me:

most any non-spiritual activity
trashy novels
a pint of beer/greasy french fries
extreme exercise
sex/laundry
being with people who've never heard of kundalini
walking in crowds
shopping with no intention to buy
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Doc

USA
394 Posts

Posted - Apr 07 2007 :  11:47:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Doc's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
A couple of popular sayings nowadays are (1) "Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff", and (2) "Consider the source...and move on".

In other words, (1) very few things which occur each day are worth getting all bent out of shape and screwed into the ceiling over, and (2) when we have a well established daily Sadhana practice, it is likely that we already realize what our personal strengths and weaknesses are, both spiritually and otherwise.

As a result of our consistent Self-Realization work, the opinions of other people become either validations of that which we have already acknowledged...or the expression of invalid assessments of us, in which case...who cares what they think? Just shrug it off, like water off a duck's back, and move on with the day at hand. Next!

http://www.chriswylde.com/alfred_e_neuman.jpg

Hari OM!

Doc

Edited by - Doc on Apr 07 2007 11:51:47 AM
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Bill

USA
46 Posts

Posted - Apr 07 2007 :  2:46:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bill's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Tai Chi Chuan and physical work
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AYPforum

351 Posts

Posted - Apr 07 2007 :  11:38:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Moderator note: Topic moved for better placement
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lorf

48 Posts

Posted - Apr 08 2007 :  3:32:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit lorf's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Grounding is an issue not to be underestimated.
Before writing more about it I would like to share an experience. I spent three weeks in India over Christmas and new year and had the opportunity to spend rather much time with a Yogi. No other teacher has been even close to being able to answer so many questions of mine during these 12 years I have been on the “spiritual path”. I hit a place of profound openness and understanding, got a set of exercises to continue with when I came home. Going home I felt I was in stable place.
But it was only a few days until I crashed. I mean really crashed, a victim of emotions, mostly rage and a state of being heavily depressed. It was no way I could sustain that openness and I lost it.
This failure has been a mystery to me as I was really determined to stay with my practices no matter what as I felt I had found my teacher and wanted to honor him. I have felt rather ashamed that I blew it.
Now I found my way back and can start to reflect on what happened. I am not back to the same openness as in India but certainly to a much deeper place than before I left. And this very day a took a major step towards understanding what really happened and my conclusion is that it is all about grounding. Grounding and more grounding.

For westerners, grounding is essential before doing any “spiritual” work. And a much more stable grounding is required then we think we need. It is a connection to earth which has to be established and worked on consciously all the time. In India on the other hand, grounding is like part of the heritage. People there are generally much more in their bodies than we are. It is so much taken for granted there and therefore the yoga practices do not include this focus on grounding that is so much needed for westerners. This is very tricky. We just do not have the required platform of grounding to start off from,
Like what happened to me was that when being there, close to the teacher I “tuned into” his grounding and with additional support from the environment I was able to safely move into a very deep place within.
Coming home, I was still in that deep place but lost the grounding with disastrous results. The emotions took over and I fell into a place of inner darkness. It was impossible to hold and it was not until I a few weeks ago established a firm ground connection that I could find my way back.

So, now I have really started wondering about the yoga system. It is designed for people in India who are naturally grounded and is now being used by ungrounded westerners. I see only two choices, go to an ashram in India and stay until the work is done or include much more grounding in the exercises.
This last statement is more meant as a question, for I believe that grounding is really essential for the yoga practices to take effect. So how to deal with it? I feel there could be much more focus on grounding.

And finally, to answer the original question. What works for me is to have a constant focus on grounding. To invite the energy of Mother Earth to fill my my body and to do this many times a day. When I forget to do this, I pay and the price is instability.

//lorf
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Manipura

USA
870 Posts

Posted - Apr 08 2007 :  7:33:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit Manipura's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Pretty interesting, Lorf. It's also interesting to me that the responses to H. Meditator's post have been quite diverse. For me at this moment, grounding means not going too deeply into my spiritual practices without regard for more earthly or mundane activities to keep me in balance. For someone else, grounding might mean spending more time in the spiritual. So I wonder if 'grounding' actually refers to finding an equilibrium that is purely subjective, and therefore without formula or guidelines. It may be that it's too vague a term, and we're all writing about our interpretations of it. I'd like to know what you mean specifically by 'inviting the energy of Mother Earth to fill your body'. Is it a prayer? I'm not into gardening at all, but I once spent an afternoon helping a friend in her garden, and later that evening I felt SO GOOD. :) All opened up inside and...well, grounded. I can understand why it's such a pull to literally spend time in the earth.
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lorf

48 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2007 :  02:53:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit lorf's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Meg, I agree. It is indeed interesting to see diverse answers on such a core issue.
In order to answer you about inviting “Mother Earth” I would like to use a shamanic model of reality.
In the Shamanic traditions the planets are regarded as living beings where the the sun, “Father Sun” help us by being a channel for the universal light. The earth, “Mother Earth” on the other hand help us by being the channel for the universal darkness, the void.
To connect with the universal source of light can be very beautiful and can create an experience of oneness, understanding and can also be mistaken for enlightenment. Done prematurely by opening the crown has been covered enough on the forum. Direct contact with the Void is like accessing the creative potential of the universe, which is experienced as raw and undirected power. Direct access to the void prematurely can be an experience of utter terror as it can be frightening and uncovers psychic garbage we have successfully managed to avoid before. So instead of contacting the void directly it can be done via Mother Earth where she acts as a filter and the experience is then more like a subtle, loving stability. She lovingly acts as a safe channel for us to access the vast potential of the void making it possible to find the stability crucial for major openings.
To be human is to have these two qualities meet in the heart. And to be human is to have them in balance.
Accessing the light is easy and easily perceived, no need get into details. Accessing the void through Mother Earth on the hand is a very subtle experience. It not like an apparent feeling of energy filling the body, no fireworks. The effect of a firm connection to Earth is on the other hand much more apparent. It makes it possible to be able to stay open in hostile environments without losing the balance.
To some people it is a natural condition to be grounded, they never really lost the connection. Most people in the Western “spiritual” communities are not grounded.
Getting back to yoga, in India people in general have the natural grounding, they don’t have to think about it. Grounding was never an issue and grounding practices never had to be included in the yoga sutras, it was taken for granted! So, for most us in the West the yoga system is not complete because it presumes that everyone has the basic ability to stay grounded, which we do not have.

So, what I mean by inviting the energy of Mother Earth to fill my body is to consciously reconnect to the Earth, and this is more like a permanent condition that has to be cultivated. The energy experience is very subtle but the effect is very apparent. When we are out in nature this happens automatically to a level that covers our everyday need. But when working in the yogic system I believe that a much more firm grounding is needed than what we get from forest walks etc.

//lorf
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riptiz

United Kingdom
741 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2007 :  05:02:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit riptiz's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Lorf,
I've never had any problem with grounding as I have been involved in martial arts for many years and probably any others involved will find they are grounded ok.The experiences you speak of after India seem more like extreme cleansing from higher energy input from more intense practice.This is not uncommon especially if you are not grounded.
L&L
Dave

Edited by - riptiz on Apr 09 2007 07:59:20 AM
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hopeless meditator

United Kingdom
38 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2007 :  05:44:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit hopeless meditator's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
meg, lorf and friends your discussions are most helpful to me... lorf, I am trying to deal with the utter terror and psychic garbage you so accurately describe. As an isolated and lonely teenager I became fascinated by Yoga and spent many hours practicing. At 19 I had a psychotic episode and was hospitalised for a year. I feel I have never really recovered from this episode. I am seeking an antidote for a poison, but - as I cannot specify the nature of the poison - I am unable to find the correct antidote. I hope this makes some kind of sense. And I am very happy to see such diverse responses. It is immensely reassuring. I have tried practising Chi Gong for grounding, but this seems to compound the problem. Have also tried fries and beer. At present, a pint of beer and greasy fries seem to do the trick! Next, gardening.
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Jack

United Kingdom
302 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2007 :  06:01:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jack's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Walking barefoot around the woods helps me. The sensitivity of bare feet on a varied terrain automatically brings some awareness to our feet. Plus you know, feet on the ground, not on rubber. :)

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lorf

48 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2007 :  07:35:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit lorf's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with you Jack, a barefoot walk in the forest with the awareness focused on the feet is one of the most efficient way of grounding I know of too.
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Sparkle

Ireland
1457 Posts

Posted - Apr 09 2007 :  1:20:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sparkle's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I am just back from an adventure weekend which consisted of kayaking, windsurfing, archery and generally being with Mother Nature.
The chap running the centre is now starting to call it Wilderness Therapy, and it sure does clean out the debris, leave the energy pristine and grounded.
Water for me is agreat grounding, I did kayaking for years on rivers running through trees and hills and find this fantastic for grounding.
Also, sailing or other activities in the sea is great, the salt water atmosphere is great for grounding. Even a walk by the sea is great.

Lorf, I was very interested in your experiences with the Darkness/Void and Mother Nature.
see here for some of my perspective on it. http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....OPIC_ID=2021

Louis
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emc

2072 Posts

Posted - Apr 11 2007 :  07:04:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....OPIC_ID=2212

This topic also contains a lot of interesting info on grounding. This is what I wrote there:

quote:
Like you, Dedro, I have learned to make sure I am grounded, and I have been taught to suck up earth energy just by thought. Just to welcome it to my feet makes it flow all the way up my legs and through the whole body. A very different character of that energy - smooth, buzzing, slow and gentle, like the "ant war"-picture on TV when there is no program sort of energy feeling. (Anyone understand? Haha!) This energy is also being picked up while walking in the forest, swimming in water or engaging in the elements of Mother earth in any way. However it is then more subtle and probably not perceived as any kind of "energy" (thinking of Shanti here).

I have noticed clearly that at the start of pranayama (spinal breathing) this earth energy is beginning to be pulled up by muscle contractions in the PC muscle automatically, confirming that the grounding occurs via the root chakra when sitting crossed legged. By habit I then also start to pull it up all through my feet and legs and then I feel I sit steady as in cement for the rest of the session.


The technique I have learned to "pull earth energy up" is to stand with both feet firmly on the ground. Then I visualize roots growing out from my soles, down to earth, growing into the soil, all the way through the layers of stone and soil into the very core of Mother Earth. When connected with my roots to the core I just smile and say "Welcome", and then the buzzing energy starts to climb up through my feet. As soon as I feel it I guide it with my thought leading it up through the body. It is clearly felt until it comes to the root chakra. Then I just sense it vaguely in my palms and in my lips. But when it reaches my lips I know I am fully grounded. This is something I do whenever I am a little out of balance, for example getting emotional at work, meeting others aggression.

To pick up energies from trees and earth was the first thing I learned when I started my journey. It is very effective to just approach a tree that welcomes you (you will know which tree it is if you just walk - it will call you to it), lean your back to it, relax and merge with it. It will be a mutual change of energies that are sometimes very healing. You can get the most interesting info from trees!!! If you at the same time let your own roots grow when standing by the tree you get some help to start pulling the energy up.

Edited by - emc on Apr 11 2007 07:07:50 AM
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IcedEarth

73 Posts

Posted - Apr 11 2007 :  09:31:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit IcedEarth's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Things that have helped me stay grounded:

Getting exercise first thing in the morning, every morning
eating foods cooked in olive oil
drinking beer (one is enough )
Jigsaw puzzle, very time consuming
listening to heavy metal
walking in the park
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NagoyaSea

424 Posts

Posted - Apr 11 2007 :  1:17:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Things that keep me grounded:

working with plants and earth in my garden
meditation and prayer
whole-brain music and reading spiritual material
healthy diet of natural foods
exercise
adequate sleep
talking to those I love
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emc

2072 Posts

Posted - Sep 02 2007 :  02:06:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Further questions on grounding from the place where I am now...

My experience now is the one of dancing a tango, in and out of ego. I find it very confusing when my mind still wants to trust others rather than stay calm and let my inner guru guide me. Feels like it wants to drag me out of precense and what is very peaceful, balanced and true. Now my mind is making an issue of grounding, because people insinuate I must ground more. It is strange, since I don't have any problems. I am emotionally stable, I manage a busy job with lots of responsibilities, I have a great social life etc. On the surface of the appearance my life is going on as usual.

When I get real my body is loosing its borders, and I do fall into crying from the bliss at occasions, but that is something completely different from being emotional about it! It is a state that moves me, it's grace, gratefulness, joy, happiness, love, increadible love. No feelings involved. Not feeling emotionally unstable. I know I am where my feet are, yet I am not my feet. There's no chance I can be my feet. That is not who I am. My feet and my body is a ripple on the ocean, an impermanent form; forms are constantly coming and going and I have got very little interest in "staying in my body" (that is identifying with it and believe that is what I must be inside) since it's fake, it's illusion, it's beautiful but not real. I am the ocean, and I am not really on the inside either. I find it by "looking in instead of out", but then the paradox is that everything on the outside is inside already, and vice versa... my inside IS what is seen on the outside! The experience is that I can dive down into the deep whenever, at work, on the bus, whenever, and get real, and make this change of perspective. And it doesn't feel as if I'm floating away, loosing grounding. I only get more real and true. When body-mind is nothing, a nobody, and there is no up-down or inside-out, when I am stillness moving and acting I can't find a body to ground...

Actually, if in that moment my mind gets the impuls to "do something", to start grounding - pulling up earth energy - I sort of go back into my body and go into a very strong bliss and/or ecstatic state, my energybody is swelling, my crown goes balooba and it feels as if I am drawn upwards and I swirl somewhere between the earth and the central sun... Body starts shaking from the strong energies coming from Mother Earth.

If I am in presence and take a walk in the forest it is absolutely lovely, a love bathing with the trees, being the trees, being the breeze, being the sound in the leaves when the breeze sensually strokes the trees... And it is all at the same time absolutely still. Beautiful. Does feel like floating, though, and forest walks are supposed to be grounding... Hm...

So what is grounding really? I begin to believe it is something for the body-mind vehicle, not for my real self. Just as overload symptoms is only attached to the identity of ego. As soon as ego goes, overload symptoms go. Is that the same for grounding? As soon as NOW is what is, grounding is redundant? What say you?



Edited by - emc on Sep 02 2007 02:21:08 AM
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Sparkle

Ireland
1457 Posts

Posted - Sep 02 2007 :  06:41:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit Sparkle's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi emc

I would say proof of grounding is in how we relate to our surrounding environment. In particular how we relate to other people in everyday life.
If you are functioning well in your job and social life, as you say, then to me this is a good indicator of grounding.

I have had similar experiences to what you describe in a general way and not specific with your details. It was after the last Thich Nhat Hanh retreat I was on and for me, it lasted a few weeks.
It was an experience of complete spaciousness and yet at the same time total contact with the world. The solid feel of the foot on the ground and yet being space walking on space. At no time did I feel ungrounded.

What may give rise to alarm in some people is that when you are in this kind of state and then also talk about experiences which could be seen as spacey and way out there, such as:
http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....D=2861#25015

For me this is your experience and that's fine with me. If however this kind of post became the norm then I would also question grounding. From what I've seen your posts are centred and grounded in the NOW and a pleasure to read.

Louis

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emc

2072 Posts

Posted - Sep 02 2007 :  2:37:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hahaha! I see what you mean! (Don't all traditions tell about the mystery in myths and pictures when they try to explain the inexplicable?)

And thank you for contribution of your experiences.
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Jim and His Karma

2101 Posts

Posted - Sep 02 2007 :  9:30:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
It's physical. Like a lot of yogic concepts that sound very philosophical, but then become utilitarian as you practice, and finally seem downright concrete (e.g. lots of AYP, e.g. "God is in the nervous system"), grounding is actually relatively specific and concrete.

I've been working on it for 25 years...without knowing exactly what I was working on....and extremely avidly (with more knowledge) for the past 2.5 years. I can't pour what I know into a single posting here, unfortunately. Just some quick stuff.

Grounding is about a connection down the front channel (from ajna through sinuses through palate through tongue, and down the front of the body), through the feet, and into the earth. Yogis know this, but don't emphasize it (one might say Taoists over-emphasize it). The traditional yoga grounding advice (especially after kundalini) is tons of walking. Walking pulls this energy down the front, but it's not a strong effect, hence the need for LOTS of walking.

Walking's good for light grounding needs, and is a great habit to get into for long-term grounding. But tai chi's better. Standing asana poses are grounding. And here's a real good grounding technique, which I've posted about before:

-------
stand with feet separated, knees comfortably bent into a half crouch, pressing your feet firmly and evenly into the floor (advanced move: press down with the point in the lateral center of your foot, between the balls of your big and little toes, down right at the point where the arch starts to form). Keep your back more or less straight but tilt it forward, as if you were ready to pounce. Go for a low, stable, center of gravity, like it would be hard for someone to knock you over. But relax.

Bend elbows 90 degrees and extend forearms directly in front of you, parallel to each other and with palms facing, at navel level. Keep shoulders relaxed. Visualize a ball between your hands. Concentrate on that ball, and fill it with energy.
-------

Even better is a qidong I've been practicing. But I'm not ready to share it yet.

When real grounding happens (to someone who's been cultivating energy via spiritual practices...much of which tends to stick in the head), it's almost like a flushing. It's very dramatic. It's not philosophical.

If you have TMJ, kundalini syndrome, feelings of pressure at crown or third eye, spaciness, or a lot more trouble with the "down" pranayama direction than with the "up" one, you lack grounding. Grounding resolves kundalini eczema, water retention issues, digestive issues, and, most of all, revitalizes kidneys which get dried out by the pitta of yoga practice. I speak from personal experience on that in particular. I thought my loss of appetite was yogic detachment. No, it was weakened digestion due to kidney issues due to yogic pitta. Pitta diet isn't enough...you need to ground the front channel.

There is no difference between a blocked front channel and lack of groundedness. Both are different ways of describing the same problem. The inevitable result is pooled energy in the head and jaw. and while yoga is definitely about bringing energy to the head, there's definitely such a thing as too much of a good thing. It's the essence of self-pacing.

Some (many? most?) people have a naturally open front channel, and are thus naturally grounded.

More soon.

Edited by - Jim and His Karma on Sep 02 2007 9:39:11 PM
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Yoda

USA
284 Posts

Posted - Sep 03 2007 :  3:16:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Yoda's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
In addition, holding a black rock, taking a shower, staring into the eyes of a picture of an awakened person can help. I'm experimenting with eating clay and it seems to help so far, about one week into it. calearthminerals.com no affiliation.

Imo, grounding activities should be done as a matter of habit, not just when ungrounded.
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emc

2072 Posts

Posted - Jun 18 2009 :  03:42:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, this grounding mystery is continuously unfolding here...

This is really, really silly... We've been discussing grounding several rounds, and for some reason... I have missed one very simple but important thing:

The thing is to Stay Grounded.

Yes! Isn't it ridiculous!? For some reason, the way we often have been talking about grounding has given me the picture it is a counterbalance for overloading... Practices push the energies going - self-pace with grounding. As... first go on the fire side, then when it gets too hot, chill with water. And try to get a balance.

Pulling energies up from Earth from root and upwards is the fire, turning the energies back to earth is cooling and grounding... And I have switched between them... causing a roller coaster ride.

Nobody ever told me... to STAY GROUNDED all the time, not switching like an on/off button - go high first then ground as a repair afterwards. When going UP into the higher domains, don't loose the Earth connection...

Not until Hathor came to guide me I got a new sense of how that works. Now, there's a stability I've never experienced before, and there is so much more energies being able to go through this system without being shaken out of balance or being pushed into overload.

This is the exercise that made the coin drop here:

Focus on the energy channel in the middle of the body (not the sushumna). Have the focus in the heart while feeling one stream of energy go from Earth and upwards, and another stream going from the heaven downwards. Sometimes it's easier to find the streams by feeling the upward on the inhale and downward on the exhale (like in Spinal breathing). Try to feel the both streams simultaneously and meeting in the heart. Then... the important add on: Follow the channel all the way down to the middle of the Earth. When you do this it will feel as if something is pulling an anchor down, there's a constant downpull, a sense of being heavy and relaxed. Now - while still having this sense of heaviness and anchoring - go back to the constant stream in the central channel where there's still a flow going up and down, meeting in the heart.

By allowing the downward stream to the heart and the upward stream from the Earth to the heart WHILE you have the intention to deeply anchor it in the middle of the Earth you are grounding. Extremely stabilizing!

This section of lorf's post suddenly makes A LOT OF SENSE!

quote:
To connect with the universal source of light can be very beautiful and can create an experience of oneness, understanding and can also be mistaken for enlightenment. Done prematurely by opening the crown has been covered enough on the forum. Direct contact with the Void is like accessing the creative potential of the universe, which is experienced as raw and undirected power. Direct access to the void prematurely can be an experience of utter terror as it can be frightening and uncovers psychic garbage we have successfully managed to avoid before. So instead of contacting the void directly it can be done via Mother Earth where she acts as a filter and the experience is then more like a subtle, loving stability. She lovingly acts as a safe channel for us to access the vast potential of the void making it possible to find the stability crucial for major openings.
To be human is to have these two qualities meet in the heart. And to be human is to have them in balance.
Accessing the light is easy and easily perceived, no need get into details. Accessing the void through Mother Earth on the hand is a very subtle experience. It not like an apparent feeling of energy filling the body, no fireworks. The effect of a firm connection to Earth is on the other hand much more apparent. It makes it possible to be able to stay open in hostile environments without losing the balance.


I never understood it's supposed to happen simultaneously... Silly, silly me!

Edited by - emc on Jun 18 2009 04:31:14 AM
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Advanced Yoga Practices Book



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The Secrets of Wilder Novel


Enlightenment Series

Deep Meditation Book


Spinal Breathing Pranayama Book


Tantra Book


Asanas, Mudras & Bandhas Book


Samyama Book


Diet, Shatkarmas and Amaroli Book


Self-Inquiry Book


Bhakti and Karma Yoga Book


Eight Limbs of Yoga Book


Eight Limbs of Yoga Book



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