Before you can use Chakra meditation you need to get a basic understanding of the chakras and their relationship to the body, mind and spirit. Some people, when they hear the word 'chakra,' immediately think about Indian mysticism, or perhaps Chinese medicine. I personally still need to learn much more about these mysterious energy centres of the body. But the important thing, as always, is to keep an open mind, obtain some basic information of the ideas and then see if these can have meaning for you. You may well feel a natural affinity to the chakras, or you may find that you cannot yet sense how these energy centres work or apply to you.
Keep in mind also that while the word 'chakra' clearly comes from Hindi, this does not mean that all this is different.within western meditation practices. For example, Carolyn Myss in her book 'Anatomy of the Spirit' brought together the chakra system, the kabbalistic Tree of Life and the christian sacraments, showing how these three approaches to understanding and working with univeral energy essentially correspond. She thereby makes it very convincing that while the cultures from which these ideas are derived are clearly different, they share in fact a common understanding of the essential nature of all life. t would not surprise me if the Muslim Sufi tradition also offers comparable insights.
Simply put, the chakras are energy centres in the energy body of the human being. These energy centres are mapped onto the physical body but extend beyond that body.Their state is apparently indicative of the health or otherwise of particular aspects of the human being, which in turn can become manifested through physical signals. Some people can apprently see the chakras (for example Carolyn Myss is a contemporary healer with this gift and Rudolf Steiner was able to also). The correspondence wit hte physical body is roughly as follows: First (chakra): base of the spine; Second: sex organs; Third: Stomach; Fourth: Heart/lungs; Fifth:Throat; Sixth: Forehad or 'third eye'; Seventh: Crown of the head.
These are only rough indications and should not be seen in any way as complete. They show the general areas of the body that you focus on to discover the stae of health of each chakra. To fully work with this you also then need to understand how the different chakras relate to aspects of the human experience, but I will leave this to the experts! Instead, here is a simple meditation to allow you discover something about the middle chakra, number 4, the heart chakra. I have chosen this one because on the one hand its 'location' or mapping onto the physical body is fairly clear. On the other hand, this chakra "resonates to our emotional perceptions" (Carolyn Myss as aboe, p. 197). In other words, in some ways the heart chakra is equivalent to what we call 'love' and tuning in to it will give us both a sense of our relationship to love and begin to enhance this same relationship. So here goes:
Chakra Meditation Exercise
This is a brief exercise that focuses on getting in touch with your heart chakra (fifth chakra) through your physical heart.
Make yourself comfortable, preferable sitting upright on a comfortable, striaght chair. Your back may be supported.
a few deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling as far as you can, without
straining. You may close your eyes, or keep them open, resting your eyes
on the floor a little distance in front of you or on the wall opposite.
Sitting still, alow your breathing to resume its gentle rhythm and the focus your attention on your heart. Become aware of the sensations around your chest and heart and lungs. Just observe, feel and accept whatever you experience.
You may experience subtle changes in the sensations of your heart, it's beat and of the movements of your rib cage and lungs. Allow all this to happen. Just observe.
After a few minutes, come gently back from this intensive observation. Feel your body on the chair. Become aware of your surroundings.
Come fully back with your attention to the here and now and gently resume your normal activities.
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