What is grounding? It the process by which we maintain an appropriate energy charge by releasing any energy which would constitute an excessive charge within the systems of the body, emotions, mind, etc. (By analogy, our home's electrical circuits are grounded to dismiss the extra electricity.) Grounding is a necessary outflow, in contrast to the many inflows of energy into our systems -- from other people, from our digestion of food, from our breathing of fresh air, from sunlight, from the impact of spirit upon our material substance, etc.
- We are relaxed, mentally and emotionally. In an ungrounded state, we might experience nervousness, restlessness, stress, emotional irritability, frenzied euphoria, anxiety, and insomnia.
- We are relaxed, physically. In an ungrounded state, we might experience headaches, temperature extremes (e.g., cold skin or hot skin), muscle spasms and trembling, excessive perspiration, difficulties in breathing or digestion, stinging sensations, and abnormal heart rhythms.
- We are alert. In an ungrounded state, we might experience dreaminess, and a continual semi-trance condition.
- We can concentrate mentally. In an ungrounded state, we might experience "spaciness," and an inability to focus our attention.
- We feel a warm association with our physical body. In an ungrounded state, we might experience cold skin, awkward movements, a strange unfamiliarity with our body, a sensation that we are floating outside of our body, and the disassociation which is characteristic of the schizoid or schizophrenic condition
- We feel a secure connection to the physical world. In an ungrounded state, we might experience sensory distortions, e.g., muffled hearing, a numb sense of touch, and a dream-like sense of vision.
- We sense a comfortable connection to other people. In an ungrounded state, we might experience paranoia, hypersensitivity to the presence of other people, an "energy drain" when we are in public, a generally dysfunctional personality, and a belief that we are profoundly different from other people or even that we are inhuman.
Techniques for grounding. Grounding is a natural part of the homeostasis of life; it occurs in the give-and-take of our daily activities. But we might need to use specific techniques to ground ourselves if we have become over-charged with the energy of intense emotions, or a stressful degree of inactivity (which does not provide opportunities for the discharge of energy), or religious practices (including some meditation methods). The grounding techniques are meant to be remedies for a temporary condition of imbalance; if we need them to use them regularly, we might want the examine (and change) the lifestyle which repeatedly causes us to become over-charged.
- Archetypal field-work. One of the fundamental purposes of field-work is to intuitively implant elements which allow us to be "materially effective and spiritually loving"; the "spiritually loving" simply means that our particular thoughts, images, energy tones, and actions permit the free flow of spiritual substance from one soul to another, through the material interface which we call our human life. If we block this flow (through damming/damning thoughts, images, energy tones, and actions), we also block the energy which would pass from our material self into our material environment; i.e., we do not ground the energy. Instead, the energy becomes trapped in our archetypal fields, our body, and our psyche -- in various forms, including tension, stress, and the charge of the specific a-field elements which become the basis of our karma.
- Self-talk. For example: "My body feels warm and comfortable." "I am relaxed." "I enjoy being alive." "I enjoy expressing myself in my physical life." "I am calm." "I like to be physically active."
- Directed imagination. We can visualize ourselves in various situations where we are fully engaged with a physical life which is pleasant and rewarding.
- Energy toning. We can express the energy tones of warmth, vitality, physical vigor, enthusiasm, etc.
- The "as if" principle. We can act as if we are a part of regular human life and society.
- We can be physically active. During these activities, we breathe deeply, and we let our body bend and stretch, and we engage all of our physical senses vigorously and pleasurably. The physical activities can include:
- Regular daily activities. Walk around your neighborhood. Go out for a bagel. Exercise with an aerobics video. Wash your car. Play some old popular songs on your guitar. Do your laundry.
- "Moving meditation."
- We can have physical contact with the world around us. During our daily routines, we are always in contact with physical objects -- touching, holding, grabbing, stroking, or merely sitting. For grounding, we can strive to have a "feeling" contact with these objects; we sense the warm energy which flows from our hands into the objects, and we allow our hands to hold the objects (and "savor" them) until we intuit that we have discharged the energy which was meant to pass into the objects. We might feel even more of this discharge if we lie outside on grass or dirt (or if we handle the dirt, as we do when we are gardening); our excess energy will flow naturally into the earth. Our surplus energy can discharge through our feet, too, so we need to have our feet flat on the floor when sitting.
- We can have some social contact. Go shopping with a friend who is fun but not spiritually oriented; talk about sports, movies, and other down-to-earth matters. Be expressive and animated in your conversations, facial expressions, and gestures. To increase the grounding, we can have physical contact with a friend -- holding hands, or receiving a massage (or giving one), or slow-dancing, or making love.
- We can relax our body. We discharge excess energy when we take a warm bath, or do a relaxation routine (or hatha yoga), or when we sleep.
- We can adopt a down-to-earth perspective. To be whole, healthy, and fully alive, we need a balance between our human perspective and the transcendental (or even other-worldly) perspective which is offered by religion and spiritual studies. When we become unbalanced toward the other-worldly viewpoint, we can balance ourselves by intentionally adopting a viewpoint which is real within our human world: we are "humans" not "souls"; that is "a tree" not "an illusion of maya"; this is "a delicious cookie" not an "object of desire." In the concept of "the Grandma principle," the "religious" perspective is not more "spiritual" or more "real" than the human perspective; all perspectives are equally real and valid as part of soul's multi-faceted exploration of the archetypes of spirit. We can freely choose the perspective which is most appropriate, effective, and loving for our purpose in this moment. If our purpose is to balance ourselves, we can select the human viewpoint without worrying that we are sacrificing our "spirituality"; in fact, we can appreciate this opportunity to explore spirit as it expresses itself in the human world and the physical world.
- We can change our diet. We can become more aware of food's effect upon our energy and our grounding. For example, we might lose our grounding if our diet consists of overstimulating foods (e.g., coffee, sugar-filled items), or a strictly vegetarian regimen. To ground ourselves, we might need to eat more meat, particularly lean beef.
- We can "give." Our over-charge of energy might have occurred because our inflow was excessive, or because our outflow was insufficient; i.e., we did not "give" enough energy in our daily life. To discharge that energy, we can give via volunteer work, or donations of money and goods to charity. However, the giving must be done with warmth, because it is the warmth which carries the energy from us to other people.