How Subtle Action Works

1. You go inside and make your intention known.
2. You believe in getting results.
3. You don't resist the process of change.
4. Your body effortlessly shifts at the physical level.
5. You repeat your subtle action until you have mastered the change you desire.

The Tibetan monks accomplished all these steps. They meditated in order to make contact with higher consciousness (Buddhists wouldn't use the word soul). They sat quietly, trusting that they would reach their goal. They diligently practiced their discipline, keeping the goal in sight. Through subtle action alone, using no effort or physical struggle, compassion flowed into them. (I am reminded of a famous saying in India that wisdom isn't something you learn, it's something you become.)

Sitting quietly in a meditative state, you can intend anything—love, success, peace, kindness—that you want in your life. Then you let it go so that the invisible organizing power of the body, and the entire universe, can work for you. Don't force or strain. Don't use this technique as a shortcut for winning the lottery. Amazing things can happen through subtle intention, but for that to happen, you need to really contact the level of awareness where energy exists. This takes time, but it is well worth it. You will feel the first effects by a lessening of negativity and worry, which are stale residues of energy that isn't flowing as freely as it needs to.

If subtle energy really does have power, then a subtle action—one entirely located in the mind—should be able to create much greater change than a gross action. There’s another Tibetan meditation called Tumo that protects the body from the elements. Monks who practice Tumo can sit in caves overnight at sub-zero temperatures clad only in a thin silk robe, and at dawn they emerge unharmed. The secret, according to Western medical observers, is that the monks have raised their internal temperature by as much as eight degrees Fahrenheit, which requires a specific area of the brain (the hypothalamus) to respond.

Body temperature is ordinarily an automatic response, yet through subtle action a person can move this response at will. Biofeedback experiments with ordinary people in the West have followed this example. Subjects are asked to focus on a small patch of skin on the back of their hand and to will it to grow hot. Without long practice, many could raise their skin temperature enough, simply through focused attention, that a red patch appeared on the back of the hand.

In short, the possibilities of subtle action have been proven over the ages, yet it is also an exciting new area for anyone to explore today. 

Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM, Channels 102 and 155.

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