By: Alan McAllister Ph.D.
We live now in what the ancient Chinese might have called “interesting times.” In today’s world there seems to be layer after layer of stresses, inner and outer. The outer and the inner affect each other, in many ways they help create each other. In order to find peace in our selves we must learn to separate from the outer and engage selectively, with only the things that nourish and nurture us. In times like these we may also be interested in how we can contribute to creating a more positive outer world that we share with others. Manifesting positively outside ourselves and taking ownership of our inner life are intimately related, as what we manifest mirrors and reflects our inner state of Being.
The sanctity of our inner being starts with grounding.
On the peninsula south of San Francisco I once lived in a small house with a varied group of young men. We each had our own way of being, our own intensities, concerns, and joys. These did not always mesh harmoniously. Outside there was a whole valley of people, roads, buildings, cars. The energy was pervasive and busy, often stressful. To find a clear inner space, I developed a habit of driving up into the hills. There was one place in particular where I could jump a fence, climb a grassy rounded hill, lie on top and let the tension and stress soak away into the earth.
Once I drove further and found myself over the crest, down in the redwoods that grow above the ocean. Walking into the cool, shady groves, I could palpably feel the energy of the towering, ancient trees. Roots connecting deep into the earth, their calm clear presence created a field that invited my accumulated tension to ground and dissipate. In that naturally sacred place I felt an inner peace and relaxation that matched the fresh fragrance of the surrounding air.
As my being released the energies of the valley that didn’t serve me, there was new room to fill–an early lesson in the energetics of my personal space: how I can take on discordant energies, especially when I am already anxious, and clear them out to make space for what does serve me. In those days I hadn’t any formal training or tools that I could use to clear my self, so I let the redwoods do it for me.
Grounding Roots & Aura
It is wonderful to be able to visit sacred places, natural or man-made, and let them clear and recharge us. This is the positive side to time spent in the mundane pursuits of daily life. We are all affected by our environment, but perhaps we can learn to manage this, to limit and select what affects us and how. We can learn to do for ourselves what the redwoods so gracefully did for me.
Roots ground those trees deeply into the power of the earth, structurally, biologically and energetically. They are also grounded in the electrical sense. Buildings and other structures are grounded with conducting cables. Electrical grounding helps move accumulated charges and electrical tension out and into the earth. The sense of clearing experienced following a storm is not just because the air is fresher, but also because the electrical tension in the atmosphere has dispersed. We can literally breath easier.
Human beings can ground themselves energetically in a similar way. This grounding brings benefits similar to those that the trees provide. The practice of Earthing  physically connects your body’s electromagnetic field with the earth, by lying on the grass or walking barefoot on the ground. Using your sacred imagination to create an energetic grounding from the base of your spine into the earth connects your being spiritually. When we connect ourselves to the earth in this way, down to its very heart, we are aided in clearing our space of static and tension.
We each have a personal space, called the aura or energy body. You can think of it as a rectangular region that encompasses the physical body. Your aura has a boundary. While our physical quantum fields extend mathematically through all of space, in practice they merge (not far from your skin) into the general field that we exist in, comprised by the fields of the air, furniture, ground, electronics and other people. While this boundary may be only conceptual on a physical level, energetically and spiritually it is real. It marks the transition from what is you, your inner personal space, to what is not you–the rest of the world.
As human beings there are many ways in which we let go of our sovereignty, or allow others to take it from us. Thus all sorts of energies that originate outside of us enter into our space and fill it up. Some stay briefly and others wind up remaining a long time. When I lived in California much of what happened around me entered unfiltered into my space. People’s emotions, the noise of cars, electro-magnetic waves, generally didn’t stop at this boundary. Although I would claim my personal sovereignty in some ways, there were many senses in which I didn’t or couldn’t. Thus I benefited greatly from my visits to the trees.
Electrically, a container composed of ungrounded or non-conducting materials can pick up a static charge, a surplus of loose electrons . This is common in the winter walking across carpets in socks or rubber soled shoes. A distribution of static charge on a non-conducting boundary will determine electric fields inside the space. A conducting container can also pick up static charge if it is not grounded, but the charges within the container’s walls, being free to move about, will arrange themselves so as to generate counter fields, canceling out any charges within the container. The interior will be shielded from external fields, but unless it is grounded it will not be shielded from the affects of static charges.
The conditions of your boundary determine what outside fields and accumulated static charges will affect your interior space. This is true physically, but also energetically. In learning to work with our personal boundaries, we can clear static charges and enhance the shielding of our personal space. Think of movies where people use a wire cage in order to shield themselves from electronic observation. Imagine the boundary of your personal space. Ground yourself to the earth and notice what happens. Any extra charges or influences on that boundary are now shorted out.
Any existing patterns of foreign energy inside your space will begin to dissipate, as the internal fields flatten out, becoming uniform. Any imposed stresses or tensions will do the same. Whatever is going on around you no longer enters into your space, and you become independent and free. In this clear neutral space that is created, something interesting happens. You can begin to experience the subtle levels of Spirit (always present everywhere), and your own Self. This is why the monastic orders lived away from the world, often in silence, because in physical silence they could cultivate emotional and mental silence and begin to perceive the divine within themselves.
This is not a matter of permanently disengaging from the world and life. It is about being able to consciously disengage when you choose to, being able to own and clear your inner world, and claiming your personal sovereignty, Being your Self, and becoming aware of Spirit.
Internal Charges & Manifestation
When we clear our field enough to allow us to identify held or stored fixed charges (psychic, emotional, or energetic), we may then examine and release or reclaim them, depending on their present usefulness. The result is greater harmony and coherence with Self. As we make progress with this internal clearing, there is space for fresh creation of new charges. To visualize and bring into being the things that do serve us, it is useful to have as clear a canvas as possible, to hear only those voices that are truly our own.
All manifest systems, structures and living beings arise in a flow of energy from source to ground . Usually we draw on external physical sources: air, water, food. We may also learn to draw on emotional and mental sources outside of ourselves. This, however, opens us to external influence and dependence. In the quiet of your own being, you can connect to the Source of sources, to Spirit, Divinity, the Life Force that supports all existence. As you learn to tap this, letting it flow through you to the ground of the Earth herself, this inner flow allows you, even pushes you, to create from the inside out. New patterns of being and more efficient ways of managing the ever increasing complexity of the world around you come naturally.
Projection & Knowing
With psychic/spiritual charges, we tend to project, where internal charges are imagined out in the world. This is a common psychological protective process that we almost all do unconsciously with things that are uncomfortable or challenging. We project charged images out into the world, or onto other people, and then engage our conscious attention in trying to fix them, being scared of them and/or trying to control them. Since the source is actually inside ourselves, these efforts are not generally effective. Only by coming back into our own being and working with the true sources can the things we have projected be resolved .
It is a wondrous thing that the seed, even as it starts to grow underground in early Spring, knows how to grow to become the whole of the plant, even able to create new seeds that continue the cycle. Each manifestation will be a unique individual of its species, but they all will find the light and the air, sprout and put out leaves. A redwood seed will generate a mighty pillar in the forest that may last for over a thousand years.
We have within ourselves this same innate sort of knowing: the potential to grow, to become, to create wondrously and magnificently. Learning to ground and own your own space allows this knowing to arise with all the simple certainty of the seed. This creativity comes from Spirit, from Self and the Divine. Our minds are not the source, rather they are the means of execution. All we need is to understand the next step and trust that the pattern will unfold, step by step into fullness.
While emotional projection is something that we generally want to minimize as part of our spiritual path , creating consciously from our Self is actually very useful. If we let our inner visualization mirror out into the world, and then give that “imaginary” external image our attention, we can call it into manifestation. Attention creates space for things to manifest from the potential possibilities in the Void.  This is the import of “collapsing the wave function” in quantum mechanics. It is how we create our lives. Until we wake up, we do this largely unconsciously.
From a free and clear personal space, you can create powerfully and positively in the world. When faced with fear and anxiety, come back to center, reground and disengage from the external. Find your connection to Self, your inner inspiration and your vision. Only then, re-engage. Your ability to ground and own your personal space is the key to impactful positive creation and manifestation in the world. To own your space and allow Life and Love to fill it up is the most powerful thing you can do. These fundamental fields effortlessly radiate out to all corners of the planet. This is what the Dalai Lama and other living sages do, and this is what you can do: Be the change.
Earthing: walking on the earth barefoot, image reaching into the Earth with your feet, like a lion grabbing the ground with its paws, and feeling the power flowing up into you. Lying on the grass, breathe in the smell of the earth, letting anything in your body that you don’t need flow downwards. Open your heart to her, and receive her love into the space you have emptied. Hug a tree, or sit with your back to it and let your being the connections of its roots and branches.
Grounding: using your sacred imagination to do similar things in a purely energetic way. Connect your root chakra, and your whole aura to the center of the planet. Notice how energies that are not yours, or are completed, flow downwards and are received by the planet. She does this gladly. Practice when its easy and you have time. Also when its not and there is no time.
Selective Engagement: practicing awareness around what you receive into your space. What do you listen to? What do you watch? Who do you associate with? Do these things serve you or not? This is not a binary, yes/no question. Some things may be fine in small doses. Choosing joy over fear is highly beneficial.
Sacred Space: Consider your inner being a sacred space, like a temple that houses your soul. The clearer it is the more your Soul will be present and the better you will experience it. Thus, the better you Self will be able to support, inform and inspire you. Gently notice the old emotional charges you carry, and practice loving mindfulness with them.
Inner Silence: Notice the ego mind, with its anxieties and fears. When it is chattering, it is hard to hear your Self. Practice releasing it and only listening to it when you choose. Find an activity that allows you to become still and quiet. It could be meditation, swimming, or hiking. It might be dancing or singing, or gazing into your beloved’s eyes.
1. Ober, Clinton, Stephen T. Sinatra, Martin Zucker, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2010
2. Purcell, Edward M., electricity and magnetism – berkeley physics course Vol 2, mcgraw-hill, 1963.
3. McAllister, Alan, Riding Geodesics, SYJ, winter 2017, https://www.shaktiyogijournal.com/riding-geodesics-jaya/
4. Psychological Projection, Wikipedia, viewed 2/20/17, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection
5. Ruiz, Miguel, Janet Mills, The Four Agreements Companion Book, Amber-Allen Publishing, 2000.
6. McAllister, Alan, Listening to Stillness, SYJ, winter 2015.