If you’ve spent much time reading about yoga, chakras, subtle energies and the like, you’ve probably come across the idea of balancing your energy. To somebody who is new to a spiritual-meditative practice, this idea might be so foreign that there’s literally no frame of reference to understand what is meant. Balancing energy? What does that mean and, more importantly, why should we care about it?
Personally, I look at the domain of balancing energies to encompass two distinct realms. I consider each of the realms to be equally important and each should be a regular part of our inner practice.
Masculine vs. Feminine
The first domain I’ll discuss is the act or expression of balancing our masculine and feminine energies. For a lot of people, this might be a bit of a confusing idea: If you’re a male, why would you be concerned about feminine energy at all? Do you even want any? And if you’re female, wouldn’t cultivating masculine energy make you less of a woman?
The answer to those concerns is more simple than you might think. Divine source energy, which might be described as the essential energy of the universe itself, is neither masculine or feminine, per se, but rather incorporates all masculine and feminine qualities without distinction. Physical manifestations of matter that express a masculine or feminine gender are not absolutes in their differentiation, but merely blends of qualities that lean more one direction than the other.
For people, the concept of blended attributes is an important one. All males possess feminine qualities, right down to producing female-oriented hormones. Males produce estrogen and females produce testosterone, so there is no strictly male or female. In reality, these are just labels that we use to apply taxonomy to our definition of reality.
Because gender only represents an expression of bias, rather than as a strict delineation, each of us benefits from cultivating a meditation practice that considers the gender qualities of both masculine and feminine domains. If we consider the mythology of Hinduism, we can see the masculine expression in the acts of creation, preservation and transformation. For the feminine expression, we look to Shakti. Shakti is the ultimate embodiment of energy and dynamism and is the driving force behind all action and existence in the universe.
In this mythology, we see masculine energy expressing itself through action and feminine energy expressing itself through motivation/inspiration. It is in the union of these masculine and feminine energies that the universal wheels turn. Each of us benefit whenever we consider the essential qualities in these masculine and feminine energies, as each of us being from the one divine source contain all of its qualities. In meditating on the essential nature of Shiva or Shakti, for example, we can see qualities that we have within ourselves that may either be too evident or too hidden.
If this is still kind of a nebulous concept to you, just consider how you energetically interact with your world. Are you expressing primarily masculine energies or are you expressing primarily feminine energies? If you notice that your driving force is all about doing, doing, doing, you may find it beneficial to contemplate more feminine energies associated with procreation, inspiration and nurturing. Imparting these qualities throughout your interactions makes one softer and more allowing. If you find your energies more aligned with the feminine realm, explore how you and those around you might benefit were you to express some degree more masculine qualities.
In the end, contemplating the archetypal energies of masculine and feminine can give us insight into how we can become more rounded, developed individuals. As human beings, we can express both masculine and feminine qualities and be fully in control of the context of that expression. In my own life, I’m equally comfortable in the roles of provider, explorer and warrior as I am expressing the sensitivity to nurture, help, heal and unconditionally love. I see no dichotomy or conflict in expressing both masculine and feminine qualities. Nor should you.
When we learn to look beyond gender bias as being manly vs. girly and recognize the higher, archetypal qualities being expressed, we can allow ourselves to grow in new ways and become something much greater.
Chakras: The Other Balancing Act
In various Eastern traditions, chakras are described as being nodes or focal points of subtle energy in the body. There are a number of different interpretations, but the most common interpretation these days describe 7 chakras that span the body from the coccygeal region up to the crown. The concept of chakras and of balancing subtle energies is a broad and complex domain. As such, we’ll leave that for the next article to come in the next day or so.