Saturday, 27 August 2011

Chakras

In ‘Where I was last week’ (April) I touched on the subject of yogic chakras. Yoga, which has been around for at least five thousand years, is the practical part of Hinduism and encompasses all sorts of mental, emotional and spiritual exercises as well as the physical ones we in the West call ‘yoga’. Chakras (pronounced ‘shark-rerz’) are points on the body where life energy is taken in, processed and given out, much as our lungs do with air. ‘Chakra’ means wheel, and the chakras, if you can see them, look like cone-shaped vortices.
    There are seven main chakras and each feeds a different area of our experience as well as being related to different parts of the body, elements, colours, musical notes and so on. They also reflect our development, in that we learn about each area of experience in turn as we go through life.
    Knowing about the chakras has been enormously helpful to me over the years, both in dealing with ups and downs and in choosing what directions to take. With that in mind, I thought I might tell you some more about them.
    (You will find differing interpretations of the subject. What follows is my own.)


The seven main chakras or energy points on the human body.
The base (red) and crown (violet) chakras extend up and down.
The other five are positioned front and back, passing right through the body

Root or base chakra
Colour: red
Food: protein
At this level we are concerned with survival and the physical world. Violence and insecurity are two of its negative aspects.

Sacral or navel chakra
Colour: orange
Food: liquids
This is the social phase, when we learn about family and connection to others. When we get it wrong, we can become jealous or clinging, or take too much or give too much.

Solar plexus chakra
Colour: yellow
Food: starches, grains
Self-control and ideas are the main functions here. Addictions and excess, two downsides.

Heart chakra
Colour: green
Food: vegetables
Here we are learning about emotions. As Cheryl used to say, emotions should flow like water. Lack of harmony in ourselves and in our dealings with others results when emotions are blocked or allowed to dominate.

Throat chakra
Colour: blue
Food: fruit
At this level we are concerned with responsibility and organisation. The past and tradition now loom large. Bigotry and repression are the dangers.

Brow or third eye chakra
Colour: indigo
Food: air (breathing)
This energy fuels our intuition and is connected with clairvoyance and other psychic skills. At this level we also learn to reconcile apparent contradictions (eg science’s ideas about evolution versus the creation story from the Bible). The future is the focus here, and excessive inaction the temptation.

Crown chakra
Colour: violet
Food: fasting, light
Creativity, spirituality and selfless service are our crowning glories. Here we are concerned only with the present moment. When this energy is blocked we feel disconnected and depressed; when there is more than we can handle, we become manic. Interestingly, senility is another sign of problems in this area.

Eventually of course, as I’ve said before, we are able to function on all levels – if not in this lifetime, then another. The ‘colour model’ (as I call it) can be related to societies as well as individuals and, as I see it, British society is making an uncomfortable transition from ‘blue’ to ‘indigo’. In other words, we don’t need to panic as institutions break down and we become more individualistic and spontaneous – that’s as it should be!
    I don’t meditate as often as I used to because I now try to carry out my whole life in a meditative way, but when I did meditate I used to like to concentrate on the chakras and their colours – with some unexpected results. I’ve gone on more than enough here but in another post I could perhaps pass on some chakra meditations/visualisations.
    This is just a brief look at the chakras – I haven’t touched on their connections to different organs in the body and to physical symptoms for example. Nor do I want to appear too hung up on the subject. I’m not saying it’s all true. It’s just a tool, a metaphor. Do with it what you like.

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