We have a physical body and a subtle physical body which is made up of energy. The body of energy contains the aura, which is a protective shield of energy that surrounds the body. This is like an energy immune system that protects you from the energy of other people. As described by Carlos Castaneda in some of his books, the subtle physical body is like a luminous egg that surrounds the body.
When you meditate, you become more psychic and aware of other people's feelings, emotions, and intents. They way to protect yourself from other people's energy is by meditating on the luminous egg. After you complete your normal meditation every morning, spend an extra five or ten minutes doing the following visualization:
Visualize a strong and vibrant luminous eggs coming out of your navel center and surrounding your whole body. Visualize the egg as a protective white shield of energy surrounding your whole body and extending about three feet away. Visualize negative, dark energy, bouncing off the luminous egg, and allowing only positive, white or gold energy, coming through. Visualize your luminous egg becoming stronger and stronger everyday. You should practice this visualization as often as needed.
Now, "how to recognize when other peoples' energy is affecting you?" The best way to do it is by spending some time alone in nature. When you go hiking in the woods or walking in public park, where not a lot of people are hanging out, you will notice that your thoughts will become less frequent, and your mind becomes clear. What happens when you are out in the woods, is that your aura gets cleaned up by the energy of the trees around you. Once you walk for fifteen minutes or so, you will be able to "feel" who is trying to pull on your energy and consciousness. At this time, you should be able to feel the intent of other people, and then you can meditate on what to do about it. If the person you are thinking about is having a negative effect on your life, then you should stay away from that person. If that person is someone you cannot avoid, like the boss or a coworker, then the next time you visualize your luminous egg, also visualize that person in front of you, and all of his energy bouncing back to him three times stronger. That person should leave you alone within three days.
My congratulations to you! Sounds like you are meditating "more". That is the best way to solve your own problem. Since meditation has a cumulative impact on your energy and awareness, you will become more powerful. As you do so, there will be an automatic solution to your over sensitivity. That is the good news. The next news is good too.
As you continue to meditate and gain more power by accessing the light, you will definitely become more psychic, more sensitive, and more aware. That is good news, even though it can be a little painful at times. ;-) So, Rama taught us literally hundreds of techniques to use as we interact with the people around us. I guess you could package them into the "zen" or mindfulness techniques. Staying focused on whatever you are doing is a very powerful technique that is meditation. If you stay very focused in each activity people cannot "get in". That is the most powerful technique I have found.
Occasionally you have people who are "trying" to affect you. From time to time you are thrown into the "arena" of the psychic vampires,or people who feel the need to attack you. Now, you dance the dance of Aikido. Surround yourself with a barrier of light, pull in your power center, your naval chakra, just make it tight, keep your focus on that power center. Avoid too much talk with these people, and little eye contact. And when you leave their company don't let them push into you, don't think about them. To be honest, there are very few of these types, and I think I would not err on the side of paranoia. Just let your intuition tell you when it is time to become a warrior! (If you continue to meditate very few people will have a power advantage over you anyway!)
In your question you are most likely referring to feeling people's sadness, angry, and basic emotional energies. Can you imagine what Rama must have felt, because he opened himself to others? This is my take, and it may surprise you. I think it is okay to feel other people's emotions-it is a form of energy empathy. When you are with them, in the energy field, you may "feel" them. Compassion and selfless giving are noble pursuits. High mind, high awareness. That doesn't mean you have to take on a person's emotions, or illnesses. But I think to be touched by them lightly is okay. Consider this. If *they* are touching you, aren't *you* touching them? They will feel your light, love, and "enlightened" energy, if only for a moment. What a gift! As we give selflessly of that light that is not ours to own, we must remember to take care of our selves. If you leave a person, and feel a little drained, go back into the light. You can take a couple of minutes to focus on Rama, light, a chakra, a yantra! You can do this while walking, sitting, or even driving! Those mini meditations can replenish your energy supply rapidly, especially if you have just helped someone else. And of course, remember to shower each day, and wash off the "stuff" of the day. And then meditate, and you will have enough light to "touch" others.
By meditating, you are becoming more sensitive to everything. When we go out in the world, we step into a never-ending flow of influences. As an aware being, you have a choice of the quality of energy that influences your actions. There are many methods for dealing with these influences, so I will talk about the two that have been most effective for me.
Your aura, the energy surrounding your physical body, acts as a shield whether you are conscious of it or not. The aura will automatically filter most of the energy that hits the body, and over time the energy will accumulate in the filter. By meditating, you are cleaning the filter and thus becoming more sensitive to the energies around you as they start to build up on the filter again. You can consciously activate the aura by focusing on it as a shield that surrounds your entire body. Some people like to visualize a white orb that reaches around the front and back, and above the head and below the feet. In Snowboarding to Nirvana, Rama wrote about a technique using a red sphere that begins in the navel center. This will have the same effect as the white orb, but one may be easier than the other for you to visualize. The shield that you visualize around your body will give you a moment to decide whether or not you want this energy to hit your body and influence you. If you don't want the energy that this being offered to you, the energy will bounce off the auric shield. When you're faced with a particularly gnarly situation, you can focus on the shield and keep everything out. However, this takes energy.
In many situations, it will be worth the expenditure to keep yourself protected from falling into a lower vibratory mindset. Eventually, you will need to learn another method of dealing with the influences in order to move past duality. You can switch between the techniques as necessary. In any situation, the important thing to remember is to stay focused on the light.
This method is much more rigorous than the shields because it challenges you to be completely honest with yourself. The only way someone (or something) can throw you off balance is because you let it. The reason certain influences throw us off balance is because they snag one (or more) of the energy blocks within us, and it triggers a reaction. We usually develop blocks because we have an unresolved issue with some experience. For example, we like to think of ourselves as kind, so we block out the memories of the times when we were mean and pretend they didn't happen.
Once we recognize the types of situations that throw us off balance, we can begin to work on the blocks and resolve the issues that are keeping us from experiencing the light within all beings. That is, we can forgive ourselves and others for being mean, or whatever. The key is to recognize that all of the energies that you observe in the world are within you. With this realization comes the option to choose the quality of energy that you express and thus experience in your interactions.
To illustrate, I'd like to tell you a story. There once was an old man who practiced meditation and was very kind and peaceful. One day, a young man with long hair that reached all the way to his butt came to do the landscaping work for the old man. "Where's Joe?" snarled the old man. "He had an appointment, so he sent me to take care of the lawn," replied the young man, wondering if the old man was always so mean. "You're not doing that right," snapped the old man as he watched the young man pull the lawn mower off the truck. "You have to trim the bushes first, then you can mow the lawn."
The young man nodded, and his long hair, which he had put into a ponytail, fell over one shoulder. The old man turned red and went back inside, slamming the door. The old man was now completely distraught, so he went back to his meditation cushion. He sat for a few minutes, took a few deep breaths, and asked himself, "Why am I so angry at that boy with the long hair?" He closed his eyes and had a vision of himself as a young boy. He was small for his age, and was being bullied by three older boys. All of them had very long hair. The old man pushed away his thoughts and let the vision play out in front of him.
As it continued, the old man realized that this was not a mystical vision at all, rather it was a memory of his childhood, of a day he swore he would forget. The old man opened his eyes, wiped away the tear on his cheek, and went outside to offer the young man who was trimming his trees a glass of lemonade and a smile.
How do you tell when other people's energies are affecting you? If you are ever in a situation where your mood changes suddenly and for no apparent reason, then most likely it is because of something someone else is feeling. For example, you may be in a really great mood, having a great day, and then all of a sudden you feel angry. Probably you have either just ventured into the presence of someone who is angry, or perhaps someone is focusing angry thoughts on you from a distance. It can happen the other way around too: you feel bad and someone is thinking happy thoughts and all of a sudden you feel better. However, because we live on a planet with a lot of people with out of control emotions, more often it happens that your state of mind drops when you come into contact with others.
Sometimes it is obvious what is happening: someone acts in an overtly hostile manner, and then you feel bad afterwards. But a lot of the time it is more subtle. You may be around someone who always appears to be friendly, and yet you always feel bad when you leave their presence. Probably their thoughts towards you do not match their friendly superficial demeanor. Or maybe someone yells at you and then you somehow feel great afterward (good meditation teachers will have this effect!) Perhaps beneath the apparent anger is a love of a very deep variety.
A few days ago I was about to board an airplane flight, and I noticed that there seemed to be a rather tight feeling in the departure lounge. People seemed tense, and the flight had a crowded feel to it, even though there actually weren't all that many passengers. When I boarded the flight, there were indeed a lot of empty seats, and yet I soon noticed that one of the flight attendants was having a really bad day. Her thoughts were affecting everything and everyone connected with the flight.
How does one deal with other people's thoughts? The most important thing is simply to recognize them for what they are, and then not to act on others' thoughts until you are alone and get a chance to see which thoughts are your own. You cannot necessarily completely avoid being drawn into their auras on our crowded planet, but you can avoid acting upon their thoughts. It's also important to make sure that you have time to yourself, even if it is only fifteen minutes in meditation, on a daily basis so that you clear your aura of anything that has built up from others.
also, when you're out in the world, you can certainly be strategic
in limiting the contact you have with those whose thoughts are
affecting you in a bad way. When you must talk to them, be a warrior:
put on your shiniest smile, but also subtly limit the time you
spend with them. And if you find yourself unable to avoid spending
significant time with them, you may need to make more radical
shifts in your life in order to deal with their auras.
Yes it's true, the more you delve into Self-Discovery and improve your practice of Meditation the more you become more sensitive to others' energies. It's important that you not start to let your ego run away with you and think that you are so 'Special' and too sensitive to cope with the world. You are becoming aware of the different 'bodies' that comprise your being ... your emotional body, your energy body (subtle physical body or aura), your occult body, your causal body and so on.
It's important at the stage of development when you become aware of your sensitivity to the energies of the world, to get your emotional body under control and not get taken out by emotional reactions that may not be yours. You cab get caught up in the energy of these emotions and claim it as your own anger or what ever. People with whom you have a close emotional tie such as a lover or your family can have the greatest impact on you.
A hint passed on by my Teacher is that while meditating if you notice that you are having a lot of thoughts, try to notice whether the thoughts are occurring when you breathe in or when you breathe out. Usually if you have the thoughts while breathing in, they are someone else's thoughts.
When you are aware of that you can deal with it. When you notice that you are having thoughts or sensations, you need to just stop and ask your self "Are these really my thoughts? Do I really feel this way?" In that moment you will know whether they are yours or not.
Once you are aware that the thoughts are not yours, then you know truth and truth is the best antiseptic (what the heck does he mean by that??), well, any way, you just let the thoughts or feelings go and give it no more attention, give it none of your energy...energy that you need to stay in higher planes of attention.
You need to start going through the recapitulation process. This is described in the Castenada books, but probably the best description is in "The Sorcerers Crossing". This is the process of cutting the lines of energy between you and the people in your life. Be careful, don't think you have to become a recluse and not interact with your friends and family or have to stop loving. It's just that you have to not allow others to manipulate you and cause a loss of your own energy. You can then get into all the other skillful means of seeking Enlightenment while working and living in the world. Topics like 'The Caretaker Personality', 'Being a Warrior', 'Winning', etc. come to mind in this pursuit.
Find a Teacher that is knowledgeable in these ways and WORK through this stage in your development.
This is a great question. Rama did talk a lot about this subject and I will do my best to answer. First of all being sensitive to others is a good thing. This is why you are studying self-discovery. To become more aware. To see the beauty and joy in life and to live in incredibly refined states of mind that most people can't even imagine. This should always be your focus. Sometimes a student will focus too much on the energy of other people. Especially if they feel they are being attacked. This is a world that if you allow yourself to become overly-obsessed with will never end.
Yes, be careful. Yes, be a warrior. But don't allow your state of mind to become affected or lose vast amounts of energy or time. Life is too short for that. It will also create negative and judgmental behavior. So be careful.
Rama recommended to us to spend a great deal of time alone. Especially in nature. I remember him telling us to take a walk in the forest and as an experiment walk down a road or path that we knew people had been on and observe all the thoughts that come into our mind. Then veer off the road to a place that no one has been before and notice how few thoughts we have if any -- making the point that most of the thoughts we have weren't our own. So the question is how do we stay centered if the thoughts we have may not be ours.
Well, the secret is not to hold on to any thoughts that arise in the mind. Let them come and go. Like clouds floating across the sky. If they are truly your thoughts, they will have a power behind them. Remember you are Eternity. The test is: are you happier, funnier, more creative than yesterday. If not, let those clouds pass. This is the only way I know to become centered.
It takes time. Don't become discouraged. In the long run it saves time. Life is a constant battle. Learn the art of being comfortable at being uncomfortable. And remember to smile.
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