First, breathe in through the nose very slowly (8 secs) by forcing your belly to expand gently. Then, hold your breath 4 secs and breathe out very slowly (8 secs) through the nose by contracting your belly so the stomach muscles pull in towards your spine. This is one Yang-Breath. Observe how breathing-in and breathing-out flow into each other. Ground yourself in this oneness.
We all witness important changes happening on the planet, whether it be about climate, culture, politics, or even the way we think about the world, the universe, and our everyday life as well. A wonderful paradigm shift is happening, and we need to ground ourselves within this new consciousness of mind, body and spirit.
So let’s start 2016 with a new vision of ourselves and a commitment to deepen our true nature.
Why Is Grounding So Important?
The concept of grounding is everywhere, but we need to underline its importance. From a Zen martial arts and Reiki background, I would say that grounding is what allows you to connect with nature/earth and experience a healthy physical and spiritual life. I would like to share with you an easy technique, that if practiced regularly, will certainly bring about changes in yourself, and in your life:
Grounding Of The Heart
Generally speaking, to be grounded is about aligning your centers of gravity/energy with earth, and raising your consciousness in every part of your body so that you feel and become one on a physical, energetic, and spiritual level.
There are actually two centers of gravity that contribute to grounding; the Root Chakra or Sacral Chakra and the Heart Chakra. The two work closely together, but for the purpose of this article, I will focus on the latter. The Root/Sacral Chakras have to do with the physical and energy levels of your being, while the Heart Chakra is connected to the spiritual grounding of your being.
You probably are more familiar with the former, since it is emphasized in practices such as yoga, tai chi, martial arts, and certain types of meditations. However, do not neglect the Grounding Of The Heart, as it deepens your consciousness and journey inward.
It focuses on shifting your mind from duality to oneness, and going beyond the illusion. Re-read that sentence. It is a journey, meaning that it takes time and it depends upon your commitment to your journey. I would like to start by giving you some directions, along with an easy exercise, that you can start practicing on a daily basis. I guarantee that you will feel and see the changes within yourself.
Grounding: From Duality To Oneness
There is a lot to say about Grounding Of The Heart, but I will focus on one aspect; shifting the way you think to oneness. Once you understand the importance of oneness, you will appreciate more the exercise and naturally practice it daily – and hopefully with a smile!
What Is Oneness?
- First, breathe in through the nose very slowly by forcing your belly to expand gently (8 seconds breath-in).
- Then, hold your breath 4 seconds, and breathe out very slowly through the nose by contracting your belly so the stomach muscles pull in towards your spine (8 seconds breath-out).
Not easy. Congratulations! This is your first Yang-Breath. Do it again and notice what is happening in you.
As human beings on this plane of reality, we experience the world through a duality generated by our two cerebral hemispheres. There is nothing wrong with this. We need the duality to experience the different perspectives of our world and nature, as well as the various colors, the opposites of day and night, left to right, up and down, the change of seasons, the passing of time, the objects around us, and the materiality of this plane of reality, in general.
However, the problem arises when we give and attach values and judgments to each term of the duality and create a hierarchy of values which becomes a system of beliefs that we take for granted as reality. Do a Yang-Breath twice before you continue reading. The problem arises when we believe in an ultimate meaning and truth in that duality. In so doing, we forget that the beliefs and attachments we created in the first place are only illusions.
Nature and the universe are not binary (good/bad, high/low, presence/absence, etc.); only our human mind is. Day is not better than night; here is not more real than there; presence is not the ultimate reality in comparison to what you cannot see (absence). Yin is not better than Yang.
We need to stop believing in that arbitrary belief system that has become the foundation of our sense of reality. We need to transcend that duality or binary way of thinking. Do a Yang-Breath twice. Transcending duality means to simply see the duality the way it is (a state of being in nature) with no judgment, preconceived meanings, cultural and ideological values, etc.
As an example, Yin and Yang work together to create nature and the universe – without Yin or Yang there will be no movement, no transformation in life and the universe. You should not focus on whether the glass of water is half full or half empty (optimism/pessimism duality); on the contrary you should focus on experiencing the glass the way it is, as it generates perspectives (possibilities of existence with no judgment of optimism/pessimism). If the glass were full or empty, that would be the end of it, no more possibilities of existence (and death of creativity itself).
Breathing-in (Yin) is not the opposite of breathing-out (Yang). Breathing-in is the natural motion after breathing-out, both create together life; and the energy circulates naturally in and out. You cannot breathe-in forever; you cannot breathe-out indefinitely. If you want to shrink something, you must first allow it to expand. If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish.- Taoism.
In sum, transcending dualities means to shift your way of thinking and see the unity/oneness in nature, in yourself, and in your life.
How Do We Move From A Binary Way Of Thinking To Oneness?
By grounding ourselves in the Heart Chakra. Part II of this article will show you how. Until then, practice the Yang-Breath as much as you can. Practice it gently and be aware of the energy in you.