Nowadays with the rise in technology, urban living and global travel, we are more aware than ever of the outer energy that powers our devices. This shows us the need for sustainable sources of energy that can support modern life. Yet how often do you think about your own energy, the energy of your own life or it’s source? Do you ever consider energy in relation to your self? Or is the notion of your inner energy relegated to something you’re not sure about and therefore think why bother considering it?
The Sanskrit word for energy is prana, which also means breath, life force and soul. In the Luminous Soul Method, awareness of your energy is the first step in understanding and coming into connection with your soul.
The question is how do you begin to work with that inner energy? What are practical steps to develop connection with your prana?
The first step is to know what prana is and to work to stay aware as you engage conscious physical actions:
“Prana is energy or shakti (capacity/power). It represents the energy of the sun. Prana is considered the sum total of all the energy that is manifest in the universe.”
Maybe you’ve seen the Karate Kid movie where Mr. Miyagi, the martial arts master, instructs his young disciple, Daniel, in how to become a martial artist. His first step is to learn to work with his energy. The film begins with the young boy, full of heart, yet devoid of real understanding about how to access his true power. Over and over in fight after fight, he falls on his face and thus is unable to realize his dream of protecting himself or others. His suffering leads to his interest in Karate, which in turn draws Mr. Miyagi, his teacher, towards him.
In the scene that marks the beginning of the boy’s training, Miyagi gives Daniel a seemingly meaningless task of paying attention to his breath as he waxes several old cars. It is repetitive and grueling for the boy and takes him well into the night to complete. When he looks for praise from Miyagi he finds his teacher sitting quietly in meditative contemplation. Daniel’s job was to stay steady with the task at hand of waxing on and off the cars, in this way he was building his muscles, his focus and at the same time paying attention to his breathing. Through the everyday physical action of polishing cars, with awareness, Miyagi teaches the boy how to begin to build a solid foundation with his energy. And it is from this foundation that the boy’s success in practice is certain.
Wax On Wax Off Scene:
Resolution of Wax On Wax Off Teaching:
The second practical step is to understand prana intellectually then practice being with energy so the prana builds:
Ram Dass says, “Shakti, or Prana, is the universal stuff from which it all comes. Everything here is shakti; it’s all just patterns of shakti. It’s the stuff of the universe, finer than quanta of energy in the physical, scientific realm. We can work with it, draw it in, mobilize it, direct it, and use it as a force. We can use it in the same way we might use electricity – we can collect it in the same way. It feels the same, except it is much finer. We can draw it in and draw it in and draw it in, and we will experience new realms of perception and new powers.” (excerpt taken from ‘What is Shakti or Prana’ by Ram Das http://www.ramdass.org/shakti-prana/)
Ram Dass rightly points out how your refinement with prana or shakti (energy) gives you the needed strength to transform your perceptions and when that happens you will animate into new and elevated levels of power in your life. The key to this process is learning how to draw that prana in and in. One of the ways you can accumulate prana is by learning to be with your energy and not always activate on it. Here’s what I always tell students in class: Most of us have no understanding of our energy and as a result we have two ways of relating with the accumulation of our energy. We either activate on it by becoming anxious, this can sometimes manifest as rapid fire talking or overly fast movement. Or when there is an accumulation of energy, some of us will simply fall asleep.
Up until now the choices for relating with your energy have been: Activation or Sleep. In the Luminous Soul Method, your first job is to learn the skill of waking up to the inherent source of energy that exists within you. To do this, you must practice being with the accumulation of energy without shifting into anxiety or falling unconscious into sleep.
Step 3… coming up in Part II of Practical Steps to Understand Your Prana.
© 2015 Luminous Soul, Sanskrit Studies & Manorama