How To Gather Power
"We will not know truth until we lose the fear of knowing ourselves"
Alex Polari de Alverga
In talking with a friend the other night over dinner we got onto the subject of meditative and shamanic practices and the ability to access intuitive guidance. Although he had studied shamanic teachings and had been a regular meditator for many years, of late he’d found himself out of the habit and struggling to connect with his deeper guidance.
Shamanic teachings, advise that there are other realms that we can access through journey work, dreams, drumming and other practices. A Shaman is someone who is able to access these alternate realities at will. The key to being able to do this is to have enough power to make the shift.
Logically those on a shamanic path are tasked with practices that enable one to gather power but what does that mean in a day to day sense? I guess the easy way to explain it is by referring to energy. On a daily basis we each have a certain amount of energy – some naturally more than others. We can waste lots of energy on worrying – the brain is about 4% of our body weight but uses about 17% of energy. We can waste lots of energy on getting angry. We can waste lots of energy on engaging in trivial activities. When we finally come to the end of our day we are exhausted – too exhausted to exercise or eat properly, and hence in subsequent days our available energy diminishes.
Managing our energy allows us to have more energy which allows us access to more engaging activities in our lives.
Power is much the same. The Toltec teachings are known to many through the books of Carlos Castaneda and in them the Toltec Shaman Don Juan provides a few techniques for gathering power.
First and foremost in I think all shamanic and religious teachings is being able to rid oneself of ego. Self Importance is the activity that consumes the greatest amount of energy. The key practice in being able to rechannel this energy is stopping the internal dialogue. You know the voice in your head that keeps telling you the same old story?
Buddhism teaches single point meditation focussing on the breath or a mantra to allow the mind to slowly settle and the dialogue to stop.
Don Juan proposes this technique – slightly cross the eyes and keep a peripheral view of everything. Keep one’s unfocussed eyes at a point just above the horizon – it is possible to notice everything in a 180 degree radius. This will shut off internal dialogue.
Not Doing is the next technique to gathering power. Students of neuroscience will know that the more often neurons fire together they will wire together. Hence the more often you do something the more habitual it becomes – and the more it traps you in a fixed way of being that won’t allow you access to deeper intuitive guidance.
Not Doing is the technique to practice – and it is literally as it sounds. Anything you do habitually – break it up. So, if you drive one particular way to work – change it. If you always have coffee in the morning – have tea. If you always go to sleep and wake up at the same time – change it.
The next level is to break it down a bit further – so for instance walk half as fast and open your senses to everything around you.
The third technique for gathering power is Recapitulation. In our lives we go through experiences that cause us to have attachments to various people and places. Some parts of us get either intentionally or accidentally left behind. Some people still maintain an energy link to us – not always good.
Recapitulation is the process of going back through the events of your life and reliving the significant moments. As you do so consciously reclaim your own energy and give back any energy that you may have accidently or deliberately taken from someone else. Also – if you find an energy cord still open – sever it.
By using these techniques you can slowly gather power just as you can slowly gather energy by exercising, sleeping and eating well. The key - of course - is to develop a daily pratice that incorporates these techniques.