We can learn many techniques to free ourselves from the control of our ego-mind from which flows this negative energy. These techniques have been covered in many posts on this site, for example, “The Heart’s Embrace,” and “Not Me!” and in my books, especially How to Find Inner Peace.
These techniques release the negative energy in our psyche. But I’ve come to learn recently that negative energy is also housed in our body. And it’s very important that we also release this aspect of our negative energy.
How do we release this aspect of our negative energy? This is more a subject of psychic healing than Buddhism, but the two work together. There are various techniques. One is to use the out breath. On the in-breath, we breathe in positive thoughts. On the out-breath, we breathe out all negativity. Another technique is to use the motion of your hands while sitting to sweep the negative energy away from your body. Another technique is to send your negative energy down to the soles of your feet and then deep into the ground, to the center of the earth, pulling from the earth life and strength.
Then there are techniques using various minerals. One is to lay down in a bath infused with course salt crystals; the salt will pull the negativity out of your skin pores. I have done this on several occasions and I can attest that it works. How do I know? Each time when I’ve taken the bath, no sooner am I immersed in the water than I become aware of the negative energy that is impacting me. An awareness that I did not otherwise have. And in each case, these have been negative energies that I thought I had long since freed myself from through my spiritual practice. But I obviously had not rid them from my body and so I was still subject to them.
But negative energy does not only reside in your ego-mind and in your body. It also resides in the physical space you inhabit. It can stem from your own past experience in the space, or it can come from previous occupants. One technique of cleansing your physical space of negative energy is to take a bowl filled with burning dried sage (what’s called a “smudge pot”) and carry it to all corners of your living space while chanting an “om”-based chant, of which there are many. I cannot report to you as definitively on the practical effectiveness of this technique, but I can tell you that the experience is deeply moving; it certainly feels as though you are cleansing your space of negative energy.
As with spiritual healing, I’m sure that psychic healing is not a once and done thing. I will need to repeat these exercises on a regular basis. I have incorporated the techniques using my breath as part of my daily morning meditation. And I take a salt bath and use the smudge pot one night a week.
But as with other healing practices, freeing ourselves from negative energies needs to be accompanied by replacing them with positive energies. Otherwise, you will create a vacuum and the negative energies will just come rushing back in. So whether it’s replacing fear with faith, or feeling that I need to be useful to be loved with knowing that I have always been loved for who I am, you get the idea.
The cumulative effect of these techniques has been very positive for me. In the weeks since I’ve been incorporating these activities in my practice, I have felt and demonstrated peace and equanimity in situations which previously would have pushed me past my spiritual equanimity into the zone of fear. And for that I am very grateful.