THE CHAKRAS AND THE MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL BODIES
Ideally all one’s chakras should be balanced, open and spinning clockwise at a similar rate to each other. However, most of us have some chakras that are in better or worse shape than others. They may be in overdrive, or even shut down. When you have tension in your body, it appears in that part of your consciousness experiencing the stress, and as well as in the part of your physical body associated with that particular chakra.
Each chakra connects to various attributes on the mental and emotional level (see the chakra chart cited below). So for example, the heart chakra reflects the state of our open heart, our male- female balance, our ability to forgive and accept others without judgement. Our root chakra connects to our sense of tribe, our connections to family, relations, colleagues, and networks. It reflects our sense of physical security, ability to survive, and sense of being grounded and connected to this earth. At various stages of our lives, and according to our circumstances, the health of each chakra reflects these attributes.
There are many reasons why the functions of one or more chakras can be out of balance: overwork, stress, emotional pressure and all kinds of psychological hurts, deep seated or otherwise, are some likely causes. If we take the case of a woman who was adopted at childbirth, not informed of her physical roots, and not raised in a family that gave her adoptive roots, she would likely have a weak root chakra, and the colour would not be red but probably murky and dark, nor would the person be fully connected to the earth. This might be reflected in insecurities around group relationships, or survival. She might have a hard time being fully be present here on earth.
If we look at the heart chakra, a man who has experienced a difficult childhood, a domineering parent – either physically or emotionally – and who has not yet forgiven this parent, would likely have a heart chakra that is not a clear green or pink; the chakra would be closed, tight and narrow in focus. This might in turn be reflected on the physical level through heart problems or lung issues.
And finally, if you picture yourself when you have just had a really tough day, with criticism from the people you work with, your solar plexus may feel assaulted, and your sense of self-worth may be low.
If you would like to try a chakra test, there are many chakra tests to be found on the web. There is a short one at this site: www.chakraenergy.com. You do not have to send anything in to the site – simply answer a few questions and the responses indicate how well you are in touch with the energy of each chakra. There are also a few good tips for energizing your chakras.
There are many chakra charts in books and on the web in various formats. The chart included below is found on the site www.visionreiki.com under “Chakra Information”.Keep this chart handy – you may wish to print it – to use during the classes.
Now try the assignment for Lesson 1, a twenty minute Chakra Meditation.
Jackman, Richard and Desmarais, Julie; The Energy Connection : a journey into the
invisible world of humans; Ottawa, ON; Ener-Healing Press, 2003.
Lilly, Sue and Simon; Healing with Crystals & Chakra Energies; Hermes House; London;2004.
The Lower Chakras
There are three major chakras of the seven we will examine that are considered to be the “Lower Chakras”. As we saw in Lesson 1, each chakra has its own attributes and frequency, yet sometimes we may see some correlation between groups of chakras, so that a person may have well functioning lower chakras and upper chakras that are blocked, or vice versa. For example, someone who constantly works as an energetic healing facilitator might be very well connected to Source, might be extremely intuitive and have a wide open third eye, and yet this person might not be well grounded. Her chakras would be unbalanced. Similarly, a person with a secure job, no financial worries and a happy childhood in her background would likely have strong lower chakras, and yet if she is not well connected to Source and does not use her intuitive abilities or trust in them, her upper chakras would be weak. She also would be unbalanced. It is important to aim for all the chakras to be aligned.
Location: base of the spine
Attributes: family identity, survival instincts, our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies, the physical plane and the material world
Element: earth – earth is solid and provides us with what we need to survive –food, clothing and shelter
Quick exercise to connect and open your root chakra: Take your shoes off and stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly in. Stand sturdily on the ground, and concentrate on feeling the ground or the floor beneath you with each toe, with the ball of each foot and with each heel. Breathe slowly in and out and feel the energy you can draw upwards into your body. As you breathe in, picture the earth beneath you, and its strength.
The root chakra connects us to our sense of tribe, our family, relations, colleagues, and networks. It reflects our sense of physical security, ability and will to survive, and our sense of being grounded and connected to this earth. Grounding is the building of a foundation – essential before we build the walls of a house. A good foundation allows us to not only survive but to feel secure, and prepared for other aspects of life. Grounding puts us in touch with our bodies. Uncovering the truths buried within our bodies brings us to a solid connection with our ground, manifesting in greater health, prosperity, and well-being.
The root chakra opens downwards and brings in energy of the earth through our feet and legs into our body, balancing it and grounding us. When the chakra is blocked someone may feel uprooted or unsupported. Holographically, this may show up in aperson’s aura as a tree knocked over, as a person with broken legs, or as a wounded animal that we associate with the earth, like a squirrel that nests in the ground, a badger or a mole. To keep this chakra in good shape, it is important to connect with nature, and our own sexuality.
Root chakra exercise:
Sit in a quiet spot where you will not be interrupted, sit comfortably. You may wish to have some quiet background music playing. Concentrate on your breathing as a way to still your mind. Let your thoughts come and pass by, just observing them, and coming back to your breathing. Connect with Source, with the Universal energy around us, by calling it in using whatever name you are used to using – God, Mother Earth, the Rei, Allah etc. Now place your hands on your first chakra and notice how it feels. Since we all feel energy in different ways, you may feel some pulsing or tingling sensations; your hands may feel hot or cold; you may feel an emotional reaction. Just notice.
Now do this exercise to clear your root chakra.
Picture yourself as a tree. Notice the kind of tree it is, the season, whether there are leaves or fruit and any creatures in the tree. Feel the roots of your tree extend through your legs, ankles and feet; see them reaching downwards into the earth, picture the little rootlets touching the earth, the stones and the roots of the plants. Notice how connected your roots are to other things. Take in the energy of the strength of your roots, and pull that energy upwards, through your toes, your feet, your ankles, your lower legs, knees, upper legs and into your trunk. Sit with that energy for a few minutes. Then place your hands on your root chakra and see what difference there is, if any, from before you did this exercise. If you notice any improvement, remember to do this when you feel your root chakra needs a boost.
Location: base of the spine, between the navel and the genitals
Attributes: sexuality, personal relationships, creativity, control, strength related to the physical world, such as finances
Element: water – symbol of the emotions
Quick exercises to connect and open your sacral chakra: move your lower body, rotate your hips, dance, experience sensations from such things as massage, baths, the feelings of objects you touch.
What do you carry around in your sacral chakra?
•Living in the past/longing for the future
The sacral chakra connects to our emotions, creativity, sexual energy, money, abundance, control, risk-taking, power and one on one relationships (as opposed to group relationships of the first, root chakra). This chakra opens outwards.
The sacral chakra is an indicator of the level of stress stored in the body. Past fears, desire for control, anger, disappointed romantic love, worry about finances, and the need for approval are all things that can have an imprint on this chakra. When this chakra is blocked it can impact on our ability to develop relationships with the opposite sex or to have fulfilling sex. The chakra may appear as a muddy pool of swirling water, as a room that needs a good cleaning, or as an animal totem that we associate with mating rituals such as a crane or male stags fighting.
Location: above navel, below chest
Attributes: self-esteem, self-respect, courage, autonomy, personal courage
Element: fire – symbol of vitality and purification
Quick exercises to connect and open your solar chakra: energetic movement – jog, dance – especially belly dancing, jump up and down, use a hula hoop.
The solar plexus connects to our sense of self, personal honour and self-respect, self- esteem, personal power and mental functioning. Insecurities stemming from low self-esteem can sit here. The solar plexus is the source of our “gut instinct” and we react here to others and we may sometime feel as if we have been “kicked in the gut”. Thefeeling of “butterflies in the stomach” sits here. A blocked solar plexus has appeared to me in holographic Reiki sessions as a junkyard or as a well containing foul water. Reducing stress helps this chakra, laughter, and physical movement.
Think of the solar plexus as a glowing yellow sun, radiating through the center of your body. When you have a strong solar plexus, you can take on new tasks, projects, challenges with pleasure, assurance and without trying to control others.
The three major chakras below the heart are primarily related to our physical body and our senses, although blockages in any of them can cause physical, mental or emotional symptoms of dis-ease.
All chakras can be cleared using various techniques, from simple breathing exercises to use of aromatherapy, Reiki or other types of energy work, crystals, and use of music or colour that changes the vibration of the chakra.
The Heart Chakra
Location: centre of chest
Colour: green or pink
Attributes: love, balance, harmony, compassion, peace, emotional power, devotion
Element: air – expansive, gentle
Quick exercise to connect and open your heart chakra: bring your hands to your heart with love and acceptance, and tell yourself that you areworthy of love, and perfect as you are. Say “I love you” to yourself.
The heart chakra connects downwards to our lower chakras and upwards to the upper chakras, so it links our physical and our spiritual selves. When the heart chakra is open, all energies can flow freely and the heart chakra radiates warmth, satisfaction and heartiness throughout the body. But when the heart chakra is blocked, a person may feel rather weak, overly sensitive, easily hurt, and may close up for fear of being rejected. How we feel in our heart chakra affects the rest of our body, on the physical, mental, and spiritual levels.
The colour of an unhealthy chakra is not the pure colour we see in chakra symbols. Instead of a lovely green or pink, the heart chakra may be dark and cloudy. Holographically, during a session I have seen a dagger in the heart, a knife or other weapon, scenes of battles, images of a locked doors, confined spaces and so on. Our everyday language often reflects our heart chakra: open-hearted/close-hearted, warm- hearted/cold-hearted, tender-hearted/hard-hearted, heart ache, heart’s ease, sweet- heart, heart of hearts, broken heart, and so on. These words are all representations of love, but the love we feel in our true heart is not the passionate love of the sacral chakra – it is the love we feel with peace, compassion and harmony. It is unconditional love. And this is the love that comes from a place of balance, so that we can show compassion, while at the same time maintaining our own emotional and spiritual centre.
The rose is often seen as a symbol of the heart. If you can, find a pink or red rose outdoors or purchase one rose. You could also find a picture of a rose to look at. Sit with this beautiful symbol, noticing its perfection, its symmetry, its scent, the velvet of the petals. Think how a rose protects itself with its thorns, and yet is accessible. Draw the perfume into your nose, calming you, creating balance in your heart chakra.
The heart chakra reflects our trust in the divine, and our ability to surrender resentment, judgments and jealousy, to let go of past hurts, of anger and grief. Ask yourself if you are still holding emotions in your heart chakra that are draining your energy or preventing you from giving out your love and appreciation to others. And if you are, look for ways to release this. Ask yourself also if you are too giving, tooanxious to please others. Many women find themselves taking their nurturing role to the extreme and having nothing left for them. Balance is important.
A simple way to expand the heart chakra is to placeyour hands on your heart and say to yourself “I love you”. Too often we work at love, and when we workat it we work at our love for those close to us. But we cannot fully love those who are closest to us unless we love ourselves. And this means accepting ourselves with all our quirks, foibles, faults and perceived imperfections. So bring our hands to your heart with love and acceptance, and tell yourself that you, too, are worthy of love, and perfect as you are. Here are a few other ways.
TEN WAYS TO OPEN AND STRENGTHEN YOUR HEART CHAKRA:
1. Do creative work of any sort that gives you joy – painting, photography, writing, handwork, cooking gardening, etc.
2. Listen to beautiful soothing music of the type that you like – as examples, youcould try Whitney Houston, The Greatest Hits, and on that cd “Greatest Love of All”. Try Deva Primal “The Essence” or James Taylor’s Greatest Hits, especially “Shower the People”. Try Julie True, Music to Journal By, or Jonathon Goldman, The Lost Chord. Or classical music is very calming – pieces like Beethoven’s Moolight Sonata, Handel’s Water Music or Chopin’sRaindrops. It is a very personal choice.
3. Meditate. It does not need to be for a long time and you don’t need ameditation corner. In bed upon waking or before going to sleep, for just five minutes, will make a difference.
4. Spend time with family or friends you love and have meaningful conversations.
5. Set up a place that will give you a sense of the sacred. It might be just a part of a table that forms an altar for you it might be a whole room! Keep this area clear of everything except what gives you a feeling that these things help you connect to the divine.
6. Read poetry, stories or books that make you feel good – an example of a good novel about forgiveness is The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young. Many classics for children and young adults touch the heart chakra – tales of love, redemption and transformation that are worth reading and re-reading. A few examples are: The Yearling; Anne of Green Gables; Little Women; Pollyanna, Pinocchio, Heidi. Non- fiction and biographies of people known for their heart or their struggle to know their heart are also helpful. An example is Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, a memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert that chronicles her trip around the world after her divorce, and what she discovered during her travels.
7. Watch movies that touch your heart – childrens’ movies, romances, dramas, ordocumentaries. A few examples are: Slumdog Millionaire, the story of a young man from the slums of Mumbai and the difficult pursuit of his dreams and the love of his life; The Blue Butterfly, inspired by the true story of a terminally ill 10-year- old boy, whose dream of catching a rare butterfly transforms lives over the course of a trip to the jungle with his mother and a renowned entomologist; August Rush, a modern reworking of the Oliver Twist story; Life is Beautiful, a poignant, inspiring, and bittersweet film about the holocaust; About a Boy; the story of a cynical, immature young man who is taught how to act like a grownup by a little boy; or Gandhi, the 1982 biographical film.
8. Do something for someone else – someone you know or whose path you cross– perhaps a homeless person in the street. Push yourself to move past hesitation or fear and offer help.
9. Tell someone that you love them, someone that you do not say this to regularly.Perhaps an aging relative…
10. Forgive yourself or someone else for something – a gesture, a comment,something they/you didn’t do that you wish they/you had done, or some hurt in thepast.
A Gratitude Practice is a wonderful way to increase the energy flow in your heart chakra. Make a list of all the things that you are grateful for, even the difficult aspects of your life that have taught you lessons. Practice gratitude every day, at the beginning of the day, by counting your blessings, by naming the people you are grateful to have in your life, by noticing the weather and appreciating it in all conditions, remembering that the rain nurtures the earth, the snow adds moisture and protection, the storms clear the path. Be grateful for your health, your body, your mind, your emotions. Whatever our family past, we can be grateful for those who have gone before us – our teachers, our ancestors, and the spiritual masters.
A very interesting book (also on cd) that deals with opening the heart chakra through love, forgiveness, and gratitude is Zero Limits by Joe Vitale and Ihaleakala Hew Len. In this book, Joe Vitale teaches the basics of Ho’oponopono, an ancient Hawaiian system for raising vibration by clearing memories and beliefs that hold us back from living lives of abundance, wellness and peace. And here is a short article about research on its effectiveness: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/focus- forgiveness/201105/the-hawaiian-secret-forgiveness.
Joe Vitale says in Zero Limits, “I talk about the unusual therapist who helped heal an entire hospital ward of mentally ill criminals – without seeing any of them. I’ve since learned his method for healing, which involves “cleaning” yourself of all negativity in order to see change in others. It may seem strange, but when you take care of your own issues, they disappear in other people. The whole idea is to love the problems away. You do it by saying “I love you,” and a few other statements, nonstop. I’ve been doing it for two years now and my life is astonishing. I live in an almost moment-by-moment state of bliss.”
When you hear, “I love you; I’m sorry; Please forgive me; Thank you” – you’ll know they have been exposed to the Ho’oponopono teachings. Here is a free meditation based on Ho’oponopono to try: https://consciouslifenews.com/heal-heart- relationships-hooponopono/1166691/#
For a heart chakra meditation try the following, thanks to Yoga Basics. It is a simple technique to release sadness and fear and to bring compassion and love into your life.http://www.yogabasics.com/practice/heart-chakra-meditation/
Sit in a comfortable position, either cross-legged on the floor or in a chair. Sit up tall with the spine straight, the shoulders relaxed and the chest open. Inhale the palms together and lightly press the knuckles of the thumbs into the sternum at the level of your heart (you should feel a little notch where the knuckles magically fit). Breathe slowly, smoothly and deeply into the belly and into the chest. Soften your gaze or lightly close the eyes. Let go of any thoughts or distractions and let the mind focus on feeling the breath move in and out of your body. Once the mind feels quiet and still, bring your focus to the light pressure of the thumbs pressing against your chest and feeling the beating of the heart. Keep this focus for one to five minutes.
Next, gently release the hands and rub the palms together, making them very warm and energized. Place the right palm in the center of your chest and the left hand on top of the right. Close the eyes and feel the center of your chest warm and radiant, full of energy. See this energy as an emerald green light, radiating out from the center of your heart into the rest of your body. Feel this energy flowing out into the arms and hands, and flowing back into the heart. Stay with this visualization for one to five minutes.
After you feel completely soaked with heart chakra energy, gently release the palms and turn them outwards with the elbows bent, the shoulders relaxed and the chest open. Feel or visualize the green light love energy flowing out of your palms and into the world. You can direct it towards specific loved ones in your life or to all sentient beings.
To end your meditation, inhale the arms up towards the sky, connecting with the heavens, then exhale and lower the palms lightly to the floor, connecting with the earth. Take a moment or two before moving on with the rest of your day.
This meditation can be practiced every day and takes very little time.