We use structures to support our practice. In Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Suzuki discusses using posture as a structure to support the state of mind that allows us to be aware of enlightenment. We apply this to every aspect of our physical life by setting up our home, our career, and our relationships with the proper posture. We keep our homes clean, we do our best with every work task, and we engage in relationships that allow us to love deeply.
The physical world is supported by subtle-physical, or energetic, structures. Changing one affects the other. When we clean out the closet and discard what is no longer needed, the energy holding the closet together is also cleared out. You could also apply your energy to clean out the energy lines without touching the clutter, and the closet will be clear for a while. However, once your awareness connects with the physical items that are no longer appropriate in your closet, the energy in the closet will shift and become as heavy as it was before. Of course, you could apply your energy once again to clear the excess, and enter into a draining cycle every time you come into contact with the closet. It is much more energy efficient to simply clean the closet physically, and thus create an energetic structure compatible with your current needs.
These energetic structures are created from subtle energy lines, forming scaffolding for everything that comprises the physical world. The chair you are sitting in, the room you are in, the trees, the roads, your body – everything is supported by a complex web of energy lines. There are energy lines behind ideologies, religions, and political and economic systems. Anything that can be conceived of – even if only in the mind – is held together by these occult (hidden) lines.
Just like the clutter in the closet, the energy lines we create in other areas of life can weigh down our awareness field. We can easily get caught in a web of lines that blocks us from clearly seeing the next step of our path. These lines spring from our ideas about our self and our capabilities, from the general society we exist in, and from the people we interact with on a personal level.
People who practice lower mysticism use the subtle energy lines to manipulate others to serve their own purpose. Entire wars are being waged throughout the inner worlds as people fight over this control. There are small battles over little things like a particular job or a sex partner, and the much larger never-ending struggle between those who like the shadows and those who want to reveal the Light to everyone. With so many layers of experience within this web of lines, it’s easy to get lost.
Higher mysticism deals with Enlightenment. That is our main focus, and we use everything to keep our awareness connected with the eternal, infinite line of Enlightenment. The truth is you can never be separated from Enlightenment; however a person’s awareness can shrink so small that they believe they are separate.
As a teacher, I use energy lines to create a structure that resembles a room where the direct line into Enlightenment is always present. My fulltime students are given access to that room, where they can sit anytime, no matter where their body is physically. To protect this sacred space, I move it whenever a student leaves my program. During my public classes, in a similar way I open a doorway to the Light. The door closes at the end of class. However, once a student knows how to open the door, they can do it for themselves. In this way, I utilize subtle energy lines to support my teaching efforts without having to plug into anyone.
A big part of higher mysticism is learning to deal effectively with the network of subtle energy lines one faces each day. This practice requires you to be aware of the lines being thrown around, so you can minimize the effects these lines have on you. The first part of the challenge is watching how you throw these lines around yourself. Out of habit or conditioning, you may have already created a big jumbled mess that causes you to trip and fall into lower mindstates. You may think, like much of the population, that you need an energy line to connect with other people. The reality is you are already connected to everyone and everything through Enlightenment. Additional lines are simply not necessary, and can even be detrimental to everyone involved.
As infants and small children, we used the energy lines from our parents to shore up the subtle body as it developed. Through the energy lines from those around us at that time, we were given a description of ourselves and the world. Once the subtle body becomes strong enough to hold itself together, the energy lines from others are superfluous. While some people let go of these lines naturally, most people feel a strong attachment towards other people and literally attach to them by plugging into one another. Quickly they learn to put pressure on the lines to manipulate others into behaving the way they want them to. Thus, many people are practicing lower mysticism without even knowing it.
An aware person may feel the attempts of the average person plugging in and trying to influence them. Through daily maintenance of the energy body, these lines are easily cleared. A simple visualization is often enough; with your mind quiet, see the lines plugged into you being cut with a sword or pair of scissors, etc. and the part connected to your energy body falls away. Don’t be concerned with the other end of the line, or you’ll wind up reattaching it. The easiest place to do this is out in nature, but it can be done anywhere.
Once in a while you may run across someone who actually does know what they are doing and is quite adept at playing with energy lines. You cut the line, and they instantly plug back into you. If you block their attempt, they’ll do everything they can to create an opening by knocking you off balance. You may feel the line as nausea, a sudden headache, or some other pain. When you focus on it, you may even get a flash of who is behind the line. In this case, when someone keeps intentionally plugging into you, I’ve found the most effective thing to do is push a blast of pure love through the line. In the Dhammapada, we learned the eternal law: “only love overcomes hate.” All energy lines are two-way streets. You could view the energy line this person has plugged you with as an attack, and turn the situation into a battle of wills. You may win if you are stronger, but it will cost you energy. Cutting the line and ignoring them doesn’t always work; when it doesn’t blasting them with the purest, selfless love you can access often shocks them into letting go. They just don’t know what to do with you, so they move on to someone else.
In your daily life, and especially when you have an important decision to make, be aware of the energy lines influencing you. Look for not only lines between you and other people, but also for the lines you have created in your environment. We often create energetic structures to serve a certain purpose, to protect ourselves, or to live up to some ideal. These lines hold our attention in a fixed pattern, and we lose sight of who we really are now. Sometimes to get a clear view, you have to shake up all the lines supporting your life by changing your routines. Other times it can be as easy as rearranging the furniture and changing the pictures on your wall.
We are beings of fluid awareness. The energetic structures we create allow us to participate in this world. Remembering that the energy lines holding our lives in a particular pattern can be changed whenever we need them to gives us unlimited potential. Our path is one of working both within and without to explore the endless light of enlightenment available in every circumstance.