Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Seven Chakras - Expanding Human Consciousness

Perhaps it's because I'm teaching the chakras in my weekly Kundalini yoga class that I've been thinking about these seven energy centres located in the subtle energy body. This week I focused on awakening the heart chakra, the fourth chakra.
The Seven Chakras
Prior to this class, I had taught the first three chakras, the physical, emotional and mental and at some point had the realization that these chakras are very much concerned with instinct and survival. They also comprise what we think of as our identity, our personality, who I AM. Each chakra corresponds to the first seven years of life so, as you can imagine, at age 21, a lot has happened during our lives to cause energy to become frozen in these chakras. This is why the instruction of "know yourself" is so critical to awakening.

I say "know yourself" not "judge yourself." It's an important distinction. When realization arrives, it is easy to get into blame or guilt. This is a trap.

It is also a trap to dwell too much on first realizations when energy becomes unfrozen in these chakras. For example, when I realized for the first time that a desire to disengage from the adult world was motivating my spiritual journey, it was shocking, but also liberating. More importantly it gave me the space to create an adult relationship with spirituality — one based in being in the world, not outside, alone in some altered state of consciousness.

The process that freezes this energy is often unpleasant. It can take the form of dark thoughts and unfounded opinions, coupled with feelings of being unsettled and agitated without knowing why — at least that was how it was for me.

There are days when it's still like that because the process of spiritual awakening is not linear. What works for me is staying with facts and not getting drawn in or absorbed by whatever is going on in the mind or body.

Unfrozen or transformed Energy in the first three chakras prepares the way for one of the most prodigious leaps in consciousness a human being can experience, the shift from the third chakra (solar plexus) to the fourth — the Heart.

This shift marks the beginning of what it is to be a human being. It is the shift from "Me" to "We." The realization that there is no separation, just the illusion of separation, followed by the desire to make a difference, to make a contribution to the world, not based on ego, but on a genuine desire to act.

It is this wanting to make a contribution without any ego attachment that defines this stage of awakening. At this stage there is also the realization that we are not the mind/body, but that which watches everything that arises from the mind/body. It is the stage of deep compassion both for oneself and others. There is also the realization that all and everything is LOVE and most importantly that there is nothing wrong either with oneself or with life.

Heart fully awakened, it becomes a matter of Grace as to whether or not consciousness shifts and stimulates the final three chakras, which are relatively clear of blocked energy. But whether or not it is possible for consciousness to permanently awaken so as to complete the individuation process seems to occur on a case by case basis. 

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