the chakras

Meditation and The Chakras
There is really nothing fancy about meditation – my cats do it all the time. Essentially it is about sitting still – with your eyes closed so that you may tune out the outside world and attend to your inner process. For one, you cannot do anything destructive during that time... Meanwhile, you calm down, allow yourself to get centered, grounded, and aware of yourself. Keeping your back straight is helpful so you won’t fall asleep. Not that there would be anything wrong with that – it’s just not meditating. They say the chakras should be aligned in a straight line, meaning you sit with a straight back. Sounds easy enough – may take a while until you begin to create joy and relaxation in this manner. We are so used to distractions. Meditating is about getting to know who you are without identifying with your behaviors or others’ reactions to you. If you do it every morning you will find it empowering and soothing.
The chakra concept is an ancient metaphorical system that outlines human development toward higher consciousness. The eight chakras address the main levels of human experience as we mature. On a physical level they are believed to be power centers in the body, which radiate energy. It is understood that they begin at the base of the spine and continue upward to the top of the head. Chakra is the Sanskrit word for wheel, and people with psychic vision supposedly are able to see the chakras as rapidly spinning wheels of different colored light and to interpret the state of our energy and implications for our wellbeing.
Concentrating on one of the chakras (or all of them in sequence) can be a pleasant starting point for meditation if sitting still and doing nothing is an unfamiliar task for you. Read one of the following papers on a chakra before you settle down for your meditation, do some conscious easy breaths (or breathing exercises). Envision the meaning of the metaphor. You could also imagine that you energize the chakra’s color by breathing into it until you make it glow. Enjoy it, too!
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The First Chakra
The first chakra is the basic level, the merging of the spiritual and the physical – the overriding need to live. The survival instinct is all about being alive and staying alive. Physically, the first chakra is located at the base of the spine, connected to the immune system, bowels, and our legs and feet. The color associated with the first chakra is red. This level is our foundation, our genetic heritage – it provides us with a sense of identity, grounds us, and connects us with our family and beyond, with all mankind, and all of life. It is helpful to understand and embrace our ethnic legacy. The tribe provides a cultural home where we are shown how to behave in society. There are norms and rules to follow. We copy role models and respond to peer pressure, too. Loyalty is rewarded and defiance to the traditional path is punished - and so we become socialized. Our tribe teaches us what it means to be a human being, and this guidance accompanies us through adulthood. Family life is not necessarily what we want it to be, though, where problematic behaviors get passed down over generations. We need to belong, but some of us must survive abandonment and abuse and find it impossible to follow in the footsteps of their elders. Some parents are incapable of being good role models - they teach useless or destructive behaviors. Growing up then means finding one's own path, but emotional disconnect from the tribe can trigger distress and intense discomfort. And so it may become necessary to seek outside help for healing and overcoming adverse childhood experiences. Processing psychological injuries takes time and perseverance, but it contains the key to liberation from the bondage of the past. If one gives in to fears and avoids mastering this hurdle, one may get stuck in the victim role and even recreate childhood issues throughout adult life. If you come from a loving, supportive, and nurturing family, great - you probably feel confident and interested in life. If that’s not the case, your life instinct may be compromised. You may feel depressed and not caring much about life; or you may be angry and aggressive, where the death instinct has become more pronounced; or you may suffer form fear and anxiety, continuously seeking safety. Either way, there is a way to make peace with your past. Do not rest until you see a way out of blame! Find a psychotherapist, teacher, mentor, sponsor, or friend. Do whatever it takes to find resolution and healing! In the history of mankind, nobody has ever found happiness through resentments, no matter how justified. Pray for their happiness – and you will find forgiveness. Take your spirit back from the error of perception that there was a mistake, that the circumstances you are faced with are wrong. Respect your heritage – even though human nature can seem unacceptable at times. Healing is not about forgetting, but processing experiences and finding serenity. It is about owning your fate as is and moving forward, in spite of it all. It can be about standing up for yourself and not do unto others what has been done unto you … Sometimes it’s about claiming your right for happiness. It could be about introducing hope and change - with gratitude for surviving adversity. If you were hurt and abandoned… you know to break the chain and NOT pass on the pain to your children. Be kind - people are ignorant and flawed... Leave them (as well as yourself) some room for growth and improvement! Finding compassion helps. Always. Bless your family and your tribe! Feel connected to the chain of life throughout the ages! As recipient of a legacy you embody the link to the next generation. It’s about what YOU do about the past and how you tie it to the future. Own what you got and consider the footprint you are leaving behind.
Today it’s your turn.
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The Second Chakra
This is the energy of sexual instinct and creativity – survival of the species. Going beyond one’s own survival and getting together with another is the task here. Physically, the second chakra is located at the lower back, hip, and genital area. Its color is a pale orange, the color of mangoes. At this level we have outgrown childlike dependency and are choosing where to direct our energy. Choices are to be made wisely, because each choice is creative - one thing leads to another. As we try to get our needs met, we weave our spirit into life and create connections with the people we attract. Our choices contain the energy of either faith or fear – and the outcome reflects to some extent that faith or fear. Motivated by fear we can easily fall prey to dependencies, obsessions, and addictions. Any choice made from faith keeps us aligned with the Divine Forces – and draws help to us when we need it most. We need to create – so we follow our desires and passions, as we initiate and respond to movement and change. We are meant to establish some balance between productivity and procreation. In search of a way that works we wrestle with opposing forces. The opposing forces at this level have been called yin/yang, male/female etc. The typical second chakra duality takes place between our sexual urges versus our needs for other creative expressions – potentially causing intense conflict and painful consequences. If we allow ourselves to become obsessed with romance and/or sex, our energy is tied up to forces outside ourselves, beyond our control. We could find that our desires bring into existence a vicious cycle of insatiable needs. Creativity brings our internal process out into the world – and we can find happiness in doing what we like to do. We are good at what we like to do, and we like to do what we are good at – this is the red thread to success. In order to achieve some sense of contentment we must find a way to balance the need for loving/sexual involvement with the need for creative expression. Not an easy feat. If a person is blocked at this level, they will be listless, finding life boring, empty and exhausting. The shadow side of this chakra is resentment, the desire for vengeance. It can become necessary to get your spirit back from the illusion that people have come into your life for destructive reasons. Everyone in your life plays a role in your fate, although it might not be obvious at the time. If we cannot find a way of blessing them, we become morbid and toxic as our own biological system becomes chronically flooded with poisonous negativity. It’s not fun, either. Think about bringing love and joy – but stand up for yourself and set boundaries when necessary. Use your power deliberately! Interact with kindness and compassion – especially when it appears as though the other person is aggressive and at fault. It’s not about being right. It’s about your inner emotional climate as well as the quality of your interactions. Don’t waste your energy trying to convince people that you are right and they are wrong. We are meant to respect the lives of others, rather than demanding that they ought to fulfill our needs and desires. Instead of over-indulging in strife, ask yourself, “What would love do now?” This includes love and respect for yourself… Seek to give rather than to get! Whatever it is that you want – give it to the other person. Look to form relationships of mutual support and encouragement! It may not always be about your expectations, but neither is it about allowing people to exploit you. Sometimes we outlive certain circumstances and relationships – and find that it’s time to move on. Instead of complaining for extended periods of time that someone is “wrong” – it might be much more useful to look at your options…
Visualize inner balance!
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The Third Chakra
Personal Power
The third chakra is the energy of personal power, ego, personality, intuition, and self-esteem. Physically, it is believed to be located around the navel center, encompassing the digestive system, liver, pancreas, kidneys and the adrenals. Its color is yellow. At this level we want to be authentic – expressing ourselves and feeling good about what we have done –- and true to our innermost selves. There is a need to feel good about ourselves in order to feel worthwhile and deserving of good luck. Also, for the spirit to thrive we must develop some level of mastery. We want to be good at something, content about what we have planted, built, and created. Mastery is joy. How we feel about ourselves determines the quality of life. This includes our capacity to succeed in endeavors and appreciate it when we do. As we develop a sense of self, our intuition becomes stronger and more reliable. At this level we are meant to develop the power of endurance required for maturation, success, and healing. A person with a well-developed third chakra is usually energetic, organized, and goal-oriented. Along with this comes a well-developed sense of will power, commitment, personal strength, and stamina. The ability to handle a crisis, the courage to take risks, as well as strength of character are associated with this level. A person with weak third-chakra activity tends to be scattered, unfocused, without the energy to achieve their goals, and consequently frustrated or angry – as their life lacks meaning. Anger is the shadow emotion of the third chakra, as is fear of rejection and all insecurities about one’s appearance. If you give in to temptations and act out on these emotions, going through life inflicting pain and humiliation on your people, you compromise your spirit. Disrespecting yourself and others in this manner breaks your strength. While you might think that you’re are despising others… you won’t be able to respect or love yourself and you may end up sabotaging your own happiness without even knowing it. This is the path of self-destruction and addiction. Accept yourself the way you are. You won’t ever be anyone else. The challenge at this level is to find your truth and live accordingly. Deceit, manipulation, and lies compromise your inner clarity and power. Raise your awareness to the consequences of your actions and you will see that you cannot really afford wasting your lifetime on such activities. Nothing should be more important than following your own intuitions. Avoid confusing yourself with excessive diversions and illusions. Make your choices based on acceptance of current reality rather than resentments about yesterday’s rain. Do the right thing according to your own inner wisdom – and you won’t have regrets. Play your cards right and avoid doing foolish things to be ashamed of - and you won’t feel ashamed. Lead a life where you can respect yourself – and you won’t have to rely on others for approval. Life presents you with chances – be present and attend to the moment, so you won’t miss them. They may not come again. Use the gifts you have been given for manifesting your dreams - instead of envying others who do. You will build self-esteem by doing estimable acts. If that sounds like a bit much – do it only for today. You have the rest of your life to practice it. Living your truth is not really negotiable, don’t you think? If that means that right now your truth is that you feel insecure or confused or whatever it is - so be it. Own it! That’s where your power is.
“Happiness is a by-product of living the right kind of life, of doing the right thing. Do not search for happiness, search for right living and happiness will be your reward.” – Richmond Walker, Twenty-Four Hours a Day
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The Fourth Chakra
Love & Compassion
This is the energy of unconditional love and compassion – of loving kindness and benevolent action. Physically, the fourth chakra is located at the center of the chest. Energetically, it is connected to the heart and circulatory system, breasts, lungs, shoulders, arms and hands. It is associated with the color green. Every sentiment emanates from the heart center. That is why it is the most powerful chakra and can be dangerous if not guided properly. When the heart chakra is not balanced, we tend to become overly attached to some object of affection. Life problems are often created on this level - through blind pursuit of passions. The goal is to be nurturing towards another person while receiving nurturing in return, as well. We have to love ourselves, too, look for beauty in all things, and seek emotional balance – so that we create harmony rather than getting lost in dependencies and compulsions. Fourth chakra energy is the power of joy. Put your attention towards hope, confidence, compassion, and acceptance. Think love! Shine your light freely. We lose power by investing in low-grade emotions such as fear, despair, hate, envy, and jealousy. The “wounded child” within holds painful memories and turns them into negative attitudes, which in turn shape our behavior. This is how we perpetuate our childhood pain. We create what we fear most, e.g. abandonment can turn into fear of abandonment, which can turn into fear of commitment, which tends to create abandonment. People stay out of balance to get negative attention when they feel that their life is worth nothing without the love and attention they crave. This can be the reason why people don’t heal – in essence they sacrifice their life on the altar of love. A better solution is to live life with the attitude of “what would love do now?” and do that. When you give love you are always surrounded by love. Whenever you feel the need to control another person … let go … pull your spirit back to your own breath, reminding yourself to ground yourself in the moment. Work through your resentments as they keep you from becoming whole and moving on, and holding on to judgment can keep your wounds from healing. Your wounds do not hurt the people who hurt you - they hurt only you. Healing is possible through acts of forgiveness. Self-love means caring for yourself enough to forgive people in your past and allow a healing to occur. Within all experiences, no matter how painful, lie spiritual insights. At the fourth chakra level we get to know ourselves through our emotions – when we have strayed and have been hurt too much, we may even find that it’s time to change, that it’s not OK to pass on suffering for any reason, not even when it’s deemed justifiable. We can realize that others don’t have to fulfill our wishes, needs and dreams – that it’s not necessarily their task at all. When you love someone it can mean to allow them to be on their own path – even when they aren’t fulfilling what you think your needs are. It is your task to give love freely and joyfully – with self-respect, but without expectations. Ultimately, compassion and the desire to bring love and joy is considered the high road of connecting with other humans, and really all sentient beings. Love is the way of least resistance.
Live Love!
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The Fifth Chakra
Living your Truth
This is the energy of will power, judgment, and choice - of your truth. Physically, the fifth chakra is located at the throat, including neck, shoulders, mouth, nose and ears. Its color is blue. Through verbal expression we present our feelings and thoughts to others, thereby integrating heart and mind. Thought patterns, maintained over time and even more so the spoken word can have a lasting effect on your life. Words do matter and they resonate back to you like an echo. You become what you think and say. From a spiritual perspective, our highest good is accomplished by turning our will and our life over to the power of fate. By living in accordance with the Divine Forces we walk the path of least resistance: take what is given, listen to what is being taught, and appreciate what appears on our path. Riding the waves of life by being aligned with these Forces relieves conflict. We can learn to listen to our own intuition to guide us on the spiritual path. The essence of the fifth chakra is faith. At this level we begin to understand that fear creates mountains, while faith removes them. As you learn about your will power, you go through painful struggles. You may fall prey to the illusion that forcing your will onto others would bring you happiness… If you invest your spirit in manipulations, deceit, illusions, or denial – you’re straying from the right path, while causing confusion and suffering (for yourself and others) in the process. Lying means that you compromise your own truth for something that seems more important – and you will pay a price for it… The most costly energy consequences come from acting out of fear. While you act on the illusion that what you fear is true you manifest your fears. Or your fear might tell you that you must defend yourself and attack. When you are angry and aggressive, you feel a flush of energy – this is your spirit leaving your body and attaching itself to the object of your judgment… not a good thing, you need it with you. Practice restraint of tongue, pen, and email – especially when you’re upset and agitated. When vicious words hit a desperate person… they can kill. Direct your will to the highest common good – and make yourself useful. We don’t live long enough to waste too much time with destruction, revenge, or other spiritual errors. Stand up for yourself, so you do not build resentments - they get registered in your cell tissue and make you sick when your own negativity overwhelms your system. In confession you can purge yourself and return to humility. You are not expected to live flawlessly without ever erring BUT you must learn from your mistakes if you are to move on. Use kind words if you want to create a good life. Bring an attitude of compassion. A judgmental attitude is a spiritual error – mistakes cannot be avoided by anybody. All of us learn as we go. Much better to bring compassion and humor. Close your eyes, use your will, and command your spirit back from places, thoughts, or fears you have sent it to. Imagine your thoughts coming back from judgments. Think before you speak – a spoken word cannot be retracted… Sometimes it can be an act of kindness not to say anything. Always remember that your words are creative!
“In the beginning was the word, and the word became flesh” - Book of Genesis
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The Sixth Chakra
The Mind
This is the energy of the mind. The sixth chakra is the “third eye”, located at the center of the forehead. Physically, this chakra encompasses brain, mind, intelligence, and the eyes. The color associated with the sixth chakra is indigo. Your consciousness is what sets you apart from the primitive state of animals. Cherish your consciousness – it is the most evolved part of your being, although it does require maturation throughout life. The challenge at this level involves integration of mind, emotions, and spirit – what we know, what we believe, what we remember, what we fear, what we wish. At this level we begin to develop intuition and wisdom through opening our mind to a higher truth. We are free to choose - and we must live with the consequences of our actions. Confusion and limiting beliefs are the shadow side of the sixth chakra - the opposite of intuition. Thought precedes form – thoughts turn into feelings, which prompt us to act, and consequently others do react to our behavior. In response to faulty perceptions, delusions, and illusions we create an ongoing toxic emotional climate, which doesn’t allow us to respond constructively to reality. For example - when we habitually think scary thoughts, we experience persistent anxiety, which prompts us to withdraw – and so we get stuck in an unhappy and limited world of our own creation. If we are lost in confusion, we create chaos. If we’re in the habit of indulging in self-obsessed neediness, we create dependency and powerlessness. It would be wise to attend to our thought content so that we can adjust and correct it if necessary – and won’t go through life creating what we do not want. By raising our awareness we learn to detach from illusions and see the symbolic meaning below the surface of things. Ordination represents our calling in this life, some form of service to others – as a teacher, friend, healer, mother, or whatever matters to you. You find it by going with what you love – with the intention of bringing love and joy. Put your attention to making a contribution – and you counteract your own fear, anger, and depression in the process. Just think of bringing something good to the world. It doesn’t have to be the biggest or best… The contribution of a loyal housekeeper can be more influential than an ambitious piece of art. You have not been given your magnificent mind to obliterate and poison it – oblivion never ever delivers solutions. Listen to your inner voice in meditation and eventually you will begin to hear your intuition. Look for meaning and you will tap into your inner wisdom. You are exactly where you are supposed to be for the next step on your spiritual path. No matter how you feel – if you watch, listen, and learn from everything – you promote clarity and find your way to move on. If you can remember to look at all experiences as opportunities to mature and evolve – you will find peace of mind. The Masters say, there are no mistakes.
Use your knowledge for the common good!
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The Seventh Chakra
This is the energy of higher consciousness. Located at the top of the head, this chakra can be understood as the entry point of the life force, which energizes the major body systems, the central nervous system, and the skin. Its color is violet. It represents our connection to a Higher Power, which we address with prayer and meditation. It is said that in prayer we speak to God, during meditation we listen. Spirituality contains the energy of grace - we build up good energy with kind thoughts and actions, based on faith, compassion, and prayer. The primary strength at this level is faith in the presence of the Divine. The primary fear at this level is the fear of spiritual abandonment, expressed in the notion “God is dead”, and resulting in loss of connectedness, and lack of meaning. At this level we are required to welcome our fate – and release the belief that things could or should have been otherwise. While enduring difficulties – we get the chance to overcome them. As we live through pain we can learn the importance of kindness, compassion, and respect. We can choose not to do onto others what we don’t want done onto us. Spiritual awakening is usually the result of having gone through some hellish experience. Since we don’t seek God when we dwell in the light – we may have to find a Higher Power in the darkness. Most of us only resort to prayer when we are faced with insurmountable tasks, life-threatening fears, or heart-breaking loneliness. By walking through these experiences we may become willing to give up the known – and break through to a higher level of consciousness. It is part of life to endure doubt – we must make our choices without knowing why things are the way they are and how it will all play itself out. Even the Masters had to face confusion and indecision on their spiritual path; it didn’t come easy for them, either. None of us know without the shadow of a doubt what we came to earth for – and yet we must find a way to do life. No one is given the promise of a life of bliss. Our perception changes through overcoming extreme challenges. While we face our fears alone – we may find that we are not alone, after all. The truth is that we are on a spiritual path whether we are aware of it or not – all of us. It is our conscious awareness of it that makes all the difference. It is not the result of what we do, but the surrender to the Divine Forces that matters. In order to rise above an ordinary mundane existence we undergo a transformation – and understand that our essence is spirit, which temporarily dwells in a physical body. We are required to call our spirit back from attachments again and again. We let go and become whole. And so we move on and gradually we get to remember our true nature. Pain alone is not enough - we are meant to bring everything we got - bold courage and faithful surrender… and don’t forget - the metamorphosis from an earthbound to a sublime being requires some weightlessness at the right moment. That’s what it takes.
“… and when you come to the precipice of all you have known, and you must jump into the unknown, faith is knowing that you will find solid ground under your feet or you will learn how to fly. This is the leap of faith.” - Quote
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The Eighth Chakra
The Aura
This is the energy of the aura. Our body is surrounded by a radiant electromagnetic field that extends up to nine feet. The color associated with this chakra is white, although the aura can take on different colors depending on our mental, physical, and spiritual condition. Essentially we are our own little world, our own center of gravity. The goal is for the spirit to become stronger than the body – that is true power, the power to perform miracles. The term charisma pertains to someone’s particularly powerful radiance. Messages carried on neural pathways are transmitted electrically. Raising our consciousness actually changes our biochemistry. Welcoming and accepting reality as being exactly the way it is supposed to be is most empowering for the spirit. That is the way to become aligned with the Divine Forces – no more energy waste on resistance. A focus on bringing love and joy to the world is best for our own empowerment. As a result our energy state is most vibrant and powerful, magnetically drawing people and things to us, and repelling negativity. Dwelling in judgment of reality, criticism of human nature, and resistance to fate deplete our system of vital energy, because it is futile. As a result we become anxious and/or depressed, which can make us so weak that we become almost invisible. Anger is the attempt to make ourselves seen and heard - to act powerful when we feel powerless. As a result we repel people and things, which increases our sense of helplessness. Try to remember that your power could be used so much better – to your benefit as well as the benefit of others. No matter what’s going on in your life, you are whole, you are complete, and you are enough. You are a Divine child of God, equipped with all that it takes to make it through your earthly experience. Your aura will attract precisely what you need in your life so you can grow and evolve – if you don’t interfere with it. Look at an enemy, friend, or teacher for the message they are carrying for you. Look at all experiences as lessons – your joy indicates when you are on the right path. Your emotional pain may be telling you that you have hit a wall because you lost your way - listen to it. Poisoning your system with chemicals or low-grade emotions interferes with your ability to deal with whatever the problem is. On the spiritual path we seek to do the right thing – it’s not about having found certainty in all matters. You can actually increase the brightness, strength, and vitality of your aura just by thinking about it. Your radiance is strongest and most vibrant when you are doing what you came here to do, when you find your purpose. You cannot know it all just yet, but you have your whole life to find out.
“The spiritual path is about seeking God, not about having found Him.” – quote
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References: “Anatomy of the Spirit” - Caroline Myss; “The Eight Talents” - Gurmukh