Spiritual Explorers' Mystery School
A Brief Introduction to the Chakras
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Awakening Chakras
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There was a time when I thought that chakras were something from a primitive, prescientific physiology. I had seen pictures and diagrams in books on yoga locating the chakras, but I had dismissed them as little more than superstition. Then I read Dr. Brugh Joy's account of how he discovered that he could feel energy emanating from a body at certain points - points that could not be explained by Western medicine. These spots, he later learned, corresponded to the chakra points. I began to pay more attention to what I read about chakras.

I found that, like the explorers who first mapped the New World, those who wrote about chakras were not all in agreement. Some said there were six chakras, some seven, some eight. Even those who agreed on the number often disagreed on location and function. As I read more, a clearer picture developed. In addition I allowed my own inner wisdom to teach me about chakras. If we all have them, doesn't it make sense to let our own chakras teach us what we need to learn?

Chakras are subtle energy points. Some writers say that they are located along the spine, others say that they are not in the physical body at all but in one or more spiritual bodies, yet each chakra has an associated point on the surface of the body. The energy in each of these chakras serves to activate a different area of our lives. In most people only one or two chakras are functioning at anywhere near their proper capacity. Actually none of them function properly because, in ideal functioning, the chakras pass energy to each other up and down the spine. If one of the middle chakras is not functioning, it blocks the exchange of energy from flowing between those above and those below.

I'm now going to try to give you a simple way to experience chakras for yourself.

Third Eye

Touch the center of your forehead with one finger. Move your finger around until you find a spot that is more sensitive, more pleasant to touch. This is the third eye point.

The third eye is also called the sixth chakra. It is concerned with mental processes, both intuitive and intellectual. It is one chakra that tends to be active in all Westerners; but when the other chakras are closed, the intuitive side of the third eye is inhibited.

Breathe in slowly and deeply, visualizing the air going up into the third eye point. Of course, the air doesn't really go there, but when we breathe in this way, we send energy to the chakra and we feel that energy as breath.

Now, if you have sufficient privacy, take off your clothes. (If you're reading this in the public library, take notes and put off actually doing this exercise for a more opportune moment.)

Throat Chakra

Touch your finger to a point just below your Adam's apple. Again see if you can find a sensitive spot. Breathe into that spot. This is the point associated with the fifth, or throat, chakra.

The throat chakra relates to communication. When turned off, there will be difficulty in expression through speech and writing.

Heart Chakra

Using one finger, see if you can find a sensitive spot in the center of your chest. Breathe into that spot This is the point associated with the fourth, or heart, chakra.

This chakra is concerned with love in all its manifestations. When turned off, there is not only an inability to relate closely to others, but a great deal of self-hatred as well.

Power Chakra

Now see if you can find a chakra point just below or just above your navel.This is the third, or power, chakra point.

This chakra is concerned with relationships in society: issues of who has power over us? over whom do we have power? with whom do we share power? It also relates to intuition on a somatic level--what we speak of as gut feelings.

Sexual Chakra

All of the area around our sex organs feels sensitive, but try to find one especially sensitive point just above them (for the man, this is where the top of the penis meets the rest of the body). Breathe into this point. This is the second, or sexual, chakra point.

In Western males, the most common state for this chakra is to be shut off most of the time only to turn on at top speed while the individual is sexually aroused and then to be shut off again at ejaculation. A turned-on second chakra may be uncomfortable for the Westerner, who experiences the sensations as feeling horny. The individual cannot tolerate an active sexual chakra because his other chakras are closed and therefore prevent the energy from circulating. In addition to sex, the second chakra relates to all types of creation, which explains why most artists are at odds with Western sexual morals.

Root Chakra

The space between the sex organs and the anus is called the perineum. It is also very sensitive, but see if right in the center you find an especially sensitive point. Breathe into it. This is the first, or root, chakra point.

This chakra functions as a connection with the Earth Spirit, the entity that some call Gaia. When it is not functioning, we experience a sense of alienation from our environment.

Crown Chakra

Some writers say that the crown chakra is at the top of your head. Others say that the crown chakra is three inches above the top of your head, with a minor chakra at the top of your head. This may be a question of semantics, as those who say the crown chakra is at the top of your head, also say there's an eighth chakra above your head.

The crown chakra is our connection to the Divine. By itself it functions perfectly--but it may be totally cut off from the rest of our being. Only by having all the other chakras open and functioning will the crown chakra assume its proper role of bringing Divine wisdom into our lives.

In this discussion, I have presented a brief summary of the functioning of the chakras as I understand them. Each of the chakras have other functions and modes of operation that will become clear after working with them.