What's a Chakra?
Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel, or vortex, and it refers to each of the seven energy centers of which our consciousness, our energy system, is composed.
These chakras, or energy centers, function as pumps or valves, regulating the flow of energy through our energy system. The functioning of the chakras reflects decisions we make concerning how we choose to respond to conditions in our life. We open and close these valves when we decide what to think, and what to feel, and through which perceptual filter we choose to experience the world around us.
The chakras are not physical. They are aspects of consciousness in the same way that the auras are aspects of consciousness. The chakras are more dense than the auras, but not as dense as the physical body. They interact with the physical body through two major vehicles, the endocrine system and the nervous system. Each of the seven chakras is associated with one of the seven endocrine glands, and also with a group of nerves called a plexus. Thus, each chakra can be associated with particular parts of the body and particular functions within the body controlled by that plexus or that endocrine gland associated with that chakra.
All of your senses, all of your perceptions, all of your possible states of awareness, everything it is possible for you to experience, can be divided into seven categories. Each category can be associated with a particular chakra. Thus, the chakras represent not only particular parts of your physical body, but also particular parts of your consciousness.
When you feel tension in your consciousness, you feel it in the chakra associated with that part of your consciousness experiencing the stress, and in the parts of the physical body associated with that chakra. Where you feel the stress depends upon why you feel the stress. The tension in the chakra is detected by the nerves of the plexus associated with that chakra, and transmitted to the parts of the body controlled by that plexus. When the tension continues over a period of time, or to a particular level of intensity, the person creates a symptom on the physical level.
The symptom speaks a language that reflects the idea that we each create our reality, and the metaphoric significance of the symptom becomes apparent when the symptom is described from that point of view. Thus, rather than saying, "I can't see," the person would describe it as keeping themselves from seeing something. "I can't walk," means the person has been keeping themselves from walking away from a situation in which they are unhappy. And so on.
The symptom served to communicate to the person through their body what they had been doing to themselves in their consciousness. When the person changes something about their way of being, getting the message communicated by the symptom, the symptom has no further reason for being, and it can be released, according to whatever the person allows themselves to believe is possible.
We believe everything is possible.
We believe that anything can be healed. It's just a question of how to do it.
Understanding the chakras allows you to understand the relationship between your consciousness and your body, and to thus see your body as a map of your consciousness. It gives you a better understanding of yourself and those around you.
What else is there?
Also known as: Security Center, Muladhara
Location: The perineum, the point between the anus and the sex organs
Color : Red
Parts of the body: Lymph system, skeleton system (teeth and bones), the prostate gland in men, the sacral plexus, the bladder and elimination system, and the lower extremities (legs - feet, ankles , etc.). Also the nose, since it is the organ of the sense of smell, and associated with survival.
Endocrine gland: Adrenal glands
Consciousness: Security, survival, trust, the relationship with money, home, job. Ability to be grounded, to be present in the here and now. Ability to allow one's self to be nourished, in the sense of allowing one's Inner Being to be satisfied. This chakra also reflects a person's connection with their mother, and with Mother Earth. How the person feels about being on the earth. Connection with the physical body.
Symptoms or tensions in the parts of the body controlled by this chakra indicate tensions in the parts of the person's consciousness related to this chakra. Tension here is experienced as insecurity as a general perceptual filter. More tension is experienced as fear. More than that is experienced as terror, or a threat to survival.
Also known as: Sensation Center, Spleen Chakra, Hara, Svadhisthana
Body Mind Associations:
Location: The center of the abdomen
Parts of the body: Reproductive system, sexual organs, lumbar plexus
Endocrine gland: Gonads
Sense: Sense of taste, appetite
Consciousness: This chakra is associated with the parts of the consciousness concerned with food and sex. It is about the body's communication to the Being inside, about what the body wants and needs, and what it finds pleasurable. The person's ability to have children is also associated with this chakra. If there is not a clear relationship with the element of water, associated with this chakra, the person's relationship with water is a reflection of their relationship with the parts of their consciousness associated with this chakra, i.e. food, sex, or having children.
This chakra is also associated with the emotional body, and the person's willingness to feel their emotions.
Solar Plexus Chakra
Also known as: Power Center, Manipura
Body Mind Associations:
Location: Solar plexus
Parts of the Body: The parts of the body associated with this chakra include the muscular system, the skin as a system, the solar plexus, the large intestine, stomach, liver, and other organs and glands in the region of the solar plexus. Also the eyes, as the organs of sight, and the face, representing figuratively the face one shows the world.
Endocrine Gland: The pancreas
Consciousness: Parts of the consciousness associated with this chakra include perceptions concerned with power, control, freedom, the ease with which one is able to be themselves - ease of being. Mental activity and the mental body is also associated with this chakra. The solar plexus chakra is also associated with the level of being we call the personality, or ego.
The relationship a person has with fire, or the sun, can be seen to have its parallels in the persons relationship with the parts of their consciousness that this chakra represents. Someone sensitive about the sun, then, can be seen to have particular sensitivities about power, or control, or freedom.
Element: Fire, the sun.
Also known as: Living Love Center, Anahata
Body Mind Associations:
Location: Center of the chest
Color: Emerald Green
Parts of the body: This Chakra is associated with the heart and the blood circulatory system, and the cardiac plexus, as well as the lungs and the entire chest area.
Endocrine Gland: Thymus Gland, controlling the immune system.
Sense: Sense of touch, in its aspect of relating to the person inside the body, and distinct from the sensation of the Orange Chakra, which is more about the sensation one feels from their own body. Hugging, therefore, is a Heart Chakra activity. When one hugs, one is aware of what the person inside the other body feels, and they are aware of what you feel inside your body, and there is a sense of relating to the person inside the body. Sensitivity about being touched indicates heart chakra sensitivity.
Consciousness: Perceptions of love, relationships (relating) with people close to your heart, e.g. partner, siblings, parents, children. Difficulty with breathing, or with the lungs, the organs of air, indicates tension in the Heart Chakra. A person's relationship with air reflects their relationship with love.
AIDS is a problem with the person's perceptions of love, since it is the immune system which is affected. The person feels that their lifestyle separates them from those they love, often because of societal judgment.
Also known as: Cornucopia Center, Visuddha
Body Mind Associations:
Location: Base of the throat
Color: Sky blue
Parts of the body: This chakra controls the throat and the neck, and the arms and the hands. It is associated with the brachial or cervical plexus.
Sense: Sense of Hearing
Endocrine Gland: Thyroid Gland
Consciousness: The aspects of expressing and receiving. Expressing can be in the form of communicating what one wants and what one feels, or it can be an artistic expression, as an artist painting, a dancer dancing, a musician playing music, using a form for expressing and bringing to the outside what was within. Expressing is related to receiving, as in "Ask, and ye shall receive."
This chakra is associated with listening to one's intuition, which guides one in an optimal flow, in which one sees one's goals manifest, and it seems that the Universe provides all their needs with no effort on their part at all. It's a state of Grace. Abundance, therefore, is associated with this chakra, as is the aspect of unconditional receiving necessary to accept the abundance of the Universe.
This is the first level of consciousness in which one perceives directly another level of Intelligence, and experiences one's interaction with this other Intelligence.
Metaphysically, this chakra is related to creativity, creating, manifesting in the physical world the fulfillment of one's goals.
Element: Ether, as the crossover between the physical world and the world of Spirit. On the physical level, it corresponds to deep space as the most subtle physical element. From the point of view of the Spiritual, it represents the matrix on which physical reality manifests.
Metaphorically, it represents a person's relationship with their space, the movie that is playing around them.
Also known as: Consciousness Awareness Center, Third Eye, Ajna
Body Mind Associations:
Location: Center of the forehead
Color: Indigo, Midnight Blue
Parts of the body: This Chakra is associated with the forehead and temples, with the carotid plexus
Endocrine Gland: Pituitary Gland
Sense: Extra Sensory Perception, all of the inner senses corresponding to the outer senses, which together are considered spirit-to-spirit communication. These include, for example, clairvoyance (inner sense of vision), clairaudience (inner sense of hearing), clairsentience (inner sense of touch), etc.
Consciousness: This Chakra is associated with the deep inner level of Being we call the Spirit, and with what we consider spirituality and the spiritual perspective, the point of view from that deeper part of our being that western traditions consider the subconscious or unconscious. It is the place where our true motivations are found, and is the level of consciousness that directs our actions and, in fact, our lives.
It is also from this point of view that one sees events in the physical world as the manifestation of co-creation among the Beings involved in those events.
Element: Inner Sound, the sound one hears inside that does not depend upon events outside. Often considered a pathological condition by traditional medicine, it is also seen by eastern traditions as a necessary prerequisite to further spiritual growth.
Also known as: Cosmic Consciousness Center, "I AM" Center, Sahasrara
Body Mind Associations:
Location: Top of the head
Parts of the body: This Chakra is associated with the top of the head, the brain, and the entire nervous system
Endocrine Gland: Pineal Gland
Sense: Sense of empathy, unity, experiencing another person's experience as if you were inside them, being them.
Consciousness: The Crown Chakra represents that part of our consciousness concerned with perceptions of unity or separation. Just as the Root Chakra showed our connection with Mother Earth, this chakra shows our relationship with Our Father in Heaven. It represents our connection with our biological father, which becomes the model for our relationship with authority, and ultimately, with God. It's the level of the soul.
When one experiences a sense of separation from their father, they close the crown chakra, and experience a sense of isolation and aloneness, as if they are in a shell, and having difficulty with feeling contact with those around them. Thought processes tend to justify and maintain the sense of aloneness.
The view from this chakra includes seeing one's Self as the single consciousness creating all, and paradoxically, thus connected to all, like a dreamer dreaming a dream and realizing that all that is perceived is just an extension of their own consciousness.
Element: Inner Light, which is what one experiences when they are in the deepest part of their being, as a point of consciousness glowing with intelligence.
Also called White Light. Metaphysically, this is considered the most subtle element of which the entire physical universe is created.