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8962Spiritual psychology of the chakras

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  • Kiara
    Oct 29, 2011
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      The Spiritual Psychology of the Chakras

      by Grace Ross RN MSc @ soulground.com

      The Window to the Soul: Chakras,
      auras, subtle bodies and energy healing have become common topics of
      discussion. What once was considered esoteric or fringe spirituality
      has become increasingly mainstream. In line with this more people are
      developing a new awareness of their own body energy – some from a
      desire for inner growth, others from a scientific (quantum physics)
      perspective and still others from a renewed sense of the sacred.

      Much
      of the language and teaching about energy is not new. Throughout the
      ages many cultures have described energetic connections between the
      mind, body and spirit. Chinese medicine relies on energy meridians that
      correspond to psycho-physiologica l states. Vedic scholars, centuries
      ago described the seven energy centres of the body (chakras) from a
      spiritual context. It is interesting to note that the qualities,
      attributes and characteristics of the chakras have continued to be
      described with often surprising coherence among widely differing
      cultures and religious traditions over centuries of time.

      More
      recently, esoteric philosopher/ scientists such as Alice Bailey, Anodea
      Judith and Carolyn Myss have sparked a renewed interest in the
      physical, psychological and spiritual interaction of the chakras. They
      describe the chakras as having not only physical landmarks, nerve
      meridians and specific endocrine glands associated with them, but also
      unique psychological attributes, emotional issues and spiritual
      qualities.

      To some degree, most people already have an
      intuitive, culturally defined sense of the spiritual psychology of the
      chakras. Visual artists, for instance paint “halos� of energy to
      represent the crown chakras of spiritual teachers or mystical
      individuals. We are familiar with euphemisms that tend to locate energy
      in particular areas of the body. We speak of having a “broken heart�
      and feel actual pain in the chest when we lose someone we love (heart
      chakra). We criticize others for being “unrooted�, or “pulling the rug
      out from under us� (root chakra). When a situation threatens our
      self-confidence we feel “butterflies in our stomach� (solar plexus
      chakra), and get a “lump in our throat� when grief remains unexpressed
      (throat chakra).

      Scientists are now confirming these intuitive
      sensations from the perspective of quantum physics. They are able to
      measure the presence and speed of energetic vibrations within the DNA -
      the very vibrations that we intuitively sense as our chakras and that
      clairvoyants “read� when they scan the human energy field. Energy
      healers and medical intuitives believe that if one can manipulate these
      energies and somehow change their frequency or patterning it is
      possible that physical, emotional and spiritual healing effects might
      be observed.

      For those who can clairvoyantly “see� energy,
      disease, distress and physical or emotional pain may show up as
      blockages, disruptions or cloudiness in the normal patterns of the
      chakra. Those who do energy healing can help pinpoint and identify
      these disruptions and train their clients to do the same. By developing
      an inner awareness of the chakras it is possible to begin a process
      that includes transforming and reconfiguring these energies.
      Additionally, by increasing awareness of the spiritual psychology of
      the chakras it is possible to help achieve a more balanced, energized
      and meaningful life.

      What follows is a brief description of each of the chakras from the perspective of spiritual psychology.

      The Root Chakra
      (located at the base of the spine)

      At
      birth, we experience an acute sense of disorientation and
      disconnection. Not only are we cut off from the physical security of
      the womb, but existentially we experience separation from Spirit as we
      find ourselves embodied in a human form. As the umbilical cord is cut
      we find ourselves thrust into a dangerous, insecure and vulnerable
      world.
      Our human incarnation means we have a dense, sensate,
      physical body made up of carbon and hydrogen - the constituent elements
      of the earth. In our attempt to re-establish a sense of spiritual
      connection, the root chakra becomes activated at birth - a connection
      that flows downward, and energetically connects deeply with the “sacred
      matter� of the earth. We cannot survive if we do not feed and nurture
      the physical body - making our relationship with the earth both
      necessary and integral to our survival. Part of that survival means
      also that we belong to a family or clan - a group that can ensure that
      we are fed from the earth and protected from the elements. Early cave
      dwellers soon learned that they could not survive without a sense of
      belonging and protection from the family or “clan.�
      If our early
      needs for security and belonging are not met, if disruption and fear
      are the norm, or if our connection to nature is tenuous, we end up
      feeling unrooted, anxious and insecure about our right to be here.
      Psychological symptoms may surface - neuroses, chronic anxiety, fears
      of becoming ill or dying, feeling vulnerable, ungrounded and afraid of
      getting one’s hands dirty.

      When root chakra issues arise, they
      can be addressed through compassionate self-healing techniques. These
      include finding ways to reconnect to the earth - “rooting� in nature
      through walks, gardening or camping; honoring the sacred in the Earth -
      (Indigenous people have much to teach us here); caring for the earth
      through addressing litter and pollution; healing estrangement from
      family or friends or joining groups or associations that foster a sense
      of belonging and security.

      The Sacral Chakra
      (located at the base of the belly and sexual organs)
      Having
      established a secure connection to physical reality, the next energetic
      challenge for the newborn arises in the second chakra - the centre of
      relationship energy. The second chakra holds the energy of all
      relationships we encounter in our lives - the nurturing or rejection of
      our parents; the give and take of sibling rivalry; the devotion or
      betrayals of friendship; the intimacy and vulnerability of sexual
      attraction; and the ability to produce and nurture our own children.
      If
      we do not learn to connect to others through emotional intimacy we
      remain alone, estranged or dissociated. When our early needs for
      intimacy and love are thwarted through abandonment, abuse or neglect,
      we find it hard to trust and begin to doubt our ability to attract love
      or find passion and joy in life. Second chakra issues include avoidance
      of emotional intimacy; accepting or perpetrating abuse in
      relationships; sexual dysfunction; parenting problems and a lack of
      life passion.
      Healing the second chakra involves learning to
      recognize and respond to our wounded “inner child�; uncovering and
      healing painful memories of abuse or neglect; learning to forgive; and
      releasing blame and guilt. It means gently finding the courage to open
      ourselves to emotional intimacy. Often a wise and trusted counselor or
      healer can facilitate this process. Developing self-compassion and
      self-nurturing is key.
      The Solar Plexus Chakra
      (located around the upper abdomen just under the rib cage)
      Having
      established some success with relationships, the next psycho-spiritual
      challenge is to create a sense of self in relationship to the world in
      which we live. The psycho/spiritual qualities of the solar plexus
      chakra include self-worth, self-esteem, mastery, empowerment, humility,
      self-control, and awareness of life meaning and purpose.
      When
      our desire to develop a strong sense of ourselves is met with
      controlling, shaming, authoritarian or intentional ego-damaging
      behaviors we are left with a debilitated and wounded solar plexus
      chakra. This manifests as a sense of unworthiness and guilt; lack of
      confidence and poor self-esteem; a feeling of being disempowered,
      victimized or lacking a sense of purpose. Conversely, in response to
      feeling deprived of power, we may ourselves resort to controlling,
      manipulative or tyrannical behaviors.
      Healing the solar plexus comes
      about through restoring a sense of personal power, self-respect,
      courage, humility and grace. Learning to identify and respond
      compassionately to our own painful stories is empowering, as is using
      love to heal fears. Issues of guilt and shame can be transformed
      through healing work that nurtures a sense of innate goodness, while
      awareness of co-creatorship with the Divine instills a sense of power.
      Finally, becoming aware of the deep spiritual qualities of our own
      nature helps us to act responsibly and move forward with
      self-initiative, meaning and purpose.
      The Heart Chakra (located in the chest)
      As
      we come to experience ourselves as safe, connected and respected, the
      energy begins to shift from a focus on the individual self towards a
      more generous and altruistic outlook. We notice that we feel grateful
      for the opportunity to live life, and want to give back. The heart
      chakra now becomes activated as the centre of love, compassion,
      devotion and generosity. The direction of energy in the body begins to
      move upwards in its desire to reconnect to the greater source of Divine
      love. We begin to experience universal compassion - the sense that we
      are connected to all beings on the planet. We may feel our hearts
      touched by images of young children a world away playing amongst the
      rubble of war. We know and have a sense of caring both for ourselves
      and others and feel compelled to take this love out into action.
      If
      however, we have not experienced security, intimacy and self-esteem in
      the lower chakras, the heart chakra will remain closed and shielded.
      Issues such as lack of compassion, anger, hatred, stinginess, being
      overly concerned with self protection, fear of loving too much, grief
      and heart-ache may all indicate wounding in the heart chakra.
      Healing
      the heart chakra involves paying attention first to the wounds that are
      still lurking in the lower chakras. Learning to love ourselves and our
      shadow places is the first step towards creating a sense of love and
      compassion for others. The gift of forgiveness allows deep healing
      within the heart chakra - forgiveness both for ourselves and others.
      Visualisation, devotional chanting, yoga, prayers and Buddhist Metta or
      Tonglen meditation are powerful vehicles for opening the heart. Many
      people find that compassionate encounters with the suffering of others
      is a means to open their own heart. Important also is becoming aware of
      our own divine nature and beginning an intimate, sacred process of
      surrender to the Divine order.
      The Throat Chakra (located around the throat, mouth and ears)
      As
      we grow into deeper awareness and opening of all the chakras, we also
      begin to expand our ability to tap into the vibrational energy field
      around us. The patterns of sound are our connection to the world. The
      throat chakra is the centre for making sense of these vibrations, for
      communication, self-expression, creativity, speaking our truth, and at
      the subtlest levels, telepathy, channeling and clairaudience (ability
      to perceive sounds outside the physical realm).
      If we encounter
      repression or attempts to stifle our innate ability for
      self-expression, the throat chakra closes down and energetically
      appears blocked. The natural flow of vibration is impeded - energy goes
      in but cannot go out. We are all too familiar with the childhood maxim
      “children should be seen and not heard�, the silencing of women’s
      voices in patriarchal systems and the stifling of creative talent for
      fear of ridicule. Other threats to the throat chakra include keeping
      shameful family secrets, living with chronic fear, being yelled at or
      shamed into silence. When the throat chakra is closed, all other
      chakras find their expression stifled too.
      The key to healing
      the throat chakra is finding the place of our own truth and relearning
      the ability to express ourselves. We can give ourselves permission to
      cry, to voice our fears, share our stories and engage in active
      listening with others. We can honor self-expression through finding
      creative outlets - writing, art, gardening or music. For some people it
      is important to reduce the pollution of vibrational noise through
      meditation or silent retreat.
      As the throat chakra begins to
      heal, the grosser vibrations of sound no longer create interference. We
      begin to tune into more subtle layers of vibration, including the
      development of psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairaudience
      and opening to divine revelations such as those experienced by mystics
      through the ages.
      The Third Eye Chakra(located around the eyes, forehead and the brain)
      The
      third eye is the center of intellect, inner knowing, discernment,
      wisdom, and clairvoyance (intuitive seeing). It is the place where we
      develop our “witness consciousness�, the ability to stand back and
      consciously observe and make choices in our life.
      This is the
      place where we create our beliefs and our judgments, and where, if we
      encounter fear-based or authoritarian belief systems, we come to doubt
      our own knowing and sense of ourselves. Confusion, negative beliefs,
      blindness to the truth, irresponsibility, close-mindedness and mental
      rigidity result. We may feel cut off from our emotions and become
      overly attached to empirical, dogmatic theories and beliefs.
      Healing
      the third eye means first of all a willingness to see. It includes
      opening to the truth beyond what we can physically see, and allowing
      intuition and inner knowing to become our primary teacher. Healing
      includes accessing our fear-based belief systems, judgments and
      criticisms and being willing to let them go. It also means a gentle
      opening to the messages of the heart.
      Self-healing techniques
      include developing inner awareness and witness consciousness; looking
      for the symbolic importance behind events or interactions; recording
      and analyzing dreams; practicing equanimity, detachment, and
      surrendering judgments. As we become aware of the deep spiritual
      qualities of our own nature, we move into a place of greater clarity,
      wisdom and acceptance in the third eye.
      The Crown Chakra

      (located at the top of the head)
      As
      we grow into deeper awareness of our spiritual nature, our energy is
      drawn increasingly upward in its desire to reconnect to the source of
      our Being. This process of spiritual awakening or enlightenment is
      facilitated through opening the crown chakra. Energetically, an open
      crown chakra appears as light emerging from the top of the head.
      The
      crown chakra indicates the extent to which we are willing to live our
      lives connected to Spirit and living from truth. It allows for
      inspirational and prophetic thought, mystical connection and devotion,
      ecstasy, transcendence and liberation from identification with
      suffering.
      When we are distracted or overwhelmed by the
      difficulties and pain of life, we may experience loss of faith in a
      compassionate Divine force. Issues of doubt, disbelief and depression
      cloud our inner knowing and overshadow the belief that we are spirit
      beings. We falsely identify with the finite world and feel “existential
      angst�. Some may experience a period known as the “dark night of the
      soul� immortalized by the poetry of St. John of the Cross. For some the
      sense of isolation and spiritual depression may seem unbearable.
      Opening
      and healing the crown chakra involves trust, surrender to Divine love
      and commitment to spiritual practice. It means living in the present,
      fully conscious and open to the experience that life offers. Mystics
      through the ages have turned to prayer, meditation, yoga and silent
      retreat to support their spiritual journeys. A trusted spiritual guide
      or teacher may offer compassionate facilitation along this path.
      The
      chakras are an elegant window to the soul. There is much we can learn
      through deepening our understanding of the qualities, attributes and
      spiritual nuances of these amazing vortexes of energy in the human body.



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