The Crown Chakra’s prominence in both of the most recent healing groups probably merits a little write-up.
Its name is Sahasrara, the “thousand-petalled lotus” infinitely blooming, and its location, natch, is centered on the top of the head. Its color is white and/or violet, its associated organs are the brain, central nervous system, and pituitary and pineal glands, and its themes are universal consciousness, non-duality, awakening, understanding, presence, bliss, paradox, and transcendence of perceived limitations. The crown is where we let go of belief and identity, and in the words of Anodea Judith, where "we transcend the usual things that “hook” us in life and learn to breathe and just be." Not to mention that the crown is also considered the ultimate destination of Kundalini energy and full spiritual liberation!
When the crown chakra is open, active, and balanced, we feel clear, aware, present, intuitive, intelligent, trusting, grounded, equanimous, empathetic, humanitarian, and aligned with the divine. An underactive crown chakra can lead to cynicism, apathy, closed-mindedness, and materialism, and an overactive to spiritual addiction, intellectualizing, confusion, and detachment from the body and earthly concerns.
In addition to aligning energetically through this type of work, various meditations, prayers, yoga postures, mudras, crystals, essentials oils, and so on, can help to open, strengthen, and balance the crown chakra—as can time spent observing and walking in nature, selfless acts of community service, expressions of gratitude, chanting “Om,” detoxing, attending to lower chakra issues, and contemplative questions such as, “How can I best serve the whole?” and “Did I make time for God today?”. Sahasrara resonates with silence, but the stream of life force never stops.
Crown work usually feels like a two-fer to me, as I typically also feel grounding and see a connection with the root chakra. One visualization you might employ to awaken the crown is to bring pure white light down from the cosmos in through your skull, down to your sacrum and coccyx and then circulating back up, surrounding the spine and allowing the life force to flow through and activate each chakra.
While I hadn’t made the connection at the time, I’d say that my most recent tip on the subject of prioritizing happiness was completely crown chakra-oriented, and would also say that I’ve been noticing a string of interesting intuitions recently, including repeatedly knowing who I'm about to encounter on the bus! I’d love to hear about any crown-chakra related expansion you may have noticed since the last group or any of your own crown chakra experience.
May all of our chakras function optimally.
"Chakras Made Easy" by Anodea Judith
"The Energetics of Healing" by Caroline Myss
Given the preponderance of throat chakra work in the most recent adult group, here’s the latest installment in the Know Your Chakras series:
“Vishuddha,” the fifth main chakra, means “purity” in Sanskrit. Its color is bright blue or turquoise, its elements are space and ether, and it’s the gateway to the three upper “spiritual chakras.” It governs the thyroid and parathyroid glands, and not only the neck and throat as one might expect, but also the tongue, jaws, larynx, ears, and shoulders.
As one might also expect, Vishuddha governs communication of all sorts, including not only speaking from our deepest sense of truth, but also listening, self-expression, creativity, harmony, personal integrity, confidence, purpose, vocation, learning, and sense of timing.
With a balanced fifth chakra, we’re honest, creative, and expressive, we listen with compassion, and we remember that words are more difficult than toothpaste to put back into the tube. An underactive fifth chakra can lead to fears of speaking up, speaking too softly, difficulty knowing our truth, timidity, withdrawal, or secrecy; overactivity can lead to boisterousness, gossip, cruelty, or lies.
Activities to open and balance the fifth chakra include singing, listening to music, humming, chanting, and mantras—the “seed sound” for Vishuddha is “Ham” (rhymes with Mom). Various yoga poses, herbs, gems, essential oils, and creative activities of all sorts can open and balance Vishuddha, and you might also consider an affirmation such as “I am aligned with my truth; I speak with clarity, intention, and resonance.” May it be ever thus.
“Communication allows connection and makes it possible for consciousness to dissolve its boundaries and be shared by many.” ~Anodea Judith
The Heart Chakra
Given the increasing prominence of heart chakra work, particularly in group sessions of late, I’d like to share a bit about its nature:
Exercises to open the heart chakra:
Some believe that humanity is evolving from a third chakra, willpower-based stage into a heart chakra-based stage. May we all grow in compassion, balance, acceptance, forgiveness, and selfless generosity, and may we allow both our love and our breath to flow freely.
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. —Rumi
Reference: "Chakras Made Easy" by Anodea Judith
2nd picture credit: deviantart.com
Have you been feeling the big root chakra energy of the groups recently? Maybe y’all know all of this already, nevertheless, here’s my latest installment in the Know Your Chakras series:
“Muladhara” (moo-laud-hara) is located at the base of the spine and its associated physicality includes the perineum, coccyx, sacrum, first three vertebrae, lower torso and colon, legs and feet, skeleton, teeth, and immune system. It’s the first chakra to develop, beginning in the womb and continuing through our first year of life. Its color is deep red, its element is earth, and its primary theme is base survival.
With an open and balanced root chakra, we feel grounded, healthy, nourished, calm, solid, stable, prosperous, safe, trusting, self-confident, and worthy of receiving. An overactive root can lead to feelings of sluggishness, materialism, resistance to change, greed, and over-identification with the body, and an underactive to fear and anxiety, feelings of unworthiness, financial worries, and disconnection from the body. If any of these have been active for you lately, it might very well be a function of the root chakra work you’ve been doing.
The lower chakras sometimes get an unwarranted bad rap for being more concerned with earthly rather than spiritual pursuits, but for the duration of our time here in these meat suits, everything we do is embodied, every prayer, every meditation, every creation, every instance of love, and as Allen Ginsberg famously reminded us in his “Footnote to Howl," there’s nothing that isn’t spiritual.
Practices to activate Muladhara include connecting with Mother Earth via gardening, hiking, barefoot grounding, surrounding yourself with natural objects, or visualizing roots drawing nourishment up from the earth—and also by engaging the body and the five senses through activities such as dancing, yoga, deep belly breaths, showering, savoring your food, and the one that can be practiced all day every day: bringing awareness to the soles of your feet or your sitting butt and feeling the planet's support.
May we all know our fundamental security, our importance, our right to exist, our every abundance, and our solid foundation.