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Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 30,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals
Most people today have some idea as to what the chakras are and their function in our lives. However, in the West most of us still think that chakras is a concept that comes from the East and that we in the West have no idea or concept of it. And to some degree it is true, we are less aware of the chakras in the West than in the East, but that doesn’t mean that we are not familiar with it in the West and our wisdom and knowledge grow with every tick of the clock, to the point where the West have developed and establish a well respected study of the chakras through authors such as Anodea Judith, Caroline Myss and others.
Today the chakras, auras, subtle bodies and energy field have become much more common topics of discussion in western society, than ever before. More people are moving to a greater awareness of their own body energy – some from a desire for inner growth, others from a scientific (quantum physics) perspective and still others from a renewed sense of the sacred. In the West we have heavily relied on the eastern cultures who have described energetic connections between the mind, body and spirit. Chinese medicine relies on energy meridians that correspond to psycho-physiological states. Vedic scholars, centuries ago described the seven energy centres of the body (chakras) from a spiritual context. However, the West is busy compiling and developing its own understanding of the chakras in a very practical way today.
We do know the Chakras in the West
You just have to go into art history and have a look at the old paintings of the Renaissance and even before to realise that there was some concept of the chakras present already in the West way back then. The “halos” of energy painted around the heads of many of the saints and important religious figures constitute in my view and opinion the energy to represent the crown chakras of those figures. Did some psychic or intuitive person actually saw the opening of the crown chakra of a particular individual and the only way the artist could give expression was a halo?
I have an honours degree in language and literature and as a young student, who was already aware of the chakras and their meaning; I was always amazed at how familiar we are in the West through language of the chakras. Many of our euphemisms, espressions and poetic language tend to locate energy in particular area of the body. We speak of having a “broken heart” and feel actual pain in the chest when we lose someone we love (heart chakra). We criticize others for being “unrooted”, or “pulling the rug out from under us” (root chakra). When a situation threatens our self-confidence we feel “butterflies in our stomach” (solar plexus chakra), and get a “lump in our throat” when grief remains unexpressed (throat chakra). Personally, I am convinced that we have always been aware of the chakras in the West, but due to the strict censure of the Church we have choose to hide them a little, but the time has come for the West to be more open and vocal about the chakras and realise the impact they have on our whole experience here on earth.
By developing an inner awareness of the chakras it is possible to begin a process that includes transforming and reconfiguring these energies. In perceiving the spiritual psychology of the chakras it is possible to help achieve a more balanced, energized and meaningful life and I hope that this article will help you in achieving that goal in your life.
The Root – Muladhara Chakra
Birth is a very traumatic and disorientating event for all of us and it is a blessing that we cannot remember much of it. First of all you are suddenly pushed into a world of noise and lights and strange people and surroundings from the safety and comfort of the womb. Then at some point your umbilical cord is cut, which adds to the trauma of the birthing process. All these necessary events cut us from the security of the womb and existentially we experience separation from Spirit as we find ourselves embodied in a human form. As the umbilical cord is cut we find ourselves thrust into a dangerous, insecure and vulnerable world.
Suddenly we find ourselves in a dense, human body and we sense a world through our five senses that is very different from the one where we just came from. We must start to use our body now to experience all that we can and have to for this particular incarnation. Physically this body is made up of carbon and hydrogen – the constituent elements of the earth. The root chakra becomes activated at birth, a necessity which energetically reconnects us with the “sacred matter (Mother)” in our attempt to find our spiritual connection. We quickly learn that we cannot survive if we do not feed and nurture our physical body – making our relationship with the earth both necessary and integral to our survival. Belonging to a family, clan or group helps us to survive this initial shock of being incarnated; it provides us with security, safety and a sense of belonging. If we are strongly rooted in this initial phase of our life – strong familial ties, connection with grandparents and a safe environment for your development – we are are ensured a healthy and balanced root chakra, which result in a person that is generally happy, feel secure and has a positive self-image.
However, if our sense of security and belong was neglected as young children, when fear and disruptive behaviour was the norm in our environment and if we had a disconnected relationship with nature, our parents and our clan, then we end up feeling “unrooted” later in life. Insecurities and anxiety will surface and issues with our right to be here will surface as well. Feeling disconnected from earth (the mother principle, think here mother earth) will lead to various forms of depression and other psychological symptoms such as fear of becoming ill, aging and dying, feeling ungrounded and vulnerable, chronic anxiety and unnecessary neuroses surface as well.
It is important to remember that we can heal root chakra issues through compassionate self-healing techniques such as finding ways to reconnect with the earth through spending time in nature, doing gardening or hiking trips. Establishing a practice where we honour the earth as sacred and as the Mother by exploring our caring and nurturing nature through acts such as concern through environmental issues, participating in recycling programmes and voicing our concern about issues such as pollution and global warming. A great way of healing is to foster closer relations with estranged family members, or create a circle of friends where you feel safe, secure and have a sense of belonging. Joining groups, associations or clubs is also a great way to establish a sense of felling secure and belonging.
The root chakra corresponds to the physical age of man which is 1-7 years. It is interesting to note how many toddlers during this time eat dirt; many if they have the opportunity bake mud cakes at some point during this developmental stage. This stage is called the formative years and that points directly to the importance of establishing a strong root chakra based in a strong group or family system for the individual to further develop.
The Sacral – Svaddhistana Chakra
Now that the individual is more at ease and secure in his/her environment and have come to grips with physical reality, enters the next energetic challenge for the individual – the energy of the sacral chakra is about establishing relationships. The second chakra holds the energy of all relationships we encounter in our lives – the first relationship we encounter is that with our parents and the energy of this relationship lays the foundation for all future relationships in our lives. If we were nurtured by our parents we will find it easy to nurture other relationships in life, but if we experienced rejection, future relationships may be more challenging for us than usual. During this phase we learn the value of give and take of sibling rivalry; the devotion or betrayals of friendship; the intimacy and vulnerability of sexual attraction; and the ability to produce and nurture our own children.
If we do not learn to connect to others through emotional intimacy we remain alone, estranged or dissociated. When our early needs for intimacy and love are thwarted through abandonment, abuse or neglect, we find it hard to trust and begin to doubt our ability to attract love or find passion and joy in life. Eventually we end up with issues relating to intimacy, physical avoidance, accepting or perpetrating abuse in relationships, sexual dysfunction, parenting problems and a lack of passion and motivation in life.
To heal the energy of this chakra involves learning to recognise our wounded “inner child” and how to respond to the demands which manifest as episodes of painful memories that arise – these can be of neglect, rejection or abuse. A great deal of healing can be achieved if we can learn how to forgive not only others, but also ourselves and in that forgiveness we learn how to release guilt and blame. It means gently finding the courage to open ourselves to emotional intimacy and often a wise and trusted counsellor or healer can facilitate this process. Developing self-compassion and self-nurturing is the key to balance the energy of this chakra.
The sacral chakra corresponds to the physical age of man which is 8-14 years. It is during this phase that young boys will develop a love for their mother and the greatest hero in a girl’s life would be her father at some point. Proceeding to school suddenly they meet new people and they form “best pal” friendships and suddenly teacher is always right and you are always wrong, because teacher said so! It is also during this time that many will experience their first love and the elation that goes with it, but many will also experience the pain of a broken heart, learning the reality of relationships.
The Solar Plexus – Manipura Chakra
Now that we have established a relationship with the world and with those around us, the next challenge of the solar plexus chakra is to create a sense of self in relation to the world we live in – other words we need to learn to love ourselves now. It is time to assert our self-worth and self-esteem. During this phase we need to become masters of our own universe and in doing so we empower ourselves to fulfil our desire to be the best we can in this life. The energetic challenges of solar plexus chakra are are locked up in the desire to learn self-control, humility and awareness of our purpose in life.
However, if our desire to establish a strong sense of ourselves is met with over-control, shaming, authoritarian and intentional ego-damaging behaviour, we are left with a debilitated and wounded sense of self. These manifests as a sense of “I am not worthy” and guilt, other manifestations include a lack of confidence and poor self-esteem. Many feel disempowered, victimised or lacking a sense of purpose, feeling that life is a constant battle. In turn, when we feel deprived of power, we may resort to modes of controlling like bullying others; confuse aggressiveness for assertiveness, manipulating others with either tyrannical behaviour or emotional blackmail.
To heal the energy of this chakra comes about through restoring a sense of personal power, self-respect, courage, healthy humility and learning the power of grace. When we face our own stories and fears with compassion and loving-kindness, we learning that there is release and grace in these episodes and that is an extremely empowering moment for such an individual. If we learn to use the power of love to transform our issues of guilt and shame, we nurture a sense of innate goodness within ourselves, at the same time we create awareness that we are co-creators with the Divine, instilling a sense of personal power. Finally, becoming aware of the deep spiritual qualities of our own nature helps us to act responsibly and move forward with self-initiative, meaning and purpose.
The sacral chakra corresponds to the physical age of man which is 15-21 years. This is one of the most challenging periods of life not only for the individual, but also for the parents. Suddenly their innocent child disappears into his/her room only to emerge on morning looking like an alien. And if they don’t spend time in their rooms behind closed doors, your child spends more time in front of the mirror making sure that there is not a hair out of place. It is the time in life when the young adolescent discover his/her body and the powerful sexual energy it houses. The individual also become aware of he/her own sexual identity and how parents and society reacts towards them determines much of their behaviour later in life. Fortunately this phase also passes and the next phase is a more balanced phase.
The Heart – Anahata Chakra
The heart chakra serves as the bridge between the lower energies and the next three higher energies. As we exit the solar plexus phase into our heart, we come to experience ourselves as safe, connected and respected. Our energy begins to shift from a focus on the individual self towards a more generous and altruistic outlook. We notice that we feel grateful for the opportunity to live life, and want to give back. The heart chakra now becomes activated as the centre of love, compassion, kindness, devotion and generosity. The direction of energy in the body begins to move upwards in its desire to reconnect to the greater source of Divine love. We begin to experience universal compassion – the sense that we are connected to all beings on the planet. We may feel our hearts touched by images of young children a world away playing amongst the rubble of war. We know and have a sense of caring both for ourselves and others and feel compelled to take this love out into action.
As I have stated above, the heart is the bridge from the energies of the lower chakras into the higher chakras and if we experienced a lack of security, intimacy and self-esteem in the lower chakras, then we have problems with a heart chakra that will be closed and fenced off. Typical issues of the heart chakra are displayed and manifested as lack of compassion, anger, hatred, stinginess, being overly concerned with safety and protection, fear of loving too much and showing love to others, unexplained grief and heart-ache may all indicate wounding in the heart chakra.
To heal the heart chakra, we need start from the bottom and work our way up again. We need to first pay attention to the old wounds that still lurk in the lower chakras before we can successfully heal the heart chakra. Learning to love ourselves and our shadow places is the first step towards creating a sense of love and compassion for others. Accepting the gift of forgiveness and allowing ourselves to forgive allows deep healing within the heart chakra – forgiveness both for ourselves and others. Visualisation, devotional chanting, yoga, prayers and meditation are powerful vehicles for opening the heart. Many people find that compassionate encounters with the suffering of others are a means to open their own heart. It is also important to become aware of our own divine nature and beginning an intimate, sacred process of surrender to the Divine order. In other words let go and let God!
The heart chakra corresponds to the physical age of man which is 22-28 years. During this time many people bridge the divide between a life as a care-free youth or student into a responsible citizen who care for those around him/her. For most it is also the time during which they will meet their life partner, get married and settle into a life that is marked by much love and reaching out. It is a time that we cross many bridges, at age 28 an important bridge is crossed in the sense that up till then your body grew and was young, from now on the body will degenerate and age will take its toll as we progress.
The Throat – Vishuddha Chakra
Our voice with all its own vibrations brings us now in direct contact with other vibrations around us. As we grow into deeper awareness of our chakras, we also begin to discover our ability to tap into the vibrational energy field around us. The wave patterns of sound become our connection to an unseen world that we are aware of, but don’t know yet how to experience it. This is where the energy of the throat chakra becomes valuable as it helps us to make sense of all these different vibrations which we use for communication, self-expression, creativity, speaking our truth, and at the subtlest levels, telepathy, channelling and clairaudience (ability to perceive sounds outside the physical realm).
When our self-expression in the throat is repressed or silenced in some violent way, the throat chakra closes down and energetically our ability to express ourselves appears blocked. Instead of being a two communication system, the one way is blocked, energy comes in, but doesn’t leave us and this impediment of the natural flow of vibrations result in a person who has no voice or who carries no authority in his/her voice. We are all too familiar with the childhood maxim “children should be seen and not heard”, the silencing of women’s voices in our patriarchal systems and the stifling of creative talent for fear of ridicule impedes the flow of throat energy. Many people have deep and dark family secrets that they shamefully keep, others lives in constant fear, because they are being yelled at or shamed into silence by an over-bearing parent, all actions that will impede the throat chakra. Eventually the chakra will “shutdown”, the person will rather keep quiet than to speak his/her truth or mind in order to keep the peace and eventually this will lead to a complete lack of self-expression from such an individual, leading to frustration and anger.
Just as King Edward VI in the King’s Speech had to learn that he has a voice and that he has the right to speak in order to overcome his stuttering due to the stifling voice of his father and Queen Mary, we also need to realise that we have a right to voice. The next step to healing the throat chakra is finding our own truth and relearning the ability to express ourselves. Once we have achieve this we can proceed to give ourselves permission to cry, to voice our hopes, fears and opinions, we can share our stories and we can engage in active listening with others. We can honour self-expression through finding creative outlets – writing, art, gardening or music. For some people it is important to reduce the pollution of vibrational noise through meditation or silent retreat.
As the throat chakra begins to heal, the grosser vibrations of sound no longer create interference. We begin to tune into more subtle layers of vibration, including the development of psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairaudience and opening to divine revelations such as those experienced by mystics through the ages.
The throat chakra corresponds to the physical age of man which is 29-35 years. During this time many people find that they have to talk their way through life, they have to talk to get that next promotion or they have to talk to convince others of an opinions or view. It is also the most vocal time in personal relationships with our partners as many problems are sorted out verbally and we also need to do a lot of talking to our children who are suddenly at ages where vocalisation becomes important. It is also a very social period in the life of most and as such demands much attention to how we express ourselves in this phase.
The Third Eye – Ajna Chakra
Our third eye is not only the centre of our intellect, but this is the centre where we develop qualities such as discernment, inner knowing, wisdom and clairvoyance or intuitive seeing. It is the place where we develop our ability to stand outside of a situation, become the observer or seer and without getting too involved make conscious choices about the road ahead or the situation in hand.
From the third eye centre we develop and create our belief system and we learn to judge fairly like Solomon from this place. However, if we are faced with a fear-based and authoritarian belief system, then we start to doubt our own sense of wisdom and of knowledge and ultimately we doubt ourselves and our ability to form our own truths. The result of this inability to form our own truth leads to confusion, negative beliefs, blind faith, narrow mindedness and mental rigidity. We may feel cut off from our emotions and become overly attached to empirical, dogmatic theories and beliefs and very often the individual may be overly argumentative to the point where he/she will aggressively defend their point of view, even make war about it or kill for it.
Allowing the inner guru to take charge and to bring us to the point where we develop the willingness to see is the first step that we can take on healing out third eye. This willingness to see means that we open ourselves to that truth that is beyond physical seeing and allowing our intuition and inner knowing to become our guiding light and primary guru or teacher. When our inner guidance starts to develop and when we start to listen and trust our inner guidance, then we can assess our old fear-based beliefs, judgements and criticisms and as we see that there is nothing to fear, we can let them go and replace them with our inner knowing and new truths. It is also process of opening the heart and to start “feeling” the messages of the heart instead of “thinking” what they should be.
We can heal the energy of the third eye by placing a greater emphasis on using and developing our inner awareness and witness consciousness. Another import ant technique is to look for the symbolic and esoteric importance behind events or interactions. One of the most valuable tools in our shed of techniques are to record our dreams in a dream diary en to start to see a pattern in the interpretation of these dreams. Practicing equanimity, detachment, and surrendering judgments may also help us on our journey of healing. As we become aware of the deep spiritual qualities of our own nature, we move into a place of greater clarity, wisdom and acceptance in the third eye.
The third eye chakra corresponds to the physical age of man which is 36-42 years. Around this time most men and women will start to enter their menopause/andropause and we start a hormonal change in our bodies. As a result of this we start to rethink our lives, our purpose and many either divorce during this time or they change careers or they just start to relax more in life a bit, adopting a more relaxed attitude. Much thinking is done during this time as well, as most start to realise old age and retirement is around the corner, old beliefs is shed and overall the individual enters a more embracing approach to life than before.
The Crown – Sahasrara Chakra
Our innate nature is Divine and as we develop greater awareness of this, our energy is increasingly drawn upwards towards its desire to unify with our source of Being and Origen. In yoga this process is described by the last limb of yoga namely samadhi, this process of spiritual awakening or enlightenment is facilitated through opening the crown chakra. Energetically, an open crown chakra appears as light emerging from the top of the head, hence the halo above so many saint’s heads in paintings.
Connecting to Spirit or the Divine and living our Truth and the willingness to surrender to the Divine are all indicators of a balanced and properly functioning crown chakra. When we are at this stage we can inspire others with inspirational ideas or thoughts, we have the ability for prophetic thought. It also allows for a deepening of our devotion, experiencing Divine ecstasy, transcendence and liberation from identification with suffering.
If this chakra doesn’t function properly we experience this period as the “dark night of the soul” as it was described in the poetry of St. John of the Cross. When we are distracted or overwhelmed by the difficulties and pain of life, we may experience loss of faith in a compassionate Divine force. We start to doubt our own belief that we are spiritual as issues of disbelief and depression cloud our inner knowing and overshadow our Divine nature. We falsely identify with the world and our bodies (maya or the illusion in yoga) and feel “existential angst” which disconnects us from our realisation that we are on a journey back to the Divine. For some the sense of isolation and spiritual depression may seem unbearable and they may end it all with a violent act against the soul.
The greatest healer of this chakra when wounded is our ability to surrender to the Divine and to trust the spiritual process in our lives. To commence the healing process, it is wise to find a spiritual path or practice to which the individual can commit completely and with full surrender. It has now nearly become a cliché, but living in the present moment, trusting that we have all in that moment and that every moment is Divinely perfect opens us to all the experiences that life offers us and it instil in us a trust in the Divine process. Mystics, saints, great gurus and even the Christ and The Buddha through the ages have turned to prayer, meditation, contemplation, yoga and silent retreat to support their spiritual journey; we can learn from these great souls and make time for our own time with Divine on a regular basis. A trusted spiritual guide or teacher may offer compassionate facilitation along this path.
The crown chakra corresponds to the physical age of man which is 43 and onwards. If you listen to dinner conversation around a table where people of this age group is present, sooner or later the conversation will turn to “do you remember this or that” or you will suddenly realise how this or that friend of yours have change his/her views suddenly about the Divine. For many this time of their lives is an opportunity to open an elegant window onto the soul and see the miracle of the Divine in their lives in every moment. During this time many see a culmination of all the other ages and as they age there is a deepening of their understanding of the amazing qualities, attributes and spiritual nuances of their soul. It is the journey home manifested and we realise that our journey is not just about reaching our destination, but it is also about all those little stops along the way.
Mantra Yoga – Sahasrara
Mantra Yoga is an intricate study of sound and its influence on energy, on mind, and on the external world.
More than just chanting of certain sounds, this goes more deeply into the essence of what sound is as vibration, what type of sounds affect which area of the body, mind, – what the mental reactions are etc. Then comes the application of certain sound formulas to create the desired results. Fundamentally it comes down to the reality that all is energy and that energy is in a state of vibration – vibration is sound.
Practice of mantra will unfold the 7th Chakra: Sahasrara.
CONSCIOUSNESS itself is the seventh element; a form of primeval powers that is the awareness of all the other forces. This element is not of the physical world yet permeates it to the deepest level. Awareness as an element is part of the eternal realm of the universe, that part of each individual that goes on from body to body. Wherever you go there must be an awareness of being there, whether it is heaven, hell or earth you are conscious of being there. It is the constant essence. It is difficult to say how one experiences this particular element because this is the element that does the experiencing, the witness to all of life.
SAHASRARA CHAKRA is actually centred above the head though its awareness goes through all aspects of the body. This being the center of your conscious experience it has the strong tendency in normal life to become wrapped up in the vortex of mind energies that keep it entertained for ages on end. Yet, it has the power to direct all functions of the energies at the six levels below it, when it is free. From this Chakra one has immediate access to the energies of the universe above and to the knowledge of eternity. For this the awareness must be focused upward and away from bodily or earthly concerns.
The PINEAL gland is influenced by the energy of this center and in turn directly influences the pituitary gland. In studies done with light and colour for instance it was seen that the energy impulses coming through the optic nerves, from whatever colour one is looking at, influenced the pineal gland to put out certain hormones that tend to govern the hormones subsequently produced by the pituitary. Each colour and form has a specific influence on the entire endocrine system. As an experiment try looking at an attractive mandala, then switching to an attractive member of the opposite sex, naked, and observe your mental, emotional and physiological reactions to what your eyes are seeing. Observe and draw your conclusions; then you may decide to choose carefully what you focus your attention on.
CENTER is the direction, or could we say inward. From this center you might go North, South, East, West, down or up but they are all away from the Center of yourSelf. The chakra energies are further explored and enhanced in Kundalini, Kriya and Tantra Yoga.
Yantra Yoga – Ajna
YantraYoga has to do with the structure of mind, energy and time.
One of the least known forms of yoga, it is like a study of cosmic (sacred) geometry and how it unfolds as mandala, and mathematics as in the measurement of time and the biorhythms of the chakra energies. It involves numbers, symbols and colour, leading to an understanding of how these influence the mind; while through the time cycles a personal calendar can be made to help us see how the energies are affecting us by the day, month, year, etc.
This form opens the inner eye, the 6th Chakra: Ajna.
Mind as an element is held within the energy field of this chakra. Its nature is truly magnetic. Even in the fifth chakra where I called the power electromagnetic, the controlling factor of such energy is the magnetic line of force; it’s like the guideline.
For this reason, and others, the sixth chakra is called the command Center. In the energies that’s what it is; likewise in our physiology, the brain is the basic command Center for the whole nervous system, and that in turn is the command Center for the rest of the body. This is where all of the inputs for the senses of the body come for processing. This is where our perceptions are focused into the image we perceive.
Each of the other senses has an influence on each of the chakras, but here at level 6 all those influences come together to form our view of reality. In the Yogic view there are 18 senses to be considered and understood. Eleven of those are windows out into the world through which we see conventional reality that most people agree on. Then there are 7 senses of inner perception that are psychic in nature; with these we view the mental world of our civilization. From clairvoyance to telepathy and empathy, these subtle inner senses allow us to see the unconscious world. Here we can put together the inner and outer worlds, the dream world and the “real” world.
This chakra is divided into two, like the left and right hemispheres of the brain. What this is describing is our own masculine and feminine functions of mind. The masculine is the more active side, which decides and directs action whether they are mental or physical. The feminine is the more passive perception, which observes what is going on. Obviously they both need to work together so that we are aware of what we are doing. However, it seems to be very few who have them working in balance.
In the glandular system it happens to be the pituitary gland that has the direct link to this magnetic energy. This is the grand master of the endocrine system. It puts out the hormones that influence hormonal production of all the other endocrine glands. This gland is also situated in the middle of your head, in the middle of all your thoughts. It has only been in very recent years that Western science discovered the relation between mind and body, yet in Yoga this has been understood for millennium.
Violet is the colour associated with Ajna, and this colour is made from the union of two others. The harmonious blending of colours is much like the essential function of this chakra seeking to blend and unify, bringing pieces of the puzzle together to create a more complete picture. In this way we come to understand. Knowing may belong to the fifth chakra, but understanding what we know happens at the level of the sixth.
Raja Yoga – Vishuddha
Raja Yoga may be more commonly known as the yoga of the mind, and that it is. Here we find many methods of working with the mind through creative visualization and use of verbal and vocal process. There is a lot of learning about the functions of the mind followed by skilful use of mind energies to achieve certain results within the body; as in healing, and out in the world as in manifesting your dreams. Meditational practices that take you out of the normal world to explore the inner world are a large part of this Raja.
This type of Yoga awakens the power of the 5th Chakra: Vishuddha.
The element of ether is best translated today as that of electromagnetism. It is this energy, which sustains most others. In fact all of the lower energies are condensations of this one. In its free form it fills the universe, containing all those quantum frequencies of energy that we perceive as light and heat, as well as those we do not normally perceive at all. Radiant energy emanating from each of the billions of stars, and coming at us from all directions. By its very vibration it moves out in all directions, just as sound does.
The vibratory nature of this energy is indeed very much like sound. In your nervous system and brain it stimulates thinking as a verbal function while at the more physiological level it is most evidently flowing in the throat. As you might have guessed the voice is involved.
The sense plugged in at this level is hearing. Voice, hearing and sound are all connected don’t you think?
The endocrine gland in the throat area is the thyroid, while within it lies imbedded four smaller glands called the para-thyroids. These hormonal producers put out the chemical messengers that govern several functions. Of the most known is the influence on metabolism. The thyroid is in charge of the speed with which you metabolise food, the actual rate of the cell’s activity. This of course controls the body temperature as well.
The para-thyroids have to do with bone structure and the utilization of calcium by the bone cells. Whether or not you assimilate the calcium in your diet depends on these tiny little glands.
Mentally this fifth chakra energy influences the verbal thought process, whether this is voiced out loud or remains part of the internal dialogue it is still vibrating energy. This places it right back in the realm of electromagnetism. Now if you observe the speed at which you think and then change it by speeding it up a little you might notice that you can control it, kind of like with the accelerator on a car. All that has to do with vibration lies in this center but the actual control of it comes from the center above.
Blue is the essential colour of the energy, like the sky. Though talking and verbal thinking may not always be up there, the sky blue colour is an indication of how high the thoughts can be. In the electromagnetic spectrum (which are called the akashic records) are all the philosophical thoughts and the true knowledge about the universe. At this level one can see that the brain is just the radio, the universe is the broadcast and the communication is in the energy waves. You decide what station you want to be tuned in to.
North is the direction to face while looking into the realm of Vishuddha chakra as it helps line up our brain cells with the magnetic currents from north to south, making for an easier flow of energy through those cells and a resulting clarity of mind. The gateway to knowledge lies in this direction, but you need to be aware that knowledge comes in bits and pieces of information and does not necessarily lead to wisdom. Too much of this energy creates an overactive intellect, and that is probably white man’s greatest disease.
Karma Yoga – Anahata
Karma Yoga is a more subtle study of the laws of cause and effect as they apply to our personal life. In essence it is a study of how we have created the situation we are in now and subsequently look at what we would like to create in our upcoming years and lifetimes. Techniques involve self-analysis of thoughts, emotions and feelings, leading to insights about where it all comes from, and how to change the undesirable aspects. In practice it comes down to being helpful and compassionate with everyone, thereby creating positive karma.
Karma Yoga unfolds the 4th Chakra or Anahata.The element of Air and the force of expansion. This force can be found at many levels of life from the expanding universe to the growth of your own body. If you take the two north poles of a couple of magnets and try to push them together you will feel this energy. It is subtler than fire and invisible, yet a very powerful creative force in the scheme of life in the material world.
Lungs and heart both are connected to this energy and utilize it with every beat, with every breath and expansion and contraction. The endocrine gland plugged into it is the thymus. This gland is the center of the body’s immune response system; the energy spreading out from here sends out the white blood cells that sweep through the body looking for foreign invaders. If any are found they are systematically pushed out of the body, after being neutralized through whatever it takes. This system in itself is amazing and somewhat miraculous when it is functioning.
Developing the fourth chakra will bring the system to peak performance.
Touch and feeling is the sense related to this level of our being and this can become a very large arena when you consider all of the feelings we are capable of perceiving. When energy moves we can feel it. Energy in motion (E-motion). Any of these motions, which we deem unpleasant and do not want to feel, can be suppressed with the reaction of also suppressing the breath. At an unconscious level.
Green is the colour of this energy while a six pointed star lies in its center. This star is made of two triangles, representing two powers, which come together in this center, with every heartbeat and with every breath.
Physically this realm produces many of our feelings, from the most physical to the most sensual to the subtlest. All of those feelings which lie under the threshold of consciousness are also contained here – from your heartbeat to cellular metabolism. Etc.
Mentally we are still focused on feelings and also enter the realm of the subconscious where we may have stored years of unresolved events with all of the emotions involved. However, just as the breath is a subconscious process in the beginning, so also the whole realm of the unconscious opens up when we begin to take over the control of breathing. Be aware of what comes up for you.
West is the direction of this particular energy and introspection is its nature. By going in depth here it is possible to go beyond the normal bulk of one’s own stuff and to the level of intuition. Another chakra lies in this beyond, one called GURU HARIDYA MANAS, which translates as the “teacher within one’s own mind”. It is here that you can establish a direct link with the wisdom of the universe.
Hatha Yoga – Muladhara
Most people in the West consider Hatha Yoga to be yoga, this is what they refer to when they speak about yoga and it is also the most popular form of the whole yoga system. Hatha Yoga consists of physical asanas and movements designed to stimulate and rejuvenate the physical cells of our being.
Hatha Yoga involves a detailed knowledge of the physical form. This form of yoga forces the individual to consider the body and its chemistry and as such an understanding of how the body, glands and organs function and sometimes malfunction. As Hatha Yoga is the first step we take towards purification of the physical body in the West, it teaches us ways to influence our bodies, organs and glands in a positive way. We learn what to and how to correctly feed the body to strenghten, detox and stimulate it in a positive way. All of this and more is part of the first phase of yoga and as such connects us to our Muladhara Chakra or the root of all our future yogas.
Hatha Yoga empowers the Muladhara. The element of the Earth is that which is solid and resistant in you and as such Muladhara literally means the root support system, it is the energy that helps you to function in this world as a divine being moving around in a physical form. It is the Chakra where you are connected to the earth, it grounds you and provides the basis for your future support. In your energy system it represents the gravitational pull of the Earth which holds all together. At the molecular level it is the power that holds the atom together. At the planetary level it is the more obvious gravitational field. Obvious to us intellectually, yet invisible. Mentally this Chakra root our feelings as well as our perception of our physical being, right down to the cellular level.
Many asanas directly connect us to this Chakra point. For example Vishwamitrasana, Kashyapasana, Moolabandhasana, Gorakshasana, Merudandasana and a host of other asanas. These asanas are designed to put pressure on the Muldhara Chakra point and in doing so cultivate awareness of the energies and their flow in the physical body.
Muscles are an integral part of our organism and are directly linked to our Hatha Yoga practice as they contract or relax while we perform our asanas. This contraction or relaxation of the muscles bring awareness of the flow of energy in our bodies. Our muscles are the first aspect of our body to experience the purification of the physical body as they are the ones we most feel the next day after a class. Our muscles remind us of our connectedness to the Earth and to the Mother aspect. We talk of Mother Earth and through the Muladhara Charka we harness this Mother energy and use it to rejuvenate and balance our energy system.
Red is the colour associated with this chakra. Its energy is solid like a rock and forms the main illusion of this energy. Psychologically this Chakra deals with the Self and its attachments and desires. It deals with aspects such as how you are connected to and concerned with your thoughts and feelings. It is also the centre where your own survival comes first. Your fight or flight response is activated in this Chakra when you need it. From this perspective you see the world as a solid reality to be conquered and accumulated and not for what it really is: illusion or Maya.
Jnana Yoga – Swadhistana
Jnana Yoga has to do with achieving wisdom through the path of self-analysis and the right application of this gained knowledge which forms the basis of Jnana Yoga. In essence Jnana Yoga leads us to understand the emotional aspect of our being and its controling effect on our mind.
As a practice, it is the application of different relaxation techniques, along with introspective methods for studying the emotional motives for our actions and reactions in the social world. The practice of pratyahara, which is the withdrawal of the senses from the outer world of distractions and drama, refocuses the awareness of the yogi on the inner workings of the mind itself. It brings us Within and allow us to study how we are led around by our senses and desires, in other words not being in the Now. This becomes an in depth study of the psychology of the mind and how it entraps us into false beliefs or Maya. The philosophical principles of Samkhya are then realized followed by the application of yoga techniques for changing that situation around until consciousness leads, directs and transforms the mind into true understanding and wareness. This is when greater wisdom in the individual start to manifest as realising the thruth of our existence as Maya.
Jnana Yoga allows the second Chakra or Swadhistana to bloom into full realisation of Truth Divine. The element is water and as such connects us to the Great Ocean of divine Wisdom, but also dissolution. Water also represents that which is fluid in your physical being and flowing through your mind as well as your emotions. In the water molecule you have the atoms of hydrogen and oxygen joined together to form a unique substance, the human body. So is the energy of Swaidhistana Chakra also the union of two souls on a physical, mental and emotional level. It is the fluid aspect of water that makes organic life possible in that nothing could move at all without its fluidity.
There is also an element of instability at the core of this aspect in the sense that water is constantly in flux and change from one moment to the next. This characteristic is one which many yogis strive to attain while in incarnation, to be like water to just flow with things, neither to be stirred or troubled too much by obstacles in its path. If there is a rock or branch in the path of water, it just flows around this obstacle joining again on the other side without much effect on the fluidity of the water. So should be the aspiration of the yogi, to flow through life without getting emotionally too involved with what is happening around us. This is also the prakriti or nature of water, it is changeable from rockhard like ice to extremely fluid like water to be completely invisible like steam. In nature we find that the material components are continually re-arranged in the process of creation. For the yogi then union between knowlegde and wisdom becomes the right application, undertsanding and awareness that is connected to the powers of this Chakra.
The glands connected to this energy are the adrenal glands, while the organs are the kidneys. Other parts related are the bladder and the whole lymphatic system. One of the other major organs ruled by this power is the liver, though it is also influenced by the third chakra, many of the liver’s functions are in the re-arrangement of atoms into different molecular patterns. In this organ amino acids are arranged into vitamins, or combined into various proteins.
Orange is the colour of its energy in the world of sight and if you can feel it directly it has a strong emotional and even sexual flavour to it. Psychologically it has everything to do with our relations and the wisdom we gain from our interaction with tose we are in relation to. Just as the water molecule is the coming together of two particles, in the social world it signifies the coming together of or union of two people. That attraction you feel for another person when it is emotionally exciting is the feeling of this energy. At its strongest point this energy is perceived when building up to a sexual orgasm.
Mentally this Chakra is about the realisation of how many of our thoughts come from other people, we are like sponges, we absorb as far we travel along our path. Even the language you speak came from people who raised you. Much of what you learned came through teachers. Add to this the emotional side of all our relations and it makes quite a large realm of the mind that is governed by the energy of the second chakra. All the thoughts you have about or in relation to others come under this domain.
According to the Samkhya school, all knowledge is possible through the three pramanas (means of valid knowledge) – 1. Pratyaksha or Drishtam – direct sense perception, 2. Anumana – logical inference and 3. Sabda or Aptavacana – verbal testimony. Samkhya cites out two types of perceptions, a. Indeterminate (nirvikalpa) perceptions and b. determinate (savikalpa) perceptions.
(This article continues in Part 3)