Have you ever met a person who had a powerful, wonderful vibration? Someone you wanted to get closer to? Have you met another person whose vibration gave you the creeps? Can you tell immediately whether you will like someone—or not? Have you ever felt someone was standing too close, and you had to step back?
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If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have experienced a subtle energy that pervades every individual and affects people in profound ways. This subtle energy is called prana.
The Sanskrit word prana, not readily translatable into English, derives from roots pra ("first," "primary," "before," or "forth") and an ("breathe," "move," "live"). So prana means "moving or breathing forth." However, prana is much more than breath. It is cosmic energy, sometimes called absolute energy, which gives life to all matter in the universe.
Prana is the power within all things and all beings, from elementary quantum particles to complex life forms. As the finest vital force in everything, prana manifests on the physical plane as motion and on the mental plane as thought.
Prana is in the air, yet it is not oxygen or any other physical constituent of air. All living things absorb prana with every breath. Yet, if prana were absent from air, no organism could survive by breathing air. Prana is in every particle of creation, but is not a particle.
The élan vital, or vital life energy, of prana is called chi or qi in China, and ki in Japan. The Chinese practice of Qigong uses qi for healing. In ancient Egypt ka was the force linking the body to the spiritual world. In fact, 97 world cultures have names for pranic energy, according to John White in his book Future Science.
In the Bible’s book of Genesis, the Hebrew term neshemet ruach chayim is translated as "breath of life." The word neshemet means "ordinary breath found in the air." Chayim means "life." But the word ruach means the "spirit of life," which refers to pranic energy.
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
Western science completely denies the existence of prana, which is, indeed, life itself. That is because prana is a non-material substance, not measurable by any instrument. It pervades all of creation and penetrates areas where air cannot reach.
So what is this mysterious substance or prana that is entirely without substance?
Prana is key to all life in the universe. Your body is alive by virtue of prana. It is responsible for heartbeat, breathing, digestion, and excretion. Pranic currents produce movement of eyelids, walking, playing, running, talking, thinking, reasoning, feeling, and willing. Pranic energy manufactures semen, gastric juice, bile, intestinal juice, and saliva.
Both oxygen and prana are required to keep you alive. Oxygen in the air flows through your circulatory system to build and replenish your blood. Prana in the air moves through your nervous system to bring strength and energy. Prana resembles electric currents flowing through your body, transmitting commands from your brain through your nerves.
Without prana, you would be a corpse. You could not move or breathe. Your blood would not circulate, lungs would not move, and body would be stiff and cold. It is said in the ancient Hatha Yoga Pradipika of India: "When there is prana in the body it is called life; when it leaves the body it results in death."
Your vital body, through which prana flows, is attached to your physical body at the navel through a thread-sized pranic link. When this link is severed, prana is cut off. Your vital and physical bodies then separate, and death occurs. The enormous pranic energy keeping your physical body alive then withdraws into your subtle body.
Your aura is made of prana. Intensifying pranic energy increases vitality, health, power, influence, charisma, willpower, and supernormal powers. The spiritual power within you can be awakened by using prana consciously.
Pranic energy is continually drained by every thought, word, and deed, and is consistently replenished by every breath. Other sources of prana are sunlight, water, air, and food. Prana is soaked up by skin from fresh air, bathing, swimming, and sunbathing. It is inhaled into the nostrils and lungs. Food-prana is imbibed through your tongue, mouth, and teeth and the action of your saliva, as you masticate nutritious food. Water-prana is absorbed by bathing, swimming, and by drinking refreshing, pure water.
Thought is the most refined, potent form of prana. Therefore, when thoughts become more refined and spiritually attuned, pranic energy increases. When your mind is relaxed and expanded during deep meditation, pranic energy is boosted exponentially.
Speech vibrates with pranic energy, and certain forms of speech, such as prayer and affirmation, increase pranic energy. Positive, powerful statements of truth expand your aura. But negative, damaging, harmful speech diminishes and shrinks your energy field.
A vibrant, large, expanded, bright, smooth, elegant, energetic aura surrounds a healthy individual with abundant pranic energy. A small, contracted, dark, dingy, stifled, lethargic, jagged, sluggish aura surrounds a person who is ill, depressed, depleted, or emotionally distressed.
How bright is your aura? Do you want to enhance or expand it? You can imbibe more prana and thereby bring greater vitality to your aura. The book The Power of Auras offers powerful, positive methods specifically designed to increase the size, intensity, and health of your energy field.
© Dr. Susan Shumsky. Dr. Susan Shumsky has been a spiritual teacher for more than 45 years. She has 10 books in print. Her latest book is The Power of Auras published by New Page. ISBN: 978-1-60163-289-0 List Price: US $16.99. Her website is www.drsusan.org.