Date: Thu Sep 23 2021 00:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)
A well grounded person can be like the tree which survives hurricane after hurricane, living on when the buildings made by humans are blown away. It doesn't matter if you are a healer, or not, being grounded helps us survive the trials of living as a human being. In many schools of energy healing, grounding is part of the basic training. It is not, however, part of the traditional Reiki training, so let's talk about how a Reiki practitioner can utilize simple grounding techniques.
By David Herron
To be grounded is to be present in your current place and time in the world. It is to remember where you are, who you are, and where you're going. Your life is right here, right now. Your life is not in the past, nor is it in the future, nor is it on another planet, nor is it in another dimension. Your life starts from here and now. You might develop an ability to also reach into the future, the past, or other dimensions, but it is healthiest to live those experiences while remaining connected to your present location in space and time.
Some spiritual traditions tell us that the material world we live in is literally Hell. In such thinking, we are to detach ourselves from this world, and instead strive to be spiritual by living in the divine realms.
Other traditions teach that the universal task for humans is a full integration of all our aspects into one expression of life. That means the gross material bodies we inhabit with all layers of divine expression, are to be joined into one full expression of life.
I lean towards the latter, and to be grounded is a first step towards our full integration.
A portion of every person's human energy system a bi-directional flow. We are connected into the earth, providing presence in the here-and-now of the place and time our bodies occupy, and we are connected into the sky, providing presence in the divine realms. Both provide nourishment for our bodies, but in different ways. For the topic of grounding we'll focus on the connection to the earth, in our present space-time location.
There are two main benefits from being grounded:
- Your energy field and your body is better nourished. As you take activities that expend energy, such as giving a healing to a client, being grounded keeps you better supplied with energy so that you won't be as depleted from giving energy to others.
- You will tend to be more stable, especially when facing situations that are stressful or dangerous. This might be a confrontation, an argument, being laid off from a job, a large bill to pay, etc. For healers, we might have a client to help who has incredibly strong issues. In all these cases you must be strong enough to withstand the stress.
That all probably sounded "out there", especially since being grounded is also about being practical. Consider that it doesn't matter what kind of wonderful spiritual states you can attain if you can't afford a place to live. A grounded life plan is ensuring your life has the structure, a home, a job, income, insurance, and so forth, required to live while you explore the spiritual path you're following.
Why do Reiki practitioners need to learn about grounding?
In Reiki training we're shown how to access the Reiki Energy by drawing the Reiki symbols. We experience Reiki flowing through us into our clients. And we're told that Reiki is smart, it knows where to go, it knows what to do, we just have to stand there and wait for it to finish. Traditional Reiki training doesn't cover the issues named above.
But, consider what happens if your client starts acting out difficult trauma's during a healing session. This might be because the healing is touching into "issues" that are expressed through the client. The nature of trauma is that buried inside the trauma is psychonoetic energies that remember the trauma, might be scared, might want to fight back against an attack, and so forth.
As the healer your role is to be strong enough to continue holding healing energies while the client is healing their deep trauma.
The general principle is that our clients have things to heal, and sometimes that involves strong energies. It is best if the healer is able to stay strong and centered no matter what arises in the healing session. Being grounded is similar to being the tree with deep roots which survives the strongest wind storm.
Is it clear, now, that Reiki practitioners should learn about grounding?
The basics of energetic grounding
To be "grounded" is to be present here and now. It is to have your energy field securely present, in your body, in present time, connected clearly to your present identity at this time, and in awareness of what is happening in your vicinity at this time.
Developing presence in the here and now: There will tend to be a feeling of solidity, that starts from your feet (or extends down to your feet). That's part of anchoring you to the here and now, where your feet touch the ground on which you are standing, in the current time of history. Your presence in this time is then built upon the foundation of your legs and feet touching the ground. Your pelvis is supported by your legs, your abdomen supported by your pelvis, your chest supported by your abdomen, your arms connected to your torso, your neck supported by your torso, and your head supported by your neck. Your entire structure is then built upon the foundation of the here and now.
Receiving nurturance from the ground: This is more than physical support, but also subtle energy support with energy flowing into you from the ground. This energy flows into your legs, and from there to every other part of your body, filling and nurturing everything, much like a tree is nurtured all the way to its leaves with nutrition it draws from the ground. The structure of the human energy field has energy channels which mediate a flow of energy between the ground (present here-and-now) and the sky (your divine identity).
Contrast with ungroundedness: By contrast, the ungrounded feeling is to be disconnected, and floating loose. You might not be certain where you are, uncertain of what's happening around you, and so forth.
You might have practiced grounding, and then ten minutes later feeling ungrounded. It is a lifelong spiritual process of learning to embody your manifest form with your life. A common life task for everyone is bringing the divine into manifest form. It may be real tough to see for many people, but I think it's there in all of us.
An energetic grounding exercise
We've gone over a lot of theory and general principles. Let's get down to business of a simple exercise to help being grounded.
A commonly suggested practice is a simple visualization of roots growing down into the ground, connecting to sources of nurturing energy. I remember doing that in a class, and feeling some groundedness. But, does visualizing something while in meditation seem like a practical way to be right here and right now?
You can try that visualization if you like, but let's do something more practical, and more physical.
All kinds of athletes are very grounded and present because of their sport. They're working their physical body to the limit, and success comes to the athlete who is fully present to what they're doing in their sport. Success requires deep attention, or presence, to every moment by moment change. Deep attention means being present.
While sports is a great way to develop deep presence, it is rarely a spiritual activity. As healers, or as anyone seeking to develop themselves spiritually, let's talk about being grounded as a spiritual practice.
For example many traditions teach walking meditation, yoga, and the like. But let's start with something even simpler.
Establishing Presence: Let's stand. Notice your feet on the floor. Notice your legs, your pelvis, your abdomen, your torso, your arms, your neck, and your head. At each stage of that noticing, spend time to acquaint yourself with how present you are in each area.
This exercise is about being present with your body. Being present is a starting point for being grounded. One useful exercise when practicing presence is watching bodily sensations as you go through your day. These sensations can be a source of "psychic" intuitive information. For example, you might be talking with someone, and feel a certain sensation in a certain location in your body, and then notice a similar response when talking to someone else. Why that response in that location? Do you sense any associated thoughts or feelings?
Grounding and filling the human energy field: The next stage is to connect with the earth energy.
- Start with the base chakra, which is located between your legs at the base of the pelvis. By intention have it open to receiving energy from the earth. Also feel your legs beneath you, participating in the energy flowing into you from the earth.
- Second chakra, which is located in the pelvis, and has both a front and rear chakra. It helps with this to tilt your pelvis around, and like with the first chakra to use intention for it to receive energy and support from the first.
- Third chakra, which is located in the upper abdomen, and has both a front and rear chakra. Like with the previous chakras to use intention for it to receive energy and support from the first and second.
- Fourth chakra, which is located in the middle of the chest, and has both a front and rear chakra. Like with the previous chakras to use intention for it to receive energy and support from the ones below. It helps to spread the arms to physically open the chest area.
- Fifth chakra, which is located in the middle of the neck, and has both a front and rear chakra. Like with the previous chakras to use intention for it to receive energy and support from the ones below. It helps to swivel the head around to exercise the neck.
- Sixth chakra, which is located in the middle of the head, and has both a front and rear chakra. Like with the previous chakras to use intention for it to receive energy and support from the ones below.
- Seventh chakra, which is located at the top of the head, and points upward. Like with the previous chakras to use intention for it to receive energy and support from the ones below. Also at the seventh chakra, use intention to connect upwards.
The theory behind this is presented below. What we're doing is opening each chakra in turn, connecting downward to the earth force, connecting upward to the sky force, and placing ourselves in the universe both as a physical and an energetic being. These connections upward and downward are to be made into the present space and time location where your body resides.
As you go through the steps, notice any places that feel constricted, painful, etc. Try to exercise those areas to loosen them to receive energy flow. There may be issues to heal in those locations.
As you become grounded there should be many changes to your feeling-sense-of-being in your body. You may feel warmth or energy filling you. You may feel more alive, more aware of your body, your motions, and may have more fluid reactions to events. You may even feel tall, because your head is connected to energy structures all the way to the ground.
To be ungrounded means you have a weak connection to the present time and space. Your upper body may be disconnected from your legs. This can make one feel like you're floating in the clouds.
It is very useful for energy healers to do this practice before and after healing sessions. It is very useful for anyone to become proficient enough to do this at any time you feel like it, including standing in line at the grocery store.
Corrolary: Ungrounding exercise
It's useful to experience the difference between being grounded and ungrounded. You need to find one or more persons to do this exercise with. It will involve a little bit of gentle pushing between each of you.
Start by everyone (two or more people) going through the grounding exercise.
Split into pairs. Give a little push to your partner, and see how the person reacts while grounded. Don't try to push them over or anything, just a little push.
Next, everyone should "unground", meaning disconnect yourself from the connection into the earth you just created. As you unground, try and notice any responses inside yourself.
Still in pairs, give a little push to your partner, with about the same force as before. Compare how it goes from when your partner was grounded.
It may be that when grounded, your partner will stand more firmly, and when ungrounded your partner will easily stumble when pushed.
Human Energy System theory behind being grounded
To understand the exercise we just did, look at this diagram:
We're attempting to depict a model of the human energy field. There are many books with much better depictions, so for a better image than this rough outline, consult one of those books.
What the diagram attempts to show is the relation between the human energy system, and part of the universal energy field that surrounds us.
The seven main chakra's line up along the Shushumna, which is the main Nadi (or energy channel) running up and down the spine, that some call the vertical power current. You might have the idea from some sources that the seven chakra's are the entirety of the human energy field, but that's not true. Instead the HEF is like a mesh of energy channels, layers, cords connecting to friends and family, and many other things. The chakra's are vortexes that connect to places where a sufficient number of energy channels cross. See Chakras, the human energy field, and psychic perception
For the purpose of learning to be grounded, let's focus on the root chakra. The root chakra is at the base of the pelvis and points downward between our legs, where it extends to the edge of the human energy field. The human energy field structures also extend down the legs, and this is where we ground down into the earth.
Therefore, the first step of the grounding exercise was - with intention - open the root chakra, and the energy channels in the legs, to receive energy from our present location and time on this planet. From there the grounding exercise had you fill yourself segment by segment.
In the last step step of the exercise there was a similar action to take in the crown chakra. Like the base chakra, the crown chakra extends upward to the edge of the energy field. With intention we can open ourselves to receive energy from above, as well as from the ground.
Here's an experiment to try and determine something for yourself. Does your groundedness, or your connection with the present time and space you are in solely come from being grounded to the earth? Does a connection through any other chakra contribute (or not) to being grounded?
In Hands of Light, there is many excellent diagrams and exercises to follow. The exercise shown above were derived from having trained at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, where Hands of Light is one of the main textbooks. For example, in Part V the healer is asked to think of their energy field as their instrument, and in Chapter 21 are exercises for preparing for a healing session.
Plenty of books and advice exist warning us of dangerous beings in the spiritual worlds, and the risk of opening ourselves to spiritual influence. The theory goes that we might be taken over by negative entities (Demons, etc), and therefore it's recommended we either should avoid spiritual practices completely, or to rigorously invoke spiritual protection.
For example, some make talismans meant to ward off evil. Maybe those have some effect, but perhaps the majority of that effect comes from believing such talismans are effective.
Being grounded is excellent spiritual protection. Recall the basic principle mentioned above -- that the energy tends to flow from areas of strength to areas of weakness. If you're not grounded or otherwise not living your strength, you'll be an area of weakness into which other energies can flow. By living your strength you should be less effected by energies or thought forms or entities which would damage you.
Staying present with Reiki, with your client
Consider the flow of experience you have while giving Reiki healing. Your hands are on the clients body, energy is running, hopefully your training successfully connected you to the authentic source of Reiki, and everything is safe because it is Reiki.
How true is that? That's the claim told to us by the Reiki lineage, that Reiki is automatically safe. While I have witnessed what look like safety checks in Reiki, I see that the subtle energies behave as they behave.
For example, if your mind wanders away from the healing session, what happens? You still have your hands on the client, right? Does your wandering mind forget to stay with the Reiki energy source? See Is Reiki automatically a safe healing energy, as is claimed?
Some clients will trigger your own issues. Does the clients trauma remind you of your own trauma? How do you feel about your trauma? What happens to you if you reexperience your trauma? A common response behavior is to metaphorically run away, resulting in becoming ungrounded. If/when your past trauma is triggered by their trauma, can you deal with it, or will you too run away from your own retriggered trauma?
Why is this important? With Reiki it is good form to stay with the Reiki energy. There are many sources and frequencies of energy (Chi) in this universe, but as a Reiki practitioner, and to be practicing Reiki, and to have the safety checks that come with Reiki, you must stay with channeling Reiki.
In other words, giving a Reiki session is like a meditation, where the anchor is the Reiki. In a meditation, when your mind wanders, because it will, your task is to recenter onto the anchor. Similarly, if your mind wanders and you're no longer connected to the Reiki source, then gently reconnect.
For example, I once had a client where at the very beginning of the session, I started reliving the several car accidents I've been in. This included where I nearly died and ended up strapped to a backboard in the back of an ambulance and taken to an emergency room. Upon asking the client about car accidents, she told me about having been in dozens of car wrecks because her father was a bad driver. Score one for my intuition? My clients issues triggered my issues. I ended up unable to proceed with the session. But, ideally I should have connected more deeply into my grounding and proceeded.
This is an example of how an issue in your client can trigger your own trauma.
About "Grounding" mat's and the like
There's a variety of products using the name Grounding or Earthing. I do not know much about these products, so cannot say much about them.
I understand that a core feature of these products is an electrical grounding connection to the product. As long as the electrical system in your living space is properly designed, the ground connection on electrical sockets will be reliably connected into the earth.
That's because electrical systems are required by the electrical code to include a solid connection into the physical earth/ground. For example household electrical systems in the USA require a 6 foot copper rod to be driven into the ground, then connected to the service panel, and from there to every ground connector on every electrical outlet.
But, what I don't understand is why would that make any difference. I've watched a few videos, not enough to learn much of usefulness, and it sounds like the claims are full of technical words but no depth. It is possible that there is something to those devices.
What I refer to earlier is a different sort of grounding. I am not certain whether the two (electrical grounding versus subtle energy grounding) may be related.
Is it necessary or useful to physically touch the ground to be grounded?
Direct physical contact with the earth is widely recognized as a way to become more grounded. For example, gardening involves putting your hands in the soil and is very useful for developing presence and connecting with the earth energies. Walking on the ground, especially bare footed, is not only pleasurable, but is excellent for connecting with the earth energies.
Experiment for yourself whether it makes a difference for you to conduct the grounding exercise indoors or outdoors. Does wearing rubber-soled shoes interfere with grounding? What about leather? Similarly with clothing, do natural fibers help or interfere with grounding? Do nylon or other synthetic fibers help or interfere with grounding?
I found it helpful to wear boots because it provided a reminder of where my feet are, and a feeling of solidity in the feet. For sandals, I insist on ones that firmly attach to the feet, versus the variety that easily slip off, again to promote solidity. Other people have different preferences. Experiment for yourself.
It may be easier to ground in the outdoors. I have found that every stage of being removed from the outdoors makes it more challenging to ground. For example, flying at 35-45,000 feet in an airplane is the furthest removed from the earth most of us get. But I've been able to practice grounding while flying in an airplane. One time while riding in a train, I tried grounding first to the train then to the ground, which produced a very interesting experience. Experiment for yourself.
We've been talking about being grounded, and how energetic grounding works in the context of giving a Reiki healing. Being grounded is useful at every moment of every day in your life, and it's useful when giving healing.
Whatever you take from this, remember that being grounded and being present can be a wonderful gift you give yourself.