Start Your Day Right with the Fundamental Skills Routine

This page is about our best do-it-yourself practice. For two-person practices, read The Secret Practice of Old-Timers in Joyful Wisdom: Co-Mentoring and Supplementary Methods. For group practices, read The Empowering Practice of Conversational Yoga and Master Your Fundamental Skills in Our Intense Joyful Wisdom Groups.

Table of Contents

Brief Instructions for the Fundamental Skills Routine

This practice will set you up to use the Four Fundamental Skills throughout your day. While doing it, breathe deeply and collect energy with your breath throughout. Notice that the inner silence step is repeated at the end. Read the next section for more details.

  • For four breaths, inner silence.
  • For four breaths, breathe energy into your heart chakra and make it glow.
  • For four breaths, send some of this energy to a person.
  • For four breaths, send energy to a skill or a quality within you that you want to nurture or grow.
  • For four breaths (or so), ask your intuition, “What’s Next?” or “What should I prepare for?” and then wait for an intuitive answer. (Don’t answer this from your rational thinking!)
  • For four breaths, visualize or plan something, and send energy into it.
  • End with four breaths of inner silence.

If you’re doing three cycles, use this pattern: Inner silence, energy steps, silence, energy steps, silence, energy steps, silence. To guide yourself, I recommend that you say or whisper the italicized words aloud to help you stay focused.

More Complete Instructions for the Fundamental Skills Routine

Throughout this practice, breathe deeply and naturally, and collect energy with your breath. If you’re familiar with Ujjayi Breathing from practicing yoga, use it to increase the amount of chi energy that you can collect from your breath.

Step 1: For four breaths, be inwardly silent. Inner silence is the process of letting go of reactions, thoughts, planning, inner dialog, and stress. Practicing the Fundamental Skills Routine regularly will build your “letting go muscle.” Thought interruptions will never go away completely, so you’re not going to be able to push all new thoughts aside. This step simply means to let go of whatever is foremost in your mind.

If your reaction to this step is, “I can’t do this! I’m not thinking about anything!” then the thought to let go of is “I can’t do this! I’m not thinking about anything!” Your reactions to this step, whatever they are, constitute reactions to release. With practice, you’ll notice a lot more opportunities to let go of things. The procession of thoughts, feelings, and reactions is relentless—so long as we’re alive.

Note: In this and all other steps, it’s perfectly legitimate to start counting your breaths a second or third time if you’re too distracted. But be easy on yourself. Being too harsh or judgmental about your ability to focus is probably one of the most important thoughts to let go of. A distraction may be a perfect clue to who to send energy to, what to visualize, or what to nurture within yourself.

Secondly, if you’re walking slowly, you may wish to change the number of breaths for each step to eight. If you’re jogging or hiking strenuously, you may wish to  count 16 breaths per step.

Step 2: For four breaths, energize your heart chakra and make it glow. Your heart chakra is not the physical heart, but it’s an energy center that you can feel: It’s that warm place in the middle of your chest where you feel love. (Feelings of love are related to the physical heart; the Heartmath Institute has found conclusive scientific connections between our feelings of love and heart rate variability, for instance.)

For this step, visualize that warm place as a ball of energy. As you breathe energy into it, imagine or sense that the energy of your breath is making that ball of energy grow and become brighter.

Step 3: For four breaths, direct energy from your heart to another person or a group.. For many years, spiritual teachers, such as Rosicrucians, Buddhists, and North American Native shamans, have claimed that if we direct the energy of our heart chakras to other people, it has a positive effect on them. (Research from the Heartmath Institute appears to confirm this claim.)

To send energy from your heart chakra, energize it as described in step 2, visualizing the size and power in the heart growing. Then visualize another person. Imagine or sense that you can move this energy from your heart to envelope the other person.

For this and for the next two steps, you can stimulate the energy centers in your palms by rubbing them together. When you visualize the other person, point your palm chakras at the person and imagine or sense that you can beam energy from your palms as if they were flashlights.

Step 4: For four breaths, send energy to a skill or a quality within you that you want to nurture or grow. For it to grow, it must already be there as a seed or a seedling. Don’t choose something that you don’t believe you could possibly achieve. We call this process “Boosting” or “Conscious Evolution.”

For example, even if you think of yourself as an angry, bitter person, there are times when you can handle conflict or negativity gracefully. For this step, you let go of your negative self-image and focus only on those times that you are graceful and centered. Then send heart energy into that part of yourself that is graceful and peaceful.

If you are using your palm chakras for this practice, point them towards yourself and beam the energy into the person who you are when you’re balanced and peaceful.

Step 5: For four breaths or more, ask your intuition to address your day or your plans, and then wait. Waiting is the most important part of the intuition step, because you can’t demand that your intuition speaks at the volume and speed of your regular conscious mind. It is not like normal thinking, wishful thinking, goal setting, or any other mode of thinking that most people are normally used to using.

Some people might prime their minds to receive intuitive information by asking a very open-ended question, such as “What do I need to know for today?” or one of the questions listed in the short summary of this method. The wording of the question itself is not so important — it’s the waiting for directions from your mind or information that makes the most important difference. Indeed, asking the wrong question (based only on conscious mind concerns) may interfere with what your intuition actually wants to tell you.

If you use a question, ask it, and then wait. And wait. And wait some more. Don’t answer it yourself.

Note the other steps have primed you to wait for intuition — for instance with inner silence. In addition, whenever you open a channel for sending energy, that same channel is also open to receive information. For example, after sending energy to boost a friend, you might receive some information back — if you’re paying attention.

Step 6: For four breaths, visualize or plan something, and send energy into it. This is a very flexible step; you can beam energy into your plans for the day, the week, the year, or the decade. You can also beam energy into a goal or aspiration that you visualize—even if you have no plans in place and have no idea how you’re going to get there.

You may find it interesting to create plans or visualizations that involve the person you chose in step 3 and the qualities you chose in step 4. If you do this, you’re actually harnessing some of the energy you’ve expended in the previous steps.

If you’re sending energy from your palms, hold them in front of you about a foot or so apart. Imagine or sense that you’re creating a ball of energy between them, and move them closer to each other and away from each other. Try to imagine or sense the boundaries of this ball of energy you’re creating as you massage it with your hands.

Visualize the plans you’re making or the dreams you’re dreaming as vividly as you can inside of this ball of energy. As you breathe energy into this vivid picture of the future, imagine or sense that it’s becoming more real, more colorful, and more tangible.

Step 7: End with four breaths of inner silence. Once again, the goal of this step is to completely let go of your plans or visualization—temporarily, of course. You can symbolize this to yourself by imagining or sensing that you’re swallowing the visualization and it’s sinking in, deeper and deeper. Or it’s floating up, higher and higher into the universe until it’s gone.

If you’re using your palms to create an energy ball, you can push it into the ground at some point in your past using your left hand—like planting a seed. Or you can plant the seed somewhere in your future. Or finally, you can rest it on your head and allow it to dissolve, dripping down into your brain and body.

The Benefits of Doing the Fundamental Skills Routine Regularly

The benefits of doing the Fundamental Skills Routine are different for each step of the process. Some of the main benefits are:

  • Steps 1 & 7, which invoke inner silence, will enhance your ability to let go of negative reactions during the day—reactions which will not serve you as well as thoughtfulness will.
  • Step 3 will improve your relationships, both by changing your reactions to other people and by direct telepathic communication with the people in your life.
  • Step 4 will enable you to evolve your personal qualities and skills and become more of who you really want to be. Step 4 puts you in charge of your personal evolution.
  • Step 5 builds you connection to your intuitive mind by paying attention to it — capitalizing on the connection you’ve already built through inner silence and sending energy.
  • Step 6 will help you clarify and achieve your goals for the day, week, month, or year. But because it operates on an energy level, it will also attract people, experiences, resources, and insights that will help you reach your goals more quickly.

The combination of these individual benefits will help you set the tone of your day to a little bit better, but in addition, each of the steps also operates on the energy level and makes changes in the external world around you.

The most important benefit is that this one simple five-minute practice combines many of the powers that have been taught around the world by shamans and wise men. Regular practice puts an entirely new level of personal power within your reach.

When to Do the Fundamental Skills Routine

I recommend that you do three cycles of the Daily Routine in the morning when you wake up as a way to set up your day. This will take between five and ten minutes. You can do it while you shower or drive.

These skills are most important in the middle of the turmoil of life:  when you’re at work, at school, or interacting with your friends or family.

  1. Do three cycles of the Daily Routine in the morning when you wake up. Three cycles in the morning will not only to awaken your psychic senses, but will remind you of what you can do with them during the day.
  2. Do a single cycle any time throughout the day when you need to find your center, when your ego is challenged, or when you feel hurt.
  3. Do a single cycle when preparing to write an important email or blog, or when preparing for a phone call or a talk.
  4. Do a single cycle when you find yourself ruminating, worrying, or obsessing about someone or something.
  5. If you go for a hike or a walk, you can use the routine throughout the hike, though your concentration may be lower.

Practice diligently to establish this routine as a habit, because doing so will help you to use The Four Fundamental Skills as needed as you go about your day. These skills become superpowers when they become automatic.

A Powerful Spiritual Download—How the Fundamental Skills Routine Came Into Being

After our groups had evolved a stable and tested set of practices as described in “The Empowering Practice of Conversational Yoga, I was using a guided meditation by Jean Houston to buy a motorcycle, get trained to drive it and get my license, and to begin visiting Joyful Wisdom Community members to teach the skills in workshops. My first destination was to be Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, where Enrique lives—which meant I’d be giving a workshop to people who I can’t communicate with.

I was confident that Enrique could translate any workshop I taught into Spanish, but I also realized that with my limited Spanish, I couldn’t offer ongoing groups to anyone in Mexico. So it seemed almost cruel to provide a taste of something wonderful that they couldn’t possibly have again—ever. So why was I guided to go to Mexico first?

If I was guided to make a worthless trip, how was I going to make that trip worthwhile?

Necessity is certainly the premier mother of invention. For the first time, I was impelled to analyze our normal Joyful Wisdom Community practices. From this analysis, I isolated the Four Fundamental Skills. Once I realized this, I was able to create a do-it-yourself  (DIY) routine that I could teach to Mexicans who attended my workshop. This would give them something positive to do with my Four Fundamental Skills, even if I couldn’t offer them an ongoing group practice. Maybe a DIY routine would give me time to figure out additional ways to serve interested Spanish speakers.

The funny thing about the DIY routine is that I found it personally very useful for me. So I began teaching it as a routine part of my workshops, and I found that a lot of people got the same benefits from it that I did.

The value of this DIY routine is that it takes the tried and true and fits it into the bustle of modern life. It’s easy, it’s powerful, and you’ll like it the more you practice it.