Principles of energy Transmutation
An experience is ideally experienced with the seven factors of awakening present, or if they are not present, some of the energetic charge from the incoming hindrance or suffering is converted to the charge of the seven factors and thus driving the mind toward awakening. The way this is maximized is to fully experience the object, open-heartedly, and let the energy simply move through you. If you do this with every emotionally charged moment, widening the shoulders and actually physically receiving the unpleasant stimulus – then the energy can move through your being unimpeded, and some of the charge can be “caught” at the last moment, as the sensation is disappearing, and this energy is left without a biological basis- it’s out in empty space somewhere. Embracing the experience to be transmuted fully allows the practitioner the most efficient energy transfer, as any muscle tension tends to impede the flow of energy considerably. As such, we develop energy in the standing meditation practice. These practice all constructively interfere and magnify. The synchronous effects of each practice lead to a direct storehouse of energy. This energy must be respected – and if we wish to charge up the energy we should first cover absolute ground rules for any energy work:
- The energy of the universe is the same as the energy in you, and the net amount can change. Thus, your being is capable of being at a net higher energy expenditure per hour (power) or lower power. This is directly observable in normal circadian rhythms, and so we should also assume the net capacitance of the human is also variable and this implies we can take in energy from the universe, and we can operate at a higher or lower level. We can take this energy and funnel it into the seven factors of awakening. As we can assume that the energy expenditure is related to the net amount of energy in the human, we can take charge from our environment and charge it into our being.
- This energy flows into the being and it can also flow out. The intention and visualization of the practitioner has a large influence on the flow of energy. It is very useful to be able to let energy flow out of the being into the environment. To do so you simply intend for it to be so, and you synchronize your visualization of what the energy looks like, with the breath or something that directs the energy into the ground:
- Stand on bare earth with bare feet and imagine the energy leaving your body and going into the earth.
- Deep breaths with an intention to direct the prana out the feet and toes.
- Walking with bare feet and focusing on the soles of one’s feet.
- Eat a high carb or heavy meal and lay on the floor with a large area of the body in contact with the floor
- Do above with bare ground if possible
- Sit in lying down position if dullness is not a persistent distraction
This basic knowledge of the flow of energy into and out of the being is essential to understand and gain further realizations and insights, and to begin to use the energy collected toward the development of awakening factors. With that in place, we can move onto energy transmutation.
Energy Transmutation Priciples
Energy is a finite resource, and the goal of any good spiritual practice should be to maximize the intake and efficiency of the energy intake and minimize energetic drains. We can think of energy, the mental faculty of awakening, as being a directly, straightforwardly cultivatable asset. We can learn straightforward techniques of learning to charge energy from the universe into our being, how to take in food and use it in the most efficient way, and other subtle topics related to proper use of energy. This is still, technically part of the Brahmacharya discussion.
Diet, Food, and the act of eating
Taking in food is an energetic process that is a fundamental process that we should learn to observe. If we have gained any degree of mindfulness from our practice, it is clear to see how diet show us directly how causes and conditions in the mind can condition jhana or the hindrances, and there are straightforward ways to deal with almost all forms of the hindrances we can imagine. Once we get a basic handle on the hindrances, and we are probably doing Zhan Zhuang, we will get a sense that energetically, our natural cycles are dictated in large part by the food we take in and how we pattern that. We can start just paying attention to the patterns in our energy and learn ways to guard it and optimize the energy. We regard energy as a highly valuable asset and a necessary factor to awaken.
Monks in monasteries typically only eat up until lunchtime, and they fast through the evening until the next morning. This is a common format for intermittent fasting, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to maximize their spiritual practice. It would be considered by some to be an austerity, and that is fair to say, but really, we find after learning what kind of food our body really needs, and maximizing the efficiency of the food breakdown process, we can position ourselves in the most ideal way for concentration to occur.
After about 12 hours after eating, the cellular processes go into a different mode- they enter a restorative recycling mode where subcellular debris and misfolded proteins and other cellular junk is cleared out from the cells. This is a normal cycle of the body and we should allow this cycle to occur. Many people never give their digestive systems a break, and this disharmony leads to all sorts of preventable diseases. It is actually not hard at all to cut back our meals once we see the clear energetic benefits of meditation and spiritual practice while fasted. Modern people we can’t always optimize our meal schedule the way we might like. The freedom afforded to a person by choosing a chaste lifestyle is easily pointed to here as a distinct advantage.
Most people will notice an automatic increase in energy and vitality with starting the standing meditation practice and fasting along with it. We want to start to become aware of the energetic character of the food we eat, and pay attention to our state of mind before, during, and after taking food. This is a key energetic transfer event from the universe to the being, and so maximizing the efficiency and the ojas energy behind the intentions, is a good thing. We can get a sense of what types of foods work well for the system at what times of day, and how to know when we’ve had enough to eat. By just paying attention to our dietary patterns, we can go a long way toward attaining a still calm mind. But at the end of the day the degree of mental unification, the degree of muscular tension, and the degree of mental resistance will determine how efficiently the energy is transferred from the hindrances to the factors of awakening. At higher levels of development, we actually see that the mind’s automatic response to stress starts to become jhanic- that is when we have reached the state of autovipassanna.
Fasting, Nutrition, and the effect of drugs and other substances on a meditation practice
Everyone is different but most people can notice things about our digestive cycles and begin to pay attention to the energetic cycles behind them. These count as an oscillatory phenomenon that we want to condition ourselves toward being aware of. When we are in harmony with the natural rhythms of life, we can get a direct experience into interconnectedness. This insight especially comes about when employing fasting, brahmacharya, and other techniques of controlling the senses. We control what comes in through the senses and we observe the mind in this process. There are many scientific articles that point to the fact that digestion itself is a variable and inefficient process. Most of the nutrients we could potentially assimilate from food are wasted, and not utilized by the body as energy. When we have our digestive system in a regular harmony, and we being to pay attention to the subtle way that we engage with food and water, we can get direct insights into interconnectedness, which is a key insight leading toward the level 1 selfless perception insight. We can learn to maximize the energy transfer from food to our being and the most efficient utilization of those resources.
Since we know that there is significant variability in the degree of energy transfer occurring between the food we take in and the energy we are able to derive from it. We can imagine that if our digestive systems are working correctly and efficiently, then we would be getting the most energy possible from the food we take in. To do this, the goal is to begin to come into harmony with the food. When we eat, it is a great opportunity to condition ourselves to appreciate the fact that this food sustains and energizes us. It is a natural manifestation of our interconnected nature. So pay attention to the food.
Respect the food and begin to develop a sense of self-respect. You know that you are creating yourself from this energy source in the food. You are directly transforming that food into your body tissues when we take in food. The idea is to come to a harmony and equilibrium with food. We only eat when hungry. Meditators can start with a simple austerity of skipping breakfast, and then letting their system adjust to this. They may notice that by lunch, they are in the fasted state and their brain is working quite efficiently and well. So there is a point that you reach after trying out fasting, where it is no longer hard at all, and your body adapts to the lower food intake and seemingly has more energy. This is due to the fact we are resilient creatures, and we have evolved mechanisms whereby we can survive just fine without food for a day or two. We have been conditioned to think we need to eat 3 times per day, and in most cases this simply is not true. Meditators may find after trying intermittent fasting for some time, that they are able to continue without strain and actually it leads to related benefits in paying more attention to and respecting the body more.
Foods should be wholesome and each person is different and should consult with their doctor before taking any of the protocols in this site as a guide. But one such protocol is to eat only nuts and fruits and grains. Other diets emphasize lean protein and fruits and vegetables. Every person should learn what types of food lead to favorbale mind-states and they should pay attention to their diet as another oscillatory phenomenon to tune into.