Energy blockages

thumbnail
Ben V., modified 6 Months ago.

Energy blockages

Posts: 339 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
Posting this in Energy practices section.

I just came back from an assessment and beginning treatment with an Osteopath who seemed to also be familiar with meditation and energy practices.

Something she told me about my body matches well with what I often experience in meditation.

She literally said my head was "full of light", but it's a too small of a place to contain that much energy, and that it needed to be spread out trough my body. She said I needed grounding techniques, more connection with the earth.

She saw blackages around my diaphragm area.

That hit a chord because when I meditate and get concentrated, I often feel lots of vibrations in the face and head, but also tightness in the diaphragm area: a straight line of tightness extending from the lower left ribs, across solar plexus and all the way to the opposite lower ribs. I see it as a form of resistance, but to what I'm not sure. Some fear in there as well.

She said I'm very connected to the sky but not enough to earth. I made a joke telling her that's why my last name is Santerre, which in French (my mother tongue) literrally means "without earth".

Now looking for concrete energy practices that are about grounding. Anyone have experience with this?
thumbnail
mrdust, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Energy blockages

Posts: 43 Join Date: 7/17/19 Recent Posts
After some heady insight stuff that was very detached / cerebral / destabilizing this has been a major focus for the last 6 months, and it's really helped with grounding, integrating, and deepening insight.

If you're doing something like breath of the nose or a very visual practice I'd start by broadening my meditation object. Get that awareness away from the head and into the entire body by watching the rising / falling of the belly, whole body breathing, etc.

Kenneth Folk's direct path videos are a nice intro to the general idea of broader body focus. Watch / listen to the series (~5 of them) as if it's a guided meditation. You can then turn this into a simplified practice to do throughout the day.

I also found Reggie Ray's stuff excellent at grounding, probably the best out there. Check out the first 3 guided meditations from his The Awakening Body book (or do his Audible program "Your Breathing Body"): 
  • 10 Points practice is a good foundation and after getting up to speed with it you can focus on releasing your trouble spots, such as the diaphragm
  • Earth descent is excellent and specifically for grounding
  • Yin breathing is basically belly breathing shamatha

I've also worked with a Rolfer (bodyworker) / Qi Gong practitioner who's great at this. The main objective there is to fix your body alignment / posture by releasing tension in your muscles so they can relax downwards, and keeping awareness on your whole body as you move. (Alexander Technique and various other postural work should give a similar benefit.) She gave me an exercise to keep my awareness in the center of the earth below me throughout the day, which is basically the same as Earth Descent pointed to above. Very effective. I had done a bunch of 10 points and Direct Path practice before though.

For the most detailed stuff on energy work check out Taoism, e.g. "Sinking the Qi" -- basically another way to describe the practices I mention above. Another very useful thing to help with all this is stretching mindfully while keeping your awareness in the body. Check out Yin Yoga, or this Qi Gong stretching.

If you really want to go deep, then A Comprehensive Guide to Daoist Nei Gong by Damo Mitchell is perhaps the best stuff on energy work I've found. It's chock full of information and theory for energy practices, but also has quite a bit of Taoism theory to wade through. He also has very good online programs / community if that's your thing.

What I realised after doing the Reggie Ray stuff for a number of months, then the Rolfing / awareness work, then reading about Taoism, is that they all basically point to the same thing, which is grounding energy, letting your muscles hang off the spine naturally, releasing tension and knots from your fascia and making your whole body's energy system work more efficiently by building the energy upwards starting with the hara, rather than from the head downwards, as many meditation practices that aren't built on a physical / energetic foundation tend to do.
thumbnail
Jarrett, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Energy blockages

Posts: 54 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Very helpful. Thank you!
thumbnail
Ben V., modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Energy blockages

Posts: 339 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
Thanks everyone for these ressources! I will look into them.

I'm actually scheduled for Rolfing sessions this coming October, so I'm glad to hear this could be part of what could help.
thumbnail
mrdust, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Energy blockages

Posts: 43 Join Date: 7/17/19 Recent Posts
Yes, that's exactly the gist of it.

The subsequent videos come up as recommended in YouTube next to / below that one. Alternatively if I search YouTube for "Kenneth Folk Direct Path" all 5 appear. They're 10mins each, except the last one, which is about 6mins. These links should take you straight there.

https://youtu.be/6WiCXn87BF4

https://youtu.be/9uFnooNnjsY

https://youtu.be/l35y_dwFrPs

https://youtu.be/iubAI4wzkzc

https://youtu.be/AWIsWMTF4_0
thumbnail
Ben V., modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Energy blockages

Posts: 339 Join Date: 3/3/15 Recent Posts
mrdust,

I just watched part 1 of Kenneth Folk direct path videos. I cannot find the other 4. I got from it to spread out my attention to include the whole body, and with blocages to place my attention there. Very nice. 

i do Skype sessions with him occasionally. Next time I will ask him more about that.
thumbnail
Siavash, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Energy blockages

Posts: 1093 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Hi Ben,

Rob Burbea gives some very good suggestions in his jhana retreat too, in case you haven't listened to it. My whole body is a bag of blockages, and I use his suggestions. It helps.


https://dharmaseed.org/retreats/4496/
thumbnail
Zachary, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Energy blockages

Posts: 196 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts
Now looking for concrete energy practices that are about grounding. Anyone have experience with this?

I have had almost identical imbalances as you mention and found Zhan Zhuang standing meditation to be an excellent practice for this (I feel like I mention this in every post I write at this point emoticon). There is a short book titled The Way of Energy by Lam Kam Chuen and an instructional/documentary video floating around on YouTube by him as well, both good places to start. There's no need to make the practice that complicated, after about a year and a half I continue to just do the first two postures that are mentioned in the book and a brief warmup. I recommend doing the practice outside by a big tree if you can find somewhere quiet without too much wind, but indoors is great too. 

I've also been reading a lot of Alexander Lowen's work to get a better understanding of how and why these tensions form in childhood, which has also helped to contextualize what's going on in a pretty down-to-earth model. I feel like as my mind absorbs a better intellectual understanding of why things happened and what's going on, it feels more assured in letting go into the body more. Specifically referring to the titles Depression and the Body, Betrayal of the Body, Fear of Life and Narcissism
thumbnail
Helen Pohl, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Energy blockages

Posts: 81 Join Date: 8/10/20 Recent Posts
Not a therapy per se* perhaps but I know of nothing more grounding than being out in nature. Leave your phone at home and go find a forest. Even a park will do. =)


*=unless you want to call it shinrin-yoku
thumbnail
Pepe, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Energy blockages

Posts: 281 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Very good advice from MrDust and Zachary. Definetively, Damo Mitchell's the best stuff available online. Yet, you need already some energy in the system for the exercises to work, as he states in his videos. While the development of the microcosmic orbit is very interesting, grounding is the solution to your blockage. You need to channel all that energy down to the legs and ground. And that's something you work in the macrocosmic orbit. Zhan Zhuang may help you to hollow the chest, but if you're new to this stuff you'll end up tensing shoulders, arms and back. Ironically, though coming from a taoist background, I recommend you Metta/Gratitude as a solution to unblock the solar plexus. 

I have had a big blockage there too before (nowadays it comes and goes and it's tiny) and the trick was to picture the outbreath as descending from the sides of the torso, plus doing some folding/unfolding of the pelvis (like opening/closing a book) done standing up, so as to locate the lower dantian. There are also a couple of exercises that I can show you, if you are interested PM me.
thumbnail
Zachary, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: Energy blockages

Posts: 196 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts
Pepe:
Ironically, though coming from a taoist background, I recommend you Metta/Gratitude as a solution to unblock the solar plexus. 

Yes, forgot to mention that some sort of compassionate approach is also part of the equation here.

My mind is generally wild and scattered with language and conceptual thinking so I rarely use any phrases for Metta. I'll instead just rest my hands at different parts of the chest and throat and feel/absorb into any feeling of warmth, love or pleasure. I'll usually do this at beginning and end of every sit for at least a few minutes. You can place your hands on the location of specific energy centers or just use your intuition as to where the most attention is needed. 

Breadcrumb