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Spirituality and Recovery

Learning a balance between emotionally healthy spirituality and religion

Spirituality is the individual engagement of faith associated with organized religion or not. Thus, one may be spiritual and religious or be spiritual and not have any association to a religion. Emotionally healthy spirituality is our individual exploration of divine experience.  Experiencing the divine manifests shifts in meaning of who we are and what our purpose is in the world. To do this we separate our experience of being from our egoic definition of self.

Religion is the organized practice of the principles within a faith associated with a formal institution, church and /or organization or guidelines. Through ritual and practice, religion helps communities to be in this world establishing a moral code and an explanation of existence and afterlife. Some include reference and definition of God or Gods, some do not. Religion has been part of human culture, both indigenous and civilized.

Spirituality is often associated with a relationship with God, a higher power or nature. It is also associated with energy and this is an easy way to introduce spiritual experience regardless of prior experiences or lack of experience with religion.


Our body is electric. If you have ever had an EKG or an EEG, these are measures of energy in our body which is 60% water in order to assure good electrical conductivity. We are not the only electrical being in fact all things have an energetic signature. Objects that appear to be still and solid are made of atoms with moving parts. The object is vibrating even though it appears still! We can measure this energy easily with both simple and advanced tools.  Living and non-living things vibrate energetically and so do colors, sound, music and numbers. Colors differ in frequency in range from deeper darker color to a lighter version of the even the same color. Physical pain or illness has a different frequency from healthy tissue.  Our emotions have energetic signatures too.  Lower frequencies are associated with emotions such as fear, shame and self- loathing.  Love and compassion vibrate at higher frequencies as does divine experience.

The Link to Recovery

When EMDR is engaged, we process emotionally, cognitively, somatically and energetically. Our body has a system of managing energy utilizing energy centers known as chakras and channels known as meridians. These are the same meridians used in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The energy of the emotions being processed is activated and it begins to move through the meridians and as it changes, then through different chakras. For example, we may feel unloved in our heart chakra which then process to anger when we get that it was not my fault and I was loveable. It then will move back to the heart chakra when that anger is processed and sadness emerges. In this way EMDR is an energy therapy but the takeaway from this is that we can work with energy and change independent of doing EMDR.

Practices like T’ai Chi, Chi-Qong, Yoga, Reiki, some martial arts and some meditation practices work with this energy system. We can learn how to move energy and even direct energy so it can be used for fighting as in martial arts, or as tool in healing. Energy can be directed for self-healing too.

If negative emotions have lower frequency energy, then by raising our energy we can free ourselves from such experience. Spiritual energy is a higher frequency so engaging a spiritual practice can train us to live at a higher energy frequency. If we do not have a spiritual practice, we can start by working with energy.

“Inhale Love, exhale Light, inhale Light, exhale Love”- John of the Light

A Simple Energy Awareness Meditation

Part One: Sit up right, but with your back comfortably supported, both feet flat on the ground. Bring your awareness to the ground beneath your feet. Notice the bottoms of your feet. As you stay there, you begin to notice a subtle tingling sensation in the bottoms of your feet. As you continue to notice, the sensation will strengthen and grow. It will begin to move into the rest of your foot. Notice as the energy moves further up your feet into your legs. In your legs, it may feel less like tingling and more like something is moving. Initially all these sensations will be very light but with practice become easy to access and notice. Continue to move the energy into your calves’ knees and thighs using intention. You are now directing the energy in your body with your mind. Optional: continue to move energy through hands into your arms and into your body. At the top of your head see if you can feel tingling and take the same movement over your forehead and cheeks, over your chin, down neck into shoulders. Once you feel the energy running through your body you can take that into a deeper state of relaxation. Keep your focus on how your body feels, noticing you are now vibrating with current running throughout. Stay with this for 20-30 minutes.

Energy awareness is a mindfulness practice and you may notice that as you focused on energy within, you were not engaging an I or me.  This is an exercise in separating from our ego state. In the experience of ego state, we experience negative emotions and lower frequency energy.  “I am not deserving or good enough” for example. We need an I to experience these ideas and emotions but noticing energy only requires awareness. Noticing does not require an I to be present. This makes raising our energy when in awareness easier.

Part Two: After some practice with Part One, you can now try raising your vibration! Get to where you feel energy running in your body and you are deeply relaxed (this is already a higher frequency but we will go higher). Bring your awareness to your heart area. Imagine a point of white light there of laser intensity. Allow the light to grow into a ball. Shrink yourself so you are inside this ball of white energy. Imagine the light surrounding you is love. Feel this all around you. Let the ball start to grow and start glowing in all directions. Let the light fill your entire body, directing it with your imagination. Allow the light to radiate in all directions beyond your physical body. Stay with this as long as you want enjoying how nice it feels. This is the threshold of spiritual experience as higher power or God are often associated with white light and love. Feel free when you are ready to experience the white light and love as the loving energy of higher power, God or other divine being running through you.

emotionally healthy spirituality

Paul Selig and Herb Cohen at the Assemblage in NYC, September 19,2017 “Paul’s channeled books are wonderful adjuncts to any healing journey integrating energy, spirituality and healing. ” -Herb Cohen