There’s more to it than you might think. In fact, we could write a trilogy of books on it…

Ah, the hot sun on our backs, the warm glow of a new lightbulb, the sweet crunch of a cereal bar after a workout! When it comes to energy, most people accept E=MC2 because seeing is believing, but when we start talking about other “forms” that we cannot physically perceive,  you can hear the “urghhh”s from a mile away.  

Spiritual energy has a lot of names, and before the sceptic in you rolls their eyes and clicks on the “x” button, consider this: everything we do involves energy, and it cannot be created or destroyed, right? So just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean its not there…

WHAT IS SPIRITUAL ENERGY?

Trying to explain it is difficult –  if we say it’s a manifestation of divine love, you’re gonna picture a group of people in a circle, holding hands and singing Kumbaya My Lord, which is great but not exactly what we mean.

The truth is that it’s more like the universal life force – it can be evoked by the power of thought, and the strongest life force is that which we call “love”  (In this case  it’s “not a personal feeling of affection, much less possession. In fact, it is almost the exact opposite. It is an unconditional desire to help all life. The defining characteristic of true love is: sacrifice.”

TYPES OF SPIRITUAL ENERGY

Technically, there is only one, but different cultures have their own names (and slight variations) for it.

Prana (Hindu)

Meaning “breath” in the ancient Hindu language of Sanskrit, , “it has a visible aspect which is the air we breathe and an invisible aspect, which is the energy that flows in the body through various channels and sustains it.

How is Prana “sustained”? By moving through energy channels in our body, called nadis (sort of like a giant, spiritual circuit). If any of the connections are broken, Prana will not be able to flow and the whole system will not work.

That’s when we feel sick, or demotivated, or tired.  Cue the yoga.  

Chi

This, too, is associated with breath, or the “energy that animates the body”. In the traditional Chinese manner, everything has an opposite, and it is only by balancing said opposites out that one can achieve chi – yin and yang mean “two halves that together complete wholeness”  e.g. night (Yin) and day (Yang), female (Yin) and male (Yang).

The approach to finding this balance is a little more hands on than yoga: try herbs, Taoist breathing, and movement practices like tai chi or qigong.

Divine Love

Christianity, Judaism, and many other religions define this as a pure, uncorrupted love coming directly from God.

For all the atheists out there, don’t throw your hands up in frustration just yet.

Every individual has their own concept of what God is: for some it’s a divine entity responsible for the creation and sustainment of the world as we know it – for others it’s just a three letter word, but it still means something.

Where Prana has yoga, and Chi has Tai Chi, connecting with divine love has many varied forms depending on the religion you are (or are not) practicing. To some, this may mean going to church, to others it may mean gardening.

Mother Earth Spirituality

Stemming from Native American traditions, this type of energy follows the idea that the body is made up of all the same elements, minerals and energy that makes up the planet – this is the fundamental believe. Being one with nature is the goal in the pursuit of achieving love.

Taking nature walks, meditating, or undertaking a vision quest are some of the ways to harbour it.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Consider yourself a walking battery, which is sort of what you are. Of course you need food and water and sleep to survive, but what if you have all those things and still find yourself mentally exhausted?

This is where the lines merge and you can say that although you are physically charged, you are spiritually “depleted” (that sounds like we’re saying that you have no soul but, hey, you do!).

If physical changes don’t help, it’s time to take another approach. And the best bit? Just like you don’t need to understand the law of gravity before you can fall down, you don’t need to completely grasp the concept of energy healing before you dive into the practice.

CAN ANYBODY TAP INTO IT?

Yes! (and it’s not rocket science – don’t let the picture fool you).  

Meditating is a good way to start – the whole point is to learn to control your thoughts so they don’t control you.  This can be as short as 10 minutes everyday, or as long as you want it to be.

Letting go is another great starting point, as is trying to stop controlling things.

Basically it’s all about finding a way to relax to realise that our thoughts do not have to define us. We are much greater than our thoughts and feelings.

Meditation comes from within and can be done at home as soon as you wake up or before you go to bed. Insight Timer is a great app (and free!) to guide you during your meditation sessions.

SO… WHAT NOW?

Well, for those who are scholarly and enjoy the lessons, there are a number of courses or classes that help you get started on that sometimes-impossible task of doing it all by yourself.

Webinars, such as those taught by Jeff Foster or Lee Harris are a great way to follow instructions and be guided by professionals.

Alternatively you can join groups of people act as a support group.

So go ahead, give it a try.

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