by Ed Hirsch <[email protected]>
The following is a “tune-up” or way of attuning different aspects of
your being to your core Being. It is a way of harmonizing aspects that
might otherwise become isolated or conflicted, by opening them to their
Common Ground of Being or Presence. The practice can be done daily,
whenever you can spare a few minutes—morning, afternoon, or evening.
We do this by focusing in three basic centers: head (a center of
awareness and attention), heart (a center of feeling and core
self-sense), and hara (the deep belly center of will and energy).
I use the notion of the Five Elements (Earth, Water, Air, Fire–and
Ether as their “common ground”) as a template for the harmonious
differentiation (rather than fragmentation) of the unity of experience.
We differentiate in order to deepen the experience of unity.
1)(ETHER) Space: Sit in a relaxed and erect posture. Feel your feet on
the floor, your hands resting on your legs. Close your eyes and go
within. Sense deeply in the arms and legs, and through that, your whole body.
This gives you a grounding in the body as well as an opening into the
spacious Presence of Being. Experience the unity of Space, in which all
points are Center.
2)(EARTH) Energy: Place your hands on your lap, one hand resting in the
other, thumb tips touching. As you sense deeply in the arms and legs,
breathe and focus deeply into the hara. Focusing there, experience the
totality of Being, world, or experience as Energy.
3)(WATER) Feeling: Place your hands over your heart. Breathe and focus
into the heart center. Focus into the felt quality, or felt sense, of
your experience, of this moment of life. Feel deeply into whatever
feelings might be there, experiencing their opening into heartfelt
Presence. Feel this as an all-pervading Presence, focused in the heart.
Experience totality as Feeling.
4)(AIR) Consciousness: Bring the palms together, resting the thumb tips
at the bridge of the nose. Resting the attention at the brow or at the
center of the head, experience the total expanse as the presence of
Consciousness. Listen to the sounds held in this moment, in the space of
silence, which is the presence of Consciousness.
5)(FIRE) Self: Bring the palms down to the heart, thumbs resting
against the chest. In the heart, experience Being as your deepest sense
of yourself, your I AM. Let the hand gesture attune you to the
indwelling Self as Point, the verticality of “I,” as well as the
unbounded, all-pervading Self.
6)(ETHER) Presence: Rest your arms on your legs, as you began. Sense
deeply in the arms and legs, breathe in the hara, be conscious from the
center of the head, and rest in the heart center. Experience the three
centers as a threefold expression of unity: balancing in the heart
center (the unitive Point or “I”), aligning along the vertical (the
unity of “1”), and opening into the all-pervading, spacious Presence
With your attuned human instrument, experience—and thus life—becomes
richer and more holistic. Note: the practice can be done as a couples attunement.