Cutting Ties to the Past
It is impossible to be present if you’re trapped in personal history. And what, after all, is the difference between the past and a dream?
— Ram Dass
Before they went into battle, the Ninja warriors had a meditation they performed. The intention was for the warrior to go into battle pure, fighting not for himself but for the good of their clan. To strike down an enemy in anger was considered an impure act. Warriors did not fight because of emotional attachments or a desire for victory, they fought for freedom.
This meditation is an adaptation of this Ninja technique:
Close your eyes, breathe into your heart, and see yourself with someone you have made a promise to in the past and who, through this gesture, you still feel attached to, even though the relationship itself has ended. In this image, see yourself and the other person sitting together in an empty room. Within this room you (but not the other) also sit within a spiral of protective energy that separates you both.
Look at your bodies and you will see that strands of energy connect you, from your body to his or hers. Notice where these strands connect. This will show you the deeper relationship that existed between you. Is it a heart connection? Sexual? Of the mind? Notice also if there is a discrepancy in where these strands connect (e.g., do they leave your body at the heart but connect to his at the head?). This can suggest where miscommunication is taking place in your relationships or provide insight into where and how your power is taken by others.
When you are ready, say whatever needs to be said to the person in front of you, speaking out loud, so you can forgive or make amends, accept that person’s forgiveness, finish your business together, take back your promises, and say goodbye.
When the time is right, you will see in your hand a sword you can use to cut the ties of energy between you. Breathe in as you do so to reclaim the power that was yours. This does not hurt the other or you; you are simply cutting through energy.
As you free them and yourself from the past, watch the other person drift away from you, becoming more distant until they fade away completely. Gently open your eyes and say out loud “I am free” and commit to that sentiment.
Repeat this exercise whenever you need to and for every situation in which you feel you gave away your power.
Adapted from The Spiritual Practices of the Ninja, by Ross Heaven (Inner Traditions, 2006). Copyright (c) 2006 by Ross Heaven. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from The Spiritual Practices of the Ninja, by Ross Heaven (Inner Traditions, 2006).