Firewalking, a traditional practice dating back to 4000 years ago, is based on the theory of mind over matter or understanding the mind with matter. Fire being one of the five elements of Earth, is considered an important tool for self-development and evolvement, and the ritual of firewalking is engraved in many cultures.
Firewalking has been practiced in many parts of the world for rites of healing, initiation, and faith. The earliest reference dating back to Ancient India, then Africa, China and Greece, Japan, New Zealand, Mauritius, Spain, Tahiti, Fiji islands, the Kahunas of the Hawaiian Islands, and several other fragments of the world. It is also quite popular among the Native Americans.
People wonder how does one go through the process of firewalking without getting burned? For many years people actually believed that it was a miracle and the ones who lacked faith and power ended up getting burnt.
However, there is a concrete reasoning behind the technicalities of firewalking. To understand the logic, you will have to understand the physics of heat conduction. In simpler terms, when you open the oven to take out a baked cake, you don’t fear putting your hand in the over air, this is because air is a poor conductor of heat.
Similarly, the wood or coal, which is used for firewalking, is almost entirely made up of carbon, which is a poor conductor of heat. It takes a relatively long time for heat to transfer from the glowing coal to your skin, even when the temperature of the coal is over 1000 degrees F.
Another reason is that our feet and palms largely consist of water and water takes time to heat up. You get burnt when you are in contact with the object for a longer duration and firewalking is a brisk form of walking which takes about few seconds (3-10 seconds), so there is no scope of getting burned.
However, if there are foreign objects like metal in the coal, chances are you might get injured; therefore, you should attempt firewalking with the help of an instructor who will ensure, you have a safe experience. Fire walking instructors are found across the world.
Why fire walking?
Firewalking is not just limited to adrenaline rush that you get after bungee jumping or skydiving. As I mentioned before, its spiritual benefits have been observed since ages. The impact of firewalking on the mind and body leads to an understanding of our thought patterns that eventually impact our body. For example, a person with negative thoughts is constantly evoking reaction of negative chemicals (hormones) in his/her body.
On the other hand, positive thoughts of a person keeps his/her body in a positive state, keeping negative hormones (Cortisol etc.) at bay. Our state of body highly depends on our state of mind, which is constantly producing chemicals (good or bad) using our thoughts as a catalyst. During firewalking, a person is supposed to observe his/her thoughts and alter it into positive, thereby instigating positive reactions in the body.
Fire walking instructors have noticed that people with negative thoughts (fear, anger) live with negative chemicals in their body, and their belief that they will get burned turns out to be true. If your mind anticipates harm, so will your body, and, of course, the other way round. Firewalking teaches one to be a careful observer of their thoughts and see it’s power after indulging in the activity.
After firewalking many people have been able to think positively and differently. It can help your mind integrate the idea that things which seem impossible can be possible. Just like in daily life, our problems seem like they have no solution – until we shift our perspective.
After all, everything exists within you and your mind. The exercise of firewalking is a beautiful representation to demonstrate the same. It is not magic, but a beautiful amalgamation of science and spirituality.
Here is an interesting video that talks about firewalking and it’s healing and spiritual advantages.
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