One of the most fundamental aspects of practicing Qigong, as well as working with patients within the Medical Qigong paradigm, is Grounding.
Grounding is the ability to fully connect with the Yin energy of the earth. Through a simple grounding meditation, we center and relax, connect, and allow ourselves to feel the warm, comforting embrace of Mother Earth’s energy. When you are grounded, you feel a sense of stability, of being safe, secure and protected, and of being whole.
An interesting aspect of grounding is that we are connecting through our lower dan tien or energy center, which is in the middle of the lower abdomen. This is our physical center of gravity, our center. It is also related to our essential essence or “Jing”, the life force or vital energy that we are born with. When we ground, we automatically support and enhance our Jing. But we are also connecting with our spiritual side, albeit in a subtler way. When we ground, the energy moves from our lower dan tien, through our root or base (Huiyin point at the perineum), and then up through our heart center and all the way to the crown of our head – the Baihui point, which is analogous to the crown chakra in yoga.
Hence, the feeling of wholeness we enjoy when we are fully grounded is not just physical wholeness or stability, it is also mental and emotional wholeness and stability. In our paradigm, body (physical), heart/mind (emotional and mental), and spirit (higher consciousness) are inextricably connected. When we give ourselves the gift of grounding, we impact our entire being.
When mind, heart and body are in synch, you are grounded. Some wonderful manifestations or signs of being grounded include:
-You feel safe.
-You feel present – your mind is focused on the here and now, not drifting to the past or worried about the future.
-You feel comfortable in your own body.
-Your biorhythms, such as heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure are entrained, stable, and slower.
-Your personality manifests as someone who is stable, reliable, and down-to-earth.
Unfortunately, our modern lives have caused most of us to lose touch with Mother Earth, to lose this connection. We spend more time inside…we are on our screens much of the time…we don’t walk around barefoot like we did as kids.
Simple But Powerful
One of the first things I teach a new patient – and one of the first exercises I teach in my Qigong courses and classes – is a simple grounding meditation. This exercise is powerful. Restoring the connection to the earth can result in dramatic changes and experiences.
A key to grounding is simple awareness. Through your breathing and gentle intention, you relax, center, and get calm inside. This helps open the channel to the earth’s energy.
Another key is to have a direct connection to the ground. Whenever possible, go outside and stand (or sit) with your bare feet solidly on the ground. Or you can sit on the ground with the bottoms of your feet and the palms of your hands touching the ground. If it’s cold out, wear socks or moccasins that don’t have a rubber or synthetic bottom.
A third key is to center your intention gently into your lower abdomen. Breathe in and out of this area. Allow your breath to become longer and fuller. But don’t strain or push. Just gently breathe in and out through your nose (which helps you relax) and be open to the connection with Mother Earth.
I teach an effective (and fun) grounding meditation and have included it in one of my courses, Breathing and Qigong for Health and Energy (click here for more information). This course provides the foundation for a wonderful, effective, and fun Qigong and Breathing practice. It’s taught in a short four weeks and will introduce you to a proven health and energy cultivation method impacting body, mind, and spirit, which hopefully becomes an ongoing, consistent practice you will enjoy and benefit from.
I’ll have more to say about Grounding and its impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health in future posts. In the meantime, give yourself the gift of breathing. And add the power of “plugging in” to Mother Earth through grounding.
You Can Do It!