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by Michelle S. Fondin
Positioned along the spinal axis, from the tailbone to the crown of the head, the seven main energy centers of the body are called chakras. Author Michelle Fondin explores and explains each one in the seven chapters of her new book, Chakra Healing for Vibrant Energy, which demystifies the role of the chakras in facilitating healing, balance, personal power, and everyday well-being. She offers meditations and visualizations, yoga postures, breathing exercises, and Ayurvedic dietary practices to learn about and work with the chakras. We hope you enjoy this introduction to the book.
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What Is a Chakra?
Chakras are energy centers within the body. The word chakra means “wheel” or “disk.” Think of the chakras as spinning vortices of energy. Everything is composed of energy and information. Every object emanates from movement and vibration. The seven main chakras align along the spine, starting at the base of the spine and moving up to the crown of the head.
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In the ancient Indian texts called the Vedas, we learn that the physical body is made up of the five great elements called the mahabhutas. Those five elements are space (akasha), air (vayu), water (jala), fire (tejas), and earth (prithivi). The elements are the building blocks of nature and therefore build our bodies as well.
Ancient texts go on to explain that we also have a subtle body. This subtle body is nonphysical and energetic in nature. The subtle body is governed by prana, or vital life force. Prana circulates throughout the body and mind. It is responsible for the flow of energy and information. In the subtle body, prana travels through channels called nadis. Nadis are circulatory channels within the body such as veins, arteries, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the digestive system, the excretory system, and the reproductive system. Think of nadis as the information highway to your mind, body, soul, and spirit, just as the internet is the information highway that brings information to your browser.
If you have a difficult time grasping the concept of the subtle body, reflect on your mind and thoughts. Thoughts are nonphysical entities. Yet ask anyone who thinks (and that would include all of us), and they will tell you that thoughts are quite real. Scientists have been able to pinpoint areas in the brain where thoughts originate or take place, but slice open a human head and you won’t find one thought in there. According to Vedic texts, the mind, intellect, and ego also reside within the subtle body.
Now let’s go back to the example of the internet. When you want information, you want it fast, right? You’re doing research for a work project or a school report, or getting the scoop on a guy you want to date, and you don’t want to wait forever. In the infancy of the internet, with dial-up modems, you could log on, go get a cup of coffee, use the restroom, do your nails, and then the AOL voice of “You’ve got mail” would finally vibrate in your ever-so-waiting ears. But today, in the world of fiber-optic cables and Wi-Fi, information comes pretty much as quickly as you can type in your question. And when it doesn’t come that fast you get frustrated.
For your body to work at an optimal level, the channels through which information travels must be open for that information to get quickly to its destination. If they’re blocked, or if there is an abnormality where the information pools in a given area, you won’t receive the information you need when you need it. So the nadis are the highways or the fiber-optic cables, and prana is the package of information that needs to be carried.
In total, we have around 88,000 chakras in the body, and the seven main chakras are the information hubs. They gather information on certain aspects of your body, mind, spirit, health, and life. When adequate energy flows to these chakras, that energy fills the area with the information each chakra needs to perform its unique specialty.
Like a highway, your body is constantly moving, changing, growing, and being modified by outside influences. While you may intend to keep the energy and information flowing throughout your body at all times, your lifestyle choices, life experiences, and outside influences may hinder the flow. Fortunately, certain practices can help keep these channels open and information flowing freely, and in this book you will learn what you need to do to achieve this goal quickly and easily.
The Philosophy of the Chakras
The concept of the chakras comes from ancient Indian texts of the Tantric tradition. Tantra is a complicated and important nonreligious philosophy. The Tantric texts are separate from the famously known Indian texts, the Vedas, from whence Ayurveda came.
In the West we tend to associate the word Tantra with sex. While sex is mentioned in the Tantric texts, it’s meant to be reserved as a practice for only the most advanced yoga practitioners. The main goal of Tantra is to explore the deep mysteries of life and to become liberated within the confines of this world.
The word Tantra means “to weave.” Tantra is the process of weaving together the body, which has great wisdom, and the mind, which has immense power. By heeding the wisdom of the body and by harnessing the power of the mind you can find the enormous beauty in life on this planet and achieve self-mastery.
The symbolism and stories of the chakras, including their deities and mysticism, are beautiful, colorful, complex, and certainly worth exploring. For the sake of brevity, I will teach you the basics of the chakra system. The foreign words I present come from Sanskrit. For the most part, Sanskrit is no longer spoken but is rich in the roots of language, as many modern English words stem from Sanskrit root words.
The Marriage of Tantra, Ayurveda, and the Yoga Sutras
In order to cognitively grasp the journey into the chakras, it’s important to understand a little about the story behind them. According to the Upanishads, a collection of ancient Hindu texts, purusha (spirit) is pure universal consciousness. Purusha is formless and unchanging. Out of purusha, prakruti, or physical matter, is formed. Prakruti is subject to change and influenced by cause and effect. Everything is a creation of purusha: sun, moon, stars, planets, trees, animals, and humans. Therefore every living thing contains the very essence of the Creator. In a sense, this philosophy isn’t much different from the Judeo-Christian view of God expressed in Genesis 2:7: “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”
According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the foundational text of yoga philosophy, the main goal in our lifetime is to find our way back to self-realization. The word self in the act of self-realization does not refer to our individual selves with our unique personalities and individual bodies but rather the awakening to the Self with a capital S, the one from which we originate.
We’re born into this world with these bodies, seemingly disconnected from our Creator, so how do we manage?
The second-century sage Patanjali explains in the Yoga Sutras that we have to deal with the three psychic forces of the mind called the gunas, which govern the subconscious of all prakruti. The three gunas are sattva, rajas, and tamas.
Sattva is balanced, pure, peaceful, alert, clear-minded, and filled with light.
Rajas is the moving, active energy that is ever-changing.
Tamas is inertia, decay, heaviness, dullness, darkness, and obstruction.
These three qualities of prakruti are necessary in our lives at different times. For example, your spiritual practice is satt-vic, and there is a time and place for it in your day. When you need to work and accomplish your goals, you need rajasic energy. When you need to sleep at night, you need tamas so you can get your rest.
In addition to the three gunas, Ayurveda teaches that we have three mind-body types, or doshas, which manifest out of the five great elements. The three doshas are Vata (space and air), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (water and earth). Each of us has our own unique makeup of the three doshas, which creates our strengths and challenges.
Through the knowledge of the three gunas and the three doshas, we can begin to navigate our body, mind, and life here on earth and start to move toward self-realization.
Since the chakras are part of our physical and subtle bodies, they’re also influenced by the gunas and the doshas. The first end goal in the pursuit of self-realization is to live a balanced life. As Tantra teaches, our goal is not to deny the body and the physical realm but to embrace it fully and draw everything good out of it that we possibly can while working our way toward an enlightened state of being, which yoga philosophy refers to as moksha, or liberation.
When you’re no longer bound by the confines of the gunas and the vacillating and changing nature of the doshas, and you can move through the chakras openly and seamlessly, you have reached enlightenment.
Imagine what it would be like to be in love with every aspect of what it means to be human. True liberation is when love emanates from your being at all times. You’re awakened to the gift of each moment and in love with every one. Nothing is a burden, for everything is light, love, and infinite being. You don’t need to be anywhere or do anything; this awareness is always with you. For you are it and it is you. That is what we’re all here to achieve.
Awakening Kundalini Energy
According to Tantric texts, we have around 72,000 nadis, or circulatory channels, in the body, which transport prana. In our study of the chakras, we will focus only on the Shushumna nadi, the Ida nadi, and the Pingala nadi. The Shushumna nadi is the energy channel that starts at the base of the spine in the area of the first chakra. It’s where the Kundalini Shakti (creative energy) sits like a serpent, coiled up in three rings, waiting to spring forth into action and wake up the chakras. The Shushumna nadi travels up the length of the spine in a channel behind the spinal cord to the crown of the head at the seventh chakra. From the base of the Shushumna nadi arise two other nadis, the Ida nadi and the Pingala nadi. The Ida nadi is lunar in nature: passive, gentle, and feminine. The Pingala nadi is solar: warm, stimulating, and masculine. The Ida nadi starts and ends on the left side of the Shushumna nadi, and the Pingala nadi starts and ends on the right side. The Ida and Pingala nadis cross at every chakra, and all three of these nadis meet at the sixth, or third-eye, chakra. In our bodies the Ida and Pingala nadis alternate in dominance. Generally the Ida nadi dominates the right side of the brain, and the Pingala dominates the left side.
Kundalini energy is awakened through purification of the body and mind. There are many practices to cleanse the physical body, including eating a clean diet; abstaining from impure substances; detoxifying through Ayurvedic daily practices such as tongue scraping and nasal washing with a neti pot and nasya (infused oil); and the Ayurvedic seasonal cleansing practices of panchakarma, or five actions. In addition, one must practice yoga asanas (physical postures, what we in the West generally think of as “yoga”) and pranayama (breathing techniques). Purifying the mind comes with the practice of the eight limbs of yoga: the yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, darana, dhyana, and samadhi.
About the author:
Michelle S. Fondin, author of Chakra Healing for Vibrant Energy and The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda is an Ayurvedic lifestyle counselor and as a yoga and meditation teacher. She holds a Vedic Master certificate from the Chopra Center and has worked with Dr. Deepak Chopra teaching yoga and meditation. Find out more about her work at www.michellefondinauthor.com.
Excerpted from the book Chakra Healing for Vibrant Energy: Exploring Your 7 Energy Centers with Mindfulness, Yoga, and Ayurveda. Copyright © 2018 by Michelle S. Fondin. Printed with permission from New World Library. www.newworldlibrary.com
Historically the use of cannabis amongst many cultures was acceptable. From the Yangshao culture in China 4800 years ago, to Korea and spreading across Central Asia.
Many centuries-old tombs when excavated have been found to contain Cannabis. Most interestingly was the case of a Chinese Shaman. The tomb being 2800 years old, held an estimated 800 grams of cannabis. The use being for medicine in the afterlife.
India currently still values cannabis for spiritual evolution and medicinal health.
The popular Hindu God, Shiva is known in parts of India as “Shiva, Lord of Bhang.” Bhang being cannabis.
Cannabis was legal in India up until 1985, and although illegal now due to pressures from other countries, it can be consumed or smoked on Maha Shivaratri.
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In “The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,” this famous Guru’s disciple writes with honesty Sri Ramakrishna’s use of Hemp (Cannabis). Many yogis use Cannabis for spiritual upliftment and maintaining health.
In the 1890’s during the British occupation of India, Britain was concerned about the use of Cannabis and commissioned a study lead by Sir William Mackworth Young. His findings:
“The moderate use of hemp drugs is practically attended by no evil results at all… It has been the most striking feature in this inquiry to find how little the effects of hemp drugs have obtruded themselves on observation. The facts combine to show most clearly how little injury society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs.”
In Ancient times, we can safely ascertain that Cannabis was a highly respected plant. It is known to be one of the five sacred plants.
In 2010, Dr. David Nutt conducted a study in which he ranked twenty drugs by their “harm to self or others.” Alcohol ranked the most harmful. Cannabis ranked low with tobacco ranking above it. Interestingly, psilocybin was the lowest.
Even with positive research such as Dr. Nutts’ the centuries of dispute around cannabis remain.
The argument however, should no longer be whether cannabis is good or bad, but factually should address the fears that reside amongst those who do not understand the need for it.
Any fear around cannabis is based on an individual’s belief. Cannabis is not the issue but “the fear of human expression by fellow humans” is more the issue.
Everyone has valid beliefs and concerns. The pendulum swings back and forth amongst lawmakers, politicians, neighbors and friends. In the midst of this fight are humans whose mental suffering can be alleviated if taught how to use cannabis as a means to uplift themselves rather than for social benefit.
My own experience, which I have written about, details my personal suffering with Western medicine such as antidepressants followed by my final relief and freedom with Eastern Wisdom using cannabis and psilocybin.
Many medical professionals believe that some people are predisposed to happiness and some are predisposed to sadness. This predisposition is determined by your childhood upbringing and environment. It is essentially the way you view the world.
If people who are predisposed to sadness seek a means to overcome it, then who has the right to stop them? You can never understand a man’s suffering until you have experienced in totality his world as he sees it.
My own experience with cannabis for mental health proved powerful and freeing. The ‘bad’ trips some speak of are not bad at all. My ‘bad’ trip was in fact my own deep-seated memories which lay hidden from me and cannabis revealed. There is no doubting the higher more intuitive guidance that prevails and the clarity which descends.
This type of experience cannot be attained through social use of cannabis, but only through introspective meditation and a daily, dedicated, disciplined practice of yoga. This requires a level of self-honesty that is inconceivable to most. It is a self-honesty that births trust, humbleness and surrender.
The intuitive wisdom that arises from within the silence of meditation evolves you and ultimately moves you away from cannabis use. My experience is, if you find yourself wanting more cannabis then this is a sign of ‘imagination disease.’ The ancient Vedic texts talks about this. Chasing after ego visions.
Cannabis used socially reaps little personal growth. Cannabis used spiritually as a means of learning about yourself returns you to an authenticity that reveals an inner freedom that can be fearful at first but ultimately freeing.
As an evolved race, there are certain things we know:
- Anything taken in excess is harmful.
- Everything in life should be in balance.
- People seeking happiness from an external source are sad internally.
What we don’t know is the depth of sorrow that fills another’s soul, nor the agony which keeps one awake at night. I have walked this road and I can honestly say, our fellow humans need our support not our judgements and prejudices.
A need to babysit society is a need to make things comfortable for ‘yourself.’
Observe, is it not when things go against your beliefs that you oppose them? Practice acceptance and cultivate understanding.
We must allow others to make choices that are supportive to them not our beliefs.
About the Author:
Ashta-deb is the author of Life Happens to Us: A True Story. She is a registered hypnotherapist and a member of the national Guild of Hypnotists, Inc. She integrates Yoga Nidra (Eastern Wisdom) with Hypnosis (Western knowledge) to maximize supportive results.
She offers several online self-awareness and self-development guidance sessions via Skype. Her unique ability to apply the centuries old teachings of Vedanta to modern day life is truly amazing. Her psychic abilities allow her to see deeply into another’s soul which at times can prove unsettling. Ashta-deb engages daily in meditation and pranayama, reading books on Vedanta and experimenting with ancient yoga techniques as described in the scriptures. She enjoys her family time with her husband, Sam and four children in Ontario, Canada.
Connect with Ashta-deb on Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about Life Happens to Us at www.ashtaashram.com.
Life Happens to Us: A True Story is available for purchase in paperback and e-book via Amazon, Friesen Press, Ashta-Ashram website, and all major booksellers.
by Haritha Nayak
As an Initiate, have you ever wondered or wanted to connect to the Universal consciousness to know the answers? Did you know that, we all are, at all times in connection with it and communicating with it? Of course, people do not know how to decipher this communication because it happens in the form of symbols and signs in meditations, dreams and even in concrete reality. It requires one to have the knowledge of Symbolic Language to connect to the Source Code, to understand and perceive well, this communication within the universe. And when we receive the Source Code, our whole life changes completely.
Ancients have used the knowledge of Symbolic Language or Symbolism since the time immemorial to pass on the wisdom. When there was no mechanism to write books etc., wisdom was passed on in the form of folklores, stories and holy symbols. When we look at the Ying Yang, the Star of David or the Ardhnareshwara form of Shiva, these were all symbols used to share the fusion of the polarities that exists in each one of us. Similarly, different traditions used symbolism to convey the same deep spiritual messages all over the world. Therefore when we know the symbolic meaning i.e. the consciousness behind the symbol or story, then we connect to the Source Code of wisdom, wisdom in the purest form, which is beyond everything!
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Indian mythology is very interesting and full of wisdom when we understand it symbolically. Since I was child, I always wanted to know the true meaning of things; I questioned things because questioning triggers a beautiful journey. One day it leads to profound answers, the answers that come from within, not necessarily from outside. When we look at Indian mythology, we see the reference of many animals because animals symbolise the Needs in us. And transcending the needs leads one to an elevated conscience. Especially, in Indian mythology we see an animal being associated to each god. This was meant to help the initiate understand what kind of needs he has to transcend to be able to acquire the qualities of that associated God.
For example, when we talk about Ganesha, we see his vehicle to be a Mouse. This is so beautiful to symbolically understand that a mouse has a consciousness of insecurities, fear of being vulnerable, living in a mouse hole etc. while Ganesha is a symbol of prosperity and abundance. And mouse biologically multiplies so fast, just like the thoughts of insecurities and fears in a person when he keeps brooding. So we realise here that in order to receive these qualities of true prosperity and abundance, one has to first master the distortion of a mouse within. One who masters the inner mouse by doing an intense work on their memories, gets access to the qualities of Ganesha within, the qualities that have always been there but were hidden due to past memories of mouse behaviour in the process of learning in the soul evolution cycle. This is what an initiate should meditate on, when connecting to Ganesha, an energy that is inside everyone.
This way we can understand other aspects of Ganesha very deeply but now let us talk about another beautiful energy that we all have…Hanuman. When we look at Hanuman, we see that ancients used symbols for a reason, to transfer a wise teaching to the coming generations. The knowledge was passed with the right message that with time got lost or diluted. Now to understand, we look at the meaning of Monkey first, which symbolises lack of concentration, a behaviour of copying others, too playful, anger etc. on the minus…and this is how a human mind is, that is why sometimes the phrase “monkey mind”. But on the plus, the Monkey is a very intelligent species. It means that when a person works on these negative aspects and transcends them, then their mind is focused and concentrated, they become a meditator, a person who has mastered the anger and serves the right causes with the intelligence and power of mind…i.e. they become like Hanuman…
He is also known as”Vayu Putra” i.e. son of Air. The Air element is always in connection to thoughts symbolically, so someone who masters his/her thoughts, way of thinking, as thoughts have so much power. We create what we think or the way we think in our life…we are what we think! Now if we look at the story where as a child hanuman swallowed the sun, it means that when a person uses the power, any power, without wisdom, not considering the repercussions to others, it is not good, then the universe can take it away from the person till he becomes more balanced, intelligent and imbibes the right intentions for self and others. That is what it meant when Hanuman lost his powers and got them back to help Lord Ram later because by then he had become a changed, transformed soul who had the right wisdom of good and evil, and knew that power should be used for good deeds and actions…that misuse leads to disasters and hence forgoing them. If we think and become like that, then in the true sense we become a disciple of Hanuman, because we integrate the teaching of what he symbolises.
And, we should also look at the Anger aspect of a monkey, how, if or when they are triggered, they can be so aggressive and attack. And we see how Hanuman is a symbol of transcendence of Anger as he is always meditative, helping, kind and full of love. Therefore he also symbolises that one can be like him or if one is a true disciple, then they must continue to work on this aspect of anger and one day become a symbol of universal love and calm.
Hanuman is also connected to a deep devotion to Ram and Sita. When we understand symbolically, Ram and Sita signify the masculine and feminine polarity in all of us. Polarities are the essence of the creation; the fusion of polarities is the base of universal creation. We are a whole universe too and have the same elements and polarities that compose us. That is the reason, by working and knowing ourselves we know the whole universe. Feminine polarity i.e. love when unites with the masculine polarity i.e. wisdom, then it becomes the Creator! And to experience it within, the mind must be mastered. It needs a true devotion to achieve self-realisation, just like Hanuman. And when we understand this and imbibe this quality in us, we invoke the inner Hanuman. We connect to our own inner Source Code and move ahead in knowing the self.
Isn’t it amazing to understand the true symbolism of everything. Another very beautiful that I always admired and wanted to understand deeply was of Shiva. Quite naturally it would bring so much peace to the mind and intrigue at the same time. He is adorned with so many objects like snake in the neck, Bull as his vehicle, Ganges coming out from the head, Trishul in the hand, a moon on the head etc. Just this one figure and so much to learn from if we understand its symbolism. Let us try to understand the Bull just like the Mouse for the Ganesha. Physically the bulls are much more muscular (symbolically excessive willpower) than cows (symbolically mild and easy going), with thicker bones (symbolising well grounded and structured) , larger feet (symbolises balance in matter), a very muscular neck (Overly self focused communication), and a large, bony head with protective ridges over the eyes (ability to see clearly). These features assist bulls in fighting for domination over a herd, giving the winner superior access to cows for reproduction. They are also known for aggression and a known term “Bullying” associated. Therefore the bull signifies these qualities that an initiate must develop and distortions that an initiate must master i.e. Strength: Willpower, Motivation, Goal orientation, Balanced in matter, and Weaknesses to master : Anger, aggression, selfish, too focused in result, stubborn, crushes others to win, excessive willpower. When an initiate does that, then he invokes the ability to advance on his path , the spiritual path to become like Shiva who is the epitome of meditation, wisdom and union of polarities within. We see that the Nandi and mouse, both are the vehicles i.e. the way of advancing further, therefore we learn also profoundly that to progress towards true prosperity and abundance i.e. Ganesha, one must be steady and careful while transcending the distortions of the mouse. In the same way, to become a great meditator like shiva one must advance with great will power and goal orientation while transcending the distortions of the bull. Everything is inside us as a state of consciousness, all the animals because transcending the needs we acquire their vital strength; and the entire universe too.
In continuation to the symbolic understanding of mythology, we see another profound symbol i.e. Snake. We see snake with Shiva, Ganesha and many others in some or the other way. Snake does denote the kundalini that lives in all of us however with the deeper symbolic understanding as a state of consciousness, we can learn even more what it means for a spiritual initiate. Snake as an animal is connected with matter due to its shape as well as behaviour. As it is an animal, a snake represents certain aspects of our instinctual vital energy. Since it crawls along the ground, its symbolism is closely related to the earth element and to the world of action in matter. Its cold blood obliges it to regularly seek out sunny places to capture the heat of the sun. On the symbolic level, from a negative point of view, the coldness of its blood and the need for solar energy represent emotional coldness and the absence of inner life dynamics to radiate, enlighten, and warm the person and his entourage. Associated with the distorted use of masculine aspects, this characteristic leads to a selfish person who uses his power of emissivity and action to control and dominate others in order to satisfy his own instincts, his primary needs, his personal and sexual pleasures and desires.
A snake is also a predator that knows how to remain calm, discreet, immobile, hidden and well camouflaged in its environment, waiting for the right moment to catch its prey. This behavior associates it with slyness and hypocrisy, just as its forked tongue evokes duality in the way we communicate. Other snake features are the fact that it is deaf and it finds its way by using its sense of smell as well as its tongue, its sense of taste. This symbolizes difficulty in being receptive and listening to the needs and advice of our entourage, as well as a tendency to advance solely focused on our own tastes, moods, desires, and needs, thereby feeding on others, on the energy level. Moreover, when a snake moves, its head precedes the rest of its body. Symbolically, this indicates an obsession with our thoughts, which forces our other levels (emotional and physical) to follow. This results in very sly, insidious behavioral dynamics to get what we want.
In religious tradition, the snake symbolizes the tempter that puts people to the test, confronting them with the choice of behaving in accordance with superior realities, i.e. respecting them and obeying the Divine Laws that govern them, or acting according to instinctual impulses and personal desires, without worrying about the possible individual or collective consequences their choices and acts may lead to. That is why the ascended masters are shown with a snake in some or the other form, as a symbol of transcendence of it.
It is so beautiful to understand the true meaning of everything. It is beyond the rituals and boundaries that humans have created with each other due to not having access to the knowledge sometimes. When we understand the source code of the symbols, it opens a new door to multi-dimensions. We start receiving the answers ourselves, we become our own Guru and we become an eternal student at the same time, always Evolving. UCM is dedicated to bring this ancient knowledge back to all the seekers in the modern times, a knowledge that always has been there and is now ready to be accessed by all…Yet again!
About the author:
Haritha Nayak is an Assistant Professor with Universe / City Mikael (UCM), Canada. Coming from a background of experiencing corporate work life for many years while also balancing her spiritual journey towards soul evolution and autonomy, she now shares what many would call “Practical Spirituality”. Her practice of Angelica Yana & Symbolic language has helped her gain a deeper understanding of the unconscious and the Law of Cause & Effect.
From her childhood, she used to get powerful dreams, she knew they were messages, however at that time she could not understand them. Her soul was continuously seeking for the right guidance to come in her life. She did her Past life Regression course with a gold medal but the quest of her soul fulfilled after meeting Kaya & Christiane from UCM who initiated her to the intense path of knowing thyself with Dreams, Signs, Symbols & meditation. With this, all the Indian rituals, mythologies and spiritual practices that had lost their true meaning over the years, started become clear to her and the entire new universe of knowledge unfolded with symbolic language.
She now shares how to gain this profound understanding of the mysteries of life and the Universe by working with the 72 Angels, decoding Dreams and everyday Signs and Symbols. Through Angelica Yana, she also gives everyone a true gift of transformation.
To know more about her, please visit: https://www.ucm.ca/en/authors/haritha-nayak. Email: email@example.com
By Kelly Lydick
Its color is Green. It’s the middle of the seven chakras, nestled between three upper and three lower centers. It bridges the gap between ego (the lower chakras) and spirit (the upper chakras), and connects each one of us to universal life force. The heart chakra creates a filed called a “torus” and it looks like a donut. This allows energy to flow in an ever-renewing fashion through the center of the body and out across the layers of the aura that emanate from the body.
The fourth chakra is also a conduit between personal power and the intellect. The three lower chakras ground our energy on the physical plane, while the three upper chakras provide a channel from the divine and the higher self into the physical—with the heart as an instrument of divine expression amongst them. The heart chakra is the wellspring for feelings of joy, oneness with all (unity), love, compassion, forgiveness, trust, excitement, and the ability to heal.
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One of the most interesting facts about the heart is that is has a nervous system just like the brain and can make decisions independent of the brain (Eden, 156). It’s no surprise, then, that we are each capable of thinking with the heart just as we can think with the brain. The language of the heart is the language of divine expressed through human form: emotions. When emotions ebb and flow, the heart chakra can open and close depending on whether the emotion is positive or negative; whether there are feelings of fear or feelings of safety.
“One of the problems in modern cultures,” Donna Eden suggests, “is that the heart chakra is underdeveloped in too many individuals and its principles are underrepresented in too many of our institutions” (155). Balance here, though, is key, as a person whose heart chakra is too open “…may overidentify with other people’s pain, suffering so much for the other that they become emotionally disabled, codependent, and ultimately no more capable of a successful relationship than a person whose heat chakra is shriveled” (155).
When we experience a loss of energy in the fourth chakra, Caroline Myss states that jealousy, bitterness, anger, hatred, and an inability to forgive can occur. When fear is present in this chakra, emotional weakness and betrayal can occur (198). Often the internal struggle is whether to let the ego and intellect control, or allow the emotions to flow; with each experience there is a choice point that occurs if self-awareness is present.
The challenge is that emotions are often triggered by events of the past that are held by memories of how these past events played out. The brain’s basal ganglia, the part of the brain that stores emotions, habits and pattern recognition, expects the same outcome in the present moment that occurred at another moment in the past—and the looping that occurs here interferes with the heart’s intelligence. This is where self-awareness plays a crucial role and must be used to override the looping of the ego and intellect to allow the heart’s intelligence to lead.
Learning to work with the energy of the heart, and keep the heart chakra’s energy balanced is paramount to staying in a space of love, compassion, trust and joy.
Tips to Keep the Fourth Chakra Balanced:
- Lead with the heart. Sometimes this is easier said than done because the ego wants to engage in control. But leading with the heart is possible and can come easily with practice.
- Practice self-care. The heart chakra is the center of self. When we let self care go by the wayside, it demonstrates a lack of self love. And self love keeps us in our personal integrity.
- Raise your emotional IQ. Becoming self-aware is not an easy task. But as your awareness increases, so too can you balance the intellect with emotions. Remember that emotions as just energy in motion, and it’s the associations and attachments we create that color this experience.
- Practice forgiveness. When we forgive, we release energy from the heart space. Lacking forgiveness, for the self or others keeps energy stuck. Learning to forgive is the best way to free yourself and others from disappointment, expectation, and attachment.
- Love yourself. It’s true what has been said that you can only love another as much as you love yourself. If there are areas in your life in which you would like to heal or grow, make these a priority each day. When self-love is the foundation upon which you stand, other areas can more easily come into balance and flow.
Eden, Donna. (1998). Energy Medicine. London, England: Penguin Books, Ltd.
“Habits: How They Form and How to Break Them” www.npr.org/2012/03/05/147192599/habits-how-they-form-and-how-to-break-them
Myss, Caroline. (1996). Anatomy of the Spirit. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.
About the author:
Kelly Lydick received her M.A. in Writing and Consciousness from the New College of California, San Francisco (now at CIIS). Her writing has appeared in Guernica, Drunken Boat, Switched-on Gutenberg, Mission at Tenth, Thema, Tarpaulin Sky, and True Blue Spirit magazines, as well as on the home page of ElephantJournal.com. Her work has also been featured on NPR’s The Writers’ Block. She is the author of the experimental work, Mastering the Dream.
Kelly holds certifications as a Meditation Facilitator, Reiki Master, Crystal Reiki Master, Past Life Healer, and Gateway Dreaming™ Coach. She teaches writing and metaphysical workshops, and offers private consultations through her company Waking the Dream. In 2016, she was awarded a Juno fellowship from the world-renowned Omega Institute for achievements in healing and women’s leadership. You can learn more about her work at www.kellylydick.com.