While going for a walk, I recently had one of what I call my “aura moments.” I was carrying out my usual practice of feeling my surroundings when my field of consciousness expanded way beyond my physical body, morphing into a blissful bubble that soared twice as high as the tallest oak and extended sidewise for a radius of at least 300 feet. Everything contained inside this space was pure awareness—everything was “me;” my consciousness and my sense of self were evenly distributed inside this large energy formation. All separations dissolved and I was the trees and the atmosphere; I was the squirrels and the birds; I was the shrubs and the soil, the leaves and the grass. I was not sensing my aura; instead, my aura was sensing my physical body the way it sensed everything else inside this bubble of beingness.
Experiences such as this show the power intrinsic to a sensory approach to one’s energy field: there is a point when the practice of sensing your aura pivots on your perceptions, expanding your consciousness into something much larger than your everyday self.
In contemporary spiritual circles, auras are regarded not as something to be felt but rather as objects of vision. Of course, being able to see auras is not just an exciting experience; it is also a source of information about the physical, emotional and spiritual health of people around you. Yet the dominant visual approach to auric awareness may contribute to a few misleading representations. One of them is the common belief that your aura emanates from your body the way scent spreads from a flower; the other is the assumption that the aura is a kaleidoscopic shell of energies extending a few feet beyond your body. In both cases, the aura is imagined as a circumscribed appendage of the body. As a matter of fact, the opposite is the case.
For one, your aura is not your emanation; your aura is your consciousness, and your consciousness is potentially infinite. You may be able to see only a few colorful layers close to the body; however, that iridescent bubble is neither the product of your lower self nor is it the core of your aura; rather, it is just an aspect of a much broader process of manifestation. Your consciousness is not located in your body; instead, your body is an aspect of your consciousness.
What are the implications? If you enjoy exercising seeing the auras of others, but all means continue to do so. However, if you want a deeper understanding of your own auric field, consider taking a different approach: namely, proprioception.
As the awareness of one’s own body parts and their respective movements and perceptions, proprioception eschews vision; it is capable of providing information about one’s limbs even as they have differing and yet simultaneous experiences: your left arm could be exposed to a cold draft while your left foot is immersed in warm water; your head may be resting on a soft surface as your cat naps on your stomach—and you are aware of it all. These perceptions do not compete with each other; instead, each of them contributes to how you sense your body as a constellation of complex parts, all of which are interconnected and each of which interacts independently with, and within, the physical space that surrounds it.
At the most basic level, proprioception is a form of knowing that blends being and sensing. You sense your limbs because they are part of you, and you are aware of them because you sense them. The implication is that you can use a subtle version of proprioception to explore your own aura as that space of knowing that surrounds and exceeds both your physical body and the mind attending to it.
All you have to do is to bring your attention to how your body senses the space around it. Become aware of each physical object touching your body–the chair you sit on, the pillow under your head, the blanket on your legs—and then sense all of them simultaneously. Proceed to imbue all of these things with your consciousness: become them and let them become you. Find multiplicity in unity and unity in multiplicity. Then expand your focus to the physical objects that surround you without touching you: the coffee table, the armchair in the corner, the mirror on the wall. Become them, sense them as if they were an extension of your body; feel them one at a time first, and then all together. Continue like this, allowing your awareness to develop a peaceful sense of communion with your surroundings.
If done frequently, this exercise will help you develop an experiential understanding of your aura as a field of knowing. By training your proprioception to expand at will, you will gain a different perspective on what it means to be conscious. Just as importantly, you will build a foundation for claircognizance as the kind of knowing that stems from being at one with the objects of your knowledge.
For more information on the expansion and development of subtle senses, see my Inner Alchemy course.
Image by Simon Wilkes via Unsplash