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Chakras: Consciousness Centers

Chakras, often thought to be spinning vortices of energy, are more than anyone can possibly perceive within one's lifetime. Literally translated as 'wheel' or 'circle', chakras are consciousness centers that are contained within pranamaya kosha, or the vital energy body.

Chakras are psychic energy centers that are illuminating/producing a specific rate of frequency or vibrancy. Each chakra is said to be reflective of our karmic experiences and our journey towards the True Self within.

According to Tantra, there are six main chakras that are directly connected with the higher unlimited centers of the brain. They run along the interior portion of the spinal column. They are:

1. Mooladhara: Root - 'Moola' means 'root' or 'foundation'. First chakra in spiritual evolution, where one goes beyond animal consciousness and starts to be a human being. It is said that from mooladhara chakra right down to the heels of both feet there are other lower chakras which are responsible for the development of the qualities of instinct and intellect. The root chakra is responsible for being the guide to higher consciousness.

Optimal Qualities: feeling safe, grounded-ness, flowing abundance, vitality, trusting, grounded.

2. Swadhistana: Sacral - 'Swa' means 'one's own' and 'adhistana' means 'dwelling place or residence'. This chakra is also involved in and responsible for the awakening of Spiritual Force or Spiritual Consciousness (kundalini shakti). It is regarded as the substratum or basis of individual human existence. Its counterpart in the brain is the unconscious mind and it is the storehouse of mental impressions or samskaras. It is said that all the karmas, previous experiences, the greater dimension of human personality are symbolized by this chakra due to its relationship with the unconscious mind.

Optimal Qualities: connected emotionally, joy, passion, creativity, sensuality balanced, belongingness.

3. Manipura: Solar Plexus - 'Mani' means 'jewel' and 'pura' means 'city'. Manicure is a very important consciousness center. It is the center of dynamism, energy, will power, and achievement and it is often compared to the dazzling heat and power of the sun, without which life on earth would not exist. This chakra radiates and distributes pranic energy throughout the entire human framework, regulating and energizing the various activities of organs, systems, and processes of life.

Optimal Qualities: confident, healthy ego, acknowledgement of Self & others, sense of purpose, Self-worth, independent, courageous.

4. Anahata: Heart - 'Anahata' means 'unstuck' or 'unbeaten'. This center is known as such because of its relationship with the heart, with throbs, beats or vibrates to a constant unbroken rhythm. It is said in many scriptures that there isa sound which is non-physical and non-empirical, which is transcendental in nature, and this sound is endless and unbroken in the same way that the heart beats faithfully and continuously from before birth up until death. It is in this chakra that Tantric scriptures explain that thoughts and desires of the individual are materialized and fulfilled; dependently or independently. Love always overcomes ego, and that is the consciousness associated with this magnificent chakra.

Optimal Qualities: ability to give and receive love freely, forgiveness, compassion, nonjudgemental, willingness to merge.

5. Visshudha: Throat - 'Shuddhi' means 'to purify' and in this chakra the purifying and harmonizing of all opposites takes place. It is also known as the 'nectar and poison center;. Here, the nectar which drips down from bind is said to be split into the our form and the poison. The poison is discarded and the pure nectar then nourishes the body, ensuring excellent health and longevity. This chakra represents a state of openness in which life is regarded as the provider of experiences that lead to greater understanding. This teaches one to move with the flow of life and allow things to happen. True discrimination and proper understanding dawn out of this equal acceptance of the dualities and polarities of life.

Optimal Qualities: ability to speak one's truth, trusting Divine will, able to accept nurturing, inspiration, freedom of expression.

6. Ajna: Third Eye - 'Agna' comes from the Sanskrit root which means 'to know, to obey or to follow.' Literally, ajna means 'command' or 'the monitoring center.' Ajna is the bridge which links the guru with the disciples. And it is here that the directions of the inner guru are heard in the deepest state of meditation, when all the sense modalities are withdrawn and one enters the state of shoonya, or void. In this completely static state, the light of the mind is extinguished; the consciousness ceases to function, and no ego awareness remains. This is called the 'eye of intuition' as it is the doorway through which one communes with the One.

Optimal Qualities: able to see 'beyond', awareness, intelligence/intuition, wisdom, insight, Knowing, expansive view.

TEACHING: Chakras are a part of a layer over the immortal Self, which is beyond consciousness, name, form. Chakras are varied frequencies within the pranic body, called pranamaya kosha. Although they offer tremendous insight into one's karmas and path of evolution, chakras are simply a road map to the Self, Atman, within. Meditating on their qualities, forms, colors, and sounds are aids in experiencing the Peace of Self within.


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