According to Vedic philosophy, at this point in time we are living approximately 125 years after the conclusion of a 2400-year age of matter-awareness, and we are now at the beginning of an ascending 2400-year age of energy-awareness.
Think of the major inventions of the last century, from the first telegraphs, telephones, and radios to the iPhone. All have been based on the new awareness of the natural force of energy.
As a major world era ends and is replaced by new patterns of thought and behavior, there is a great sense of instability and disruption, with lots of chaos and confusion, as our perceptions of reality begin to shift.
That’s what we’re experiencing today.
An interesting consequence of the pandemic is that we have come to rely more than ever on mental, emotional, and electronic interactions, instead of direct material interaction with the physical world.
People have created alternative realities as they’ve grouped themselves with others who share their preferred concepts. If our concepts were all based firmly in truth, surely we wouldn’t be facing the amazing degree of divisiveness and anger that we’re now witnessing.
A core question asked by spiritual seekers in all ages has been: “Where can we find the inner strength to stand unshaken amid the crash of breaking worlds?”
Certainly not with airy mental constructs or fleeting emotions, nor by identifying with our physical bodies.
Only by attuning our consciousness to the ever-unchanging infinite Spirit within will we find the strength to live firmly identified with the unshakable truth of our being.
However, there’s no escaping that we’re living in physical bodies, in a physical universe where the rules of matter prevail.
Our evolving consciousness depends on both flesh and spirit. As my early spiritual teacher, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, admonished me, incarnation and transcendence go hand in hand.
Similarly in the wonderful book, Tales of the Dalai Llama, we find this truth expressed in a lovely saying: “A kite can’t fly without the tether of the kite string.”
Studying the inner spiritual anatomy that is encased in our physical body reveals our potential to journey in our consciousness through the energy centers of the astral spine.
The first, earth or root chakra represents the initial step in the journey, grounding us in the reality of what actually is.
The first chakra takes us out of airy concepts and challenges us with down-to-earth questions, such as: “Is your loyalty to the truth, or to your preconceptions of the way the world ought to be?”
Further earthy questions: “Where does my true security lie?” “What kinds of self-identifications have I created?”
The pandemic and the fires, floods, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes impress upon us the hazards of depending on the physical world for our security.
Similarly, if we’re only focusing on physical measures to correct those imbalances in our physical bodies that create disease, we’ll be doomed to fail.
Knives cut, radiation burns, and chemicals poison. The physical world is all too real! And yet, as we’re becoming increasingly aware, matter is a reflection of patterns of energy, and those physical patterns cannot be corrected by purely physical methods.
Understanding how our emotions affect our physical structure doesn’t mean that we can undo the damage by physical or emotional means alone.
The problems are bound to recur, unless we can address the underlying root energetic causes. Instead we can begin to transform our physical reality by shifting the energy patterns at its source.
You may have heard of the practice of “Earthing.” It teaches us practices for grounding ourselves by merging our consciousness with the earth’s energies. But it’s not a purely physical practice.
A wise sage said, “Before we can expand our awareness, there must first be a certain grounding.”
Certainly, if we can find a way to center our awareness in the deepest, most essential part of our being – in our spiritual Self – it will allow us to more easily discover a meaningful connection to the physical world.
Our body then can become a vehicle for Spirit to express its wonderful perfection through us – its perfect love, kindness, compassion, and understanding.
The physical, mental, emotional, volitional, and spiritual practices of the energy-science of yoga give us tools to work with the elements of earth, water, fire, and air in our nature, and to leverage the inner energetic power of the spinal chakras to transform our physical and emotional limitations.
The earth chakra governs elimination and spinal problems. People who are described as “spineless” or “lacking backbone” have earth chakra lessons to learn.
Frozen shoulders and knee problems are associated with first-chakra issues. Anxiety, fear, greed, insecurity, restlessness, and negativity are emotional and mental imbalances with first-chakra resonances.
Treatments with clay, charcoal, and mud, sequestering in a cave, and earthing are some resonant remedies for the earth chakra.
Foods grown underground, such as root vegetables, bring vitality and grounding to the body and blood. Beets are doubly grounding, as the color red is strengthening to the earth chakra.
The standing yoga mountain pose known as tadasana is one of many yogic practices that can help balance the earth chakra.
Stand with your feet placed shoulder-width apart, with toes parallel. Relax your knees slightly and close your eyes. Tense the whole body with a double inhalation and relax with a double exhalation. Repeat several times. Feel the roots coming out of the soles of your feet and securing and connecting you to the earth. Push your shoulder blades back and allow your arms to hang, completely relaxed. Feel your physical body rooted to the earth.
Practice affirmations that develop the qualities of security, steadfastness, and groundedness, and that reflect a balanced earth chakra.
Two such affirmations from Ananda Yoga are:
“My mind is firm and steadfast as a rock”
“I am steadfast, determined, unshakably loyal to the truth. I endure and accept all things with calm faith in God”
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