Returning to center, to the beginning, to here and now is a vital practice; it is necessary more than ever in our remotely connected and e-laboring lives. It is the basis for our invocation of deity before beginning any important task: we return to the point of origin. From there, we grow, move, expand, reach out. It is a skill we hope to impart to our children: remain grounded and go out into the world. As we circumambulate the sun through the cycles of our lives, we expand to come in contact with others and our disposition matters. To these ends, I offer a lesson I return to at intervals. It has many forms and found in a broad range of traditions. It utilizes the powerful human capacity for visual imagination. This skill is treasured, practiced, and utilized by many. You can search for and find many personal accounts of how visualization makes a difference in people’s lives. It is a skill most of us can learn. We can use it in every aspect of our work. Here is my evolution of the first version I learned:
Sit still and comfortably. As this is a mental/energetic visualization, please practice in a place where you feel comfortable keeping your eyes closed. Avoid allowing your back to rest against a chair or other object if possible. Sit with your body erect, spine naturally upright. Place the palms of your hands on your thighs, fingertips close to your knees and elbows close to body. Imagine an invisible thread attached at your sternum lifting your torso effortlessly towards the stratosphere. Take three long, slow, deep, breaths. Next, imagine a point either just below your navel or in your heart, equidistant from front and back, from both sides, in the center of your torso. Focus on that point. As you breathe, notice how the point changes color to a sunny, yellow, golden, dot. Sense the unwavering goodness of the color, how it relieves all distress, all confusion, and contains complete peace. Stay with the calm and peacefulness of the golden dot within you for a few minutes.
Expanding the circle further, you remain the point at its center. The Sphere may be expanded to encompass the whole room, all its contents, other beings or people. You can intentionally expand the circle to contain the entire structure within which you are located; if you are outside, this would constitute all you saw immediately surrounding you before sitting down.
Why this? As I said above, we have an amazing ability to visualize or “model” with imagination things in our lives. Due to this ability, we can become angered by visualizing a challenging interaction. Our body responds very similarly to the situation happening in real life. Our heart rate quickens, sympathetic nervous systems mobilizes for conflict—we become physically taxed, stressed. Using the same biologic system, we can do the opposite: we can calm and heal. We can practice remaining calm and present. This does not mean being emotionless. To the contrary, it means feeling everything and practicing remaining calm and relaxed, soothing the stress internally. By remaining grounded, peaceful, and fully aware of all aspects of a situation, we build towards ever increasing personal efficacy. Using this training tool regularly, we strengthen our mind and body’s ability be ever more present and productive. There are many levels of metaphor and esoteric experience to explore. You might only want to practice for stress reduction, you may want to see what else is possible. More important than external evidence with regard to this exercise is your experience. When you practice, what changes? How does it relate to Freemasonry for you?