What would it feel like to feel free, for a brief moment, for a few days, or even longer?
This is the type of freedom that extends beyond our daily responsibilities, job demands, life expectations, worries from the past or anxiety about the future. The type of freedom that requires no money, no job and no expectations, is achieved by meditation.
To understand this feeling of freedom, and how to experience it, we begin by delving beneath the layers of the physical body and mind.
The Five Steps to Understanding Meditation
1. The Human Body As A Giant Magnet
Most of us have heard of the Aura which is a concept that originates in ancient Hindu philosophy. It’s also referred to as the Etheric Body. This is the human body’s magnetic field. It’s an invisible layer of energy circulating through and around your body in the shape of toroidal field lines around a magnet.
So think of yourself as a human magnet having a north/south polarity with powerful electric impulses running up and down through the base of your spine all the way up to the top of your head. Diagram A is a refresher for those who haven’t seen a magnet in a while. The human body is surrounded by that same magnetic field created by the electrical impulses that flow continuously up and down through your body.
Meditation balances this energy field in our bodies which is why we feel lighter, freer and less stressed. Understanding energy flow is the first step towards understanding the benefits of meditation.
2. The Emotional Body
The Magnetic Field has several layers ………..Now that you have this key image of the invisible energy called the Etheric Body ( aka Aura) — let’s delve deeper into it. The Aura is associated with 7 main energy vortexes located along the spine, called the Chakras. The main function of the Chakras is to keep the Physical, Emotional and Mental health of the body in balance.
Outside the Aura and all its layers is another layer called the Emotional Body. Whenever we’ve experienced an emotion that wasn’t processed, resolved, or integrated, it will accumulate in this layer. For example, when we’ve experienced sadness, where does the sadness go once we stop consciously feeling sad? Does it dissolve away? Sure, some of it does, but some of it lingers like residue or dustin the Emotional Body layer. What about our ex-partner who we think we are over? Where does the hurt go if we simply ignored it? It’s these unprocessed emotions that create dust which leads to imbalance in the Emotional body.
3. The Mental Body
Just outside the Emotional body is the Mental body. This layer captures our fears and negative beliefs that we hold onto. For example, our negative perception of ourselves, unhealthy patterns in relationships with others, discouraging work/family environments, and anxiety about the world in general. It also holds specific memories that we can’t let go of, and projections of a future that hasn’t happened or a past that we cannot seem to come to terms with. Our mental layer can similarly get blocked with disempowering beliefs, the way our emotional layer can get blocked by unresolved emotions.
4. The Spiritual Body
But in those sometimes rare special moments throughout our day when we do experience clarity and freedom and lightness — like the ‘a ha’ moment and truly ‘knowing’ and trusting ourselves and feeling like we are ‘in the flow’ — what is actually happening is that we are accessing what’s called our Spiritual Body.
This layer is the You that is unencumbered by thoughts, beliefs and emotions, experiences (good or bad), job demands, physical attachments, personal responsibilities, deep-seated fears etc.
In those too-often-fleeting moments when you do experience clarity, the path from your human body, through the layers of your emotional, mental and spiritual bodies, becomes temporarily clear — Imagine this as a thin beam of light that for a brief moment shone unimpeded through your energy bodies and could directly access your Spiritual Body. That’s the powerful experience of connection we can feel throughout the day if we choose to meditate regularly.
5. Here’s how Meditation works on the Energy Bodies and why it makes us feel calm
The act of meditation is more than just quieting the thoughts. There’s a powerful internal process of balancing the energy field within ourselves, and clearing the debris of emotions and beliefs that keeps us from staying connected to our soul.
Meditation practices are all rooted in the same fundamental principle: to use our breath deliberately to awaken and balance our physical, mental, emotional and etheric bodies to maintain clarity and optimal wellness.
Meditating using practices like ancient Pranayama found in Kundalini and Kirya yoga are some of the strongest and most effective techniques for clearing the dust that’s accumulated in the energy bodies. These practices, when taught by experienced teachers use the technology of breath to carefully awaken the energy beginning at the base of the spine and then expand upward and throughout our body. It gives us a way to maintain a joyful clarity throughout our day.