Before You Start: You will need a small ball, something golf ball size or slightly larger. I live with cats and find one of their soft foam toys ideal. You’ll need it as we work through this section.
Hopefully by now, after a couple of weeks practice, you have discovered your energy center and have successfully compressed your energy into it several times.
We want to put that knowledge to a bit of practical use.
Depending on how you are reading this post, either via computer or phone, you want to to take a comfortable seated position. Sit up straight, posture is important. When you slouch you put tension on your muscles. You want to be relaxed but alert.
Hawaiian shamanism, as taught by Serge Kahili King, believes that learned memory is stored in the muscle group which is active or energized during the learning. Good for athletes, because the actions they want to learn use the same muscles over and over again. Genetic memory on the other hand, like speech, is stored across the entire body. That is why someone who experiences a huge trauma and develops amnesia will still be able to talk, and not know their own name.
Less traumatic, when using a learned skill if the muscle group where the learned memory is stored is under stress or tension, it can inhibit the memory. You can literally forget what you learned until the stress is released.
By maintaining a relaxed state during your training, the shaman skills you are going to learn on this blog should then be stored in many places around your body. Making their access later easier and lessen the chance that under stress you won’t be able to remember them.
King, in his book “Urban Shaman”, relates a story of attending a high profile party in Africa that during his introduction to the ambassador, King literally forgot his wife’s name because of the stress he was feeling. It was only when his wife said her name, did the muscles where the information was stored were able to relax and release the knowledge.
Take a few moments to relax then. Close your eyes, breath slowly in and out. Wiggle your body and stretch. Wave your arms and work out any tension you are feeling.
Now pick up the ball you have with one hand (either one to start is fine). As you read the rest of this post, I want you to roll it slowly around in your palm. Each time you change its position, give it a small squeeze. Feel it press into your flesh.
After a few minutes of holding it in one hand, bring your two hands together. Cup the ball between them and slowly roll it around between your palms. Feel the way it presses into them. After a few moments, hand the ball off into the new hand and roll it in that one.
Continue to work the ball with each hand, transferring it back and forth between them after a few minutes. Slowly decrease the time you hold it in one hand and increase the time you hold it with two.
What we are doing is teaching our muscles and brain the sensations of holding a ball in our hands, so that when we don’t have it physically present, your mind has the memory of the sensations.
Its a strange concept, sensation without physical stimulus, for some people to get the hands around it (pun intended). And yet your body doesn’t difference between the actual and the remembered.
Think for a moment on a movie you have seen in the Past, which made you cry. Or perhaps a favorite book. The emotions you felt then were real. As you remember them now, in the Present you may find yourself again crying. Memory has no sense of time.
With practice the memory and physical sensations of rolling that ball in your hand, will be as accessible when ever you need it.
Try this, roll the ball under your bare foot, while picturing in your mind the ball being in your hand. At first there will be a strange out of placeness but soon the ball in your hand will be as real as the one under your foot.
Practical Exercise #2:
For the next week, carry the ball you have been using with you. Every chance you get, roll it in your hand. Build up the memories until you can close your eyes and see it and feel it in your hand, even when its not.
In practical terms what we are doing is developing a “muscle memory”.
Athletes of many kinds have discovered recently, which the ancient world long knew, that practicing a physical action in your head can be as effective as practicing it with your body.
The US Army actually did a study on whether mentally simulating a skill, could help you improve it.
They used the marksmanship training on the venerable US Army 1911, 45 caliber pistol. This can be a hard pistol for many people to learn to shoot well, since it is a large and heavy gun. The ammo is also costly, so anything that could cut down on actual shooting AND produce qualified shooter was something they were very interested in. The US Army took two groups, the first who learned the standard marksmanship training, involving a battery of live firing on the range.
The second group, instead of just firing the weapon, would also spend time just sitting quietly while picturing in their minds the action of raising the pistol and firing. At the end of their respective training, each group was tested for their competency with a live fire session for score.
Not surprising to those of us who have long read Greer, one group did much better. Care to guess which one?
Ok, now that you’ve spent a week building up your muscle memory, lets do a little energy work with that memory.
Creating A Psi Ball
You can form your energy into many different forms, and we discuss some of them later, for now lets learn how to create one of the most basic forms, the Psi Ball.
Psi Balls, also known as Chi Balls, are small sphere of energy, usually formed between the palms of your hand. Typically they are between baseball and softball size, though for this exercise we will make it a bit smaller.
(About the size of a certain ball we have been working with, lol.)
They can though be made much bigger, large enough to contain our body or a space within which to work. The energy then forming a protective barrier and shield. They can be used to do many things.
Practical Exercise 3:
Back to the chair you were using earlier.
Before you do, limber up, do some stretching and wiggling your body to remove any tension in your muscles. Sit down, and pick up the ball you practiced with. Roll it between your palms to re-familiarize you mind with the sensations of doing that.
Once you feel ready, set the ball down.
Close your eyes and image the ball still in between your palms. Let your hands and finger lightly touch. Slowly roll your hands together, imagining the ball between them.
Begin compressing your body’s energy at its center in your stomach. Once you feel it there, let the energy move up to your shoulders and then down into your arms, and then into your hands. Let it slowly fill the space between your palms.
As it collects, imagine it taking the shape of a small sphere. Slowly continue to fill it with your energy. You may begin to feel a bit of warmth (or cold) in you palms. If not don’t worry. We each find our path.
Now slowly spread your palms apart. Imagine the small energy sphere floating between them. Imagine little streams of your energy coming out of your palms and going into the sphere.
When you are ready, open your eyes.
Now only the most gifted of people are going to see a visible psi ball floating between their hands. Especially on the first try. If it were easy, then everyone would be doing it. You may though catch a flicker of something there, perhaps a sense of some movement. Allow yourself to just sit silently, mentally feeling your own energy and the energy of the sphere.
When you are ready, open your hands wider and picture the sphere rise. As it does, imagine it expand and then slowly dissipate.
Take a few minutes and quietly just sit, collecting your thoughts. When you are ready stand up and take a break. Go sit in the garden looking at your plants. Go play with your pet. Recharge.
You may find you are a bit tired. That’s natural. Unlike most people, who will teach you to utilize one of the outside your body sources of energy, like the Earth, through a grounding technique, I prefer to teach you to know the limit of your personal energy first.
For now, practice this once a day.
One Last Thing – Start A Journal:
If you don’t regularly write, begin now. Go buy one of those empty books, that people use as diaries or journals.
Your mind can play tricks on you. Especially when working with something like shaman practices which don’t conform to what regular society has taught us all of our earlier life. Things that are crystal clear in the moment, can fade and become unsure with time. You can start disbelieving you had the experience and feelings you did. Going back and re-reading your observations documented at the time, can reassure you that what you remember was real.
I actually do a couple journals related to my shaman work.
I have one smaller one which I keep with me as much as possible. Its for the day to day, and is filled with a variety of things. Nature observations from my garden, bits of dreams that stand out (jotted down in bed), signs and omens that come to me during my travels, thoughts on techniques or ideas for future blog posts.
I have a second one, which is actually a school notebook. One of those with the binder rings. The paper in it is the traditional lined paper we all used in school. It is the beginning of my Grimoire.
A Grimoire, or Spell Book, is the place you put what you learned, but in a way you can find it if you need to. Mine has some of those dividers with plastic tabs. Each section then is one related subject. As I learn, I write down my experiences and sometimes some things should go together. I put those in the appropriate section.
Also there are tens of thousands of other people who are on similar journeys, many of them who blog or write about it. Its ok when you find a good protection spell, or some background knowledge about a certain spirit which you are interested in, on another person’s blog or book, that you write it down in yours. You won’t always have the Internet.
Having the base material is also helpful. When you do a spell or ritual, what you experience will probably be different from the original writer. That’s to be expected. Write down your observations of what happens when you try it, especially any differences.
We will revisit your energy training in two weeks, when we discuss “Intention and Breathing”. Next week we will look more at Spirits.