The importance of being centered
I think that this topic is a little bit underestimated respectively many people or spiritual students are not completely aware of it. Due to this, I want to put some light on it.
In everyday life, we hear sometimes “You should be more centered.” or “You should be more focused.” or “You should be more grounded.” Somehow we get the message but often people do not really understand the deeper meaning.
What does it really mean “to be centered, focused or grounded”?
We have two main approaches to understand it and this basis we will see the importance.
One approach is the universal key of the four elements with Akasha in their center. When the spiritual student has accomplished the balance of all four elements in power and quality, then he controls and experiences his life from his center, the Akasha point, the crossing point of the four elements, the original center of his microcosm, his whole being. The center is always analogue to God, to the divine state of perfection, order and harmony. Normally people are not centered like this. Their personal center is in one of the elements which represents their imbalance, the domination of one or two elements in their personality. When you are not in balance regarding your mind and soul and maybe body, then you experience analogue problems in life and with other people. You are too fiery, too airy, too watery or too earthy. Only when you are really centered, when you are in the natural-divine state of order, then you can behave in all situations in the right, necessary way. You can be strong in your will power when it is needed, you can be funny on a party, you can show your empathy if someone suffers and you can be stable like a rock if you have to face a challenge. You have all necessary resources for adequate reactions in all situations.
The ideas of being focused and grounded correspond to this principle. You can only be perfectly focused when you have developed all four elements equally and you are perfectly grounded only when your earth element – you as an individual being – consist of all elements in balance. The earth element is a reflection of the idea of perfect balance of all elements, the perfect order and with this, the state of being centered. If you are in imbalance, then you simply cannot be grounded or focused. Your focus will be somewhere else but not in your natural center.
The second approach is one of the basics of martial arts. Besides of all kinds of techniques hitting the opponent, one main principle is to get him out of his balance. As long as you are in a state of balance, he has all options to get into action or to react. But as soon as you are in a state of imbalance, you have lost your diversity of options and you become vulnerable as you can only react in a limited way. When you are in imbalance, then you have lost your center and you have lost your control. The control is taken by your opponent.
You can see this principle very good in Judo, Aikido and Sumo Wrestling.
Let´s take a closer look: The fighter is centered and from this state he starts his attacks. Many attacks can be realized by staying in the center while others need a temporary imbalance which is under control by the fighter. The fighter returns immediately to his centered state. If his opponent brings him into an uncontrolled state of imbalance, he becomes open for attacks and is forced to react instead of being able to take action. The reaction is often limited in protecting himself from damage. In all cases, the aim is to get as soon as possible into balance and control again.
We see here that balance means being centered, grounded, focused and in control. You are the master of your situation, the master of your fate like the saying goes. You have access to all of your resources and you can take full responsibility. But when you lose your center, when you get into imbalance, then you lose your control and you can only react in a limited way. And this is true for life, for all situations in life. Balance and being centered is so important for these reasons. And mastery on the spiritual path definitely requires the balance of the four elements to enter the center of Akasha, to accomplish the divine state.
There is another very important aspect connected which is expressed by the saying “you find power in the state of stillness”. Indeed, we can draw power from the state of Akasha, from being centered. It is this special state where you are relaxed and totally conscious, where you clearly perceive what is happening and where you perfectly know how to take action or how to react. And in this special state of being centered, the state of the master, you have all four elements at your command, all their powers, abilities and qualities. So you can take powerful action, you can move like water, you can be flexible like air and you can be hard like earth. You have the full range of actions under your control.
When you see an old master of martial arts how he fights with his young students, then you can see this principle perfectly at work. The master is totally relaxed and full aware of his situation. He is not depending on any specific technique but he is the vital source of all possible techniques and so he shows fitting actions, coming from Akasha, from his state of being perfectly trained and centered. In contrast, most of his students are not centered in the perfect state as they are still in the development. So many of them are not relaxed but strained and focused on trying specific techniques to fight the master successfully. But this does not work. And while most students lose their energy, the master could go on without problems over hours.
This is all quite interesting to observe. But the main point is to transfer this knowledge or principle to everyday life and all challenges which we have to face.
It is really useful to stay calm, relaxed, with a clear consciousness and high awareness. Then you are centered and then you can achieve the best results in all your challenges.
On the other hand, people feel driven to react directly without this extra second where you try to become really aware of the situation. This leads to making mistakes as you overlook certain factors easily. Even worse it is to react emotionally to a happening. When you are on the level of emotions, your intellect, your spirit, all your higher aspects are blinded out or cut off and this is very bad. You are not under control and you are not acting in an intelligent way. Emotional reactions can be understood but they are always dull and smart people misuse them for their purposes of manipulation. It is a great method of manipulation which is used by politicians, religious leaders, companies, etc. to control people in their decisions. This happens every day and most people are not aware of this.
Just one simple example: Have you ever wondered why in advertisements on TV people behave like crazy in connection with a certain product? Including singing stupid stuff like worshipping something in a religious cult: “I drink Cola, and yes, I am funny, I have all the girls, I am hip, I look good and I behave all the time if I were on ecstasy. And you should drink expensive water with too much sugar and artificial flavor too, to feel like me! Yeah! You got it!”
And maybe another nice example: Always during Christmas time you see terrible pictures of suffering, undernourished children from Africa where you are supposed to feel very bad because you eat cake and drink Cola. Driven by feelings of being guilty and of compassion, you have to make donations to someone you do not know. And certainly you don´t know what happens with your money. But you feel better afterwards and that is the aim. The real problems behind suffering children are not solved as these “charity” events happen regularly every year. But of cause, someone gets rich by your kind donations.
To make it short – emotional manipulation is not good and you should not become a permanent victim of the everyday propaganda.
Work on your state of mastery and balance. Stay centered. Stay relaxed in all situations. Take the extra second for making intuitively the right choices.