How to sense energy (not just imagine it)

Have you ever visualized energy, felt tingling, and wondered, “Am I really feeling energy, or just imagining it?”

I definitely have. Most of my students have too. Because the truth is, it’s easy to feel tingling due to placebo, expectations, or even hyperventilating from those deep breaths in many energy tutorials.

Not only that, but energy doesn’t feel like tingling to many people. Based on blind testing, energy can feel like heat, a light touch, or other sensations. When teachers tell you to feel tingling, they may make it harder for you to truly feel energy.

So, if feeling tingling doesn’t mean you’ve felt energy, what does? And how can you learn it?

In all my classes, we make sure students are really using energy by playing energy games. Here’s one:

Partner up. One person sends, the other receives. The receiver wears a blindfold (or closes their eyes) and holds out both hands. Sender, randomly pick a hand and send the energy. Don’t tell them which hand, don’t touch them, just send the energy. Receivers, feel where the energy is. (Details here.)

A few things happen when we play this game:

First, we learn that the obvious tingling was actually from expectations, and the actual sensations of energy are much more subtle.

Second, as students learn to succeed at the game, their confidence grows. They have data showing energy is real and they are using is, which carries far more weight than words and reassurances.

And third, as a teacher, I learn which techniques actually help students sense energy.

Over the years, I’ve developed techniques for reliably feeling energy, not just imagining sensations. The most important one, which I teach to all my beginner students, is below.

This post builds on How to create energy visualizations that actually work. If you haven’t read it, start there.

Energy, Emotions, and Expectations

We’ll learn to sensing energy in this post. But just what is it that we’ll be sensing?

The word “energy” can refer to a variety of phenomena.

We might say, “This party has great energy.” This doesn’t mean an energy healer set a field of chi throughout the house. It means that the music and conversation is exciting. Here, “energy” refers to emotion.

Or, “What a crazy day at work! My energy was pulled in ten different directions.” We don’t mean our co-workers were tugging on our chi. We mean our focus was split between meetings and interrupted by emails. Here, “energy” refers to attention.

Energy can also refer to the subtle energy produced by living cells. In the East, it’s called chi, qi, or prana, and in the West it’s called biofield energy or just energy.

We’ll be sensing that subtle energy produced by cells.

Students sometimes expect that this skill will help them read a person’s emotions, or that their skill with recognizing emotions will let them sense chi. Those are wonderful skills, but they are largely unrelated to chi. And pretty much everyone has to start at the beginning when learning to sense chi.

More on the many meanings of energy.

The Key to Sensing Energy

When you feel an object’s temperature, what you’re really feeling is how touching that object affects the temperature of your skin.

Similarly, when you feel a person’s energy, what you’re really feeling is how their chi affects your chi.

Here’s the problem: Most people’s energy is changing all the time. Think of your energy as a symphony, with dozens of musicians playing at once. It’s beautiful, but it’s hard to pick out a single musician.

When you listen for a client’s energy, that’s like trying to hear a single musician, a soloist. And, just like the other instruments have to become quiet to allow the soloist to be heard, you must quiet your own energy in order to sense the energy of your client (or your friend in the energy games).

That’s the key: Quiet your own energy so you can sense someone else’s. That’s what we’ll learn in this series.

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