To further your self-practice you can also learn some basic grounding techniques that work with the hara region which is three finger widths below your navel, inside your body. These techniques will help you deal with everyday life in a balanced way and will support your Reiki treatments. They will help you to feel grounded and safe and secure within yourself. Working with the hara is a good first self-development step as it is the foundation of most Japanese energetic practices.
As Reiki is a Japanese practice that was created in the early 1900s it originally worked with the hara. This area of the body was considered to be the center of the body’s energetic powerhouse. Many martial arts and Ki practices that were formalized in Japan at the same time as Reiki such as karate, judo and aikidô also work with the hara region.
The word hara literally means stomach, abdomen or belly in Japanese. Energy is stored at this point from where it expands throughout the whole body. This is the energy you are born with, the energy that is the essence of your life and gives you your life’s purpose and stamina. It is not just the energy that you receive from your parents when you are conceived but most importantly it is the energetic connection between you and universal energy.
In traditional Japanese teachings and exercises today the hara system is still the main focus for building a person’s energy. Re-establishing your connection through the hara will ensure good health and recovery from illness. Working at this point of the body ensures access to a reliable source of strength whenever needed.
Think of the hara as your grounding point. From this central point there is an ability to cope with everyday tasks and sudden emergencies with an ease of understanding. This allows appropriate action to be taken in a balanced and unprejudiced manner.
Include one of these grounding techniques into your daily routine.
Strengthening your Hara Connection I
- Sit comfortably with your back naturally straight.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you breathe in feel the energy entering your nostrils and move it down to your hara center.
- Keep your awareness there and hold it for a moment.
- Slowly breathe out through your mouth.
- Repeat this breathing cycle for as long as you wish.
- If you find it difficult to bring your breath all the way down to your hara you can place one or both of your hands on the hara center to aid the mental focus, then try again.
Strengthening your Hara Connection II
- Stand relaxed with your feet slightly apart and your eyes partially closed.
- Place your hands above your head, middle fingers touching with your palms facing the floor.
- Slowly push the energy down the front of the body toward your hara center.
- Place your hands gently over the hara and let them rest for a while.
- Feel the energy build in your hands and body.
In some modern spiritual practices Grounding is overlooked. Modern practices may focus instead on developing energy in regions such as the third eye area.
When working with the third eye area it is possible to see pictures and colors or to hear sounds etc. We also begin to carry a lot of energy around the head through such practices. If the energy at the head is stronger than the energy at the hara centre (approximately 3 inches (8cms) below the naval) we become top heavy, like an upside down pyramid. An upside down pyramid is very unstable and easily topples over. You do not want this to happen to you. Instead of working toward balance (as we do with the system of Reiki) such a select practice on its own can create a great deal of imbalance your life, making you feel unstable.
By first working with your hara centre you create a strong base or foundation and the pyramid is now standing the right way up. You can only reach heightened energetic experiences if the foundation is strong. In other words, to go deeper into your spiritual practice you need to first have a solid foundation.
Imagine that you are building a house. If the foundation is not good and yet you keep on building more stories on top of your house, cracks will eventually appear in your walls and the house will begin to fall apart and you will have to start all over again. But next time you will be sure to choose a stronger foundation!
The length of a human’s lifespan is limited and therefore it is imperative that we begin with a good solid foundation when working at developing our spiritual nature.
Look around at the natural elements and you will see this wisdom repeated again and again; for mountains to be grow high the base needs to be broad, for trees to be tall the roots must be deep and wide. We, too, must live and work by these natural laws.
Grounding and You
Usui Reiki Ryoho practitioners use techniques such as Joshin Kokyu Ho to ground themselves.
We often receive questions from people who work to develop energetically and spiritually (not all of them Reiki practitioners) yet are feeling unbalanced. To support these people and everyone who wishes to develop themselves here is a simple, yet effective, grounding technique to practice. Excellent for anyone who feels the need to come back to reality!
- On the in breath feel the energy entering your nose and gently bring the energy all the way down to your hara centre (approximately 3 inches (8cms) below the naval).
- Hold your awareness at your hara centre while gently breathing out – either through your nose of mouth.
- On the next in breath feel the energy entering your nose again and repeat the breathing pattern in Steps 1 and 2 for approx. 5 to 10 minutes.
- When you are finished sit in the energetic space you have created for yourself and feel what it means to be Grounded.