Crystals have been used for longer than we can imagine as a source of inspiration, ornamentation, and divination. Various civilizations consider them as vehicles capable of channeling energies and stimulating human beings and their multidimensional development.
In this article, we intend to discover how to apply the power of crystals for spiritual growth through the insights they can provide into our souls and through several practices aimed at the transmutation of consciousness.
Crystals have a natural connection to our mind and our Spirit. Quartz, for instance, in its purity, connects to the most inner aspect of ourselves and helps us enter that dimension. This experience of the unity of consciousness is the source of the best human feelings, those of love, tolerance, and acceptance, accessible to all of us. These experiences have a long history in most cultures, and many times they are closely tied to rituals, herbs, and crystals.
In ancient Greece, crystals were used to invoke the spirits’ help, and mirrors of these stones have been found in archaeological sites belonging to different oracles and tombs. Different civilizations have preferred some or other crystals; mesoamerican cultures, for example, distinguished themselves by the carving of different pieces in jade and obsidian. Simultaneously, the Chinese opted for placing elaborate pieces of jade of different colors in the various spaces according to the rules of feng shui.
A Cultural Shift
Currently, many therapies rely on crystals to amplify the effect of energy work. We are more open today in the West to the function of the aura regarding our wellbeing as we are towards a new and broader understanding of what health is.
Acupuncture is an interesting example of this cultural change. It has gained approval in many countries in Europe and America to apply its treatment inside hospitals and other institutions, which is an excellent treatment for pain management. This speaks of a new era, impulsed by those who practice medicine without standing on dogma alone and have the best interest of their patients at heart.
Most of us are drained by our thinking. We live under the impression that constant thinking is normal and valuable. But if we look at the quality of our thoughts, we may realize that much of it is noise. Thinking is, in this aspect, a passive process, always in the background of every experience. It is as if we always needed a commentator that never stops.
This addiction to thought is common but can hardly be perceived as an issue unless one discovers meditation and has a glimpse of the mind’s functioning and its grip on our perceptions.
The mind creates its reality moment by moment, processing all sorts of input from our senses, making the present moment a part of a story. According to our personality, the mind reacts and generates inner dialogues and feelings that go along certain lines. It acts as the director, building a plot for our life as a “movie.”
Spiritual progress cannot be part of that movie because it is about a change in awareness. This change goes beyond the words that we speak to others and those of the inner dialogue. It exceeds the world that we construct in our minds, reaching a depth in which concepts lose their foothold.
The great shaman Carlos Castaneda referred to the self as having two sides: the personality, above all, constituted by inner dialogue. It includes anything we can name, any concept, idea, structure. And another aspect that we could not point at because it belonged to a different category. This second aspect is at the root of reality, and here we use this word as the Hindu brahmans use it: to define the ultimate nature of ourselves.
A Path to Meditation
Today it is common to hear about meditation. It is not necessary to search far to find a great diversity of practices. There are books that refer to multiple meditation techniques, some easier to learn than others. With the technological revolution, it is enough to write the word meditation on our smartphone to find many apps that direct us to develop a successful practice.
Usually, when we start a meditation practice, we do not have a clear idea of our motivation.
The most common explanation is that meditation serves to relax, and most of us need relaxation.
While there are some excellent techniques for this, anyone who thinks this is the ultimate goal of meditation is far from realizing its true potential. Meditation can go much further. If we open ourselves to the possibilities it offers us, we will recognize that it provides a privileged awakening and spiritual development path.
To understand the true potential of meditation, I consider it essential to first discuss the two main aspects: attention and equanimity. The ability to keep our attention fixed on the present and focused on what we do, helps us act efficiently on a day-to-day basis. Simultaneously, equanimity allows us to control our emotions, not to get carried away by them. It helps us avoid the confusion that sudden feelings may create. A spirit of equanimity is a spirit of balance and resilience, grounded in the present moment.
The benefits of strengthening our capacity for attention and equanimity are evident, but how is it that its practice through meditation opens the doors of a spiritual awakening?
By meditating, concentration and equanimity help us to see things more clearly. Little by little, we become aware of issues that we could not see in ourselves and illusions that distort our vision of the world and reality. Although this process of meeting the environment is usually complex, it also lets us gradually open the Spirit’s eyes to start perceiving the divine presence in everything that surrounds us.
Meditation teaches us to be aware of how our thoughts interpret and affect our reality (through our reactions), generating greater awareness of our persona and our situation. This awareness process connects us with that which surpasses us, which is bigger than our understanding, resulting in a deep feeling of peace and serenity.
But the most important thing is that this connection also allows us to “forget” ourselves, go towards the other, rejoining ourselves with other human beings, with every reality we experience, with the universe, and consequently, with God.
This is how meditation’s diligent practice transforms our lives and the lives of those we interact with, by enhancing our perception of the Spirit, and everything surrounding us.
The nature of the mind is best expressed in silence, in the clarity of being present. But it is hidden in the way we usually let it run wild. To control the mind, the best approaches are always gentle, as we cannot force silence.
A good strategy for quieting the mind can make great use of special tools. It is vital to have a good posture during meditation to allow our energy to flow freely but there other tools that can genuinely make a difference.
Meditating with Mudras
Mudras are gestures performed with the hands and fingers during meditation. Mudra is an original word from Sanskrit and means to produce joy. In meditation and Hatha Yoga, they are widely used as vehicles of energy and transmission of intentions between the energy body and the mind.
When we include mudras in the meditation routine, we help restore and level our energy level. By pressing with the fingers, we channel the energy receiving peace, security, and harmony.
There are no contraindications to adding mudras to your meditation. If you practice them constantly, you can alleviate annoying symptoms, induce sleep, improve mood and increase vitality, among many other benefits. They are not complex but require practice and perseverance. It is recommended to do them at least once a day, during meditation. You can repeat the Mudra during the day in any moment of silence or while listening to music.
All mudras raise our state of consciousness and promote concentration. In yoga studies, they are recognized for stimulating the brain and awakening dormant qualities in the soul. By performing a posture with the hands, we are raising our meditative state of consciousness. Incorporating them in the day-to-day produces transformations in the short and long term. However, if you have to face a stressful situation or are distressed by something, in particular, these mudras not only elevate your state but can have an almost immediate relieving effect.
Jnana Mudra. This Mudra is practiced by touching the thumb’s tip (fire element) with the tip of the index finger (air element). The other three fingers remain in a natural position. Fire brings strength and stability to the air, which is the element of the mind.
This is a very popular Mudra, which Improves concentration. It helps fall asleep quickly. You can not only focus on a specific topic, but it will help you empty your mind.
Another interesting Mudra is the Chinmaya, also known as “the gesture of consciousness,” which is one of the powerful mudras that promote physical and mental health. Chinmaya is a Sanskrit word that means “supreme consciousness,” “full of knowledge,” or “pure wisdom.”
For this Mudra, bring the tips of your thumb and index finger together and form a circle. Fold the remaining fingers into your palms and place your palms on top of your thighs. The palms can face up or down.
Crystals and Daily Practice
Once we have a method, a meditation routine of our choosing, we can improve it by using a Mudra such as those mentioned above and find a crystal for spiritual growth that may enhance our practice results.
In crystal therapy, crystals are placed on the body’s various energy points to dilute energy blocks and promote healing. You can also make elixirs with stones or wear them in the form of jewelry. On the other hand, we can program our crystals for spiritual growth and receive the impulse of their power.
Let’s take a look at some of the crystals that may help us along the way.
Quartz crystal is probably the first option anyone would recommend for meditation. Clear quartz can be programmed and charged with your meditative intention. Quartz crystals bring true clarity of mind, help you become more focused, and help stabilize your thoughts and emotions.
Herkimer diamonds have distinct and harmonious energy, which can put the mind at ease and help create the perfect setup to achieve inner silence.
Selenite, a personal favorite, acts as a friend that sits and meditates with you. It helps clear your mind and relax your body. It has a connection to divine energy that makes its presence light and engaging. It is also a stone that will protect you and keep your energy secure, preventing you from falling into a negative mood or overstimulating your chakras.
Amethyst has many colors or shades within blue, light purple, or vibrant purple. Due to the coloration, the amethyst resonates with higher spiritual Chakras: the Crown Chakra and the Third Eye Chakra. It is a crystal that can open the channel and connections to divine consciousness and the most heightened intuition. Amethyst clears confusion from the mind and helps relieve stress, insomnia and calms the emotions.
In this age of uncertainty, spiritual development motivates us to work on our spiritual intelligence’s evolution to overcome our fears and limitations, even when we continue in our limited and fallible existence. The practice of meditation can open the door to a fuller life and prepare us for our lives’ new challenges, and trusting in our crystals for spiritual growth can bring out the best in us in this process. We will be able to look back and thank the current moment for the opportunity to ignite our inner gaze to have the ability to contemplate the Spirit (with a capital letter) in us and in everything that surrounds us. As a famous Chinese proverb says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”