Grounding and Meditation

Grounding and Meditation

Imagine if everyone you met today, including the person in the mirror, were grounded and safe — safe for themselves, and safe for others. That would improve your day, wouldn’t it?

Living in today’s world, surrounded by a plethora of distractions — plus all the things our minds throw at us — staying grounded and safe can seem like a full time job.

For those of us who are hyper-responsive to the needs of others, it’s even more challenging. We naturally go out to people far too easily, or let them in too deeply.

Not everything that comes naturally is a good thing.

When we go out to others too readily, we lose our balance, we lose our center, we lose our roots. We go out to others because we want to help them, but what good can we accomplish in this world without roots?

Grounding for happiness and service

That’s why I encourage you again and again — ok, I nag you — to learn habits of grounding.

The more reliably you ground yourself in yourself, the happier and healthier you will feel, and the more effectively you will be able to help others.

And the easier it will become to meditate. Not what you expected?

Why meditate?

Meditation is the mother of all healing (including Reiki practice), and the key to developing wisdom. Through meditation, we extend beyond our limitations to find inspiration, inner knowing, and compassion.

Meditation drew me to India many years ago. It was the move that moved everything. It changed my understanding of the mind and enabled me to see in a more holistic way. It also freed my mind to be more logical. Go figure.

That’s what happens when you give yourself to spiritual practice, whether it’s meditation, Reiki, yoga, or in my case, all three. The effects show up where you least expect them. And they keep showing up for the rest of your life.

Meditation you can do

I realize not too many people can schedule two years to live in an ashram in India immersed in spiritual practices.

That’s why I tell people about Sharon Salzberg and Sally Kempton, two of today’s most respected, effective meditation teachers.

Sharon Salzberg teaches lovingkindness meditation. Lovingkindness is an accessible, deceptively simple (sounds a lot like Reiki…) meditation practice. Lovingkindness requires no greater effort than becoming more mindful of what you often do already — wish others well, want people to be happy and healthy.

Simple practices, while readily accessible, arguably take longer to truly master; the skill of not doing is more challenging than any technique, no matter how complex it might be.

Learning from experienced practitioners is a great advantage. An experienced teacher helps us reach not just the low-lying fruit, but also the ripest fruits buried in the thicket of the mind. Sharon Salzberg has been teaching lovingkindness meditation for 30 years. Sharon’s new book Real Happiness leads you through the process of starting your own meditation practice. You can read excerpts or purchase here.

Sally Kempton’s Meditation for the Love of It: Enjoying Your Own Deepest Experience delivers everything the title promises. Sally shares generously from her 40 years of meditation experience to help you connect with the most subtle essence of your own being, that inviolable core of beneficence that is the goal of all spiritual practice.

Pamela Miles shares 50 years of experience with holistic health and spiritual practice.


  1. Pamela,

    I love the idea of grounding! However, in my own meditation practice I notice that grounding is different than meditation (not sure if you were making that distinction or not). For instance, you can do practices that ground you before your meditation and it makes a world of difference. Why? Because as a modern culture we are so out of our bodies all of the time. Taking the time to come into your body and offering that to your practice is a sure fire way to reap the bounty of what meditation has to offer.

    Thank you for all of your passionate work around Reiki!!!

    Love, Ken

  2. Pamela Miles says:

    Thank you for your comment, Ken.

    Grounding can be a step before meditation that makes it easier to release into a meditative state because we feel safe. It can also be repeated during meditation as needed when one either feels out of balance in the moment, or one wants to deepen one’s subtle understanding of grounding — in a sense, meditating on groundedness.

    In other words, we cannot be present and mindful without being grounded in our bodies, but as we become more present and mindful, we might become aware that we could be even more grounded.

  3. “For those of us who are hyper-responsive to the needs of others, it’s even more challenging. We naturally go out to people far too easily, or let them in too deeply”.

    The inner word “Adjutor” was given to me made me and make me understand the above observations – and I asked my inner voice to give me a new word – and it became “Protector”.

    The risk of loosing centre and grounding is all ways there – and what to do?

    After 2 decades of inner working, and at the ages of 47 – I found that some things was wrong – some things missing. In my case the answer came trough the unification of mind and body in Aikido. I came to the conclusion that training of body was a safe path of keeping one point and grounding.

    The word was: When body is at peace mind is at peace and when mind is at peace body is a peace.

    One of the higher understanding of the concept of Meditation came to me from the Tibeten tradition of Dogzchen or Vajra Yana.

    The first statement from this tradition is, that no one is able to teach any one to Meditate. The second statement is that meditation will never lead you to Satori – that meditation is only needed after Satori – to sustain the sate of samadhi and nirvana mind of non-duality.

    What we are able to teach and learn are the preparation for the transition into the state of meditation. At that level there is actual no teaching – but a direct transformation of communication.

    In the west the word meditation is normally synonym – with deep relaxation or inner peace or Peace Profound, but this is only the means and not the Goal.

    The Inner Work of preparation of the Orient – can be divided in to three faces – Mantra – Yantra and Tantra. – The words, the symbols and healing of body – are a part of the Reiki Initiation too.

    The Art and Craft are the gifts and blessings of the Higher Beings, but still only relative Satori. The Permanent Satori are the gift and blessing of the Divine Beings or Spirit.

    In graditude – thank you

  4. Pamela Miles says:

    Good to hear from you, Soren. Having a practice such as Aikido, yoga or tai chi that engages the body and the mind is so beneficial.

  5. Eduardo Navarro says:

    Thank you for all these webinars especially this last one with Sally Kempton!

    There are so many things that you and Sally mentioned during the discussion that I need to ponder and reflect on… but I never knew that my experiences of going into myself “deeper and deeper until all questioning fades away” (to quote you) had a name! Thank you for sharing this.

    I especially liked the part where Sally mentioned the man who spent most of his life trying to save the forest, until he realized eventually that it may have been the forest trying to save itself through him – emphasizing the connection that we all share between ourselves and with all living things – everything that is in Being!

    I find this story a simple yet amazing analogy that can be applied to healing and, I dare say, healthcare. As someone who takes care of patients, this story made me feel a great “unburdening” or relief that ultimately healing is truly patient-centric in the sense that healing comes from the patient (or one can say is of the patient) but is exercised through me. It is shifting from the attitude of “I am the one who needs to fix them” to “I am here because my patients are using me to help themselves.”

    All this because of our unity, of our “connectedness”, of our Oneness. This realization bears fruit to humility on the part of the healer, and brings forth a loving trust in the innate capacity of the patient to heal themselves, and, more importantly, faith in the truth that all is well, no matter what. Humility, trust, and wisdom. I wish non-dual consciousness is something that is taught in medical schools, nursing schools, and all other schools of healing. Can you imagine?

    Now I can.

    Again, thank you Pamela!

  6. Pamela Miles says:

    “Unburdening” is a beautiful word to describe the sense of support and engagement that comes as we grow our awareness of our own non-dual essence. We come to realize that truly we are all in this together.

  7. Eduardo Navarro says:

    The more I contemplate on my practice, the more I feel that Usui originally intended Reiki to be a personal spiritual journey.  I feel like it is now a way of life for me, foremost and healing of others second. Is that selfish? Is this ego misleading itself? Or ultimately, on a higher level the distinction dissolves and become invisible?

  8. Pamela Miles says:

    I love your question, Eduardo. Nondual awareness dissolves the distinction between self and other. Spiritual practice is something we do ourselves, but everyone benefits. As we mature through consistent daily practice, we are better able to recognize when and how we can be of service, and not to get distracted by that which is beyond our control.

  9. David Miller Ramsay says:

    There are so many people who make such a fuss about grounding in the Reiki world , and they attribute almost every malady know to man …yikes ! they are greatly overstated.

    If you practice Hatsu Rei Ho you are indeed grounding yourself !

    Mikao `s students were taught this from day one , and its lovely !!!

    • David,

      In my experience it’s not just the Reiki world that people are making a fuss about grounding, but all serious systems of spirituality that wish to incorporate the human experience. For instance, in American Tibetan Buddhism practiced here in the States, there are teachers teaching their students that grounding and one’s connection to the Earth is the beginning of meditation practice. Grounding allows one to begin to come fully into one’s body. From that starting place a human being can live joyfully in her body and come to know what it means to meditate from that place rather than the ego and the constant stream of mind.

      There is, in fact, great benefit to serious grounding practices. And, if not residing fully in the body is the modern predicament, then it seems necessary to address that as the major malady to most trauma and neuroses that occur in people.

      Finally, to address the practice of hatsureiho, it is not clear as to what Usui taught students from day one. See Beckett’s excellent research in his book, Reiki, The True Story, for more. I do, however, agree with your statement that, yes, it is a lovely practice.

  10. David Miller Ramsay says:

    “Satori comes upon one abruptly and is a momentary experience. In fact, if it is not abrupt and momentary, it is not Satori”

  11. Pamela Miles says:

    David, since we cannot assume that everyone has this training, why don’t you share more about it? And please tell whose definition of satori you quoted.

  12. David Miller Ramsay says:

    Hatsurei Ho was a daily practice of Mikao Usui`s students , this not only grounds you , it protects you and makes your connection stronger, you will find that by doing this daily your flow will become strong.

    Satori again came from Usui teaching Pamela as did Hatsurei Ho . Also Mikao never gave attunements to any of his students ! he did however performed Reiju Empowerments again on a daily practive Pamela this is true Usui style , they flow, they are simple as Mikao wanted it to be, not complicated like western attunements which had had so many add on`s over the years from many teachers !

  13. Pamela Miles says:

    Yes, I know that Hatsurei Ho is from Usui’s teaching, David, but you haven’t told readers much about what it is — animal, vegetable, mineral? 🙂

    I am also aware of how Usui initiated. Are you a member of the Gakkai? Is that how you know this? To my understanding, that is Usui’s only documented true lineage.

    It’s not meaningful to lump all Western initiations together. Ours is now a polyglot practice, some masters giving elaborate initiations, and some practicing the simple practice Mrs. Takata taught.

    • David Miller Ramsay says:

      Nothing more simpler than Usui style beleive me Pamela. Mrs. Takata`s reiki is her interpertaion of Usui style , which is uncluttered like the western style !

  14. David Miller Ramsay says:

    Tests were done with students Pamela , some were given attunements while the others were given Empowerments ! The students who had been given the empowerments held a better connection to the energy of Reiki and became more intuitive than those who had been given attunements !

  15. Pamela Miles says:

    David, I appreciate your participation so much. I want you to know that because I am going to disagree with you. Ok? 🙂

    It doesn’t seem reasonable to assume, as you wrote, that Takata’s practice is her version of Usui’s practice. That completely disregards the impact of her Reiki master, Chujiro Hayashi. Takata had more direct, in-person time with her Reiki master than anyone else that I have come across in 25 years of practice. Hayashi also came to Hawaii shortly after sending Takata back from Japan. He didn’t announce that Takata was a Reiki master until he was on ship about to return to Japan. Knowing the Japanese deference for the teacher, how likely is it that Takata was making the big decisions about importing Reiki practice to the US? Takata was the English-speaking student, doing her best to translate a practice that she was really just beginning into a language and culture that lack the concepts on which the practice is predicated. I wonder how different her language might have been if she had chosen words at the end of her 40+ years of practice.

    You wrote, “…believe me Pamela.” Please do not be offended that I won’t believe you. Not you or anyone else. I don’t even believe myself, in the sense that I continually question in order to refine my understanding. “I Doubt It” describes a bit of this process.

    I question because I want to actually experience Truth rather than settling for beliefs. The beliefs my own mind offers are no more appealing to me than the beliefs offered by someone else. Truth as I experience it may be different than Truth experienced by someone else. I feel no tension around that, because Truth is greater than correct vs. mistaken. My own experience of Truth is constantly deepening and expanding, and I am quite content with the process.

    It seems that you are referring to the alleged nuns who had studied with Usui. Everything that has been said about them is hearsay; there is no third-party documentation that they even existed. The person who started this expects people to believe him and I am not willing to do that. I prefer to depend on my practice. There are facts that we may never know. That doesn’t affect my practice.

    Many years ago there an American claimed to have Usui artifacts. When I asked for third-party documentation, I was rebuffed with much flowery language. The Reiki community was all excited, but I couldn’t jump on board. It wasn’t long before he was revealed as a fraud.

    I am not in any way implying that the tales of the Usui students are fraudulent; I’m just saying that anyone who would spread such information without realizing the importance of having some corroboration is already standing on a shaky platform. How can I have confidence in someone who doesn’t appreciate the need to establish credibility?

    Similarly, it’s not sufficient to say that tests were done. Who did them? How were they done? Where is the write up?

    Something that is often not understood among lay people is that research that isn’t documented is useless. The research process itself is a documented conversation among experts in a community. What is accomplished by citing research that doesn’t meet the basic standards of credibility?

  16. David Miller Ramsay says:

    You should then ask Taggart King for this information a well respected teacher who has indeed all the information regarding this Pamela , I do write this with respect to all flavours of which ever Reiki you practice.

    Kind regards

  17. Pamela Miles says:

    Thank you, David, I did not take anything you said as being disrespectful. I researched this subject when writing my book and as I recall, Mr. King is not the original source. Am I incorrect?

  18. David Miller Ramsay says:

    I always find this with people who have been taught the western way and find it so difficult to face the true Usui style Pamela ! Why not try the true way of Reiki, I know in my heart you will love it , and will then go on to teach it. I passed on the Reiju Empowerments to 5 master teacher friends in Ohio this year and they are now changinf everthing in their teaching , they have had such beautiful experiences with the empowerments and with their Hatsurei ho !

  19. Pamela Miles says:

    David, how can you suggest that I change my teaching when you don’t even know how or what I teach? What is your motivation, and what are you giving up on?

    I am completely content with my practice, having learned from masters who were either themselves students of Mrs. Takata, or whose Reiki masters were students of Mrs. Takata. My practice is simple and full. I have practiced daily since learning to practice 25 years ago, and intend to continue throughout this life. I feel no need for anything better than the intense engagement with practice that I have.

    I also do not agree that there is a form of practice that is the best. Most important is that people have effective initiations. Then it is up to them to develop what they have received through consistent daily self-treatment.

    I find that generally after 10-12 years of daily self-treatment, practitioners are much less attached to external comparison and much more in touch with what we share.

  20. David Miller Ramsay says:

    Both work Pamela , I have a friend who has more than 25 years of practice , she now practices the old way , by that I mean the true Usui style ! No one can compare Pamela as we are all different each and everyone of us .

  21. Pamela Miles says:

    David, I agree with you that we cannot compare, and that all practice works, but I cannot agree that there is one practice that is “true.” To do so seems disrespectful to the diversity of the global Reiki community. I want to encourage people to practice, to get their hands to their bodies, and I respect their choice of practice form. Only when people tell me that their form is too complicated for them do I suggest they try simplifying.

    True Reiki practice is in the hands and hearts of those who actually practice, and practice consistently.

  22. No rainbow with out light and water. So if you look at Reiki – as The Light with out Shadows, The Universal Ki – then Ki cane manifest in the elements as Physical sounds of Ki, or Watery Life force of Ki, or Airy Wisdom Love.
    I cane do many things with my Rainbow Body. I have many faces and names.
    It all depend on the situation and the circumstances what name name you give it or what form are manifesting be on any Confession, Orthodoxy or Dogma.
    One of the Greatest Healers on Earth and True Wonder-maker – You know the X-mass – Master – “The Unknown — YOU know I know — gave it all away for free and asked you to do the same as you have received it for free – any way.

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