Shielding is any act of meditation, visualization, or affirmation used to create a sense of spiritual or emotional protection and safety. Shielding is typically used as an active, mindful response to perceived spiritual, psychic, or magical attack.
What is the philosophy behind how shielding works?
The simplest statement I can make for this is 'Action follows thought." By focusing on an idea or image of protection and safety it commits energy towards that goal. Psychologically it also provides a sense of emotional confidence and security that acts to override the sensations of vulnerability or weakness that attacking entities/energies like to try and instill. This makes it easier to willfully deny an entity its power, and maintain personal authority.
How do you shield?
The process of building a shield or other form of protection has a few steps. At first, each step can take a bit of time and concentration to perform. The more you practice, though, the more it becomes like muscle-memory. Eventually the full process becomes as natural and automatic as reaching out and grabbing a cup of water because you decide you are thirsty.
1) Center; take a moment to focus your thoughts and attention on a simple personal task. For example becoming consciously aware of your breathing. Or counting your heart beats. Something that lets you focus on yourself within the present moment.
2) Do something that signifies the act of connecting to positive, high vibration energy/light and visualize that energy being drawn into you, filling your entire being and pushing away any negativity, stress, fear, or other negative emotions or sensations of vulnerability.
3) Create a willful image that represents protection and safety, and imagine that gathered energy taking on the qualities and strengths of that image. This part tends to be the most individual because everyone has their own image or concept that they connect with in a way that feels valid and genuine. Some examples include; A sphere of light. Your aura becoming dense and solid or forming a shell. Images of medieval or modern armor. Images of a sacred symbol or talisman. A star-trek like energy shield. Projecting a field of radiant light. Protective images associated with a personal spirit/totem/guiding animal, like a turtle shell, crab carapace, scales, thick fur, etc.
If you are just starting out with energy-working or other magical practices, it would be wise to take the time to develop an understanding of these basics and how they work before moving on. If what has just been talked about is old-hat, then let's get on with the more advanced ideas and concepts. These ideas usually involve a bit of a more complex/deeper understanding of energy in general.
Like attracts like;
This little axiom floats around a lot, and is very similar in concept to the idea of action following thought. This is the core reasoning behind symbolism and so it could be considered rather important to understand this concept in any spiritual practice. But one angle that is not always recognized is how this applies to individuals on a personal level- despite being alluded to constantly. (You reap what you sow, treat others as you wish to be treated, judge not..., etc. etc.)
Life in general acts as a mirror of the Self. If you live angrily, if you spend your interactions with people expecting duplicity, judgement, negativity, or aggression, then that is what you will find all around you. This is true on a mundane level as well as a spiritual one. If you live in expectation of being haunted, attacked, possessed, etc then you will attract or even create those troubles for yourself. Conversely, if you work to live with a positive attitude, a hopeful demeanor, and maintain a positive living space then that will attract positive energies and entities. By working to reach more positive mental-emotional and spiritual states you are literally raising yourself above the reach of more negative influences. You become uninteresting to them, less vulnerable to their presence. The more you move towards living within a positive environment the less you will encounter a need to protect yourself.
The best defense is no defense;
If you have watched the first 'The Matrix' movie, you might recall a short interaction between Neo and Morpheus where they were discussing his training. Neo is a bit disbelieving of his situation and says, "What are you saying, ...I can dodge bullets?" ...To which Morpheus replies "When you are ready, you won't have to."
These are surprisingly apropos words in reference to spiritual matters. Once a person has mastered the idea and process of shielding, the goal should then become to recognize a state where actively shielding is no longer needed to be safe. This might sound a little paradoxical, but in truth the paradox lies in the act of shielding itself. Bear with me here, this might take some explaining.
When someone practices shielding, the mindset it creates is "I am shielded, therefore I am safe." ...Which is a good statement in and of itself. But it also implies the idea that "When I am unshielded, I am unsafe." Or, "I am vulnerable unless I am shielded." The act of protecting yourself implies that there is something that is vulnerable and therefore -needs- protecting.
This gives an avenue of deceit and trickery. It creates a mentality of having to keep one's guard up lest a threat slip in and 'get through'. Armor has gaps. shields have limits. Energy only comes in to replenish and cleanse your protection while you are concentrating on it. Eventually a determined being might convince you that your shield is not working after all. You might be made to feel weak, or cold, or anxious to make you think that harm is coming through. That your shield or armor is being eaten away or corrupted. And so the defenses get worn down. And when you are convinced they are gone, you start feeling fear and harm "because the shield is gone, therefore I am without defense." In the end you feel like you no longer have the ability to deny an attacking energy's influence because in your mind you have nothing to deny it with. So, you stop trying.
As you expand your knowledge and experience, the next challenge to develop towards becomes recognizing that you are always protected. You are always kept whole and safe by the normal function of your energy and aura, and by the natural state of being an intelligent independent being. The goal is to develop a confident and enduring sense of personal authority and Self, and allowing that to be your expression of safety.
Instead of building up shields, shift your focus to a direct willful upliftment of yourself and the always-present energy of your being. Recognize that no harm can come to you so long as you do not give permission. Lower-vibration energies can not reach or influence higher vibrations unless they are allowed to. By being in a constant progression of betterment and upliftment you are already in a constant state of protection. Only energies that are equal to or higher than yourself can easily pass through. Considering how higher-vibration beings are around to provide learning, help, and upliftment, this shouldn't be a source of concern.
Understand the power of language;
Words have power. They are manifest expressions of our thoughts, will, and energies. Among them, one of the most potent is the word 'I'. It is the affirmation of self- any statement that is made that begins with the word 'I' is a statement being made from a position of personal identity and authority. Add to it the word 'Am', which is a definition of existence and presence, and you get the single most powerful statement that can be used, regardless of what language it is used in. Any statement made beginning with 'I am' is one spoken from certainty of self and presence, which produces a foundation of authority and identity.
But that statement is also one that becomes very specific and often singular. For example, earlier I mentioned that shielding creates a mental attitude of "I am shielded, therefore I am safe." And like before, this is indeed a good statement because it affirms the presence of a protecting force. But it also affirms that this force is something separate from yourself; You are in possession of a shield, and it is that shield that protects you. But it limits you to feeling that protection only when that shield is present. It becomes a dependency.
The logical step is to simplify, to remove the conditional factor and recognize instead simply that "I am safe." Period. No shield needed. No alertness or wariness needed. No circumstances or focus or effort to block disrupt or deny. It just is what it is and that's that.
Another word that doesn't get enough credit these days is the word 'no'. It is a beautiful, quiet, unassuming little word that functions as the most straightforward and effective form of denial. You don't even need to decorate it with anything else. 'No' is the deliberate, succinct, inarguable response that can't be worked around. Like with "I" and "Am", when used properly and from a position of authority it carries a significant sense of gravitas.
Expanding from shielding is a journey;
It takes time, consideration, practice, and also a measure of personal growth and realization to reach a point when shielding might become unnecessary for you as an individual. So during that journey shielding remains as a useful and effective tool for cleansing and protecting yourself. Early on the goal should be to manage a shift of perspective.
I find the first step begins with learning to recognize shielding not as a practice of creation, but as a process of recognizing what is already there. Instead of using the process of shielding to make a shield, use it from a perspective of reminding yourself that you are already protected. For example a new perspective of the process I summarized earlier might go like this;
1) Center. Bring your thoughts and awareness to the present moment within yourself. Recognize that you are here, now, and in your authority. (I am here, I am now.)
2) Recognize and consciously feel your own energy in abundance, vibrant with light and warmth. Light and energy is always present, as it is what composes the entirety of your enduring being. (I am light.)
3) Actively reject the attack. Consciously choose to deny the attack any power over you by recognizing it has no power. No harm can come that you do not allow. (I am whole, I am unharmed.)
Here are a few final ideas to consider. They might not always apply, but they do represent some good food for thought.
-Recognize an attacking entity may be a being that is sad, angry, or otherwise imbalanced and hurt. Replace fear with compassion, hurt with healing, and anger with calm.
-Recognize attack comes through imbalance. It may be the environment/history of a particular place, it may be within the entity/force itself, or a personal attitude of vulnerability. Some can be healed, some can be changed, some can be sent away.
-Approach situations with a perspective of thankfulness. Adversity is a teaching moment. Be glad you have been made aware of a problem or challenge. you have been given the opportunity to grow from it.
-Do not carry it with you. Dwelling on fear and adversity holds it to you. You can not leave something behind by dragging it along while trying to move forward.
Lessons on letting go:
A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.
The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.
Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his journey.
The younger monk couldn?t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.
Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out ?As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders??
The older monk looked at him and replied, ?Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her??
Original author; unknown.