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  • Jim Gilkeson

Two Swiss Army Knives (wowo-5)

(This is part 5 of a series called "Wax On, Wax Off!")

(This posting was started on July 26.)

Today there was a palpable energy shift. An overnight thunderstorm and a bit of rain broke the heatwave's grip on us. I awoke early and sat, still and open, outside in the blessed coolness while pairs of squirrels ripped and careened in spiraling doubletime through the leafed out branchwork of the tall maple behind the house.

Today's chautauqua is on Swiss Army Knives.

A Swiss Army Knife is synonymous with "the universal tool." So far in our "Wax On, Wax Off" series of essential energy skills, we have used a couple of universal energy and consciousness practices. These were the "energetically balanced breathing" practice, and the simple process of conscious connection with your own energy field described in my last post. Together, they create an elegant means for you to enter your interior process, explore, develop your gifts and touch the hidden but accessible sacred ground within you. Ultimately, this is what this whole adventure is about.

The purpose of learning to work with the unconscious is not just to resolve our conflicts or deal with our neuroses. We find there a deep source of renewal, growth, strength, and wisdom. We connect with the source of our evolving character; we cooperate with the process whereby we bring the total self together; we learn to tap that rich lode of energy and intelligence that waits within.

~Robert A. Johnson

What makes these practices universal is that they give you a simple way to approach energy connection and they apply literally anywhere you can put your awareness, whether you are connecting with your a place in your body, an energy-active position like a chakra, energy point or stream, or an acupuncture point. The same skills apply on your body and in your aura structure. They apply in your work with other people and places. This is why they are worth practicing.

While the skills themselves are simple, the differentiation comes from where you use them. Your body and the energy-active positions on it and around it that are the doorways to vast amounts of experience and your "wax on, wax off" skills are your means of entering and learning from what your energy field contains.

Before we go on, let's call these skills to mind.

A Short Review of our Two Swiss Army Knives

1. Twelve Breaths: This is our basic exercise for energetically balanced breathing, using a twelve-breath cycle: Take three long, slow, conscious breaths in each mode. The four modes of breathing are:

  • IN through your NOSE and OUT through your NOSE;

  • IN through your NOSE and OUT through your MOUTH;

  • IN through your MOUTH and OUT through your NOSE;

  • IN through your MOUTH and OUT through your MOUTH.

Try this basic twelve-breath cycle before you launch off into other practices. Go slowly and when you're done, go back to your normal, spontaneous breathing. Sit with what comes up in you.

2. Conscious Energy Connection: Here, we have three basic elements of using our awareness to make an energetic connection on our body or energy field:

Feeling Connection

Relaxed Attention

Neutral Intention


  1. Sit comfortably.

  2. Scan your body. See if there is some place in your body that is drawing your attention, perhaps a place where there is pain, tension or held emotion.

  3. Turn your attention toward that position. (It does not need to be an "official" energy-active position.)

  4. Apply the elements of conscious energy connection: that means you take up a simple feeling connection, relax your attention and then go into neutral. Remember that you are neither trying to make anything happen, nor are you trying to prevent anything from happening.

  5. Sit with this connection for five minutes.

  6. Now, with your awareness in the position you have chosen, add a 12-breath cycle of energetically balanced breathing. Remember that you are not trying to "push" your process with this breathing, but rather offer a balanced blend of energies to the position you are breathing into.

  7. Sit for another five minutes with what comes up after you complete the breathing cycle.

  8. End the exercise.

Variations: Once you get comfortable doing this, try it in new positions on your body. For example, try it on your feet; hands; joints.


This is about finding a reliable way to enter the world of energy and consciousness in you through the portal of your body. If you know how to make a conscious energetic connection and enhance that connection with energetically balanced breathing, there is actually very little else that you need. This is because once you make that connection for real, your process takes over and leads the way. These small universal practices become your way of staying with and learning to trust your process. When you get a taste for your own process, then you will appreciate the simplest, most elegant ways of connecting with it.

Questions for Discussion:

  • What happens when you try this on a position on your body?

  • Are there places that are easier to enter than others?

  • What happens when you use this practice to enter a part of your body that is injured or that feels disconnected?

Copyright © 2017 by Jim Gilkeson. All rights reserved.

Illustration copyright© by Aimee Eldridge. Used with permission.

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