Life Energy Fundamentals

Virgin Gordo, Caribbean 1990

“Your body is very tight.  You need to get some deep tissue work done”.

Elizabeth and I were in the Caribbean attending a Life Energy Fundamentals workshop.  It was a gorgeous day and I had decided to get an outdoor massage.

I had just finished the massage and was feeling relaxed until I heard this pronouncement. Now I tensed up.

I was confused.  Over the last several years I had received over 25 hours of Rolfing, an intense, deep-tissue form of bodywork.  It involved applying pressure all over my body that felt a lot like the kneading of bread—and I was the bread.  At times it was very painful.  

Why was my body so tight right now?

When I returned to the house where we were staying, I mentioned my experience to one of our housemates.  She was a licensed specialist in Trager bodywork.  She asked if she could move my hand.  I held out and she started to rotate it like she was cranking a handle.

“Your body is very responsive to movement”, she said.   It is not tight.  But I think I know what is going on and if you would like, I could do some Trager bodywork with you which I think would be very helpful.   A short while later, I was lying on her massage table.

“I would like you to lie on your back”, she said. “I will begin with your feet and work up towards your head.  If at any time you feel too uncomfortable to continue, just say stop and I will immediately sit down on the bed and not move until you give me permission to continue.”

At this point I was thinking to myself:  Lady, I have been Rolfed 25 times and have felt so much pain that there is nothing you can do that could be worse than that.  Let’s just get on with it.  

She began.  Very gently she started to rotate my feet in circles. I am thinking:  what is so painful about this?  She continued to rotate my feet.

But as I lay there, a growing uneasiness started to come over me. This was not physical pain; it was something else.  At first it seemed like dread. I could feel my heart race.  My breathing was short and fast.  I was enveloped by fear.  But where was it coming from?

It got more intense. It was a generalized fear.  There was nothing specific that I was afraid of, but fear was all throughout my body.  And it got even more intense. 

 Now it became sheer terror.  I felt trapped by it. I panicked.


Good to her word, she immediately sat down. 

I lay there exhausted.  What was going on with me?  The fear subsided and I asked her to continue.  When she did, the fear came right back.

She moved from my feet to my ankles.  More fear.  From my ankles she went to my shins.  More fear.  From my shins she moved to my thighs.  Still more fear.

Waves of fear arose from my body and engulfed me.  Wave after wave after wave.  

Several more times I asked her to sit down while I collected myself.

She was not able to give me the full treatment.  Time ran out and I was exhausted. 

Somehow, I managed to climb off the table and made my way over to the bed. 

I slept for the next 24 hours.  

Back in the Bay Area, it took about 6 more sessions of Trager bodywork to complete the release of my unconscious fear.

Finding LEF

In July of 1985 I attended a conference outside of New York City on Organization Transformation.  During an open mic session, a short man with dark, curly hair got up an announced that he would be demonstrating his work with human energy systems.  Intrigued, I decided to attend.

His name was Jeff Krock.  Like a lot of people, Jeff had had heavy experience with drugs during the 60’s and 70’s.  These experiences had a lasting effect on him; Jeff was now able to see people’s energy.  Jeff could not only see energy, he could also see areas where energy was missing.  Jeff called these “holes.  In his session at the conference, Jeff demonstrated his work with one of his clients

As he worked, I could feel the energy in the room rising.  It was having a strange effect on me; I was getting groggy. I could not keep my eyes open.  I left the room to stay awake.  I went into another session where someone was talking about organization theory. It was lifeless.  I had gone from one room with more energy than I could handle into another room that seemed devoid of life itself.   I decided that too much was better than too little, and went back and re-joined Jeff.

Jeff’s purpose with the session was to tell us about a nation-wide, year-long training program for learning his techniques.  He called the program Life Energy Fundamentals.  When I learned that Jeff wanted to establish a group in the Bay Area, I was all in.  I spent 6 years with LEF and Elizabeth spent 5. 

LEF was very simple in the way that it worked.  It was astonishingly simple.   LEF was built on one simple premise:  energy follows attention.  If you put your attention on something in your body, your energy will go there as well.  Our body is a framework for both the physical form and also our energetic form.  If we put our attention in a specific part of our physical body, energy will be directed to this location.  By using our mind and focusing our attention, we can direct energy to any part of our body.

There is, however, a consequence to doing this. Each of us has established patterns of energy which have developed over our lifetime. In these patterns, there are “holes” where there is an absence of energy.  Holes are often the result of our not wanting to deal with painful emotional issues.  Blocked emotions and negative beliefs sap our energy.  This creates the “holes” in our energy body. 

When we move our energy around, we disrupt these established energetic patterns.  We bump up against negative beliefs and emotions associated with these patterns.  As we encounter resistance, we often bring into consciousness the negative beliefs associate with this resistance.  This is the pay-off; now we have the opportunity to address directly these limiting beliefs.

 Jeff called the places where we lack energy “holes” and these holes often leave a person weak and vulnerable.  Other people can energetically invade a hole and leave their own negative energy there.  This happens without our knowing it.  

If we hold negative thoughts about another person, or if we wish you could “get back” at another person, we are actually directing our own energy toward those people. If they have voids in their energy bodies, our energy can enter into those voids and sap them of their own strength. 

I learned this the hard way. At one point in my life my energy was dragging and I felt sluggish. An acquaintance offered to help me. Apparently, he too could see energy because he looked at my back and commented:  “well, no wonder you are tired; you have a dagger in your back.  Someone really has it out for you”.  In that moment, I knew exactly who he was talking about.   When he removed the dagger, I could literally feel something being dislodged from the middle of my back.  When it was out, I instantly felt more alive and vital.

If I had to sum it all up, I’d say that LEF taught me to feel my inner world.  

I had many learnings during my LEF years.  The most important experience occurred at a workshop in the Carribean.

How Life Energy Fundamentals Works

Have you ever noticed that the most effective techniques are often very simple in what they do.  It seems the more complex something becomes, the less it seems to help.

LEF was very simple in the way that it worked.  It was astonishingly simple.   LEF was built on one simple premise:  energy follows attention.   If you put your attention on something, you energy will go there as well.  (Remember what we said above about other people invading your energy holes?)

Your body is a framework for both the physical form and also an energetic form.  If you put your attention in a specific part of your physical body, energy will be directed to that location as well.   By directing energy to a specific part of the body, you change the usual energetic balance in the energy body.  You feel this shift in energy within you.

Most often we direct our attention and our energy to our heart, and this can result in feeling the heart open up.   But at first you might find that the heart is closed and does not respond.  This is very common in our culture.  The harshness in the outside world requires that we protect the vulnerability and the sweetness of the heart.  It will take time and explore different kinds of energetic movement inside you to enable the heart to open up.

Over the 6 years that I worked with LEF I experienced moving energy around to different parts of my body.  I moved it into the energy centers along the spine, I learned to put more energy in the back,  in the tailbone, along the spine.  I do not wish to give you the idea that moving energy is always easy.  It came easier for me because of all my work during the prior decade on my Unwinding Project.  Having released most of my repressed emotions, my inner world was relatively open for the moving of energy.

I saw and worked with others who had more difficulty because their moving of their energy disrupted long held patterns.   The configuration of your energy body, with its holes and weaknesses, reflects what you believe in your mind.  When you move your energy, you often discover limiting beliefs arising into your mind telling you not to do what you are doing.

LEF was about a lot more than just energy.  By working with energy we also had to deal with repressed beliefs and emotions as they arose.  This was powerful and, for those who stuck with it, very liberating. 

There are of course other systems that help you work energy.  Yoga, martial arts, reichi, etc.  But for me, none of them work as directly as LEF did. 

Our inner lives are unique to us.  They are idiosyncratic and no two are the same.  Much of what passes for human relationships are our attempts to bring our inner lives into congruence with the people around us.

Inner reality, on the other hand, is universal.  It is the same in all of us. There are some individual differences but the inner context for these differences is always the same.

Inner reality unites us and brings us together.  Inner lives separate us and keep us apart.

It is hard to over-emphasize the importance of this difference.  Inner lives create a secret realm within humanity that people seek to overcome.  The emphasis on “connection” within spiritual groups reflects this need to overcome our feeling of aloneness and isolation. 

The experience of inner reality unites us.  We realize that if, deep inside of us, we experience the same thing, then we are not really separate.  Deep down we discover that 

Rather than being alone and isolated, we are actually all part of one universal field of consciousness.  

Can you imagine the impact of today’s world if people realized that, instead of being isolated and alone, they are actually unique expressions of the One Thing.

The elastic state of our invisible world.  

We soon realize that there are different dimensions to our inner world that we never knew existed.

Often the dimension that we first notice is the realization that our inner world is not a fixed space.  It is not set and rigid.  Just the opposite.  Our inner world has a peculiar elastic quality to it.  It can expand and it can condense, much like a balloon being inflated or deflated.

And there is a special signficance in this elasticity.  The size of our inner world has a direct bearing on how we experience ourself.  It has a direct bearing on how we experience the outer world.  It has a direct bearing on what we might think of as the “quality” of our life.

This sense of expansion and contraction is directly related to what is often referred to as our “state” consciousness.  While consciousness itself does not expand and contract, our point of awareness within consciousness can move and this results in a significant shift in our inner sense of ourself. The effect on us is profound.

The change we experience is not limited to our inner world.  Our outer world changes along with it.  And the way that we think and feel about ourself also undergoes a corresponding change.

The Energy Body Feels the World

LEF taught me how to feel the world.  It taught me how to feel my inner world and how to move energy around my body.  This in turn helped me to feel and see more of the outer world around me.  

Over the 6 years that I worked with LEF I experienced moving energy around to different parts of my body.  I moved it into the energy centers along the spine, I learned to put more energy in the back,  in the tailbone, along the spine.  I also focused on working with the heart.  Jeff Krock was always emphasizing the importance of protecting the heart.  Our standard procedure before working was to strengthen the energy centers below the heart to give more safety and security to the heart above them.  We would also put energy in our back behind the heart to give more depth back there.  When the torso felt full and strong, we would then work with the heart.

Working with The Heart

Jeff explained that if the energy centers and the back are not strong, the heart does not feel protected.   When the heart is not supported, it closes down to protect itself .

The toxic environment of the outer world is threatening to the heart.  It is very painful to feel all the suffering that exists in the world today, especially when the heart can not do anything to change it. 

When the heart feels protected, it opens up to reveal the inner world of oneness.  That is the true antidote to the pain and suffering in the world.   LEF taught us how to do this. 

If I had to sum it all up, I would d say that LEF helped me to feel the invisible world.  

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