Releasing Residues of the Past

We probably have a visceral understanding of the meaning of residues; the sensation that makes you want to have a shower; dull, heavy, unclean. We pick up these residues everywhere. A staff meeting where coworkers are bored and annoyed. Your partner is upset with you. You feel it, and it stays with you.

Residues include the stories we tell and retell ourselves that leave us feeling a little defeated, resentful, or sad, the argument with our friend that circulates repetitively, or, our internal arguments that say, “I feel this, but I shouldn’t, but I want this….”. Residues have a sticky and heavy quality. Without residues, we feel fresh, clear and bright. Residues seem to drain away our vitality and clarity.

We could say that residues are anything within our energy field that isn’t flowing. From a buddhist perspective, what we cling to, what we reject, or what we feel indifferent, or dull towards are the foundation for residues.

Every day, we collect these energetic fragments. Our residues include the residues from today, yesterday, this lifetime, and beyond.

When we hold a judgment, or place demands on ourselves and others, or tighten in fear, or tightly hold expectations, or create patterns of tension, we create residues, accretions, or stickiness. Residues have a repetitive, habitual, and even addictive quality.


Residues are magnetic.That neglected dusty corner of the house always seems to gather more dust.

In a sense, residues can form into self-images; they contain ideas about who we are, many of which are unhelpful. They may hold beliefs about ourselves or life, about what is possible for us.

Residues can also hold our status quo in place; we strive to maintain life as it is, and to predict how life will be. We therefore guard against changes to status quo, and therefore against releasing certain residues. You might say there is a guardian holding us to a narrow road, protecting us from actual and imagined harm. But often, this gaurdian is protecting the false self. Conversely, the guardian’s protective function is to assist us to make sense of, and to navigate life. In this course, we’ll be exploring strategies to work with both positive and negative aspects of this guardian.

Ultimately, residues represent the incomplete realms of our consciousness; the areas that haven’t been integrated or embodied. Once we have integrated these residues, we’re actually nourished by them, because they return to us the energy they’ve been holding.

A lovely analogy for clearing residues is that we clear the windshield so we can see where we are going; our inner spiritual direction.

Alert awareness, bright awareness, and searching out the areas of unawareness help us to prevent accumulation of accretion. The saying, " A rolling stone gathers no moss," applies.

A good sleep, daily meditation, a walk in the forest, a shower, all help clear the more superficial residues. And, we do have a responsibility to ourselves and to life to keep clear. And yet at times, this is very challenging. A shock, a loss, a conflict may interrupt our healthy habits.

Deeper residues, usually older, require skill to release, and this is often the territory of counselors and therapists. However, Kum Nye has a significant role to play here, requiring a skill set that we will build in this course.

Our practice focus looks at approaches to contacting and integrating residues in a more refined and studied way than we might, in a yoga, or even a regular Kum Nye class. This requires exploration beyond the physical aspects of movement into more subtle levels.