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The Secrets of Healing and Spiritual Growth
By Robert Bruce
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2011 Robert Bruce
All rights reserved.
Your Energy Body
Your energy body is the underlying subtle energy template of your physical body. There are various traditional and contemporary approaches to energy work, but all aspire to the same end: to stimulate and develop the human energy body. The goal is to evolve spiritually, and in so doing, to become a healthier and a more dynamic human being. This book introduces a powerful new energy work system that is both simple and effective.
The importance of the human energy body to health and vitality has been known for thousands of years. Life energy has been given many labels, including Chi, Prana, Huna, Odic Force, Orgone, et cetera. It has been utilized by many practices including Chi Kung, Tai Chi, Yoga, Kung Fu, Acupuncture, Reiki, Reflexology, Pranic Healing, Quantum Touch, et cetera. Any system that involves sub-tle energy use, energy manipulation, or healing can be enhanced by incorporating the body awareness–based energy movement prin-ciples that are the foundation of this book.
The more vital energy you have, the more alive you become on every level: physical, mental, emotional, creative, and spiritual. Whether you seek to improve your traditional practices, to improve your health, or develop spiritual and psychic abilities, effective energy work is the key to success.
Human activity involves energy in every molecule, bone, muscle, and organ—even while just thinking or sleeping. Every thought, organ function, and physical movement involves masses of bioelectrical and biochemical signals coursing throughout your body. All electrical activity generates electromagnetic fields. A biomagnetic field is an electromagnetic field that is produced by a living being. Some of these fields are subtle and difficult to detect, but this does not mean they are unimportant. The strongest human biomagnetic field is produced by the heart, which can be detected at a distance of more than 15 feet (five meters). The energy produced by healers and energy workers has also been measured by similar equipment and shown to be a significant force (Oschman and Pert 2000).
Subtle energy flows through the human energy body in many ways. Besides from physical sources like food and drink, two primary sources are the energy generated by our planet and the air we breathe. Subtle life energy comes from the atmosphere, solar energy, and the cosmic energies of the universe. Energies are also exchanged between people and all living things. On the subatomic level, all matter is energy. The entire universe is, in fact, an infinite expression of energy and consciousness. And on the energy level, all living and nonliving things are intimately connected.
What Is the Energy Body?
Every cell of your body is alive with bioelectrical activity that produces biomagnetic fields. Beneath this activity exist the layers of subtle and spiritual energy fields that comprise the human energy body. This subtle body is every bit as complex as its physical counterpart, even though its subtle and spiritual structures are difficult to detect.
To date, the only tool sensitive enough to perceive the more subtle human energies is a sensitive human being. To truly grasp this, you must learn how to feel energy for yourself by feeling and moving your own energy. A major goal of this book is to demonstrate this to you. Only when you feel your own energy will you truly know that you have an energy body. And only then will you be able to truly work with energy. This is not difficult, as I will soon show.
The human energy body overlays the physical body like a template, but parts of it also exist independently. In the case of limb amputations, the underlying energy body parts continue to function. Occasionally, a Kirlian photograph (a high voltage coronal discharge photograph) will show parts of subjects on film that have been lost or removed previously (e.g., amputated fingers or plant parts).
The human energy body has multiple layers and energy centers. Energy centers (also called Chakras) are like the vital organs of the energy body. This includes the seven primary energy centers (major Chakras), hundreds of secondary energy centers, three energy storage centers, and dense areas of tertiary centers (tiny energy exchange pores). There is also a central channel (Sushumna) running up the center of the body, with two major energy conduits (called Ida and Pingala) winding up either side. This structure is traditionally represented by the caduceus symbol (staff of Hermes).
The human energy body is a complex, multilayered structure. When one first approaches energy work, a simple approach is best. The following illustration shows the basic structures of the human energy body, including primary centers, storage centers, and energy exchange areas. We will discuss this further as we progress.
It is unnecessary to memorize a host of exotic Eastern terms and concepts to actually work with the energy body. I use Western descriptive terms wherever possible. This makes discussing and working with the energy body easier. Every part of the physical body is also part of the energy body. This will become clear as you work through the exercises.
What Is Energy Work?
How you think and feel profoundly effects your energy body. If you feel happy, your energy body expands and empowers you. But if you are sad, your energy body shrinks and drains your vitality and enthusiasm for life. Energy work improves and balances health and vitality on all levels. An amplified sense of body awareness and increased energy flow also encourage your higher spiritual aspects to become more actively engaged in your life.
There are many ways this can be achieved. "All roads lead to Rome," but some roads are shorter than others. Traditional approaches involve various combinations of visualization, physical movement and stretching, posturing and breathing, and / or chanting or toning, all of which stimulate subtle energy flow in different ways. The typical New Age approach involves mainly visualization and relaxation exercises. Visualization is, however, difficult for many people because it is generally misunderstood. I teach the secrets of effective visualization in the next chapter. Everyone can visualize perfectly once they learn how.
The energy work taught in this book is a tactile imaging system that does not require visualization. Tactile imaging involves focusing the awareness of your physical body— your body awareness—on a specific point in your body, and then moving that focal point. This stimulates the energy body very effectively. This is simple to learn and anyone can do it. This is not only simpler than any other system, but it is significantly more effective.
The underlying principles of body awareness energy movement and tactile imaging can be found in all Eastern energy-based systems. At a glance this is not obvious, perhaps because of the difficulties involved in translating Eastern esoteric concepts. I think that the use of body awareness actions to stimulate the energy body is a given in the Eastern traditions that just does not translate well. I have spoken to many teachers of traditional practices on this matter. All have seen my point and have adjusted their teachings accordingly, simply by clarifying the importance of body awareness actions. Students then progress much faster than they would have otherwise. This is because once a student learns how to feel and move subtle energy, the traditional system they are learning becomes more accessible and doable as everything clicks neatly into place.
My eldest son, Benjamin, is a psychologist. He has practiced tactile imaging energy work for several years, besides studying various systems such as Zen, Tao, Yoga, et cetera. A few years back, he signed up for a course on Iron Shirt Chi Kung. He was told that most students would start feeling significant levels of energy movement if they practiced every day for a year. But during the first day of instruction, Benjamin was feeling major energy movement. (His instructors could not understand such rapid progress, and they were not open to Benjamin's explanation.) I have heard many similar reports over the years.
Why Do Energy Work?
Normally, many of the structures within the human energy body are virtually dormant. They function at a level sufficient for normal physical existence, but on a very low level in a spiritual sense. These structures and energy centers can awaken accidentally, often causing spontaneous psychic experiences, or they can be brought out of dormancy by spiritual practices and energy work.
The benefits of energy work come on every level. It encourages the physical body to function better, to maintain and repair itself more efficiently, and to resist disease. The ability to work directly with your energy body allows you to stimulate your body's own self-healing mechanisms in specific ways to target injured or diseased areas.
Vital energies flow through every part of your body. This is every bit as important to life as blood. Just as your physical body will adapt and change in response to lifestyle, exercise, and diet, so will your energy body—for better or worse. When you do energy work, your energy body will be excited into higher levels of activity. And just like working out regularly in a gym improves your physical body, this progressively improves the fitness and functionality of your energy body.
Psychic and spiritual development are heavily dependent upon energy body activity. Everyone has dormant or partial psychic abilities and everyone has great spiritual potential, but very few people get to realize these things in any significant way. Body awareness based–energy work methods allow for the specific targeting of energy conduits and primary energy centers. By exercising these, they can be activated, developed, and evolved. This translates into actual spiritual development and evolution.
The human energy body contains seven primary energy centers (also called Chakras or psychic centers), hundreds of secondary energy centers, three storage centers (also called Tan Tians), and thousands of tertiary centers (energy exchange pores). All of these centers—primary, secondary, and tertiary—are interconnected through myriad subtle energy pathways. Central to the energy body is a tubelike channel structure. The human energy body is every bit as complex as the inner workings of the human physical body and its nervous system, with which it is intimately related.
Note: My intention here is to impart a workable rule of thumb understanding of the energy body. Descriptions are based largely upon my own observations. Western descriptive terms are used wherever possible. I am not attempting to agree or disagree with any particular tradition or school of thought.
Vital energy is produced in the physical body through the digestion of food and drink. Subtle energies are also taken in through the hands and feet, breathing, and environmental and social interactions with the world around us. Subtle energies enter the body and circulate through networks of subtle energy path-ways and energy centers. Energy centers absorb and transform the qualities of subtle energies that are available to or passing through them. They can be likened to subtle transformers, changing the quality and frequency of subtle energies to suit a variety of needs on all levels of existence.
Primary Energy Centers
Your emotions are the most noticeable link with primary energy center activity. Uplifting music can cause tingling energy surges to rise through your back. Sadness can cause great heaviness. A sudden shock can cause your throat to dry out instantly. Fear and excitement can cause goose bumps or make your hair stand up. Intense fear can cause your bowels to loosen and your legs to go weak. Mental pressure can cause tension headaches. A broken heart can cause depression and a physical ache in your heart. Falling in love can cause the sensation of butterflies in your stomach. There are as many sensations relating to primary center activity as there are emotions and emotionally charged situations.
The seven primary energy centers are as follows: the base center, navel center, solar plexus center, heart center, throat center, brow center, and crown center. These are the major subtle organs of the energy body. They are involved with every aspect of human existence. They are always active on some level. These centers are responsible for all emotional, psychic, and spiritual senses. Primary energy centers will be dealt with in more detail later in this book.
Secondary Energy Centers
Secondary energy centers are similar to primary energy centers, but they are much smaller and have simpler functions. These vary in size and are placed throughout the flesh and bone of the whole physical body. These energy centers and their meridian connections are well documented in traditional Chinese acupuncture systems.
This diagram represents a typical skeletal-type secondary energy center in a finger joint. These types of energy centers have four poles each and a central connecting core. Each pole is a small vortexlike energy structure that flowers on the surface of the skin and directly above the joint. These poles are connected to larger internal conduits, which run through the core and marrow of all bones. When energy flows strongly through core channels, it can overstimulate physical nerves and cause tingling, surging sensations deep in the bone marrow. These sensations are particularly noticeable in the arms and legs. Skeletal-type secondary centers exist in every joint of the human body, small and large.
Many important secondary centers exist throughout the body, in flesh and organs and ganglia, all joined together by subtle energy connections. A good example of this is found around the heart center structure. The diagram below shows robust energy conduits connecting through the arms and shoulders and into the lungs. (The entire heart center structure and its connections are vastly more complex than is shown here.)
The upper conduits connect the heart center with the arms. The lower conduits connect with the lungs. These conduits are paired, feeding from the back as well as from the front. People who are body awareness sensitive will be able to feel these structures when they are active. The heart center also has branches connecting to other areas (e.g., to the throat).
Tertiary Energy Exchange Pores
Energy exchange pores are tiny energy centers with simple functions, like the millions of sweat pores that cover the surface of the skin. The main function of these tiny energy centers is to exchange subtle energy with other people and with the environment. The surface of the skin is covered with these, but they are highly concentrated in several areas: the soles of the feet, the palms of the hands, the nose and nasal passages, the eyes and ears, the lungs, the mouth, the lips, the tongue, and the genitals. Energy exchange pores are very sensitive and have the ability to tune into and sense subtle energy fields. The hands in particular can be used as fine sensory organs to feel energy fields.
Energy Storage Centers
The human energy body has three major energy storage centers, where different qualities of energies are accumulated. These are different from the primary energy centers that share the same general areas, although these are, of course, all energetically connected. The storage centers are shown here.
The Sub-Navel Center: This sits midway between the belly button and the pubic line, two inches inside the average body. Its function is to store raw physical vitality. When stimulated, this center produces a fluttering, bubbling energy movement sensation often an inch or two to the side of the central point or pubic line. This is not to be confused with gas movement in the intestines.
The Sub-Heart Center: This sits in the middle of the chest between the nipples, two inches inside the average body. Its function is to store raw emotional energy.
The Sub-Brow Center: This sits between the eyebrows in the center of the brow, just inside the skull. Its function is to store raw mental / psychic energy.
I have greatly simplified the description of the nature of energy storage centers to make them more understandable. Of the three energy storage centers, the most important to fill is the Sub-Navel storage center. When this is full, it can be said to overflow naturally conditioned energy into the Sub-Heart, and then into the Sub-Brow.
Group experiments have taught me that excessively filling the two higher storage centers in the heart and brow is unwise. This can disrupt the energy body and cause predictable problems, including emotional, mental, and psychic instability. There are no safe shortcuts here.
The Central Channel
The central channel (called Sushumna, an Eastern term) flows vertically through the middle of the body, from the base center (centered in the perineum) to the middle of the crown center (middle top of head). An energy field can be felt extending and mushrooming from the central channel above the head, varying from a few inches to a couple of feet above. Two major energy conduits weave through the central channel, called Ida on the left side and Pingala on the right side, to use the Eastern terms. The roots of these rise up through the legs and into the base center structure. These conduits then weave up the central channel, crossing through each primary energy center as they rise. They pass through the mouth cavity at the back of the mouth, each side near the second rear molars.
Excerpted from Energy Work by Robert Bruce. Copyright © 2011 Robert Bruce. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
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