In India, if someone does ‘energy work’, he/she is generally called a tantrik/shaman, and others respect him but are also a bit wary of him. He is a part of the society but still apart. People will go to him only as a last option and most think of ‘energy’ as superstition. But from what I see on social media is that in the west, people are eager to get into all this. It is nice, everyone should be aware of their energy and be able to work with it.
I will divide ‘energy work’ into 2 categories. There is a heaven and earth type of difference between the two.
- Working with your own energy for your personal spiritual development – Here you are following Shri Krishna’s advice, ‘Focus on your immediate action’. This dissolves karma.
- Using your experience with manipulation of energy to do stuff. Here you do not follow what Shri Krishna said because you are focussing more on the ‘reason why you are doing this action’! This can create new karma.
Working with your own energy is the most natural thing that you can do. In India, we are taught from our childhood onwards to recite prayers, mantras, to do small pujas, homa, gayatri mantra jaap and stuff. Most houses will have a copy of a spiritual book, mostly Bhagwat Gita or perhaps Devi Mahatmya, but rarely even Vignyan Bhairav Tantra. In some families, children are taught how to do Dhyan. My family also taught me Jyotish.
If you follow your family traditions you are well on your way to being aware of your own energy. But for those who have missed out on having such a family background, the easiest thing is to start the Gayatri mantra jaap. Get a Asan and fix it in your mind that you will do 108 times jaap of Gayatri mantra once/twice/thrice a day, (morning/evening twilight and midday are the three appropriate timings), or anytime as per your convenience. Gayatri is the light which will take you on your internal journey, put your faith in it and allow it to transform you. (Or you can start with Dhyan, but as small children are first taught Gayatri jaap during their thread ceremony/Upanayan, this mantra is the foundation, it helps put you in the habit of sitting on one place and focussing.)
As you progress, you will feel a change in yourself and also in the people around you. As you become more aware of your own self you become ‘lighter’. You also become more aware of other people deeply. You pick up stuff from their auras, from the sub-conscious. You can sense the energies of stuff, houses and places you visit. If you go and pray in our ancient temples, you can sense the Deity looking back at you (often your hair will stand up in waves on your body, or you will sense a refreshing coolness). You will be able to repay your karmic accounts on the level of energy directly. Life becomes more multidimensional and very very beautiful. These are all indications that things are on right track.
As you progress even more you will be made to do specific activities which will manipulate the pran directly within your own body. You might be made to do specific Dhyan, Pranayams or Anushthans etc. You will be told by your own higher self. But you can listen to yourself only when you recite the Gayatri. It is the foundation of every Sadhana.
In this ‘energy work’, there is no danger and nothing to be scared of. You are trusting the ‘Vedmata’, Gayatri Herself. She will take you along the best possible route. Your only job is to recite the Gayatri mantra, again and again and again, it is this easy!
As you focus on the Mantra, your intense concentration wipes off every other thought from your mind, no past no future no parallels. You will ultimately experience the present Moment. Here you are stopping your mind from wasting its energy thinking frantically always and instead letting the Mantra power your soul on your true journey!
Now to using your experience with energy manipulation. Spiritual progress is ultimate but rather ‘non-glamourous’. Most people are more fascinated by the physical visible wow! ways of using energy. This can get a bit problematic if you do not pay attention. There is also a reason to be wary of things which are not a part of the regular physical existence. So here are a few things which you should be aware of when you engage in ‘energy work’. It sounds very exciting! But it is hard work and requires you to be vigilant and take precautions.
First of all this is a subject of the astral not physical. You manifest using your thoughts and your astral potential. So be very clear about what you are doing, a back-lash will register in your astral self and will carry on through your next several lives.
Once you start thinking on these topics, you will attract others from the astral dimensions who will offer to work with you for a bargain. Again be very careful about what you are doing, things are never what they seem to be, they literally have other dimensions.
Always cleanse, ground and shield yourself. As long as you are aware of only the physical world, others from the other dimensions do not bother about you. But once you enter their other dimensions, they also become aware of you. So always shield even when you are sleeping or dreaming or in deep sleep. The only place where you will be truly safe will be your Asan on which you do your regular spiritual practice.
You will need to develop enough confidence in your own energy. The other energies you work with are not from this dimension so look, feel, even taste weird, misshapen and often fearful! If you feel scared and lower your guard, you will be in trouble.
You will have to do some regular spiritual practice, there is no alternative for this. The amount of energy that you need to dabble in ‘energy work’ is enormous. So start something and stick to it. If you do not replenish your energies regularly you will fall ill and will feel drained for no reason.
Next is to be careful of what you eat and drink. You cannot allow tamasic energies into yourself. These are very ‘heavy’ and your energy bodies get uncomfortable under their influence. Non-vegetarian food and intoxicants are the worst because they overload the body. Your body is the geometry (Mahameru) through which you focus and channelise your energy. This has to be in perfect shape for you to use it. If you overload it with tamasic energies it loses its perfect balance.
And ultimately do only the work you are required to by Karma. Do not get carried away with the sense of power you will develop. When you start sensing your energy in whatever way, you ‘feel’ more. You sense the difference between you and other ‘normal people’. If you let it go to your head and start doing stuff to show off or to assert your ego it will result in negative karma. Just remember that everyone is a fragment of the Ultimate and keep your ego grounded.
Now there are gentler ways of using energy like Reiki. This is a good way of accessing the Universal energy, but the philosophy of Reiki being taught now is not what Mikao Usui initially taught. He was very clear that Reiki has to be taught to everyone and everyone should do self-healing. Doing healing on others was not advised except in extreme cases. There is a reason for this. When you do healing on others even for that brief 5mins and even if you are well shielded, your auras link up very deeply, there is always a chance of exchange at the deepest levels. Not good! And the second reason is that if you get emotional (most of us do feel compassion for the client), you can end up sharing your own personal energy sub-consciously.
And finally if you choose to use your energy actively for any sort of work, you will have to control your thoughts. Your thoughts are your tools. You cannot get randomly angry or swear or think of harm. The reason is that you will then subconsciously power such thoughts with your energy and the negativity will manifest. You will harm others with your thoughts and earn negative karma for yourself.
I know that every one who starts accessing their energies through spiritual practice will at some point ‘dabble’ in the second type of ‘energy work’. It is exciting, no doubt! But always remain aware of what you are doing and be careful. Ultimately it is between you and your conscience. Play with energy if you so wish, but be aware of Karma. And sooner or later you will decisively adopt the category 1 of ‘energy work’, of working with your own energy for your personal spiritual development, just like Shri Krishna said.
(Thank you to the kind soul who suggested this topic, I hope reading it triggers something good for you!)