– Heartwood Path Waypoint 87 –
Channel The Energy
As you seek wholeness (perfection), experience pleasure, and laugh you begin to perceive wellness. Perfection-seeking, as long as it is pleasurable and light-hearted as opposed to overly concerned with a pre-conceived preoccupation with a goal imposed by others, moves a person along Dr. John Travis’ Wellness Continuum; that is, away from premature death, disability, symptom of illness, and signs of ill-health to education, growth, self-actualization and a high level of wellness. “Wellness,” writes Travis, is an efficient channeling of energy--energy received from the environment, transformed within you, and sent on to affect the world outside” (Beaulieu, 1987, p. 22). This channeling is precisely what happens along the Heartwood Path. As you will see, the movement of energy for wellness involves the five transcendental elements of Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth and their related universal principles or archetypes. We will be using sound to find the wellness that comes from elemental flexibility, the flexibility to change, the ability to convert the stress of this change into euphoria.
In many of the activities that follow you will be asked to hum a tone or say “Om.” This sound is the king of mantras. It is an ancient resonance that provides a sort of sonic womb. It is recommend that you say “Om” in a droning or muttering fashion that generate undertones – which commonly occur when you speak in a low voice, whisper, or mutter (vocalize under your breath). These undertones create a foundation for healing “their sustained tones provide a sonic bed upon which to lie or an ocean in which to swim and explore ... mantra practice” (Paul, 2004, 176). “Om” can be orally drawn out in a series of three sounds “A,” “U,” and “M.” But let us not forget that there is an important silence after the droned “OM. ” “A” corresponds to the waking state, “U” to the dream state, “M” to deep sleep, and the silence after the “OM” to “the state of turiya, a field of spacious consciousness considered vital to the development of yogic power because it encompasses waking, dream, and deep sleep states in concurrent continuity” (Paul, 2004, 180).
A sound is an “emanation of any tone, frequency, or vibration” (Paul, 2004, p. xx). In order for “anything to exist it has to be in motion, vibrating” (Paul, 2004, p. xx). If “any object is in motion, it is producing a frequency – a specific tone” (Paul, 2004, p. xx). “Life is is vibration, tone, and rhythm. In this sense, everything is alive. Music “is the organization of specific tones or frequencies, located a specific distances – or musical intervals – from each other” (Paul, 2004, p. xx). It is “the perception and understanding of the underlying order and relationships among all these vibrations, expressed in melody, rhythm, and harmony” (Paul, 2004, p. xx). Unpleasant (discordant) vibrations “will configure our inner world. Conversely, inner turmoil manifests as a manic outer world” (Paul, 2004, p. xx).
In this course, we will be using mantras to create a more harmonious inner world, which will then improve our outer world. More specifically, we will be using mantras from four “streams of sonic mysticism: Shabda Yoga, Shakti Yoga, Bhava Yoga, and Nada Yoga.
We will rely on these yogic systems because they, like all yoga, evoke the wholeness that occurs when “the individual –– the ego or psyche –– is joined, or yoked, with a vision of the cosmic. Today, this sense of belonging to the universe is crucial to our building a global community inclusive of all life” (Paul, 2004, p. 16).
Yoga is prayer conducted through your body. We will be using it to help participants remember their own esoteric form of enlightenment, known as samadhi, that is our normal state of consciousness that “lies hidden under the camouflage of mental activity, a state that is forgotten because of our excessive preoccupation with this world” (Paul, 2004, p. 21).
We will promote samadhi not because we care little about this world but because it helps to liberate us from “self-induced suffering” (Paul, 2004, p. 21) and because, once suffering is minimized, one can devote more attention to helping others, including all of the sentient beings of “this world.” The spiritual technology of the soul that we will use in this course (the college of mantras used in a yoga of sound) establishes a “union to form dynamic energy relationships between our soul and the rest of the universe (from microscopic simple organisms to the macroscopic stellar system), resulting in a bidirectional flow of intelligence that enriches our consciousness and creates the ecstasy that is samadhi” (Paul, 2004, p. 22).
The body postures of Hatha Yoga work to manage and purify the “dense aspects of our being” (blood, cells, tissue.) With its focus on mantras, the yoga of sound that we will employ – by working on one’s thoughts, emotions and states of consciousness – will help participants “free of psychic and spiritual toxicity” (Paul, 2004, p. 24). If you keep treading down the Heartwood Path you can become a post-modern sonic yogi ––one who is aligned with the harmony of the universe through the use of postures and mantras; appreciative of the sacredness of all parts of the human body; devoted to humaNature, one’s neighbors, and the Divine; and complete with a crucible-like heart that is capable of transforming the self and the world.
Mantras, both the articulated external sounds one hears with one’s ears and the radiant power awakened in one’s heart when the sounds resonate rightly, awaken us to vast fields of consciousness. They connect one’s soul to the energy that emanates from the governing vortexes of energy called “chakras.” Such connecting allows us to absorb Divine attributes into ourselves and, in so doing, aspire to our highest good. Mantras are specific tones or tone phrases which are a means to good ends, and these ends are wholeness, happiness, perfection, and health. These sacred sounds are, thus, an important augment to medicine and any program of personal or social improvement. While certain postures and visualizations may be helpful when using mantras, the “sound form in itself carries all the resources necessary to generate the desired result...” (Paul, 2004, p. 44).
We will use mantras as an antidote to the right-brain, ego-dominated lives that one’s reliance on sight exaggerates. The ego-controlled analytical right brain is about doing, often doing that which one ought not to do. We will be using mantras to activate the soul-controlled artistic left brain, which is more about being, being in touch with the soul, and being the way one ought to be. Such ways of being involve ethics, a major theme of this course.
Our use of mantras will focus on the vibrations of the sounds and not their meaning. While many mantric phrases are sanskrit words that are translatable into English, we are in this course focusing on the sound as an aspect of nature, as an aspect also of our deeper nature, and not as an aspect of human language. We will, therefore, be looking for Spirit in sound by toning sounds more than we will be chanting words –– Sanskrit, English or otherwise. We are here connecting mostly with nature and not so much with man-made words, for reasons that will be presented subsequently. It is the sensual experience, the vibration, the music of the spheres, and not the linguistics or the human-oriented meanings that we will be highlighting. Nature does not need our words for its vibrations to work its magic.
In our yoga of sound, we will not be concentrating on human-generated words much at all. Such words are too often communicated without feeling, which will not work for what we are attempting to accomplish –– the attainment guidance from undivided humaNature. We will instead employ the deeper significance of “Vak,” the sounded “speech of all things” –– the underlying “language” of nature. “Vak” is (how) “the sounds of cows, animals, birds, drums, and even inanimate objects participate because every sound, for those who are spiritually attuned, is a kind of speech” (Paul, 2004, p. 44). Writes Russill Paul:
Vak . . . is personified as a goddess representing the speech of stones, water, animals, birds, insects, and human. Vak is a principle shared by both Vedic and Tantric traditions. Meditation on Vak requires a deep listening to the birds, to the river, to the wind, to the thunder. To absorb the principle of Vak into our being is to embody the sacredness and vitality that pervade all of life. As we listen, we allow the power and essence of nature to be absorbed into our soul. This (has to) be done without reflecting on the process. Vak is not to be understood; it is to be absorbed. A stone, a flower, a tree . . . is alive with energy and presence. These sound can feed energy into our soul if we open our hearts to their presence. Meditation on Vak teach us to move out of our self-preoccupied worlds and engage in the vibratory presence of things; the world is alive and throbbing with energy and intelligence” (2004, p. 44).
The “Vak” sounds we will be using are like pre-programmed vessels, guided in their sonic meter and nuance to merge with the sound of The Absolute Spirit known as “Shabda Brahman.” In doing so, we will be replacing words, often laced with negativity, with the Vak sounds of Shabda Brahman that are positive and engender peace, trust, universal belonging, and love.
Given the condition of the world, we can no longer communicate solely in a medium that relies on the abstract form of words, on a medium that allows us to converse without feeling. We need to use sounds that are connected to feelings and, in so doing, do our part in correcting “a disastrous condition for our relationships and our wholeness . . . We have built our business infrastructures, our politics, our religion, and our personal relationships on words that can be said without feeling and still be understood” (Paul, 2004, p. 70). The job for eartHearts will be to rebuild our lives with the signifying sounds of “Vak,” sounds that allow us to feel fully as we communicate with audible sounds, with comprehended gestures in silence (nodding of heads, for example), and even with the ultimate vibration, our own echoing of the “Huge Hum” (also known as the Big Bang), used by the Divine to evoke creation. Within this hum is the harmony the world needs.
You may have heard that you need to get your mantra from a qualified spiritual leader. Such leaders have usually been old men from India. In this course, we will not be using mantras that only come from such men because we want these sacred sounds to be used more pervasively and to come from the untarnished source that is humaNature.
Mantras ought not come from the elite to the elite. The sun shines on all without discrimination. Water cleanses all without prejudice. The earth allows all to walk on her without distinction. Likewise, everyone deserves to resonate with humaNature.
The need for mantras is great. Their power is needed now.
It is not necessary for course participants to seek a living master to begin working with mantras. We are using sounds that come from humaNature. We seek to give them to everyone who will listen. As you will see subsequently, we will share sounds that have been time-tested to work in specific ways.
By not relying on the limiting factor of the transmission of mantras only from the limited number of living masters, more people will be able to receive the benefits. And the mantras will not be tainted with any male-dominated projections of so-called enlightenment. This is not to say that you need to give up any present mantras given to you by respected Masters. Just be open to also using mantras inspired by nature sounds.
Do not think of mantras only as words, particularly the kinds of words you use in your “native-tongue,” in your everyday thinking and speaking. Feel the mantras as vibrations.
You will value your mantras or you won’t. Change them until you do. Use the suggestions for mantras in this text, or make them up in ways that feel right for you.
I find them to be extraordinary. If you value them, use mantras as your support, use mantras as your staff, use mantras as your walking stick down the Heartwood Path.
Focus on the effects of the mantra and not so much on what they mean in human words. To translate the mantra is to bring into the process the distraction of applying mental concepts when really it is feelings that ought to be examined.
Translating mantras brings in the complication of reflecting in a narrow and shallow human way. These sounds deserve more. They are, after all, sounds that come from a broad and deep more-than-human source.
Pay attention to how, if at all, they pull together various aspects of your self into a state of wholeness. Determine how, if at all, the mantras pull together the disparate portions of your being. Pay attention to how, if at all, the mantras reconnect you with your highest truth. Judge for yourself their usefulness and truth.
Certain sounds or sound phrases, some of them musical, are useful; but if you want to pin-point the emotion, feeling, or ailment you are dealing with, use the following system to create your own mantras out of the bija mantras or “seed sounds” (listed in the paragraphs that follow). Each seed sounds evokes a chakra and a particular transcendental element, allowing it to go to work on the job of healing.
Bijas used to facilitate the flow of energy in the lower three chakras are “lam,” “vam,” and “ram.” Bijas used to facilitate the flow of energy in the fourth, fifth, and sixth chakras are “yam,” “ham,” and “om.” The crown chakra responds to silence––the Sonic Absolute.
Mudra Hand Gestures
To strengthen the power of the mantra consider using hand gestures. When doing so know that the thumb represents the Divine and the index finger represents the human soul. There are too many mudras to describe here. We will, at this point, direct your attention to the mudra where the thumb and the index finger are joined, indicating the act of yogic union or the yoking of the individual with the collective. The other fingers represent aspects of nature: the middle finger, purity and light; the ring finger passion and fire; and the little finger, darkness and inertia. For receptivity or to facilitate the flow of energy from from the base of the spine to the top of the head, place the hands, thumbs touching the index finger, on the thighs with palms facing up. For groundedness or to facility the flow of energy in the other direction, place the hands on the knees with the palms facing down. Use the palms down mudra if you feel too flighty and need to become grounded. Use the palms up mudra if you feel too drained and need to raise your energy.
Through a certain form of intentional breathing one can release the most primal form of the life force--kundalini (described in detail in the Heartwood Path for Couples course). Like the unfolding of the branches of a tree as it grows up from the ground, conscious breathing moves kundalini energy from the base of the spine to the head and, “gathers all the vibratory residues of unresolved past experiences on its upward journey, then merges with the sonic absolute, Shabda Brahman . . .” (Paul, 2004, 181). Like a river flooding fields after gathering water from tributaries on its way to the sea, the kundalini “impregnates every level of our being, right down to our roots” (Paul, 2004, 182). Use the following practice to allow this energy . . .
If this is not a day when you prefer to spend time in nature without an agenda, do the following activity:
Flooding The Fields Of Your Nervous System With Vitality
HumaNatureConnect Activity: Flooding The Fields Of Your Nervous System With Vitality. With pen and journal in hand, go to an attractive natural area and, in a spirit of appreciation, look around you to find natural being that is attractive to you. Doing this activity alone in nature helps you to avoid distractions. It also helps you get in better touch with your own inner feelings. Once you find an aspect of nature that is attractive to you continuously for at least ten seconds, use the optimal functioning you receive along with your continued attraction (which can be thought of as your consent to do this activity with the help of the attractive being) to revitalize your nervous system. The method is as follows: Sit on the ground next to your chosen attractive natural being. Relax. Pay attention to the breath entering and leaving your body. Take in one long breath (all the way down to the body) and hold it for an instant. When exhaling, let out your air controllably through the mouth, first from the top of the chest and lastly from the belly, forcing the last of it out by contracting your abdomen. The breath coming out of the mouth is made audible by maintaining “a slight pressure in your throat so that the contracted glottis can regulate the outflowing air . . . The effect is like the sound of an ocean wave” (Paul, 2004, p. 167). This “great yogic breath is essential to deriving the maximum energy from toning vowels – particularly when intoning the sacred syllable “Om” (Paul, 2004, p. 183).
Natural Systems Reflection Process
For best results, write down your impressions of this activity in your journal using as many of the following components as you see fit, afterwards, share your interpretations with others.
The Heartwood Path Exchange:
Swap Your Ideas, Impressions, Photos, And News With Others
Your input is vital. Enjoy sharing!
Heartwood Path Axioms: