Grounding is a term we hear a lot around the topics of meditation, martial arts, and several other spiritual or esoteric topics. So, what does it mean? What is it?
What is Grounding
Grounding is a term used in many fields from physics and electronics. It has special meaning in the area of spiritual exploration. Grounding is a measurable connection between energy and an object. Science tells us we ARE energy. And, we can measure its effects on our physiology.
Let’s start with some definitions. Then, look at some examples of grounding techniques that relate to the subject of spiritual exploration.
So, what is grounding and why is it important? Grounding refers to methods that align, our mental, physical and spiritual energies. When these centers are aligned we are balanced. We can think clearer and move more with more purpose. Many of these methods calm our hyperactive mind and cultivate a state of restful-alertness. An example of this is when you feel calm in the midst of chaos. The calmness comes from being grounded.
Mental health clinicians use term grounding and grounding techniques. However, they use these terms to describe mental anchoring strategies. These are practical tactics that help people regulate emotions. The mental anchor keeps someone from slipping into undesirable thoughts and emotions.
So, in the mental health arena, almost anything engaging the senses or attention has the potential for becoming a mental anchor. Most of these techniques are practical ways to help you become more present. When you are present, it keeps you from fixating on negative thoughts and emotions. We won’t go into these more clinical applications. Our interest is in methods that expand awareness.
When we are grounded, we connect all three parts of our essence, body, mind, and spirit. This is a mental and physical state that can generate energy. When we are grounded we are present and aware. As we stabilize and align our awareness, we feel in tune and have a sense of inner harmony. This means we are aware of all three aspects of our essence.
The state of being grounded enables us to experience the concept of oneness. It is not an esoteric philosophy but a tangible and in many cases measurable experience. This the principle of expanding awareness. When we are grounded, we raise our vibrational frequency to align all aspects of our nature.
Connecting All Three Parts of Our Essence
Body ― We are part of nature, the Earth. Everything material that makes up our body comes from the Earth. Nature is part of our essence. We can resonate with the vibrational frequency of the Earth.
Mind ― The mind is part of our that connects our consciousness to our bodies. It’s the mechanism of Ego which contains our personality and instincts. These tools are the window which in turn connects us to the Observer. Some people call the Observer, Spirit, or Soul.
Spirit ― Our Spirit, Soul, or Observer isn’t physical but it exists. The Observer connects to our body via the thread of consciousness. The Observer is the person you talk to inside your head. It’s the person who experiences your dreams when we sleep. So, the goal of grounding exercises is to connect the body, mind, and spirit.
Benefits of learning how to ground yourself
Alignment promotes clear rational thinking. Enhancing critical thinking is vital. It also gives us some control over the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This affords us control over our anger and fear, our fight, flight, or freeze response. Thus, we are more emotionally stable.
So, when people ask what is grounding and why is it important, here’s what to tell them. Being grounded is the best way to promote a “we” instead of “me” mentality. That’s because when we connect with the Earth we connect with other people. Thus, it facilitates positive thoughts and energy. Positive energy is healing for use in healing practices like Reiki, Shiatsu, and Pejut. Above all, the effect is positive and therefore beneficial for our health and wellness.
Here are some examples of grounding exercises in the arena of spiritual exploration. Many people believe this is the best place to start your spiritual journey. Everything is easier once you are grounded and centered.
Earthing is perhaps the simplest and easiest way to become grounded. Electrical engineering is the source of the term Earthing. It means to discharge or exchange electrical energy. The same concept applies to people and the Earth. Earthing is a grounding technique that helps us exchange energy with the Earth. Thus, connecting us to the nutrients of the soil and the vibrational energy of the planet.
It is preferable to walk barefoot on the ground untouched by the hand of man. This puts you in touch with the unspoiled fabric of the Earth. This is one reason walking barefoot on the beach is so soothing. And, there is some interesting science behind Earthing (1).
The idea of Tree Grounding is easy to understand. You reach out either physically or visually and connect with a tree or trees. After all, the roots of trees are a physical representation of the connection we are trying to make.
The practice helps to focus the mind on nature. This helps to calm our overactive minds and give us a chance to rest. This is a great way to reduce stress. And it is a way to honor nature.
As the name implies, beginning meditation is a simple two-step method of meditation. This means anyone can learn this method. If you want to learn how to meditate, this the place to start. It uses principles that are the foundation of many other advanced forms of meditation. So, master these two fundamental steps, and other forms will be easier.
Meditation is the oasis of silence. The mind naturally moves to this place, settles and stops internal chatter. Silencing the internal chatter allows us to ground. Now you can listen and think more clearly. So, this is why the most effective meetings always begin with a few moments of silence.
This method builds upon the beginning two-step method. Mindfulness meditation includes a seated and moving progression. This makes it easy and practical to take the stillness of meditation into motion. This method builds the bridge between seated and moving meditation. Both of these processes promote a healthy connection to “source”. It’s one of the best ways to silence self-talk.
This method is also a good way to ground while moving. It is used as a preparation for other forms of moving meditation like Tai Chi. It can be done almost anywhere and for any length of time. This makes it a versatile form of grounding.
Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere.” It is better known as, forest bathing. It is a combination of walking mindfulness meditation and tree grounding. In Japan, it is a part of preventative healthcare.
This technique is the application of moving mindfulness into the wilderness. Being in nature while using mindfulness makes it a pleasant and refreshing way to get grounded. When we conduct our seminars we always try to do it in or near some type of nature preserve. This facilitates the normalization of any new spiritual technology.
Grounding is the fundamental principle of martial arts. It can be a form of moving meditation. This is contrary to common sense. How can one be grounded but also moving? Learning to be grounded while moving is one of the main goals in many martial arts systems.
The forms that we find in many systems become a mnemonic device. It connects us with “source” while we are moving. Tai Chi, Tai Ka, and Qigong are martial arts platforms that often focus on this concept. Indonesian forms of Silat use this concept. It’s a way of dancing with your opponent. They will use the rhythm of the Gamelan to become grounded while moving. Combat becomes a dance.
What is Grounding and Why Is It Important?
Summation ― Final Thoughts … Ground techniques are actions that connect and align our mind, body, and spirit. The goal of being grounded is to think and act from a place of alignment. These exercises promote spiritual exploration by connecting us with our true nature. So, if you learn how to ground yourself you build a platform for other spiritual practices. And, the practice of grounding techniques will benefit your overall health and wellness.
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(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia