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CHAKRAS of LIFE by Stevie Pittsley

Chakra 1 <> Seat of the Spirit  

Complete forms of spirituality accept that the body is not simply an empty vessel, but a seat from which the spirit grows. In Vedic texts, the body is interspersed by points of energy known as chakras. The first or root chakra, also known as the Muladhara, is the point of manifestation and is associated with a sense of stability and grounding, courage, loyalty, order, and self preservation. As the first chakra forms a foundation connecting us to life, so is it located at the base of the spine and it is the root and thus associated with the earth. Its primary color is red and its secondary color is black. Your first chakra is a center of balance, which can be an important factor in living energetically, with great awareness, and in prosperity. 

An imbalance or weakness in the root chakra can lead to feelings of fear of instability, abandonment, and insecurity, as well as a depletion of vital energy. Yet it also controls sensations of bliss, both physical and mental, and fuels the will to survive, to find safety, and to accumulate material wealth. Because of this, it is often associated with one's choice of profession. When, through various forms of meditation the root chakra begins to open and energize, there is often a sensation of heat in the abdomen or third eye area. You may experience heightened emotions or empathic sensitivity when stimulating the root chakra with the gemstones ruby, garnet, blood stone, or onyx, or the scents of cedar, cypress, patchouli, or frankincense. 

Ideally, the energy of your root chakra is a source of health, wealth, and security. It may seem that some of the root chakra's other elements, such as greed and anger, are negative, but all are fundamental to a balanced existence and part of spiritual development. When your first chakra is operating in harmony with your body's other energy centers, you will find yourself acting in the moderation of wisdom and with an eye toward reaching your higher goals.


Chakra 2  <> Seat of Life

When we have gained a deep understanding of the body and soul, there often follows a desire to reach out, to grow, and to change. In the Vedic texts, the second chakra, the energy center between the navel and genitals, is the seat of life and the house of change. It is a point where opposites come together in sympathy, guiding us toward a balanced existence. The choices that help us evolve are often a product of the second chakra, which, when charged with neither too little nor too much energy, rejects rigid control and embraces creativity. Associated with taste and sensuality, the second chakra or Svadhisthana (which means sweetness) can be visualized as a brilliant sunset orange. Like its element, water, the second chakra is ruled by the moon. 

A weakness or imbalance in the second chakra can lead to feelings of extreme empathy, which can cause you to be ruled by the emotions of others. To fail to focus on this chakra leads to the opposite: an utter lack of emotion and dwindling passions. A balanced second chakra embraces both sides of everything, giving you a healthy understanding of your emotions as well as those of others. Nurturing it through dance, laughter, and pleasurable movement will help you embrace your own sexuality, which is the main aspect of the chakra. Stimulation of the second chakra can be achieved through the use of orris root, gardenia, or damiana incense; practicing tantra yoga; or exposing the chakra to moonstone or coral. These methods of opening and energizing the chakra can be performed individually or in tandem for greater effect. 

The second chakra may appear a route to indulgence to some, because of its focus on the feelings of the body, but it is also the dwelling place of the self. A fully functioning second chakra, working in a balanced way with the body's other chakras, is a source of self-knowledge and understanding.


Chakra 3 <> Reservoir of Strength

When individuals experience difficult times, they often find that they possess a previously undiscovered reservoir of strength. In ancient Vedic texts, the third, or Manipura chakra (when healthy) is the seat of that strength, bolstering courage and determination in times of stress and uncertainty. This chakra radiates from the base of the sternum, governing our emotions, will, and ego. When balanced, it blesses one with a profound drive to succeed, authority, integrity, and self-respect. It is active, rather than passive, and helps in the achievement of tasks both great and small. The Manipura chakra may be visualized as a bright, cheerful yellow and is associated with the sunflower and amber. 

Because of its connection to the ego, when the third chakra is in a depleted state, it is common to experience feelings of inadequacy, doubt, and rejection; depression and lethargy; and intense worry. Too much energy focused in the area leads to the desire to exert inappropriate control over one's environment. A well-developed Manipura chakra empowers you to grow in positive ways and inspires you to act on your desires. It is possible to exert a balancing influence over the chakra by bringing fire into your life in the form of candles or hearth fires, wearing yellow clothing, and doing exercises that strengthen the muscles of the abdomen and teach you to breath deeply using the diaphragm. You can stimulate an under-active third chakra by burning cinnamon or carnation incense, using peppermint or lemon essential oils and Ginkgo biloba or milk thistle, and exposing the chakra to tiger-eye. The simplest and most potent method of opening and energizing the chakra is relaxing your emotional center. Laugh and cry more often, let yourself be more sensitive, and embrace your raw emotions.

Living with a repressed Manipura chakra is like existing automatically, without vitality. Its qualities can be the cause of overwork and excessive perfectionism, but this chakra is more often the seat of free will, goals, personal power, and decisiveness. When nurtured, it can lead you to new heights of spirituality and balance in all aspects of your life.


Chakra 4 <> Lotus of Life

The human body, according to ancient Vedic texts, is the seat of a network of cooperating energy fields also known as chakras. At the very center of these fields, unifying and filtering them, lies the heart chakra. This chakra is located over the chest and is often called the heart lotus because its influence radiates outward like the petals of a flower. 

The heart chakra is believed by many to be at the core of your emotional being. When balanced, it can be a source of love, confidence, creativity, and inspiration. Discord within the heart chakra can affect all your energy centers, because the fourth chakra is a gate between the upper and lower chakras. The heart chakra can be visualized as intersecting triangles that are smoky green. It is associated with holly and poppy flowers, malachite and emerald crystals, and the element of air. The heart chakra gives us the ability to love, trust, and feel deep compassion for others. A balanced heart opens the mind to the radiating warmth of the universe and makes profound relationships possible. But when imbalanced, those same qualities can become twisted, leading us to feel hate, fear, or jealousy. Blockages in the fourth chakra can manifest as immune system and heart maladies because of the chakra's association with the physical heart, the circulatory system, and the blood. 

There are numerous means of energizing and balancing this chakra. Try sitting up with your back straight, and breathe deeply to center yourself. Rapidly tap your heart center, located in the middle of your chest, with your fingertips. Gradually increase and then decrease the intensity of your tapping over a three minute period. Jasmine, lavender, and marjoram scents can exert a balancing effect over this chakra. You can also influence your heart chakra by loving yourself and learning to laugh freely. And while existing without the positive influence of the fourth chakra can leave you feeling disconnected, isolated, and filled with unexpressed emotions, too much heart chakra influence can lead to restlessness, dreaminess, and aimless wandering. The heart chakra is the point of new beginnings. Nurture it, and you will find that contentment will emerge from all aspects of your being.


Chakra 5 <> An Honest Voice

Firmly situated between our heads and our hearts, the throat chakra, also known as the Vishuddha chakra, acts as a bridge that helps us draw from our internal logic and emotions in order to sincerely and eloquently express ourselves. This is the fifth chakra, and it is the center from which self-expression combined with dynamic creativity can emerge. The throat chakra influences our ability to communicate and speak our truth. Listening, speaking, writing, chanting, and any form of expression related to sound and language fall within the realm of consciousness of the throat chakra. Ideally, this chakra must maintain connections with your inner self and with each of the other chakras to draw energy from both the mind and the body. The throat chakra can be visualized as a vibrating bowl of vibrant turquoise and is associated with the colors blue opal, lapis, and aquamarine. 

A balanced throat chakra can give us the ability to create what we want through our expression, synthesize old ideas into new thoughts, and interpret the resonance that is all around us. When the throat chakra is imbalanced or closed, our voice can become timid, hushed, scratchy, or dry. Our self-expression, truth, and ability to communicate can get stopped up in our bodies. These blockages can manifest into physical illness such as a sore throat, cold, stiffness in the neck, hearing problems, or even thyroid malfunctions. Conversely, when this chakra is too open, we can forget to listen, and we may be unable to effectively communicate with those around us. 

Chanting the syllable 'ee' can energize and balance this chakra because the vibrations inspire internal harmony. The aromatic fragrances benzion and frankincense can help open the throat chakra. The throat chakra represents the pureness of sound that is one consciousness reaching out to connect with another. When our throat chakra is balanced, we can express ourselves authentically and live from our truth. Embrace the energy of the throat chakra, and you can learn to let your voice be heard.


Chakra 6 <> Truth in Vision

Within each of us lies the capacity to be a finely tuned receptor for psychic signals and clairvoyant sight. The sixth chakra is the source of internal visions, telepathy, and intuition. Located at the level of the forehead, this chakra, known also as the third eye, or Anja, is the energy center from which we draw our dreams, memories, and visions. From the sixth chakra, we gain the ability to discern the truth and see the past, present, and future in detail. The blessings that come into our lives are often the result of the images we are able to perceive via the sixth chakra. In Sanskrit, Anja means both "to perceive" and "to command," because when this chakra is strong, visualization is the first step in manifesting your desires. 

Associated with the imagination and big picture thinking, the sixth chakra can be visualized as a deep indigo lotus with only two petals. Like its element, light, it is the source of all seeing. Weakness or imbalance of the Anja chakra can lead to oversensitivity, lack of discipline, and a strong fear of success. An overabundance of sixth chakra energy often results in spiritual arrogance, unhealthy pride, and an inability to see what is in front of oneself. A balanced third eye is open to guidance from all the other chakras. The visualization capacity of this chakra can be nurtured and honed by focusing on the body's other chakra centers and filling that body part with the appropriate color of light. Balancing your Anja chakra can have a positive effect on many vision and sinus ailments, headaches, and learning disabilities. 

It is possible to stimulate the sixth chakra directly by listening to energetic, dynamic music, playing drums, practicing hand mudras, or exposing the chakra to mugwort, lapis lazuli, sapphire, or quartz. Doing so can help you get in touch with your innate psychic abilities, access buried memories, and improve your intuitive senses. It can also give you an increased sense of confidence and power, because it is the third eye that makes your dreams yours to imagine and then create.


7th Chakra <> Crown Lotus

In ancient Vedic texts, it is the crown chakra that reaches its tendrils toward the infinite cosmos to help us become integrated with the greater field of consciousness that exists everywhere. This chakra, located at the crown of the head, is the energy vortex through which all thought, consciousness, and wisdom originate. Also known as the seventh chakra, the crown chakra is associated with the mind. All wisdom must pass through the crown chakra before it can be used to manifest blessings through the lower chakras. In Sanskrit, the crown chakra is called "Sahasrara," which means thousand-fold because it is represented by a lotus blossom with 1,000 petals. It is through this chakra's many petals that we receive inspiration, transcendent thoughts, and experience feelings of synchronicity and interconnectedness with the universe. 

The crown chakra can be visualized as a lotus flower that is an intense violet or gold in color. The crown chakra is associated with the diamond and amethyst gemstones. A weakness or imbalance in the crown chakra can lead to an undefined sense of frustration, migraine headaches, feelings of abandonment, difficulty making decisions, and a deep lack of joy. However, a balanced seventh chakra is the key to unlocking the secrets of the mind, experiencing unconditional trust in the self and the universe, and living in the present moment. This chakra is also a wonderfully potent source of protection. It allows us to access only the information that we are physically and emotionally capable of receiving at the time. When the crown chakra is entirely unblocked, no thought or feeling is unavailable to us. 

To cleanse the seventh chakra, light myrrh incense and meditate while firmly grasping an amethyst in your hand. If you wish to open your crown chakra, visualize a beautiful lotus flower slowly blossoming. There are no limits to the wisdom the seventh chakra can bring into your life. By nurturing it and ensuring that your crown chakra stays balanced, your mind can open to the vast consciousness of the universe.

Copyright (c) 2007 - Stevie Pittsley

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