Chakra and Energy Body Healing: Modalities for Conscious Practice on Yourself and Others
Introduction: Energy Healing is a Spiritual Discipline
The following will not be a summary of the voluminous extant literature available about chakras and energy healing, nor will it be a parroting of such. The "external or objectified knowledge" approach to chakras and energy is more than limited, but rather it is dysfunctional, because it is simply an abstraction, i.e., the symbolic representation should not be confused with the Reality. In other words the functional knowledge to be applied effectively "inside" has to be "self" knowledge -- it has to come from a subjective experience or Gnosis. The words, diagrams, sounds, and pictures that anyone can memorize are at best approximate manmade representations, not the real thing, We nonetheless can (and do) "feel" and move our energy without the necessity of manmade graphs, objectification, or the artificial conditions of language and words. At best diagrams are maps that can point in the direction, help focus our energy, and or make suggestions, but we must avoid imposing a template upon organic reality that will limit our actual experience. True knowledge comes from within.
First there was one -- the Source of All -- The Creator Seed. In stillness it rested. Then there was two. From the two the many formed.
True understanding of this process in continuity -- with integrity -- defeats the disease of ego and arrogance. Without this direct experience we are stabbing in the dark. Hence ancient healing sciences were wholistic -- they took into consideration the origin of life and creation in order to understand self, the life energy, the nature of existence and in order to heal disease.
Physics tells us that nothing can move without voltage - a vector or energetic force AND direction (intelligence). This polar energy is often "represented", symbolized, or characterized by yin and yang, shakti and shiva, ida and pingala, left and right, earth and sky, front and back, nature and spirit, being and consciousness, right brain/left brain, subjectivity/objectivity, respectively. This "relationship" and its myriad energetic circuits upholds life and potentiates creativity when it is in harmony and synchrony, but when it is corrupted, fragmented, blocked, obfuscated, and distorted disease patterns arise and impact negatively upon the energy body organization, mental organization, and the physical organism as well. This study of the movement of the energy and how the energy vibrates in gross and subtle forms, how it flows, pulsates, and resonates in the human body, how it is harmonized and organized intelligently on one hand; and on the the other how it is corrupted and creates disease, inhibition, fragmentation, and dysfunction is the subject of indigenous wholistic sciences of healing which mostly have become forgotten in the West, but which have survived in the East in forms of yoga, tantra, Taoism, chi gong, acupuncture, and so forth.
When this energy direction (intelligence) is out of harmony with Source and Manifestation, spirit and nature, head and root, crown and earth, then it is also corruptive to the physical body. Creative energy is inhibited and misdirected into destructive and pathological behavior while specific tensions, conflicts, and stress (called dis-ease) can be discerned and articulated. The life supporting intelligent energy is innate in all of creation (shakti). Very importantly that means it is inside of all of us (dormant, suppressed, and dissociated as it may be). So as we study energy healing if it is to be honest and effective, we must also be willing to take on the authentic spiritual journey to know our "self' and look inside. In other words if one is not ready to look inside, then no true knowledge or functionality in this realm can be achieved.
Thus the direction of healing for most of us is to invite this innate intelligent energy to take its rightful place in our life, but in order for this self healing to occur usually the conditioned "mind" or left brain reinforced belief systems has to move out of the way to allow for this. Thus the direction of healing (in time and space) is for most of us an indigenous movement from the inside out and earth chakra upward versus one imposed by logic (top down) or from outside authorities (outside to inside). The basic impediment that must be over come is our incessant imposition of the veil of ignorance upon the profound and sacred organic interaction of creator/creation. This veil of sorrow is reinforced by core beliefs, habits, past imprints, past trauma, negative conditioning, false assumptions, bias, prejudice, fear, and all the rest of what are called in classic yogic terminology: kleshas, samskara, vasana, vrtti, or avidya. Regardless of the language or terminology in which to peer into the nature of disease, we will see the same underlying common currents.
The beginner can thus be easily seduced by the plethora of various terminology, charts, external authoritative systems, and techniques that deal with the subject, and they often make the mistake to attempt to memorize, conform to, and parrot them. But my warning is that healing lies in the opposite direction, i.e., connecting up with one's own intelligent energy body. I hope the following will give some encouragement to this "exploration of the "real thing".
Energetic Exploration into the Territory: Being Open and Vulnerable
Instead of attempting to memorize the locations, colors, functions, or other aspects of what is called the chakra system it is necessary to first experience them as they exist in our own energy body by realizing the innate relationship between energy and matter, between body and mind, between emotions and physical dynamics, between our energy patterns and physiological processes.
Given the basic principle is that nothing can move without voltage, vector, or polarity, it is essential for us to establish a working feeling/sensitivity for this dynamic in our daily life. This causal force manifested as energy (shakti) and its manifold patterns determines what the shape of the our future health (or disease will become). On a gross level the well known movements inside the body can be discerned as arterial pulse, organ motion, craniosacral pulse, cell mitosis, lymphatic flow, peristalsis, nerve firings, but science have already differentiated thousands more already. Indeed these micro-movements are myriad and when working as a community (an inner ecology) in order to support the organism, health is the natural result.
The mind and body are always moving inside and this movement forms the basis of the future state of health or disease. What we think and feel influences this energy and the body just as much as what we do to our body systems influences the nervous system and mind. As we become more aware of this dynamic energetic relationship, the better we will be able to deepen our ability to positively influence it and direct its development. The problem has been that most of us have not been trained to look within -- to be sensitive to how we feel and to what we can access inside, but rather our training has been to ignore (as in in ignorance) the reality inside (intuition, instinct, inner wisdom, psychology, and feelings), while overly giving credence external gross and lower vibrating forms of "matter" as being the only thing that is real That is the mistake core belief of gross materialism -- and thus the modern age has to overcome the many negative influences and habits built up around that false assumption, bias, and prejudice.
Conversely successful energy healing work will depend upon our ability to be aware and sensitive to the inner dynamic operations of this energy. It is the very reclaiming of a primary schism, a dissociation from our body, a numbing out of the dynamic interdependence between our inner and outer ecological energy vortex. This awareness/sensitivity can be reclaimed through many modalities. The most classic are classic Chinese medicine (Qi Gong, Tai Chi, acupuncture), yoga, pranayama, swara yoga, meditation, laya yoga, visualization, tantra yoga, and so forth. Energetic dance, movement therapy, art therapy, continuum, somatics, body psychotherapy, and other energetic forms of body work (such as polarity massage, craniosacral, visceral massage, Jin Shin Do, Huna, Reiki, various schools of shamanism, and similar also work with the energy directly and are a way to so become attuned and aware.
First there was the One -- The Source Seed. Then there was Two -- then the many in diverse song and dancing ways became.
Work from Your Energy Body
When I go into my own "back body", energy body, rainbow body, and/or chakra system not only do I understand myself better as I really am, but then I am much better able to understand what is going on with other people energy wise. This non-verbally based and non-left brain dependent "ability" is enhanced through daily meditation, pranayama, visualization, bandha, mudra, and asana practice. It comes from an inner sensitivity and awareness, instead of developing it further consciously (I am certified in craniosacral 1 and 2, Reiki 1 & 2, and have studied anatomy, physiology, Huna, acupuncture, shamanism, polarity, pranic healing, Jin Shin Do, pranayama, chi gong, tai chi, visualization, dance, somatics, music, body psychotherapy, yoga, and other related energy system modalities. Although all these approaches have served to awaken within me a heightened sensitivity and openness to the possibilities, they can also have their own built-in limitations/bias. In this context then it is preferred to let the underlying intelligence which awaits us underneath the energy, then stream unimpeded through the nervous system, organs, cells, and limbs organically and spontaneously without limiting/inhibiting it through prejudicial viewpoints or limited assumptions. For this to occur we must learn how to surrender to it -- to know it and trust it.-- this involves awakening and reclaiming our innate wisdom, instinct intuition and inner direction which in turn gives us a feeling of self confidence, wellness, and empowerment which obviates any need for external validation of self worth, meaning, acceptance, or self esteem.
So the first rule is to drop in to the body (the house of living spirit and the energy body) -- to make contact by staying grounded -- bringing spirit in. It is to establish this natural flow between crown and root -- spirit and nature and let that awesome evolutionary energy of creator/creation animate and instruct us. The flow is up from the earth to the sky and down from the sky to the earth through the living channel/embodiment first drawing a locus of connection between the earth chakra at the perineum or feet with the crown chakra and then moving into it as a felt line of energy. In other words we first have to work on ourselves and maintain this connection in order to work effectively. Some schools call this phase "grounding" or being grounded. You can call it finding your center, core energy, being centered, or activating and abiding in "flow".
In this way we receive an energy treatment/healing at the same time as we give it -- as a communion and meditation, and thus we do not fall into the trap of identifying as the creator of the process (see chapter III on the Yoga Sutras for why) but rather just a participant/vehicle in a greater transpersonal process. Nor is helpful to identify with any such self limiting dualistic conception of being a giver while the client is the receiver, but simply as an open channel or vehicle for the life sustaining evolutionary and creative healing dynamics while acting as an ambassador of eternal love -- of the innate harmonious and balancing relationship of shiva/shakti, yang/yin (tai chi), father sky/mother earth, etc. Thus the healing session is an opportunity for both to listen, learn, be open, and experience the healing evolution energy together.
Although taking a class in energy healing, yoga, shamanic healing, body/mind healing, chi gong, pranic healing or similar courses from time to time can stimulate our own innate creative process, open us up to broader horizons, increase our sensitivity, and empower us, that kind of activity also has the seductive potential to distract our attention from the innate healing power and intelligence if not placed inside of a transpersonal indigenous/endogenous perspective.
Although there exist "healers" who claim good results through very precise and "tight" structural approaches, my approach has been that everyone will benefit more when the session is viewed with an open mind -- as an exploration -- as an opportunity for being more deeply present -- as a mysterious adventure, spiritual communion, a shamanistic journey, and/or a meditation traveling far beyond the manmade human world of conventional knowing and thinking. Both doing and listening at the same time balances the ida and pingala, the efferent and afferent, the central and autonomic nervous systems, left and right, front and back, up and down, down and up -- all and none of these flat plane linear modes but when balance and harmony is reached a profound non-dual synchronicity is realized that defies left brain logic as well as any concept of linear time. Since the knowledge does not come from the outside, but from within, any teacher/healer who emphasizes that truth is an authentic teacher/guide.
What I want to emphasize is that everyone has this ability (it is innate to us) and we should not hesitate nor be afraid to touch and play, but rather open ourselves up to the vast healing potential that we all have (mostly laying dormant). As a healer or in a healing session (all life should be approached as such) we have the opportunity to charge our body/mind as a vehicle of love energy.
There exist numerous further techniques to invite the energy connections to be made and increase its intelligent presence besides keeping the basic non-dual energy flowing in the central channel (sushumna) through visualization and energetic alignment. Here we can use the breath and prana to increase the charge (from the infinite Source), let it flow through us and at no personal expense to ourselves, become increasingly accustomed to spontaneous flow, streaming of energy, while allowing it to arc over without holding the breath. Here we have invited the healing energy in - evoked it by taking the initiative to create an environment (external framework) of which to more deeply connect and commune. During the treatment we continuously stay intimately connected and commune ever more deeply with this dynamic and intelligent process utilizing witness consciousness, not as "hard" work, but rather as a joyful opportunity that you are giving to yourself as well -- a creative, rewarding, fulfilling, effulgent, and joyful labor of love.
Energy Body Anatomy
The idea that Angela Farmer calls the back body (bringing our awareness back toward the spine in witness consciousness) is the same awareness of what is called the light body, energy body, rainbow body, etc. in other systems. The activation of the energy body occurs as a powerful redirection/remediation of energy and consciousness which is "ordinarily" misdirected into a dualistic world of appearances where there exists an "apparent" (false) misidentification between externally observed objects (by the five senses) as being separate and distinct from our concept or experience of "self". Although the flow of energy (prana) in the light body is always present in ordinary dualistic consciousness the flow is greatly obstructed, blocked, and diminished being overridden by the an unbalanced and out of synch flow of energy in the polar (left and right) psychic nerves (the ida and pingala respectively). However when harmony and balance is attained there occurs a synchrony not only in the left and right hemispheres corresponding to the right and left sides of the body or the pingala and ida nadis (psychic nerves) respectively. This is not a conceptual or intellectual realization but we return once again to an energetic dynamic where we feel and experience our center, core energy, as a feeling of synergistic harmony, well being, and wholeness having linked mind and body without conflict, consciousness and being, spirit and nature, sky energy and earth energy within our own existence as a vital and evolutionary part of creation being linked therein all the way back to the beginningless creator as well as into the future. When we get this evolutionary energy "balanced" correctly, the energy literally raises us up off our feet -- it supports and embraces us in a direct way (as such it is called the kundalini). Here there exist many dimensions and all dimensionless space -- ecological circuits within ecological circuits, vortexes within vortexes -- holographic realms where the inner and outer (microcosm and macrocosm) are no longer seen as separate, disparate, nor dual -- but linked together in a profound circle.
Ultimately therefore this linking is mystical/mysterious in the sense of not being capable of reached with left brain logic (the conceptual and academic/analytical process). Rather its realization actually depends upon letting go of these self imposed limitations conceptual dualistic beliefs. In this sense then the amplification of the right brain modality can be the functional doorway (for those who are left brain over dominant and imbalanced). Yet once we become balanced in this way, the synergistic symmetry created in sushumna (the central column in yoga where non-dual energy flows) flow is neither right nor left, top or bottom, front or back, but rather profoundly central (non-straight plane).
Thus some sort of body/mind right brain amplification practice is most valuable to any practitioner in order to first to be able to access this state within ourselves (only then can we share it) whether we move in asana, daily life, sit in meditation, perform sacred dance, healing song, music, or other similar right brain amplification practices. As long as this brings balance (we are assuming that the right brain has previously become abandoned, repressed, or dissociated) this method becomes a doorway into a realm of balance -- centering ourselves in awareness of the energy body, subtle body, light body, rainbow body or vajra body no matter how slight our awareness may be at first.
As our self awareness deepens the energy flow deepens at the same time as this state of deep interconnectedness becomes established and with this synchrony an overall amplification (of the functionality of both the right and left brain hemispheres) is catalyzed so that awareness becomes even more easy (moving from extremely subtle to prevalent). Here the healing ability/wisdom occurs spontaneously arising by itself from inside out independent of the accumulation of external facts, knowledge, adherence to belief systems, doctrine, vrttis, pramanas, hierarchical status, certifications, licensure, degrees, or other entirely artificial systems and approaches.
Classical hatha yoga is rich in techniques which bring our attention inside, focusing on the psychic anatomy and energy body practices/techniques that are precisely designed to purify, activate and balance our left and right (ida and pingala) and front and back energy flows and then gently guide/direct this energy to flow in the central column (sushumna). Laya, tantric, swara, and kundalini yoga also deal with the integration and manipulation of the energies (sometimes all the practices are combined).
Thus an authentic indigenous approach to yoga provides a sensate and accessible framework or context where we can thus analyze, center, activate, and heal ourselves and everyone else (clients, students, friends, acquaintances, etc.) in kinesthetic and energetic terms relating to energy patterns, energetic qualities, energy obstructions, and in terms of energy balance as to where the energy may be imbalanced, blocked, dammed up (congested), stagnant, static, weak (depleted), distorted, (or any other qualitative characteristic such as color, shape, density, temperature, hue, coarseness, strident, and similar) and then devise methods to re-establish synchronistic balance and energy flow. Again this ability is made possible first by ourselves entering into this operative dimension of awareness and experience. For it to reach its fullest potential we must also learn to honor it and keep it active and flowing during everyday life circumstances.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Specific methods of healing are unlimited as they are subtle and intricate. The dear reader should know that the following is only a coarse and rough outline of energy diagnosis and healing techniques. Left and right, front and back, top and bottom are easy ways to structure the diagnostic healing "search", and it can be done through visual examination, palpation, making passes with the hands to feel the qualities and densities of the energy, and/or analysis of the air flow through the nostrils. The front, bottom, and left sides of the body (along with the right brain crossing over at the third eye) is associated with the ida or chandra nadis while the back, top, and right side of the body (along with the left brain again crossing over at the third eye) is associated with the pingala or surya nadis.
For example if someone is overly contracted or collapsed forward being bent over to the front we may surmise that the surya nadi (pingala) is over active or the chandra nadis or ida is depleted or under active, because the pingala nadis (male energy not only is associated with the right side of the body and left brain (male) but also the back energy (rising up the back), while the ida is associated with the left side of the body, the right brain (crossing over at the third eye) and the energy running up the front of the body (female). In this as a simple experiment we might suggest the emphasis of backbends as a simple remedial measure. Most "illnesses" can be analyzed by simply analyzing the energy patterns, blockages, stagnations, depletion, flow, or their lack of flow and then treated to reestablish homeostasis.
Often a collapsed body which appears overly passive, yin, soft, yielding, hyper-parasympathetic tone, heightened afferent nervous function, ida dominant, over active afferent nerves, or right brain dominant function associated with the female will appear to be the opposite of a body which is stiff, rigid, armored, overly contracted, hard, yang, or other wise associated with hyper-sympathetic tone, over active efferent nerves, pingala, or male associated functions. These are two extreme energetic ways of viewing the possibilities, but we will suggest that even what appears as a collapse is often do to an energy dam, a contraction and folding inward as protection around an old pain, trauma, unresolved conflict inhibition, weakness, feeling of vulnerability, fear, grief, etc. with the obvious exception of situations that are drug induced or the result of over stretched ligaments.
The many possible situations will speak to us very clearly and our own activated energy body will go directly to the balanced (correct) mode of intervention. In other situations the causal obstruction may mirror a similar obstruction that is imbedded or brings up a resonant blockage in our own mental/emotional (manomaya kosha) , energy (pranamaya kosha), or belief system (jnanamaya kosha) bodies so that we may either be forced to do healing on ourselves or otherwise be stumped.
Similarly we may find often the energetic problem is a symptom reflecting past conditioning, a stubbornly held core belief system, armoring and contraction around a past trauma, an imbedded fear, guilt, past negative karma or habits -- animosity, anger, grudges, greed, compensatory desires, complexes glued together in anger, and many other similar energetic propensities that have components other than the "simply" the physical. All these wholistic relationships and more can be accessed and positively influenced through "energy work", but the therapist must embrace the wholistic framework wherein there is no isolation/separation between the body/mind, belief systems, life styles, thoughts, and emotions from that of the physical symptoms. Here the therapist must be firmly grounded, centered, and balanced in their own core/heart energy and thus able to accept the patients pain, fear, and other such elements of disease without themselves being disturbed or negatively influenced -- in order for the therapist to be fully present and effective and creatively and joyfully work responsibly.
Classically; the chakras can exist in :
In other words disease may manifest in energy terms as an imbalance, a depletion, or a congestion while "treatment" is always aimed at re-balancing and removing stasis to the "natural and healthy" flow of energy which includes purifying/opening the congested channels and/or centers. Here we can cool the hot and over active (overly rajasic) and heat the overly cold and sluggish (tamasic) if we chose to use the Ayurvedic breakdown of the three gunas which are composed of rajas (hot and stimulating), satva (balanced and pure), and tamas (slow and cool). There of course exist equal richness in the Chinese energetic system (yin/yang, cool/hot, wet/dry, etc.). Such approaches include techniques of energizing/stimulating on one hand or soothing/calming/cooling on the other while re-establishing balance and harmony -- re-activating the innate dormant evolutionary/creative circuitry.
Most schools emphasize first purification of the area, then removal of congestion (sweeping) and lastly then energizing or balancing the area. Indeed this will avoid some untoward effects if one were start first energizing without clearing the obstructions to the flow, but in some cases where the energy is already critically depleted and the patient is very weak and cold, energization at first may be best.
The overall description of our approach can be simplified even further by stating that the process can be reduced to the idea of purification of the channels and pathways because purification will at the same time remove obstruction of flow in the area where it is blocked (thus facilitating removal of congestion) and at the same time the energy is now able to flow to energize the areas that may have been depleted (due to the blockage/obstruction). A careful reading will show that purification not only relieves congestion and restores depletion, but also restores balance and homeostasis simply because the energy is now flowing unobstructed being self regulated by the natural intelligence inherent in the healthy organism. This is not unlike some shamanistic techniques which use a form of drawing out of an evil spirit or exorcism in order to effect the overall "cure".
1) It is essential first to take on the responsibility of understanding and healing ourselves and then we are able to heal others, i.e., to surrender to the innate and indigenous healing powers and intelligence within). Many times this can happen simultaneously, but it must always include taking care of your own energy system and never approaching pranic healing as a sacrifice, barter, or transfer of your personal energy (but rather it is always more valuable to stay in tune always with the transpersonal universal life energy acting from this central intelligent core as much as possible). One must realize that this is the same evolutionary energy that is inside of all of life and creation (it is not an exclusive or personal endogenous ability, but rather transpersonal as a result of millions of years of co-creative/co-evolutionary interdependent dynamic inter-relationships).
2) It helps to ask for help from some "outside" force that you have a balancing affinity with such as a specific helper from the angel, deva, plant or animal spirit world, archetypal world of gods and goddesses, the universe (such as the sun or stars, nature/creation/creator in general, or at the very least your highest self). Be sure to thank these helpers (usually silently) at the end and ascribe any "miracles" to them (rather than the lower self or ego). This will save us trouble falling back into duality and increase our abilities to align with infinite power and wisdom in the long run. We are all in this together even though our present culture or peers will not acknowledge that "fact".
There exist many techniques in psychic healing that are similar while many practitioners are interdisciplinary and eclectic incorporating more than one of these techniques. Given the two basic techniques above, the following specific techniques may or not be suitable for everyone.
3) Next we can concentrate our awareness on our own back body (light body) grounding the tailbone deep into the earth and at the same time extending the line of energy through the crown to the highest point (brahmabindu at the brahmarandhra) connecting up with the formless Seed/Source above and the Abundant Mother below. Intend that love be embodied and healing be done now. Wash out the hands and cleanse your own system. Activate internal flow especially through (in and out) from the feet and hands. Focusing upon your own light body, sensitize and charge your hands. Get in touch with the feet, chakras, belly, and breath in relationship with the back body. Go deep inside for this conscious connection. In this regard even the slightest amount of bodhicitta helps tremendously in transforming any possible negative conditions.
4) Scan the person's aura asking questions with your hand not mouth) such as is this hot or cold, thick or thin, red or blue, clockwise or counterclockwise, congested and full versus depleted and desirous of energy, and so forth maintaining an inner dialogue of asking questions and allowing for answers. One method is to use the finger tips of one hand to receive prana and the center of the opposite palm to send it, but both can be used. The fingers can also be allowed to perform delicate actions and in Huna each finger is assigned a corresponding element quality. The hand can also sense vortexes and synchronize and re-tune the existing vortexes. Approach these subtle possibilities with loving attention and let the intelligence of the client guide you. As mentioned cleansing alone is often sufficient to allow for healing to occur because it opens flow from congested areas so that it can energize depleted areas and reestablish balance, but if you are good at concentration, very specific operations may be attempted with the finger tips as long as you have a good diagnosis and a clear idea of what you are doing. For many this diagnosis stage can seem like an artificial imposition, an unnecessary limitation, get in the way, or slow things down so that they combine this step (four) with step five (below) as one process/movement.
5) After the energy diagnosis we can purify and open the systems that felt clogged and obstructed, energize the areas from the source of prana (use the sun if need be), and soothe, calm, and sweep out and clear any areas that still feel congested. Perform any specific operations or visualizations that you desire after entering more deeply. There exist an unlimited amount of possibilities here. For instance in some systems the hands are placed on two chakras of choice simultaneously. For example one hand may be placed over or on the sacrum (at the muladhara chakra) and the other hand over or on the back of the occiput (talu chakra) as in craniosacral and polarity therapy). In a similar approach the hands are placed over a chosen center/chakra (one hand in front of that center and the other hand in the back of the same center) simultaneously. For example in many Reiki moves and craniosacral therapies. In some forms of Jin Shin Do, fingers touch two or more acupuncture points simultaneously transferring, balancing, and harmonizing psychic energy flows. In another system the hands never really touch the physical body, etc. The point here is that after the awareness of the energy vibrations and pulses are attuned to through opening the nadis (energy channels/pathways) within ourselves then we are able to consciously direct the energy through intention. Cit means conscious awareness and prana means energy. Here we work with the cit-prana by becoming aware of the connection within of the energy as well as the energy of consciousness itself. Even without knowing the exact pathways consciously, just the subtle awareness and the intention are sufficient to allow the energy to move because the prana as the life force has an innate intelligence. After awhile we can apply the cit-prana at will, focusing on any area, both in ourselves and others. As our own eyes open, we open to the possibilities in the world and in others.
Many more detailed variations are possible and if so called to, many include working with the elements (water, air, fire, earth, and akasha (ether), the elementals (intelligent dynamic relationships and guardians formed around various natural phenomena), plants, totems, nature spirits, subtle form bodies, spirits, and the Great Spirit. Connecting up energy centers, balancing and harmonizing the previously restricted body/mind energy flows, opening up blockages, calming and cooling irritated or over loaded areas, stimulating previously strangulated and dormant centers, reprogramming negative emotional and mental habits, and similar approaches requires sensitivity -- a requisite degree of waking up -- of being open.
Humans have not perfected "healing" as a perfect science, but one can become more efficacious by matching the most efficacious modality to the right person. This then depends on the previous sections being developed by learning how to be present with "the other" and to listen openly and completely without judgment (listen and look from one's inner sense of knowing or innate intelligence), to have the courage and compassion to be with that person's pain and suffering. This requires the "healer" to be centered, aligned, stabilized, and grounded in their own core energy being -- it requires the self confidence, courage, inspiration, consciousness, compassion, and self empowerment that such integrated groundedness affords. This comes with openness, receptivity, loving intent, and practice. Healing, loving intent, and spirit leads.
6) Ending the session, make sure you exit slowly and intend that all things be placed where they belong. End up with stabilizing and grounding techniques while compacting the client's energy body (containing their energy within an aura of love and healing) while slowly withdrawing your "touch" and energy with a healing prayer for the benefit off all beings. Here we can seal the energy body, but always with the clear conscious intent to allow the good, healing, natural, and loving energies to be able to enter and the noxious elements to leave (being recycled back by mother nature). For example carbon dioxide, human waste, pus, etc are food for the plants, bacteria, worms, etc. In turn animal and plant "waste" provide the basis for human food, energy,and air.
For example in Huna specifically, we are taught how to leave a drain for any noxious contamination to complete its removal over time, and/or how to empower temporary elemental allies to provide healing assistance for specific time periods when those elements can form a synergistic relationship. Man is ally to nature in his evolved modality. As such man is here to act as allies in healing and evolution with all of nature, just as nature is here to assist man. This natural healing relationship in the modern world has been mostly forgotten, but nonetheless this tragedy of dismemberment can be invoked -- a host of allies are available should our heart allow.
It is a good idea to generate the bodhicitta (the aspiration for the complete enlightenment and end of confusion and suffering) at the crown chakra after withdrawing and let the client clearly know that you are finished with the session (verbally or symbolically), checking in with them that they are OK, and that they may take their time getting up. Finishing may vary considerably. One commonly effective method is to leave with the right hand on the client's third eye and the other hand on their heart or navel center checking in with them as to consciousness awareness (at the third eye) and joining that awareness to their heart or energy center (at the navel or heart) with a full body smile. Words are not always helpful or necessary. Check to ground yourself with mother earth and connect with father sky and again intend that this evolutionary and creative intelligent transpersonal loving energy that has created all of us become active and dominant in providing direction in our lives. Place confidence in this eternal omnipresent love, affirm, and surrender into it with infinite humility, gratitude, and joy in completion.
During a session there is a wealth of power and innate intelligence to draw from if only we are able to be present. Some healing approaches may include entering into verbal dialogue with the client while working; asking them what they want to accomplish; ask how they feel here or there, ask them to ascribe representative symbols to the feelings of disease or pain; have them recount a past experience that appears to be energetically related and provoke the catharsis of any associated emotions, feelings, and thoughts; ask them to participate in the process by breathing in a golden light into specific areas, and or moving energy in a specific region. A valuable skill is to always work in the present, knowing absolutely that it is the healer's ability to stay present that brings forth the insight and healing energy, that allows the healer to be effective, and as such the healing is always mutual and transpersonal. In this way the transpersonal healing infinite Source of the healing energy is invoked and amplified.
Healer: Heal Thyself
A basic rule that "healers" often need to be reminded of is that there is an infinite amount of energy in the universe and that a yogic healer should NOT be transferring personal prana from self to the client, but rather is simply acting as an inter-mediator or transpersonal facilitator allowing the conscious source of the healers own life intelligence to communicate directly with the other person's conscious intelligent life energy and then after establishing contact allow the Source to facilitate change. In this way on a physical level we are asking the client's dna and intelligent energy patterns to communicate to the healer (agency) what the nature of the difficulty is and then have the healer communicate with Infinite Mind facilitating the necessary transfer of information and implementation through the physical structure of the hands.
If you are doing healing on others an important principle to implement is to not only ask permission, but inquire and evoke from the client the enthusiastic desire or intent to make a healing change in their own body/mind (whatever it takes) in order for healing to take place. Because without this receptive positive state as an energetic precursor, the effort may well be a waste of time. If the client has the attitude of "I don't want to change, just you (the doctor) fix me so that I can go on with my life the same way", then the chances of an enduring success may be greatly diminished. When the client has a unified will toward becoming well, being healed, and coming into physical, emotional, and psychic health, then the process has less friction and becomes a process of mutual cooperative and education.
Change may be accompanied by both/or physical and mental catharsis (by catharsis one surrenders the obfuscations and noxious energy). Catharsis can be slow and sweet. Grieving and crying is often cathartic, however the expression of stored anger can sometimes re-traumatize, so when anger is touched upon it is titrated and allowed to come out while the facilitator holds the loving space -- stabilizes themselves in the healing process.
If the client has a need to talk (and it appears to be cathartic) then the facilitator may allow or even encourage it. If talk however seems to be resistive or escapist convince the client to go back into their breath and/or give them a remedial visualization to do in order to help refocus the energy. If a catharsis occurs due to a painful past trauma or otherwise pain, fear, anger arise only a skilled facilitator strongly stabilized in their own core should continue to evoke this unless re-traumatization or over stimulation occur. Thus it is safest to pay attention to the client's energy, facial expressions, and breathing as gross signs of a deep unresolved disturbance perhaps triggering an over-stimulation reaction and if such a reaction is arising be able to know how to contain it, soothe the energy, balance it, and access a peaceful restorative mode when called for. These hyper-sensitive regions then can be returned to in future sessions and slowly titrated (brought into context without having the individual become overwhelmed by it).
Thirty five years ago I began a conscious study of herbs, diet, and energy healing with yoga, polarity therapy and acupuncture. Later studies in shamanism, Huna, Reiki, craniosacral, holographic healing, pranic healing, Jin shin do, and related energy work were added thanks to many teachers, mainly Dr. Mishra (Sri Brahmananda) and Nicki Scully as inspirations. What I learned is that the intent was all important, that I needed to act not from the head, but rather much more deeply -- from the energy body -- the core energy. Here we take a moment to attune inside to the innate wisdom inherent in the body and to the entire cosmos -- to the Source. Here the two energy bodies (that of the client and the facilitator) should be allowed to communicate directly from that deeper wholistic context of reality. I learned that harder and more was not better. I learned that the healing energy and intelligence was transpersonal, limitless (limited only by our ignorance), and ever present, and to move from that deep grounded space in an energetically balanced and kinesthetic way where efferent and afferent, pingala and ida, yang/yin, shiva/shakti, inner and outer, spirit and nature --- all the koshas and bodies were intermingled, of one taste, and always working synergistically, synchronistically, and in concert.
Further practice in yoga and meditation has led me to a greater appreciation of the energy body which has increased over time, while the recent advances in the West of Body Psychotherapy, somatics, and movement therapeutics have helped validate and enrich my practice.
The Chakra System
Chakra is a s Sanskrit word which means circle of energy, wheel of energy, spinning vortex of energy, or energetic center. As mentioned there are many chakra systems, and the reader is again reminded that the various systems as written and described in colors, sounds, diagrams, and words, are merely symbolic representations i.e., they should not be confused with the actual inner reality which must be experienced as an active operational intelligent energy dynamic pattern which correspond to emotional, psychological, belief system, and spiritual interactive dynamics as well as physical vectors (versus a representational abstraction, objectification, or separate fact apart from our subjective direct experience).
One way to view the hyman chakra system is from the ultimate point of view (the crown center or sahasrara chakra). An infant has the fontanels (brahmarandhra) wide open at the crown (at the lambda and bregma points) crown points, but he/she has no ability to walk, to sense the earth, or to know embodied existence yet. Despite their DNA and inherent operating system they are brand new to manifest creation and must get to know the earth body )the muladhara chakra). Life then becomes a process of learning the connections between infinite and absolute unborn spirit and the force of creative evolution a sit manifests in the universe of form and content. If this holy quest is kept intact throughout life, then the budding infant recognizing the creative principle in all of creation learns to activate the evolutionary tools of the body (chakra circuits) and lives a creative and fulfilled life in harmony with the spiritual and universal matrices. Where these energetic matrices intersect within the human body, are the chakras. they are the result/product or interstices (if you like) of the physical body, the energy body, the mental and emotional bodies, the wisdom body, our karma, and unconditioned divine creative spirit. At death the human body expires by reabsorbing/withdrawing the prana at each chakra and rejoining infinite Source at the crown. But a wholistic life consists in developing the chakras -- learning about them, activating them, integrating them, and acting from this deep place of integration (samadhi). The chakra system can be reduced then to crown (sahasrara) and earth (muladhara) while all other chakras must align and stabilize around those two poles -- they are all fed from the integration and harmonization of these two poles, while it is the negative/afflictive emotions (called kleshas connected to our karma) which distort, weaken, discolor, toxify, and stress the chakra vortices. One way to see this is to see the chakras as the energetic result and interaction of the five koshas (see below).
With that introduction in mind, the reader is again reminded that the chakra system is not to be viewed outside of the sacred/spiritual realm of creator/creation, shiva/shakti, yang/yin, or father sky/mother earth, in All Our Relations. Any such objectification/abstraction will only further alienate us and produce counterproductive results -- it will impose a limited dysfunctional filter, veil, and discoloration. So we are reminded that in the sacred Now, as in the beginning, exists the Everlasting -- Beginningless Source Seed and in this Great Integrity -- NOW and FOREVER -- in completion and wholeness - in continuity both the source stillness and the flow exist as One. From this undistorted Wholeness and Integrity every "thing" -all phenomena -- is seen as the river's movement -- all things are on fire.
So if the infant were to maintain that continuity of consciousness from the eternal Source into life in all our relations, then no discolorations would occur -- the chakras would develop naturally in one's stages of development and remain open, activated, integrated and conscious. That is the healthy ideal, but in most situations negative conditioning (karma) and ignorance (with the kleshas) takes over and blocks, dissipates, or distorts this natural evolutionary flow. This happens when our programmed beliefs and false identities come into conflict with nature/creation as it is (Universal Reality) -- the cosmos as it is versus the cosmos as our distorted constructed mindsets would prefer it to be. Even though underneath our conditioned projections, distortions, prejudice, delusion, illusion, and manmade belief systems universal creativity always exists as Real, the infant is programmed to see an altered state of "things" -- a contrived and transgenerational ignorance and prejudice sets in.
In prime momentum then, two were created, but they as a whole are part of a greater whole. Hence the source of polarity, voltage, and duality --the source of DNA, were formed. This two became the apparent distinction of heaven and earth, yang and yin, father/mother, spirit/nature, siva/shakti, creator/creation, consciousness/being, crown chakra/earth chakra, kether/malkuth, ein soph and shekinah, pingala/ida, and the like while in Integrity they are contained in the whole as one dynamic relationship -- in the Reality of Eternal Beginningless Now. They are linked by the central column, Yggdrasil, the tree in the center of the earth, the axis mundi, Mt. Meru, the sushumna (where the kundalini flows), the healing staff (caduceus), Ouroboros, Tiamet, Nidhogg (the Midgard serpent), etc. In yoga it is this sushumna (central column) which unites heaven and earth --which is the channel of this loving, healing, and evolutionary intercourse and dialogue. The authentic sushumna is rainbow hued, non-flat planed. and multi-dimensional -- it is the channel where the activated kundalini goddess (creative/evolutionary energy) flows. In "normal (nut unnatural life) this natural flow of kundalini has become blocked and/or distracted/dissipated. Where such distortions. blocks, or discolorations occur, there become negative energy vortexes and hence physical disease is created.
Hence in this context the two most important poles in the human body are the crown and earth chakras (top and bottom) which are linked by the sushumna (central nadi). These are the two polar opposites which have further representations left/right and front/back, afferent/efferent, parasympathetic/sympathetic, autonomic/central nervous systems, etc . In truth we must learn to operate outside of the narrow limitations of dualistic consciousness, outside of the illusion of three dimensional (space/time), rather from the non-lineal fourth dimension (called turiya in yoga which is also called samadhi). this is the open ground of nondual reality where crown and earth chakras are united in true bliss and wholesomeness.
As we discern the two prime chakras we also observe the two polar strands of dna. For the healing chakra work to be successful we must keep in mind the intracellular dna intertwined as it were in a spiral snakelike dance as it is in all of life (symbolized by ida and pingala) and feel it in every cell, but yet go ever deeper. As we reclaim our innate birth rights (recover from our estrangement from living spirit) our consciousness becomes aware of the more subtle and hence the energy behind all of so called matter". Here as "self" awareness and consciousness developed through awareness of "the two" forces, the more refined and differentiated his awareness becomes -- the more his eyes become opened to what is in Reality. It is with these opened activated eyes that man heals.
The two polar forces and chakras, become the unity of the three (the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva and hence the three granthis of yoga were delineated (see below) as portals into all dimensions of being. Further evolution provided further delineation and articulations and elaborations, but beyond all elaborations always is -- is the "is-ness". Then the five, the seven the nine and the twelve, and the infinite became intertwined. As such those who have returned to pure subtle awareness even beyond the most subtle have taught methods for fragmented people to become whole again and integrate (yoga). WE IN OUR DAILY LIFE AND HEALING WORK ARE NO SEPARATE FROM THIS PROCESS OF CO-EVOLUTION. IN FACT WHEN WE EXTRACT OUR SELVES FROM THIS PROCESS WE WITHER, DRY UP, STARVE, AND EVENTUALLY DIE. WE A AN INETGRAL PART OF THIS INTEGRATIVE PROCESS.
A major problem in mankind's fall, was that man became bogged down into unbalanced centrifugation into the periphery forgetting his core and essential nature. He lost his center and his soul in exchange for the ersatz comfort of material substance. But there is no lasting happiness, comfort, or security that way. It in fact is the result of delusion. That is called corruption (or sin) but it is simply the forgetfulness of the great Integrity.
The common modern man has become lost in his artifacts -- his contrived and artificial symbolic illusions/delusions brought about by limited conceptual belief systems and habituated and institutionalized false identifications. Another problem was that man tried to reestablish his lost center through doctrine which also became a left brain dominant limitation and bondage and through his attempt to conquer fear through dominance over nature which corresponds to his left brain/intellectual dominant stance over the right brain (feeling/receptive) sensitivities. These two conspire together as a misplaced momentum -- a pathologic energetic vector which at best is neurotic -- which creates the glue in modern man to limit and enslave him unless he finds the courage/inspiration to liberate himself. Hence although we will discuss chakra healing here, ultimately any "healing cure" has to be seen essentially as a process of spiritual awakening.
Working with the energy of the chakras then as a practice, includes not only working with the dna, cells, tissues, glands, nerves, muscles, glands, organs, bones, skin, blood, and interactive energetic systems, but also the interconnected emotional, psychological, core belief system, and spiritual evolutionary processes of the individual's inner and outer ecology. All of these relationships can be accessed through chakra and kosha work -- as the dance of Shiva.
Classically medieval hatha yoga ended with a seven psychophysical chakra system. Kashmir tantra often has nine or more chakras. Earlier Indian tantra often gives only five although later seven or nine are common. The most common systems that we see use seven major chakras while others offer a myriad number of minor chakras and marmas (energy points at the interstices of the koshas). We will use the classic seven as examples in these pages, however I would like to make it clear that in my own experience, I believe that seven is an anachronism in the twenty-first century. What I would like to suggest for further consideration elsewhere that what is now attempting to evolve and become actualized/activated in human existence are twelve chakras and alongside that twelve energetic dimensions/permutations of DNA. (See a brief explanation in the addendum)
Specifics in Relationship to Healing at the First Three Chakras
The earth chakra being that particular center associated when spirit touches nature, consciousness touches form, or heaven mingles with earth is the point of differentiation itself -- the point of immanence and rich diversity-- it is the fertile earth while spirit is the undifferentiated seed. The earth chakra is the doorway to abundance -- every "thing" -- all of existence and creation in its rich diversity and yet it is in constant transformation (change) being temporal and evolving. At the other pole, the crown center is the nothingness or formless realm which contains the seed (potential) of everything. Hence in the sense of simple polar balancing the crown and the root chakra (and all in-between) work can be undertaken simultaneously. In other words all the work can be accomplished between these two poles while and the flow between them is not to be taken lightly but rather attended to.
It is not a coincidence that modern society with its widespread air pollution, water pollution, food pollution, mind pollution, destruction of ecosystems, destruction of other species, war, murder, and contrived disease have created a god who is in heaven -- a god who one goes to when one dies, an unearthly god, and thus a spiritually alienated belief system and life where sacred spirit is denied in creation/nature and the cosmos. At the bottom of this unhealthy abomination is our alienation from our naturalness, wildness, our animal part and our incessant desire for control. We no longer trust our feelings, our instinct, our intuition, and have lost touch with our inner wisdom and natural alliance with the plants, trees, animals, rocks, wind, and cosmos -- all living things. A big part of this war and conflict thus is rooted in the war or disconnectedness from our cognitive sense and our somatic sense, from the mind and body -- from the innate unity of consciousness and beingness (Cit with Sat), of spirit and all of nature, of creator and creation -- in short our sense of place and well beingness -- a basic sense of security. As a neurotic compensation we try to create external law and order systems -- security states, control and predictability over wilderness and cosmos, but such is the disease not the solution. The healing rather is to come to terms with the muladhara -- the earth center -- with the physical body, with spiritual embodiment, and the body of all life. We know the earth via the body -- the earth and the body are from one source. This secure knowledge of who we are in a body (but not of the body) is earth chakra knowledge. WIth this knowledge we feel at home here with mother earth which the body has co-evolved with for millions of years in which the earth has co-evolved with the cosmos since beginningless time. Without this knowledge -- this interconnectedness we contrive artificial protection and security systems. We become afraid and contrive false identifications for protection in terms of racial alliances, tribal wars, chauvinism, xenophobia, nationalistic wars, genocide, etc. but all that is not because of the lowest chakra -- it is not the fault of the earth chakra, but rather it is the fault of its cognitive denial -- of an arrogant ego who holds it nose up to it and won't look down in love and beauty. The alienation from life and the earth chakra is the leading number one cause of disenfranchisement from healing (illness and disease) on the planet. Here too many people confuse the symptoms with the cause. The problem is not the earth or nature, but rather our own cognitive confusion and arrogant belief systems (ego). The body is not the ego, it is god's creation --- it is a sacred portal for those who engage upon the sacred science.
One can go and praise the earth chakra without end (it is needed because it so maligned) but knowledge about it is one thing, but direct experience of it's activation tells all. All that is necessary here is for us to embrace life and run our energy consciously through this chakra connecting up with the great courage, the great confidence, the great stabilization, healing sense of security, and timeless connection with all life and creation that an open earth chakra provides.
All the lower three chakras are maligned in a society which is fear ridden, over objectified, estranged from nature and the natural, estranged from our somatic feelings and experience, and our hence cognitive based. All of the lower three chakras have a specific energetic that require attention, recognition, acknowledgement, and respect if we wish to reclaim our lives and health. It requires openness and flow for us to be balanced and healthy. These three more strongly correspond with the physical body than the upper three (the heart being at the feeling center at the center point). On a physical level the earth chakra provides knowledge of nature, healing, herbs, nature, instinct, smell, etc.
The characteristics of the healthy and open earth chakra can thus be read as fulfillment, richness, and abundance when energy is flowing between it -- the earth below, and the crown above. When the energy is blocked or deficient most likely we can investigate the possibilities of abundance problems (scarcity consciousness), insecurity problems, self doubt, issues of lack of self acceptance, safety issues, fear of death, fear of living (which includes fear of death), protection issues, lack of trust, feelings of alienation, cynicism, despair, nihilism, and in severe cases paranoia and catatonia.
Where it can't go down we feel disconnected, lonely, estranged, and mistrustful and when it can't flow upward we fear change, inhibit our evolutionary organic nature, creativity and integration. Lack of downward flow is associated with constipation and holding and can manifest in the foot, leg, knee, hemorrhoids, sciatica, hip, thigh, SI joint pain and similar problems while lack of upward flow may manifest in lack of vigor (sexual, metabolic, passionate, creative, or mental), vertigo, lethargy, collapse, etc. Too much downward flow may manifest as diarrhea, profuse menstruation, wobbly legs, and illnesses brought about by excessive tamas. The way we walk and move the tailbone and sacrum (or its lack) is related to the earth chakra. Excessive stimulation of the earth chakra (rare) without an outlet (having a blockage) to the second, third, and fourth chakras can manifest in over hyperactivity at any of the chakras.
The earth chakra (muladhara) is the most important chakra in hatha yoga, It is where the kundalini lies dormant and it is where the prana and apana are to be balanced for the energy (kundalini) to flow in the central column (sushumna) . This should not be interpreted as just some mystical gibberish, but yet the words certainly are symbolic of a very powerful energetic. Again once flow is reached in the sushumna it is neither left nor right, nor up nor down -- flow is in both directions simultaneously. Again the muladhara and sahasrara chakras are the two most important energetic centers while the sushumna is the most important psychic nerve (that connects them) directly. Physically this area is associated with the perineum, tailbone, glands of Luska, and pelvic diaphragm.
This short introduction to chakra healing will never do justice to the earth chakra or kundalini, but the beginning practitioner should know that it to be greatly respected and can be gone to (in conjunction with the crown by placing the right hand on the skull and left on the tailbone region to balance energy or move energy through the entire system. This area is often congested so elongating smoothing and softening passes with the hands up and down over this area can often be of value. The muladhara is the integrative physical center of the body and its support center.
Similarly the second chakra (water chakra) called the swadhistana chakra can suffer from deficiency or blocked energy flow through it (functional flow). The water chakra is the energy vortex that reflects the health of our procreative function on the physical level (something that this society generally associates with sin and danger), but on an emotional/energetic, and mental level it represents how we interact with all our relations -- how we engage and have a two way intercourse (communication and flow) with other beings and things. If it is blocked or toxic then these functions become imbalanced. For example some people who have blocked second chakra energetics (water chakra) compensate by neurotic talking, over eating, or excessive sublimation/discharge elsewhere. Often because the energy may be blocked at the water chakra then discharging this energy there in excessive sex or in urination problems sometimes result although the actual energetics of all these functions are the result of manifold interactions.
When it is deficient in energy there is deficiency in the sexual, generative, procreative, and creative urges. This is a motive force chakra where innate evolutionary energies are expressed and generative and regenerative energies are stored and expressed. In illness where these flows are damned up or restricted. Here resides our connection with fluid flow, the sea, change, shape shifting, seminal and creative ideas, imagination, creative inspiration, instinct, and spontaneity.
When sexual disturbances exist many people mistakenly suggest that there is too much energy flowing in the chakra, but what really is happening is that the energy is congested, dammed up/blocked, stepped on, abused, inhibited from flowing either below or above, and hence it "appears" to want to come "out" and be discharged (or there is fear and shame associated in its expression). Because of inhibitory influences of unnatural belief systems, social mores, self censure, guilt, alien religions, and other artificial and non-body positive external influences a conflict between natural and spontaneous creative/procreative expression becomes reinforced establishing a body/mind discordance, tension, conflict, and war which is an energetic source of much mental disturbances, social crime, violence, and physical dis-ease.
In the healthy body/mind the energy at the water chakra should be constantly streaming here without fear of attracting sexual negative notice from others (or guilt). If the center is dead, intuitive and instinctual senses are diminished. Women and men who have "sex appeal" often have vital first three chakras, but also in order to avoid sexual attention or condemnation many women and men turn off this center in order to avoid the attention of others often in fear or shame. This is a particularly common and strong, yet not widely recognized dynamic.
In most cases where there is a tendency toward paranoia and alienation accompanied by tightness in the pelvis and sacrum, the energy is blocked going downward from the swadhistana, while in cases of lack of metabolic process, will power, or ability to manage one's own affairs the energy is blocked going upward (into the manipura chakra). If the energy is blocked in both directions at the same time, there almost always exists a deficiency where a one way blockage can create a distorted shunt manifesting in what may appear as an over stimulation.
Since sex is a powerful issue in modern life, many clients (those who are numbed out or constricted in the swadhistana area will be embarrassed to allow energy to flow here and will resist energetic streaming. If such occurs the therapist may try streaming the energy between the muladhara (pelvic diaphragm floor) THROUGH the swadhistana to the manipura (at the lumbar region and above so that the energy does not get stuck in the sexual region. Once the client realizes that the energy can be energized but not locked into that area (obsessed) but made to flow through it without congestion then further cooperation in release of this area will be more easily accomplished. This liberated energy can be used for healing in the swadhistana, muladhara, or brought to the manipura chakra above for further balance and catalyzation of flow . This area thus must be honored with sensitivity and gentleness while the therapist must be capable of thoroughly moving through any personal sexual feelings that may become stimulated.
Strongly associated with not only the gonads, prostate/ovaries, bladder, sacrum, and lower back. This center resonates in a simple harmonic order with the pituitary (ajna chakra or third eye) just as the muladhara has a special resonance with the sahasrara. Although this is the water chakra (usually white in color), the kidneys and adrenals being higher up are usually associated with the next center, the manipura chakra which is characterized by the fire element.
The Fire Chakra (Manipura Chakra)
Here too manipura which is the integrative energy center of the body has a special primary resonance, this time with the throat chakra (vishuddi). This is the center for individual strength, vitality, self empowerment, ability to get things done, will power, concentration, action (fire), metabolism, and the like. If the linear pathway is blocked/congested (up or down) then excess fire or depleted dysfunction may similarly occur. It is too often ignored because on a physical level it may represent our gastric fire or ability to digest food and hence is relegated to the gastrointestinal tract which is normally a subject (especially the lower end) that is considered "low" and distasteful. As a result our energy is often ignored and people suffer from lack of energy diseases, gastrointestinal illnesses, costiveness, greed, lack of ability to digest new ideas, allergies, and the like.
In this sense the swadhistana chakra is the center of energetic well being, personal physical strength, and self confidence, it being the place where the fuel is burned to drive the physical engines of the neuro-physiological organism. Here in the manipura chakra the added fire, heat, or energy required to cook the broth, heat the cauldron, distill the elixir, and/or bubble over into the air (heart) chakra (called the anahata chakra in Sanskrit).
The first three chakras concern the physical body the most and their interaction is closely related in many psychophysical processes. Likewise the interaction of the manipura (fire chakra) with the anahata (air chakra) is also closely related as more air increases the fire and heat on one hand (as in various pranayamas such as ujjayi or bhastrika breathing; while on the other hand more fire allows the steam to rise and fill the heart chakra.
There are many other body/mind chakra related harmonic resonances and dynamics that exist between the "standard" chakra designations as well as simple adjacent interactions. Rarely will distorted/diseased, congested, or depleted dynamics can occur in any of the chakras (seemingly as independent manifestations. Corresponding compensations can occur in may system sympathetically and can be modulated simultaneously. Organs can be felt by energetically feeling beneath the skin while they can be adjusted and vectored energetically without physical pressure. Don't be afraid to continue to explore new techniques and specific details of sensing, energizing, drawing out, balancing, purifying, etc. when you feel that calling.
Briefly the root chakra is the physical center -- fulcrum, and support of the physical body-- the root of beingness. The water chakra is the integrative creative, sensate, instinctual communication center. The fire chakra (navel) is the energetic/regenerative dynamo. The heart center (anahata chakra) is the integrative emotional and feeling center (this society teaches us to overcome, transcend, or ignore our feelings), the throat chakra (vishuddha) is the integrative cognitive communication center for the will and intellect (it integrates the head with the body in activity). The third eye (ajna chakra) is intuitive center of awareness and consciousness, while the crown chakra is the eternal spiritual center which partially lies outside of the body linking us with the ineffable, unbegun, never-ending, unformed, non-differentiated, formless, and timeless.
The upper chakras relate more to the more subtle forces of emotions, mental states, psychology, and belief systems while the lower centers are more primitive, vital, natural, and physical (furthermost removed from cognitive dominance). All of these relationships must be experienced as an interdependent ecology -- as a whole -- while memorization will be counterproductive. This is pointed out to suggest the possibilities -- to invite distinction, subtle differentiation, and perhaps diagnosis and treatment.
Adhi and Vyadhi -- The Five Kosha System
Besides the chakra system of healing, ancient yoga also offers the five koshas (sheaths) energetic model which consists of the interdependent dynamics between the most gross and coarse physical body (which is the manifestation of the others) called the annamaya kosha and four others. The second sheath which encloses the physical and permeates it the pranamaya (energy) sheath. The next body is the mental/emotional sheath called the manomaya kosha. The fourth sheath is the vijnanamaya kosha (the belief system or wisdom body) while the fifth sheath is the anandamaya kosha which is literally called the bliss body, the realm of unconditioned eternal spirit which knows no pain or limit.
This ancient five kosha system provides an effective relationship of workable pathways between body/mind, emotional, energetic, psycho-neuro-physiological, and belief system inter-relationships and of the processes of disease and of healing.
Here adhis (mental/emotional disturbances in the manomaya kosha or astral sheath) cause corresponding disturbances at the physical level (annamaya kosha) called vyadhi. This is modulated through the intermediary of the pranamaya kosha (or energy body) causing disturbances in the prana. The good news is that we can directly work with the body and/or pranamaya kosha to effect healing in the manomaya kosha and vice versa work on the manomaya kosha to effect positive healing changes in the pranamaya and annamaya koshas. It is believed that a lasting cure is only possible when the causal disturbance is completely remedied.
Here adhis are considered causal and primary which in turn cause physical ailments (vyadhi). Thus when the adhis are destroyed the vyadhis are no longer generated or manifest. In addition there exist two kinds of adhis. One is ordinary or samaya (caused by the mind or emotions) and the other one is called, sara, which is intrinsic to a more causal spiritual malaise that can be successfully treated only through processes that affect the life style, belief system, self identification process, or in general our energetic relationship that we cling to as "s(S)elf" in relationship to "r(R)reality" i.e., through modalities which reach into the vijnanamaya and anandamaya koshas. In either case, physical disease is caused by disturbances/corruption and/or obstruction of the nadis (psychic nerves) and energy patterns which have become disrupted, distorted, and patterned into corruptive patterns causing degeneration, dissipation, dis-ease, pain, suffering, stasis, and death. Therapy is aimed at removing the source of the disturbances, opening up these blocked pathways, and rechanneling and repatterning the energy flow.
Hence when using the principles of the five koshas in energy healing work, we can integrate asking questions of the client in regards to ascertaining any relationship between the physical area and any emotional feelings thus associated with it such as fear, anger, grief, abandonment, mistrust, overwhelm, etc. Often early childhood trauma, inhibition, or situations of dissociation due to over stimulation can not be accessed verbally, but rather only kinesthetically and energetically. Once the memory and trauma that is being contracted around) comes into conscious awareness through touch, both emotional and physical peace can be made accomplished. Dialogue should be invited but not forced (unless you are very experienced and know where you are going). It is often good to invite the client to participate in other ways with the process such as breathing golden or rainbow light into the area, visualize a scent like an essential oil (that may be specially attuned energetically as a remediator of that particular disease process), to visualize a color, a past event, or even a contrived theater stage for example if an injury/trauma is associated with unresolved issues with other people. .There are many such possibilities that may be effective depending on the situation.
Both Practical and Spontaneous
The methods are just possibilities, but it is our own activated energy body and awareness which must be allowed to intelligently guide the healing process as it knows how to facilitate "flow" at a deeper nonverbal and trans conceptual depth far better than any preconceived set of techniques. Children constantly are in motion moving the energy intuitively all the time. They move with their whole body directing subtle energy throughout their system (keeping pathways open) with their hands, feet, and inwardly directed intelligent movements. As such they are a source of wisdom and healing.
Our task also is to help the energy to move, to remove the energy dams, the stasis and stagnation, to irrigate the inner rivers and channels, to melt down the hard contractedness, to open up clogged areas and pathways, to remove irritation and overwhelm, and to allow the energy to flow. This way we purify, activate, connect, and integrate establishing synchronistic harmony between heaven and earth, spirit and nature, mind and body, left and right, front and back, above and below, and so forth.
There are many ways of moving the energy. In chakra work for instance we can work above and below a hard, tight, obstructed, dammed up, cold, or hot spot/area to move the energy through -- placing hands above or below, to the left and right, in front and in back, and in the fourth dimension/all directions bringing in energy from the Source to soften, relax, energize, open up, stimulate or cool, gold or blue, etc.
Another practical way is simply to sense any stasis, tightening, hardness, blockage, stress, contraction, tension, fear, pain, confusion, and so forth in tissue group or organ and then to soften, lengthen, and extend the physical allowing it to pulsate, flow, move, and energetically realign.
Another way as in Jin Shin Do we first sense the energy flows in the body and observe any distortions in the field, voltages, imbalances, tilts, torsion, in relationship to the acupuncture meridians and their unique access points which connect their characteristic energetic relationship. With the establishing of balance in mind we chose two usually distant but "key" points -- directing or sending energy to one (with the sending hand or finger(s)) to the distant point where the receiving or sensing hand or finger(s) is placed. Sometimes this is accompanied with actual physical pressure on the points (like in acupressure) and at other times it is merely energetic.
In Reiki all the major and minor chakras and organs (most of the body) are covered sequentially (usually from the head down) simply by placing our hands on the client and going to Infinite Source for intervention. Here "more complex" is not necessarily better . However with polarity, craniosacral, visceral manipulation, pranic healing, Jin Shin Do, and Huna we often work more with specific intention and intervention techniques often moved to simultaneously work on two chakras at once to effect balance and flow. Human touch itself (between two people) can have beneficial results in and by itself and there exist much scientific validation to confirm that. Similarly some groups work more effectively as a team of two or more people on one client at a time. Similarly this work can also be done on oneself as well as from the dream body or from a distance.
Saucha, Asteya, and Santosha (Purification, Integrity, and Pacification)
Another similar body/mind approach to energetic healing can be gleaned from yoga's life style guides of yams/niyams and in particular saucha (purity) and asteya (truthfulness and integrity). Patanjali said in Pada II. 40 and 41
saucha svanga-jugupsa parair asamsargah 41. sattvasuddhi-saumanasyaikagryendriya-jayatma-darsana-yo gyatvani ca
Through the practice of physical purity, attachments to toxins and corruptive forces disappear naturally. Also through internal and external purity (saucha) both of the body, psychic environment, and of removing the occlusions of consciousness, there is achieved balance, cheerfulness, one- pointedness, harmony of the senses, and yogic vision. Here one is no longer attracted by corruptive influences because one has established (and is happily rooted within) an inner energetic freedom. Purity (saucha) is one of the niyams. It can be interpreted many ways.
Some yogis take it to mean keeping the inside of the body clean (annamaya kosha) and healthy, the nadis open (pranamaya kosha) and energy unobstructed, while the body is affected by being less burdened, open, and light. Another inner application of saucha is keeping the mental thoughts (manomaya kosha) free from kleshas, samskaras, and vrttis. Yet another application of saucha may be applied to our belief systems whether or not they may be tainted, and thus be a source of taint, impurity, and affliction to our consciousness (until purified). In this sense transformation and rebirth is an action of purification.
Yet another manifestation of saucha is in our motivations and actions. But since actions follow thought and consciousness (or lack thereof) it seems that the purification of consciousness is more causal to this process. So on a physical level, not poisoning the body or burdening it with afflictions that it can not digest, assimilate, or eliminate easily will unburden not only the digestive system, but the elimination and immune systems thus creating more available energy for the process of evolutionary circuitry and higher consciousness to unfold. In one sense poor food habits (and inability to digest, assimilate, and eliminate food) is an energy drain and sedation of the kundalini, taking energy away from the "other" super-psychic activities or spiritual projects unless we were already very open in this direction and were not negatively affected by dietary choices. The key however is the development of our innate wisdom, instinct, or intuition to know which of the food options are best for our own unique constellation of body/mind at the moment achieving synergistic balance, well being, and synchronicity. This is where the rest of the yoga practice acts synergistically with diet -- and in turn, diet with the overall integrity which is the yogic process. Here also is where the hatha yoga kriyas or sat karmas (external cleansing activities) can also help as well as reduce irritation, thus creating more peacefulness (santosha) and being adjunctive to the allied processes of aparigraha, tapas, pranayama, pratyhara. concentration, meditation, and isvara pranidhana. On a mental level, meditation is the best practice of saucha. As we study the yam/niyams we will see the mutually synergistic inter-relationships between ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya, aparigraha, saucha, santosha, tapas, swadhyaya, and isvara pranidhana disclosing the underlying all inclusive integrative wholistic principle.
42. santosad anuttamah sukha-labhah
By establishing a connection with the energetics of fulfillment while being at peace with one self in the present moment (santosha), then communion with a boundless joy (sukha) manifests. Santosha becomes a new non-conflicting and non-stressed way of wellness and thriving which becomes natural and when it is disrupted, absent, or made discontinuous we naturally awake to apply a balancing and centering remedy .
To sum up, in energy and chakra work, intent is causal, so work only when you are able to focus on, merge, and stay in tune with the Source and Central Axis of Love (the axis mundi or tree at the center of life) which forms the core of the healing power -- a state of being that we can intimately "know and feel" increasingly not with the mind but in the heart of hearts (Hridyam) which is inside the deepest core of the sushumna nadi (don't take my word on this last one but rather check it out by increasing your meditation practice). Here the healing energy comes from the infinite timeless Source as we act merely as a finely tuned earthly vehicle/channel (resonating between spirit and nature crown and root). Any negative situation can be transformed through sufficient and sincere cultivation and generation of the bodhicitta -- the sincere intention to liberate of all beings from suffering without exception.
The above are only some "possibilities" -- what is needed is an open mind and heart and ALL the rest follows (flows) from that. .
Addendum One: The Twelve Chakra Systems
1) The muladhara/earth chakra (as above) from the lower sacrum, tailbone, cauda equina, posterior perineum etc. The earth chakra governs the giving back the transmuted solids back to the earth. It also is the portal from which we are able to freely give to and receive from the earth (nature gives to us as nurture as we give to her) -- governing our stance and relationship to nature, creation, diversity, and embodied life itself. It is the place of establishing wholistic contact with all of creation, all of history, all or healing allies, the herbs, and embodied life itself. It is the most severely ignored and most singularly important chakra other than the crown. It is the seat of the kundalini (our evolutionary dormant potential) located posterior and lateral to the swadisthana chakra.
Concisely speaking, the activated muladhara chakra connects us actively with the forces of nature and creation, wherein nurture, safety, a feeling if interconnectedness, stability, and groundedness exist. A disconnect or blockage at the muladhara chakra results in feelings of fear of wilderness, natural function, spontaneity, natural feelings, estrangement, and general feelings of insecurity, alienation, abandonment and fear. In the case of blockage at the muladhara, then all sorts of compensatory pathologies may result in an attempt to compensate for the loss sense of connectedness, natural identity, and meaning in life such as in acts of insecurity, transference, loss of self esteem (often disguised as a superiority complex or pride) racism (racial superiority complex), chauvinism, nationalism, religionisms, xenophobia, nihilism, cynicism, sexism, and in other cases extreme depression, withdrawal, and catatonia.
2) The swadisthana/water chakra (as above) from the anterior perineum, uro-genital diaphragm, pubis effecting the organs of intercourse (vagina/penis) as well as how well and freely we qualitatively communicate and inter-relate with the diverse forms of creation-- all our relations. Swadisthana governs the final process of giving back the transmuted water back to the water systems of earth and sky through the urethra, bladder, and urethral tubing. Its location is anterior and medial to the muladhara chakra between the pubic bone and sacrum.
Concisely speaking the activation of the swadhistana chakra provides a sense of active participation in nature's scheme, in natural flow, in creative engagement with others (such as animals, plants, the stars, nature spirits, and other people), the ability to adapt and create (respond creativity), flexibility in general, openness, and fluidity and the ability to actively engage the world and other people passionately.
When this chakra is blocked, the inquiry, natural curiosity, wonder, openness, and friendliness is diminished; while rigidity, stubbornness, self absorption, general inhibition and withdrawal are prevalent.
3) The lower tan tien (Chinese name) located between the two anterior superior iliac spines (below the navel and above the pubis. This governs the generational/procreative/co-creational functions either projecting them outward and downward through the lower two chakras or providing for the generation and self empowerment of the sacred fetus. This involves the ovaries/prostate.
Here when activated the higher procreative/creative processes are activated (the generation of immortal fetus). Thus the activated tan tien is the result of the harmonization of the lower two chakras with the manipura chakra (see above). When it is not activated everyday life is far less vital and and rewarding.
4) The classical manipura (also called nabhi) chakra. The fire chakra (described above) at the navel which is involved in assimilation of food and information as well as the energetic regulator of physical embodiment. It is associated with the umbilical cord, the small intestine, nourishment, digestive fire and metabolism. It serves to burn up toxins, impurities, and torpidity in the body and mind and thus eliminates chronic burdens on the immune system. This heat (which is fueled by pure tapas) acts as a detoxifier of karmic, mental, and emotional impurities.
When activated and integrated with the lower tan tien this chakra creates the necessary heat, energy, and power to fire necessary body/mind activities, thus it is the energy generator of the organism. It can be visualized as a city filled with shining jewels (manipura) such as the most radiant, pure, and perfect rubies, emeralds, and diamonds.
5) The pancreas, liver spleen, stomach chakra located just underneath the sternum which is involved in breaking down of physical food, digestion, filtering, regulation, as well as intellectual discernment. Here the adrenals, kidneys, the vagus nerve, as well as the neuro-endocrine system are also involved. This center is commonly portrayed as part and parcel of the manipura chakra, perhaps for good reason because such processes that occur here should never be separated from it. To think of these processes being governed lower than the navel center can often be more functional and healing as the intelligent center for these processes exist there.
One may say then that the vital intelligent brain of this chakra is dependent upon the harmonization of the muladhara, swadhistana, and manipura in the lower tan tien.
6) The classical anahata or heart chakra (air). It is our feeling center -- This is more than the culmination of the five senses as feeling, but more so, accessing this center allows us to access the very essence of the process of our sentience -- thus it is the chakra of direct experience and beingness. Modern science tells us that the heart center radiates stronger and more refined electromagnetic fields than the brain as well as producing a storehouse of neuro-endocrine substances. (See also the Institute of Heartmath Research Papers and Neurobiology and Yoga: From the gods of the Amygdala to the God of the Heart by Antonio T. de Nicolas.
The activation of the anahata center allows us to connect to our feelings and thus assumes the courage to be open and vulnerable -- the heat must be open and we can not be afraid to experience pain, grief, anger, or other negative emotions (kleshas) either self generated or coming from others when empowered.
Blockages here can adversely effect the heart and lungs (our circulatory system). In this culture, it is the separation of our awareness (ignorance) from our feelings which is rampid producing most diseases of dissociation. When the heart feelings are denied or ignored, then disturbances of the heart or blocked energy there cause problems with the physical lungs or heart.
7) The thymus center located above the heart chakra and below the vishudda (throat chakra). This is our natural self regulating protective system which in modern times can be very strained or even overwhelmed. When unhealthy this represents the taking in of too many manmade pollutants as well as the presence of fear and toxic thought.
8) The classic throat or vishudda chakra (ether or akasha) that regulates cognitive communication powered by the will and intellect wherein our abilities of willful interaction in the world are reflected. If the throat chakra however is not dominated by cognitive function (the head) but is in balance with the heart and feelings, this then can lead toward manifestation of wholism through the expression of the divine creative urge when this chakra is activated. It is the chakra where head and heart are integrated, where feeling and thought are harmonized -- mind and body. This is located in the lower throat near the thyroid. Problems in expression. the shoulders, arms, and hands are reflected here.
9) The back brain center at the upper part of the neck and throat including the jaw region, the occiput, atlas/atlas, back brain, brain stem (medulla oblongata), and the like. This is the top connection point between the autonomic and central nervous system that is involved with self regulation, balance, and harmony. It is a key point in craniosacral therapy. One might say that its "center" is behind the occipital condyles. it is the deep brain center associated with the cerebellum and primitive brain. Any illness can arise when this area is not irrigated with prana or there exists dissociation from the cognitive functions of the frontal lobes and the more vital centers of the back brain.
10) The Talu chakra behind the third eye governing the midbrain, basal ganglion, hypo-thalamus, and amygdala. It is home to our emotional circuitry which governs wellness.
11) The classical third eye (ajna chakra) governing awareness, concentration, and individual consciousness associated with the pituitary, pineal, and the two anterior lobes of cerebral cortex. This is where delusion is made or broken. When not activated there is no conscious insight, just ordinary discursive thought. Self awareness is fogged over and gnosis is obscured.
When activated one is is self realized (delusion has fallen) but the connection to divine intelligence may or may not be won yet (depending on the connection being open or not at the sahasrara)
12) The classical sahasrara or crown chakra associated with our formless non-dual imperishable nature -- pure spirit and consciousness -- existing beyond physical embodiment so it is most closely associated with the energetic vortex above the brahmarandhra (hole of Brahma or the aperture at the top of the head) but which also encompasses the head (often "seen" or observed as an aura). When activated it is a large chakra described as the thousand petaled lotus and s such it is Brahma's pillow. It is associated with the great continuum, where we came from, where we go at death, and ultimately where and who we are right now.
The activation here depends on the opening of the brahmarandhra (the gate of Brahma) at the crown (bregma and lambda points). It is the opening to Divine consciousness that is beyond the physical body. It can be likened to our network connection to the Main Central Computer -- the web of all life and its core.
Similarly the "S" shaped seven cervical vertebrae can also be seen as an analogue of the spine while each vertebra space is given a corresponding sound and and element. As such each cervical vertebra it can be related to the seven chakra system. See this discussion at the Chakra Purification Meditation at Rainbowbody
The above is by no means an exhaustive discussion of the chakra theories, but further such discussion may be counterproductive. Briefly then, it is the Hridayam, which is also often called the heart chakra,, but which must be discerned from that of the anahat chakra. The Hridayam is the Heart of Hearts -- the holographic center of the Universe -- of all of creation. It is that unified central place of eternal stillness from which the entire creation revolves and as such it is of course associated with the sushumna which allows access to the sahasrara. This is our true and authentic home. Om
End of Addendum
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A Chakra Purification Meditation
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras; Pada III (Vibhuti Pada), Sutras III.41-46. Also see III.31 commentary on the Kurma Nadi
"Nature's Finer Forces and the Science of Breath (Pranayama Yoga)" was originally published in Sanskrit as "Science of the Breath and the Philosophy of the Tatwas"), by Rama Prasad, is available here in PDF format,
Swara Yoga: Utilizing the Energy Valves at the Nares (swaras) as a Liberation technique
Swara Yoga (according to the Bihar School of Yoga). Much excellent data about Swara Yoga at http://www.swarayoga.org
Bhuta Shuddhi (presented by Swami Rama)
Presentation of Bhuta Shuddhi by Swami Satyasangananada Saraswati
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An Energy Body Approach to Hatha Yoga Asana Practice
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Neurobiology and Yoga: From the gods of the Amygdala to the God of the Heart by Antonio T. de Nicolas
Tree Legends Myths, the central Column, Chakras, and Wisdom Tails
The Tree of Life/Cabala: as related to the yoga chakra system
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