In the 2009 film Avatar directed by James Cameron set on the planet Pandora, the Na’vi ‘tribe have the use of a ‘queue’ (like a hair braid) that houses tendril like connectors at its tail base that hook up with similar structures on the other Na’vi people, animals and even the forest itself. This connection is almost spiritual in nature allowing them to have a deeper connection, even to the universe in the form of the goddess Eywa.
Unfortunately, we don’t have such an external apparatus to allow us to hook into the divine universe. Instead, we gotta work a bit harder and learn how to use our inner senses to realize that we are connected to the universe intimately at all times.
Even right now, that you exist, means you are connected to the universe, a bit like a chair in a living room. It would be impossible for you not to be connected to the universe if you exist at all. But what a lot of us are looking for is that deeper connection that intuitively speaks to us, that produces this heart feeling that we are part of ‘it’ and ‘it’ is part of us.
Be warned, attempting to develop this intuition will make you seem loopa to most people. On the bright side, the deeper this connection gets, the less you will care what other people think anyway.
I think the first thing I’d suggest to anyone asking this question is that the universe is communicating with them at all times. Everything from the trees, to the air, water, animals, plants, stars – everything that exists is emitting and receiving energy constantly – as are you. The question then becomes how do you tune into this energy exchange and understand its meaning?
I won’t claim to have all the answers on this because there are so many ways to go about it. But what follows below are tried and tested methods to bring about a better and more meaningful connection between you and everything else. Literally everything else. I’m going to stick to the language of ‘alternative’ therapies rather than trying to back it all up with science stuff because truth be told, science is still miles behind on these theories.
Grounding is the practice of walking barefoot upon the earth and being mindful of our connection to the earth and by extension the universe. Our ancestors would be surprised to learn that we have a name for this, given that they would have been stomping around barefoot most of the time. There is a very real exchange of energy between out bare feet and the earth and it is arguable that modern shoes and our indoor lifestyle prevent this exchange.
The practice of grounding allows a positive charge in our bodies (yang) to exchange with a negative charge in the earth (yin) returning our bodies to a neutral state. This process can possibly bring about the neutralisation of free radicals in our bodies also.
Every culture, every belief, every religion has some form of meditation or mantra built into it. And with good reason. The mind (and our third eye) is like the portal to being able to communicate with the universe and everything within it. It is also the part of us that is so busy and so bombarded with chemicals, messages, advertising and societal beliefs that it can literally become clouded over and we lose the ability to truly see anything.
Meditation allows us to go elsewhere besides our physical environment. It is a practice that when developed allows us to see beyond this internal conversation that we have with ourselves all day, every day. It allows us to understand something bigger, to intuitively hear the answers that we already know and to begin to pierce the veil that cloaks our soul.
If you can imagine, you can meditate. Initially, meditation or journeying in a shamanic sense or ‘seeing’ is hard, because our third eye has been unused for so long. Like a muscle that is never used, it can become weak, stuck in place. The more meditation we do, the more we free our third eye so that seeing becomes easier.
Spending time in nature
You are not the center of the universe. Or so your mother told you. And in a way she was right. If you want to begin to converse with the universe, get out in nature. It doesn’t matter where, but somewhere not man made is easier. It seems we have a natural ability to relax when surrounded by nature. Being consciously aware of why we are in nature brings about an awareness of our connection. Don’t be afraid of knowing that everything around you is speaking to you. It is a language you are not used to so be patient, almost as if you are literally learning a new language. Science has begun to understand the manner in which trees and plants talk to each other. We know animals communicate. Tuning in to this energy requires us to spend time around it.
The practice of sungazing involves relaxing the eyes into a soft focus and staring at the sunrise or sunset. Don’t be stupid and stare wide eyed at a potentially blinding sun. You can be super efficient and combine this with grounding. The act of sungazing is said to open up the third eye. It also brings our conscious sky wards into the greater universe, into realms so vast we might wonder why we war over bits of land at all given all the planets out there.
Stargazing is the night time equivalent and is just as effective.
Hear Center Feeling
The intuitive sensation we are seeking when we ask how to connect to the universe centers around our heart center. It is an intuitive feeling that we are taught to ignore as school and society is all about the logical brain. You could throw a conspiracy argument in here why this is so, but for this article, we’ll pretend that’s just the way the system has evolved. We need to understand it take a bit of ‘tuning in’ to start trusting ourselves again. Developing our heart center can be done by transferring our ‘mind’ to our heart when meditating. It means thinking with our intuition and ‘trusting our gut’. Consciously seeking the heart chakra when we are looking to connect to anything around us develops our sense of spirit and universal belonging.
Enough with going through life blind. You are in contact with the universe constantly. Now you must become conscious of it. Bring an awareness into your everyday life, in every task that you do. There is an exchange of energy going on. Begin to feel it. From connecting with the water while doing the dishes, to understanding the energy of the grass as you mow it, to the food and the energetic quality of it while you eat it. Be picky about the books you read, the tv you watch, the news that programs you or the internet as you surf. Live knowing that you are connected to everything and that connection is already inside of you.
The downside of this is an acute awareness of the destruction you inflict as you go about your normal, everyday life. It’s hard to reconcile living as a peace loving guru with a keen sense of universal connection and then mowing the grass in what must be the mother of all apocalypses to the plants and animals down there. The simple act of chopping wood or interfering with the earth becomes hard when you have a sense of the mass destruction you are inflicting on that piece of the universe. Eating animals is a no-no. And so the list goes on until you realize you pretty much can’t move without the risk of hurting something.
Living consciously is a broad brush to describe the act of engaging in activities that make us aware of ourselves and the universe. It could be from reading, to yoga, to making a decision that the ‘system’ is wrong in some aspect and walking a different path to what society says you must do. Living consciously and deliberately engaging with the universe in all its forms is the first part of a stronger connection. Understanding how to interpret and sense that message is the second aspect of that connection.