This guide walks you through the skills at the core of all energy practices: Building, moving, sensing, blocking, and releasing energy.

Instead of telling you a visualization that works for me, I’m going to teach you how to build your own visualization. Why? A few reasons:

  • Energy feels different to different people. Vastly, obviously different. Based on testing, it’s important that your visualization matches how energy feels to you, not how energy feels to me.
  • You’ll want to build more visualizations later, as we develop energy for focusing, relaxing, arousing, healing, and more.
  • Learning to create your own visualizations will empower you to explore energy yourself — you might not want to do that now, but I very much hope you’ll explore eventually.

Start by thinking about how energy feels in your body. (If you haven’t felt energy, think about how it might feel: Tingling, buzzing, pleasant pressure, heat, cool, or something else. Pick something that speaks to you, you can always change later.)

Think of a visual to go with that sensation. A few examples:

  • Tingling might be static electricity hopping around your skin.
  • Pressure might be a mist pressing against your body.
  • Heat might be a red glow, or it might be fire.

Those are just examples — there’s no one right visual, so create your own, whatever feels most natural to you. You can always change it later.

Think about how it might sound: Crackling static electricity, humming warm light, the sounds of a fire. Or perhaps your energy is silent. The point is to engage more of your senses in the visualization. Do whatever feels most natural to you.

Now we’re going to build and move energy:

Using all three components (visual, auditory, and sensation), visualize energy building in your torso. You can visualize the energy coming up from the earth, down from the sky, growing inside your body, or whatever else feels natural to you.

(Some people associate particular meanings with visualizing energy from each source, but remember, we’re just communicating intent to the unconscious. Later, you might associate particular meanings here as well, but for now do whatever feels most natural.)

As the energy builds, notice how it feels in your torso. Then visualize the energy moving around your body: Up to your head, out your arms or legs, back to your torso. Practice moving it around, using the visualization you made, and notice how it feels.

Next, we’re going to quiet our energy, so we can feel a partner’s energy:

When you feel a partner’s energy, you’re really feeling the change their energy causes in your own body’s energy. If your energy is changing all on its own, it’s hard to notice the changes caused by your partner. So we want to hold our energy steady and unchanging, so we can listen for changes from our partner.

We’re not eliminating or expelling our energy, it’s just to hold it steady. Think of a placid lake or smooth stream of water, deep but flat, wave-less, steady. Or think about making your breath slow and silent as you listen for even the quietest of sounds.

Adapt your visualization to this slow, silent intent. Maybe it pauses, slows down, or otherwise becomes smooth and steady. Use this visualization to quiet your energy in each area of your body: Head, torso, arms, and legs (or quiet each chakra, if you prefer.)

Notice how it feels to listen with your energy for a minute. Then let your energy move again, and notice how that feels, too.

Third, we’re going to shield our energy, closing ourselves to the energy around us, then opening up again:

(Shielding is a bit more advanced than the other techniques. If this is your first time using energy, don’t worry if this part feels difficult, you can return to it when you have more experience.)

There’s an inner part of your energy field that’s yours, which might have someone else’s energy extending into it. I’ll call this “your space.” There’s an outer part of your energy that’s extending out into a shared space, overlapping with other peoples’ energy. I’ll call this “public space.” Feel around your energy, try to find the part that feels like you, that has your signature sunk deep and solid into it, and try to find the public space, which lacks that deep, solid “you” signature. This is the boundary we want to shield.

Notice any places where outside energy is entering your space. Find the opening in your space where it’s entering, and think about squeezing down on it. Also try to find any openings that could allow energy into your space, and squeeze down on them too. Try squeezing down all the way, and see how that feels. Try opening all the way, and see how that feels. And try squeezing down part way, and see how that feels also.

If, as you’re playing energy games, you find that someone’s energy doesn’t feel great in your body, you can squeeze down part way on these openings, to let less of their energy in. (You can also ask them to use less energy.) And in general, you can open or close your energy throughout your day to adjust how much energy you get from your surroundings — perhaps you want to be more closed on a crowded street, and more open in the woods.

(Note that, if you’re fully closed, you aren’t allowing energy in or out, and you won’t get any success at energy games.)

At this point, you can either quiet your energy or release it. I find that people get worn out if they repeatedly build and release energy, so if you’re going to play energy games or do other practice, just quiet your energy (making it steady).

Then when you’re done, release the energy:

Using the same visualization as for moving the energy, visualize the energy leaving your body. It might go into the earth (often called “grounding”), the sky, fade inside your body, or whatever else feels natural to you.

Sometimes, after exploring new types (or “signatures”) of energy, a person will still feel a bit odd, even after releasing the energy. To fix this, we can do a more thorough energy flushing: Build some of your own energy (using the initial “build energy” visualization), move it to your head along with wherever in your body feels odd, then release the energy again.

Congratulations! You just made your own visualizations for building, moving, quieting, shielding, and releasing energy, aligned to how your mind represents energy. You now have all the tools you need to start exploring energy.

(And one more note for anyone new to energy: Pay attention to how energy feels as you work with it, especially when you receive energy from experienced practitioners. It might feel different than you had guessed when creating your visualization. If it does, update your visualization to match how energy actually feels, and you’ll likely experience better results.)


  1. AprilG May 29, 2019 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    I have been practicing feeling energy for a little over two weeks now. I have had success in making the energy stronger through visualization but I can only feel it in the palms of my hands. I’ve tried visualizing it moving up my arms, moving to a different body part through touch, tried with my eyes closed, and with them open using a mirror. I’ve tried building the energy in a different body part other than my hands such as my head or chest but I just can’t feel it anywhere but my palms. I assume this is going to make me very good at Reiki 🙂 but I want to learn your way of interacting with energy. I don’t know what else to try. Do you or any of your readers have any suggestions? Thank you!

    • Mike May 31, 2019 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Hi April, great job exploring different approaches! Yes, developing these skills will help with Reiki and whatever else you want to do with energy.

      How does the energy feel in your palms?

      How are you representing the energy visually / tactilely / auditorily?

      I may have suggestions, and I’ll ask my students as well.

      • AprilG June 3, 2019 at 7:09 am - Reply

        Thank you for your response Mike! When my palms are facing each other and I move my hands together and apart in a bouncing motion, the energy feels like magnets repelling each other. At first I could only feel the energy by moving my hands but I’ve now practiced enough that I can finally feel it when they are still. In that case, the energy feels like a gentle pressure on my palms and a faint tingling. When the energy is stronger, the tingling gets a lot stronger. I can only feel the pressure when my palms are facing each other. If they aren’t, I just feel the tingling.

        After trying a lot of different visualizations, I suddenly started seeing the energy as a blue-white glow around my hands. When I tried visualizing it getting stronger, I expected to see the glow get brighter but to my surprise I started seeing points or spikes forming and moving on the outer edge of the glow. Then I could feel the energy with my hands a lot further apart. I haven’t had any luck imagining sound. In school, I learned best from reading and taking notes not listening to lectures so maybe that’s why.

        While trying to imagine building energy, I have just been focusing on imagining the glow. The tingling happens by itself. Maybe when trying to build energy in my chest, I should try to feel tingling along with visualizing the glow?

        • Mike June 4, 2019 at 7:32 pm - Reply

          That sounds like excellent progress. I always find it heartening when I find something I didn’t expect, even something as simple as the image I have of energy as it grows. It helps me know that I’m exploring and finding new things.

          Try incorporating the sensation into your visualization. Imagine the tingling. Try imagining the magnet feeling too, and see which works better. And if sound doesn’t feel right to you, it’s fine to skip it.

          Try that, and let us know how it goes. Good luck!

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