Sitting on a ring of fire

In the late 18th / early 19th centuries – the time of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe – there was a phrase used by English gentlemen to describe another’s qualities of solidity, reliability, dependability, common sense, determination, stamina and – above all – courage. It was said that this particular individual ‘had bottom’, or that particular individual ‘lacked bottom’. Like so many of the common phrases that have entered – and unlike this one, remained in use – in the English version of the English language, it was drawn from a seafaring context; for a generation during those long and painful wars, the only defining factor that preserved and defended England and Englishness was the Royal Navy. Any ship that was to survive, defend and protect the land of Roast Beef clearly needed ‘bottom’.

At the bottom end of your Chakra flow – Muladhara (the Power of Nature) right at the base of your spine, Svadisthana (the Power of Creativity) in the pit of your stomach and Manipura (the Power of Endurance) at your solar plexus, just under your ribs – the colours are red (Muladhara), orange (Svadisthana) and yellow (Manipura). These energy centres are warm, glowing, their energy like rising fire. Sit in meditation, focus on the non-physical pinpoint that is You in the centre of your forehead (Ajna, the Third Eye), then draw your attention down to your ‘bottom’ end. Feel the glow, the tingling, the warmth, rising through your very nether regions. It’s as if you are sitting on a ring of fire. But this is fire that doesn’t burn or consume. It is not You, because it is physical energy. You are an infinitesimally small and inexpressibly powerful unit of consciousness, aware of itself experiencing this physical energy.

This experience, this ability to distinguish between your Self and the energy flowing in your body, brings a ‘holistic’ understanding of the complete human organism that is you with a small ‘y’; the person who defines yourself as male/female, black/white, young/old, rich/poor, a doctor or a politician or a roadsweeper. Never be trapped in defining your Self in these physical terms; but connecting to the energy of your Chakras, you do gain insight into that entire eco-system that is Mind, Body and Spirit. Stability, security, sexuality, creativity, prosperity and personal power are all indicated as elements of these lower chakra energies, elements that characterise our relationship with the physical world. The Ecology of the Soul deals with the Powers and attributes of You the quintessential human spirit, but there is another ecology which embraces the physical realm as well. It’s crucial to understand and experience that, the means by which you are centred, grounded, connected. Then you can truly be said to have ‘bottom’.

About Aidan

The Ecology of the Soul is the culmination of a lifetime of study and practice of hatha yoga and Raj Yoga. Aidan studied with BKS Iyengar, and was a dedicated member of the Brahma Kumaris, teachers of Raja Yoga, during his 20s. The basic understanding of the Soul and God is pure Raja Yoga, but it is the 'ecology' principle that drives the system's emphasis on balancing our spiritual powers. We return to our natural state of happiness, contentment, peace – and power.
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