365 Days of Prayer – Day 74 The Chakras one by one Day 4 – Root

Let’s begin with the Root chakra, because I cannot say too much about the practice of grounding. We have this lovely Root chakra that serves to anchor us in the earth and to discharge excess and negative energy into the earth. The Peruvian Paqos call this energy hucha, and the earth feeds on it.

Whether I am sitting or standing comfortably, I can send energy up and down my vertical energy column comprised of feet and legs, spine, and head. There are minor chakras below our feet that connect us to earth as does the Root chakra discussed on day 1 of this teaching. Try it both ways – standing and sitting. With practice, this exercise of running energy up and down the vertical energy column can be done while walking. When you get really practiced at it, try it running, riding, or dancing. The exercise enhances your awareness of energy. Relax into your breathing and begin the practice of intentional sensation, running your energy from Root to Crown and then from Crown to Root. Somedays you will become aware of your energy running one way or the other without your conscious participation. I attribute this to the fact that we are transmitters of energy and we belong to the realms of Great Nature and the human collective, and our capacity to balance and blend the energy of our locale is needful. With practice, you can use this capability to diffuse your own excessive negative emotions or those of a group you are in.

Why is this important?

The human collective is in a time of struggle. We are meant to evolve toward higher conscious being. This seems to be a time where the shadows are being exposed, and each of us called to honor the code of integrity by confronting our own shadows and learning to live with more light. We cannot live with more light until we heal our own darkness.

One of the things that happens is that people get angry. We feel angry at the corrupt politicians whom we have been told will take care of us. We feel uncertain at the changing climate and whether we can do anything about it. We wonder if our votes count. Some people don’t vote at all in their apathy. One of the things that happens when we don’t deal with our own anger is that we project it outward as blame at one person or another. Some of us hate Donald Trump. Some of us hate the Democrats. We all realize that there is a problem, but instead of figuring out what kind of a stand we can proactively take toward solving the problem(s), it is easier to be angry and that anger then joins the human collective anger. We vent. We poison others with our venting. We are discharging negative emotions, but we don’t see it, because we feel better for a while afterwards.

But when we do learn to see it, we have the option of clearing ourselves of our poison so that it doesn’t contribute to the overall miasma of the human collective. So we take up that responsibility. Sometimes we get hit with the “stuff” of other people and accidentally take that in energetically. So this is a way to deal with that – I can send negative energy down into the earth, and the earth will feed on that hucha for its own dinner.

Mother Earth, Mother Gaia, please accept this energy that does not serve me. I send it down my vertical energy column and out my Root chakra and the chakras of my feet. Accept this energy offering and let me be clear. Thank you!

365 Days of Prayer – Day 73 The Chakras and clearing the emotional body Day 3

Today I want to finish describing the three upper body chakras.

The Throat chakra through which we manifest our expression in the world and its element is sound. Here such values apply as what I give my word to, promises I must keep, and other values of communication.

The Brow chakra, also called “the third eye,” is located about an inch straight up above the bridge of the nose and below the middle of the forehead. This center is related to the pineal and pituitary glands. Its element is chi/qi/ki energy. This very much relates to the sexuality of kundalini. Its gift is psychic.

The Crown chakra provides our personal and direct link to divine source. Every body has this, it is not the “special provenance” of a few select priests or prophets. (I am one who sees aspects of auras, and I see every one with a connecting link vanishing from this crowning point of their head into heaven – I do not see where the cord goes, but it is there in everyone of us!).

The Crown and the Root chakras are the ends of the vertical pillar of energy that runs along the spinal column. The other chakras, the Sacral, Solar, Heart, Throat, and Brow display horizontal funnels of energy to the fore and aft of the body that connect with the vertical energetic core. Through these funnels we take in and dispel energy. Intentional sensation is the development of a deep intuitive awareness of our body that makes us sensitive to the energies we take in. Although this requires practice, I feel it is very essential to my psychic harmony of mind and body.

Today I want to introduce the practice of Intentional Sensation. We began this a bit on day one, and this too can become as a prayer or as a meditation.

Sit as before, and for a moment focus on your breathing. Use your breathing to release any and all tension you are holding in your body – toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, lower back and abdomen, upper back and chest, shoulders – loose, loose, loose, and neck, arms all the way down to your fingers. Breath your relaxation into every area of your body holding your awareness of the sensation of your body as best as you can. Think about relaxing now the muscles of your face and head. Then, finding your center, hold this overall awareness and note what areas of your body are crying for attention. What is tense? What is painful? What feels good?

Take a moment to take stock of all this. Slowly, begin to breathe into those tight areas, concentrating as you do so on releasing what is stuck. Sometimes it helps to apply the stuck feeling a shape or a color. Let gravity take it, out, out, out of your body and into the earth. If your awareness allows you to perceive an emotion or associated thought, note that too. It is another facet of self knowing.

Creator, truly the workings of my mind and body are a miraculous thing. Thank you for the awareness that has occurred today.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 72 Clearing the emotional body series day 2 the upper chakras

The three uppermost chakras continuing to move upward from the Heart where we left off yesterday are the Throat, the Brow, and the Crown. These chakras combine to form the higher self.

Food for thought – the higher self and the lower self are neither good nor bad, and should not be thought of that way. They are simply two different aspects of the human complex that take care of the business of life in the physical world and life in the spiritual world. The Heart chakra is the connecting link for both; the vagus nerve connects the heart and the brain. Our process is about becoming whole and this is done through unifying the disconnected aspects of our human psycho-biophysical complex.

As mentioned yesterday, the yogic chakras are a model for the energy body of a human being. Seven chakras are located moving up the body from the Root chakra to the Crown chakra. Yesterday we discussed the Root, the Sacral, and the Solar Plexus, and included a meditation and a prayer.

The Heart chakra deals with the emotions. The positive emotions of love and compassion have the power to open the door wide to the inner and outer worlds of perception, whereas the negative emotions of anger, fear, anxiety, or sadness can make us determine to close it completely. I believe my heart empowers the energetic quality of my life, and rather than obstructing my heart with chronic negative emotions, I choose to clear them. More on that later. It is an important topic, but the rest of this information lays the ground work for that. I need a certain amount of self-understanding before I can begin that clearing work. The element of the Heart chakra is air.

Today a mindfulness exercise. This can be used as a prayer or meditation.

Sitting comfortably either cross legged or in a chair, start your practice with a deep breath. Another. One more. Good. Now think of something beautiful or happy or something that makes you feel loved, makes your soul sing. Feed yourself with this thought. Feel your heart center expanding outward as this thought fills you with good and happy feelings. 

Now, think of something bad that happened to you. The day my cat died. The day my best friend said and did something really hurtful and the friendship ended. That awful elementary teacher who always cut me to the quick, saying things to embarrass me in front of the class, because I could not learn the way she expected me to learn. Watch what happens to your energy field. Has it contracted? Do you feel diminished? Have your thoughts switched from feeling good about yourself to bad about yourself? 

Bring your ideas back to something happier. The purpose of this exercise was to show  how the heart is affected by the adverse thoughts and feelings we randomly carry within us. Emotions and the biochemicals of emotions rise and fall within us in response to our thoughts and our circumstances – these are a result of the endocrine glands responding to what we think and what we feel. Explore the power you have to change what you think and what you feel. 

Creator, thank you for the amazing powers within my own body to respond instead of react to external events. Thank you for the guidance to perceive how my internalized thoughts can motivate my reaction to what is no longer real.

 

365 Days of Prayer – Day 71 Clearing the emotional body series day 1 the lower chakras

I have been wanting to do a series on the chakras as a method of clearing the energy field. I consider my body to be the temple of my spirit, and of course I want the cleanest house possible. We clean the outer body through bathing and the inner body through careful consideration of the foods we eat, but do most of us ever think about the emotional associations we take in as impressions every day? Maybe we should do more of that.

Authors Judith Anodea, Rosalyn Bruyere, and Barbara Ann Brennan have explored the chakras in depth. The chakras are wheels of light within the human energy field, spinning in areas of nerve meridian density adjacent to the endocrine glands. The endocrine glands put out the chemicals that govern the involuntary working of the physical body, playing important function in maintaining health.

There are seven chakras in the Yoga tradition – from the ground up these are the Root, the Sacral, the Solar Plexus, the Heart, the Throat, the Brow, and the Crown.

The Root is described as being located between the area of the anus orifice and the tailbone. This is the area which at conception we are rooted to the earth plane. Its elemental association is earth.

The Sacral, located near the sacrum, about three fingers below the navel, has the root word for “sacred.” The womb in a woman is related to creativity and birth. It is the center from which we are born, our first “home” coming into the earth plane. Its elemental association is water. I have read that the sacral chakra is located in the same place, male or female.

The Solar Plexus is the nerve braid located a hand breadth above the navel in the area just below the inverted “V” of our rib cage. It correlates with the formatory mind, that part of our ego that relates to how we are seen and want to be seen in the world – our will and our self mastery. Its elemental association is fire.

These three chakras correlate to the Lower Self.

Today the prayer is also a meditation.

Creator, I am grateful for the body that houses my spirit and that this body lets me engage wonderfully with the world around me in the most sensual and intimate ways.

Sit for a minute holding presence awareness in the lower half of your body. Sense with your awareness the life force energy pervading your hips, your thighs, knees, lower legs, ankles and feet. Shift your position a little bit. Wiggle. Hold your presence awareness there.

I am grateful for the gift of movement, for these legs that transport me across the earth.

As you continue to sit, visualize the bottom of your tailbone beautifully supporting the erect carriage of your body. Imagine roots connecting you to the bounty of earth home. Feel your connection here to all the things within range of your perception.

I am grateful for this Root chakra which anchors me into the earth plane for this time and place. I am grateful for all that surrounds me now.

Moving your awareness upward, focus on the Sacral chakra. Allow your mind to expand into all the creative processes ongoing in your life now. That project at work. That child in the womb. That painting you are so excited to finish. The next business idea. Or simply the beauty of the place where you are seated. As your mind drifts on these topics, notice your thoughts turning to ideas or judgments about them, and notice the energetic engagement of your Solar chakra. Bring your mind back again to where you are sitting, Root yourself and come back.

I am grateful for how I feel and think about the world around me. These feelings and thoughts, positive or negative, inform me about how I am in the world.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 70

I don’t know if you are aware, as I have become aware, but there is an entire society underlying this one. I never paid attention to it before. But there is an entire group of thinkers and planners whose work often goes un-noticed because I couldn’t be bothered, but they contribute to the well being and ease of living that most of us take for granted. These capable men and women are agents of change. Sometimes their work is welcomed and sometimes it is not, and whether I like it or not, they are there in the shadows at government meeting, in towns, in municipalities, in planning boards and zoning boards and in judiciary posts. Sometimes they are responsible for assigning us more taxes; sometimes we luckily learn that we have fewer taxes. There are tax assessors, building inspectors, code enforcement officers and the people who drive snowplows. Maybe it’s your own neighbor. There are fire fighters and police officers calmly going about their jobs to the benefit of the rest of us. And there I am sneaking out into the pre-dawn hours to drive a school bus. Gee. I think I could make a novel out of this…

Creator, I am so, ever so grateful, that there is somebody willing to take on the jobs I don’t want to do! Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 69 Books!

Books, books, books! And time to write.

I don’t know if there is a God or Goddess of books and libraries, but there ought to be.

I walk into a library, and I glance around at all the shelves laden with books. There are books in colorful bindings. Books whose drab covers do not inspire me to pick them off the shelf. Books with intriguing titles that make me yearn to see what lies between the covers. There are books with all types of subject matter. Some interests me and some does not.

And yet. All of these books represent the time someone took to have and develop an idea. Whether fiction or non-fiction my hat is off to those authors.

Creator, I am really, really glad some one took the time to write down his or her ideas so that I can learn. I have written down my own ideas. I am thankful for books that I can have a meeting with another human thinker, whether they are alive or dead at the time I am reading their work. Amen.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 68 – Squirrels

Creator, today I thank you for the entertainment of squirrels. Amen.

One of my favorite small animals to watch are the “Nutters,” my nickname for Squirrels. They are industrious, energetic, athletic, boisterous, and sometimes really, really stupid. They have good lessons to teach, and I have a few squirrel stories.

One time I sought the forest to drum and to pray. Two red squirrels located themselves on the trunk of a Hemlock where I was praying for healing the oceans. When I hit the drum, they sat hypnotized. When I stopped hitting the drum, they scolded me for being in their personal space.

Another time I was parked on a bench beside the Hudson River beneath an Eastern Red Bud Tree. It was mid-June. A huge leaf fell on my head, and then another. I looked up, perplexed. Finally I spotted the dancing squirrel, as it settled down to eat a mouthful of something that grows at the end of the leaf where it joins the tree. Not a nut. That leaf too fell on my head.

Many times I have been entertained by the antics of boisterous squirrels chasing each other up and down trees. There is a large population of them at this park beside the Hudson where I spend my days between bus runs. My favorite “Squirrel frieze” is when they stop suddenly on the trunk of the tree facing downward, the bushy tail jerking with alarm, their mouth open. They look like a water spout.

But the stupidity of squirrels makes me sigh. I drive a school bus, a large yellow box on wheels that any sensible, self preserving squirrel should be able to see before it darts out into the road. Alas. The little furry antic makers are very poor decision makers. “Which way do I go? Which way do I go?” Whop! Fade.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 67 Grace filled soul

Garden time

“When I want something done right, I have to do it my self!”

Well, yes, if this particular project is my own idea, and will be subject to my own brand of perfectionism, then yes. If I want something done right, I had better look to it myself.

Still sometimes life requires cooperation. And the need for cooperation can be downright funny – in hindsight. Especially when there are two of us working together and each of us likes to be right! I will probably never forget setting up the garden with my second husband. I learned to keep my mouth shut until he had tried everything and then calmly state what I thought might work. Our arguments did more than most other efforts did to teach me to hold my silence and to allow another person a process. At other times I needed him to let me have my process, so it was a two-way street. The reward was not whether he was right or I was right. The reward was the beautiful food we grew and had to eat well into the winter.

Creator, thank you for allowing us our process. Whether I am right or wrong. I need this time of discovery and error, this time of making mistakes and rectifying them in order to grow a more grace-filled soul. Thank you.

365 Days of Prayer – Day 67

“Make me worthy.” These thoughts I often have when I come before the Gods. I really don’t know if I need to ask the Gods for that, because it is an act of preparation I make, that includes getting in touch with my own conscience, asking myself if there is anything out of balance in my life that must be addressed before I seek the Holy. But I ask it, in case I have missed something examining my conscience, because I know the Gods have the power to open my heart, break open my heart if necessary.

Yes, the Gods have broken open my heart before. Pride can be that most obstinate of inner opponents. I can justify anything to myself, but when I hurt those I most love, I am also most out of sorts with myself. Because those are the moments my world is most out of alignment.

The Native Americans have their teachings of the Medicine Wheel. The Medicine Wheel is aligned in accord with the four directions, and each direction holds a teaching. In brief, the east holds the power of mind, of fire, of sun, of intellect. The south holds the power of emotion, water, needs, and desires. The west holds the power of the physical body, earth, death, endings, and harvest. The north hold the powers of air, spirit, and community. Within these four directions we can discern where life is out of balance and make redress.

So the prayer for today:

Make me worthy, O Creator. Make me worthy, not from pride or the falsity of ego. But make me worthy from the heart – in love and truth to be of service through the joy of sharing my gifts. Amen Aho

365 Days of Prayer – Day 66 For mother’s children in the military

When my son joined the military I was tossed back on old emotions that I repressed until I could feel safe dealing with them. I was not a conventional mother. My son went to school with his dad. His dad has the farm and that is where my son wanted to be. He wanted to be with me too, but I could no longer be with his dad. The shadows between his dad and I drove me away.

I loved my son with all that was in me to love him. I had him summers and weekends until he was old enough to want to build deeper ties with his friends than his mom. I was the best mom I knew how to be given the circumstances of my life, and yet, being his mom, I still have incredible feelings of guilt that do nothing for anyone, not even me! I broke my own heart when I chose to let my child go to school with his dad, and I have not yet managed to live down my own self-betrayal.

With all of this inner discord recognized, my son’s choice to join the military meant that I had to deal with my own inner shit. I could not ask the question, why would you make this choice. He had already made it. We had already discussed it. He had talked about it separately with his dad and me. It quite simply was what he wants to do.

Now with all the stupidity going on in government, I may have to prepare my heart that my child, yes, the one that grew inside me and that I birthed into the world, that one, may get sent into some very risky areas of the world. What I have to comfort me is that I have not let the moments to make memories go. He came home and surprised me over Christmas. I got out to see his graduation from Marine Boot Camp.

I am not alone in sending children off to the military. Many, many mothers before me have seen their sons and daughters off to prove their mettle under the duress of war. I am less afraid for my son than I am my own broken heart, and this… This attitude does not seem worthy to me for the kind of man my son has become. But I put it out here, because these tender and heart racking emotions are what the gift of prayer is for.

Creator, when my son told me he wanted to serve in the Marines, my heart knew fear. What parent sees their child enter the arena of war without a healthy awareness of just what could happen? But God, this isn’t all I am feeling. Any mother’s son could be my son in this moment. We love them and we miss them and we hold them close to our hearts, for any of them could be my son’s comrades in arms, and they all hold each others’ backs. Let us hold theirs on the home front while they are on the battle front. Let us hold the victory. Let us see our children safely home after the battle is won. Let our hearts be glad again, always, in the coming together again. Amen.