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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.
The Seven Chakras
The following is a general summary of my current understanding of the physical locations and elements associated with each chakra. Over the years I have noticed some minor discrepancies between how different people "define" each chakra, (particularly the second and third chakras) but the differences have only been minor. Certainly the colors and locations of the chakras have always been consistent. The base chakra extends down and the crown chakra extends up...the chakras in between have vortexes both to the front of the body and to the back.
The first chakra is located at the base of the spine and is associated with red. It is the chakra that governs our physical existence, our bodies and our health.
The second chakra is located in the area of the womb (or thereabouts for men) and is associated with the color orange. This chakra governs creativity, and some say emotion. (I associate emotion with the heart chakra).
The third chakra is located at the solar plexus and is associated with the color gold (yellow). It is associated with the will or desire.
The fourth chakra (the middle chakra in the chain of seven) is the heart chakra and is associated with the color green, and also the color rose, which is the "color of love." This chakra is connected with emotion and human love.
The fifth chakra is located at the throat and is a bright blue. It governs communication and personal magnetism. It is the chakra that most influences intercommunication and our "personas." It is also the link between emotion and thought.
The sixth chakra is located at the third eye (mid-forehead) and is indigo (deep purply/blue). This chakra is associated with thought (though some say the third chakra governs thought) and with vision, particularly psychic vision. It is also the chakra of spiritual love and connection.
The seventh chakra is at the crown of the head, and is violet fading to white further away from the body. This chakra is our connection to our "higher selves" and to the "divine." It is associated with wisdom and integration of our eternal selves with our current physical selves. It is like our umbilical cord to "God."
When all the chakras are "whirling," open, bright and clean, then our chakra system is balanced. When a chakra becomes blocked, damaged, or muddied with residual energy, then our physical and emotional health can be affected. Often this occurs habitually as the result of negative or incomplete belief systems. The effects of our habits, feelings, beliefs, thoughts, fears and desires can be found in our chakras.
For example, if you eat poorly (alot of processed food, for instance) and don't exercise, chances are your root (red) chakra is going to become sluggish, darkened and dull. If you "close off" your emotions because they're painful or overwhelming, your heart chakra is likely to become tight and closed and block emotional energy. If you, on the other hand, are extremely centered in your intellect, you may have a bulging and bright third eye chakra but a disproportionately small heart chakra or root chakra or womb chakra. Or perhaps you're cerebrally focused on finding answers to deep questions about "reality." (as I was for a while). In the West we tend to value the upper chakras over the lower chakras. This probably has it's roots in our ancestors' religious aversion to the "flesh" and their focus on the rewards of "heaven."
The goal is a strong, clear, balanced energy system. The more open, clear and balanced the chakras, the more energy can flow through your system. This energy is essential for vitality, health, and continued growth on all levels.
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