Yesterday I spent most of the morning making a video for my December spiritual practice email newsletter. (Of course, then I couldn’t get it to render properly — thank you, Mercury Retrograde — but that’s not the point of this post.) December’s newsletter is about grounding, connecting oneself energetically with the earth. I demonstrated four different methods for grounding in the video, and the video took three takes, so I was well and truly earthed by the end of filming!
When I took the dogs out for a walk shortly afterwards, I felt a sense of calm, peace and joy in the environment that I’ve not been aware of feeling for a very long time. Each leafless tree, each dried up plant, each rock, the sky, the stream, all seemed filled and overflowing with life: glowing.
When I was a teenager I sang in choirs a lot. One of the choral pieces that has stayed with me from that time, and that rang in my head as I walked among life’s glory yesterday, was a setting by Brahms of Psalm 84:
“How lovely are Thy dwellings fair, O Lord of Hosts.
My soul ever longeth and fainteth sore
for the blest courts of the Lord:
My heart and flesh do cry to the living God.
O blest are they that in Thy house are dwelling:
They ever praise Thee, O Lord, for evermore.”
Everything around me, from the smallest pebble and the lowliest worm to the flowing waters and the sky itself, was clearly the dwelling place of the Divine, of Life Itself at its most complete, its most ecstatic – and these dwellings were lovely indeed.
The experience of ecstasy is often associated with escape from the ‘earthly’, a journeying away from and stepping out of the world of form. The very word means ‘to stand outside’. When I have experienced ecstasy in that way, it has always been a sublime and transformative experience, but not one that I can easily hold onto, or integrate in day to day life. My experience yesterday, though, was one of grounded ecstasy – a realisation of the Presence of the Divine within the ordinary things and activities of the day to day.
I have heard teachers of Kaballah and other mystical traditions say that “you have to go down in order to go up”. The repeated grounding practices I did prepared and enabled me to have this realisation; I went ‘down’, connecting my energy to the earth, and was thus able to go ‘up’ into the experience of the Divine-in-all, while staying fully present in the world of forms.
I already knew how useful and important grounding practices are in keeping me on an energetically even keel. I now also have a renewed respect for and commitment to grounding practices as a path to integrating the heavenly and the earthly in my interactions and perceptions, as well as in myself.
How do you ground yourself? What, for you, are the benefits?