“The Moon, in Qabalistic tradition, is called the Intelligence of Interrelatedness and is though to have an affinity for the occipital region of the brain (the round curve at the back of your heard). In esoteric metaphysics, the occipital region of the brain is said to be connected to every point in time and space. Through the Moon we are connected to the universe. An idea to entertain (in your occipital) is that this region of the brain is the portal through which images cross from our minds out into the world, where they become real.” - Caroline Casey
Both the 6th chakra and the moon invite us to dive inside in and explore our inner realms. They both explore the fruits of dream time and our power to be active participants in the world we dream up. As I explored this further, I came across the passage above from Caroline Casey about the moon. It seemed fitting, this idea of the moon's residence in the back of the skull and that like the 6th chakra it created this bridge between our own mind and the world.
The heart chakra holds a unique place in the chakra system as it governs as a bridge between the lower/physical chakras and the upper/spiritual chakras. It is the melding of the gross and the subtle here with love that we find the true union of the physical world and the spiritual world.
If, as we've discussed in previous posts, we have built walls, blocks and other protection around the heart, running this energy becomes increasingly difficult. Lower chakras can atrophy without the touch of the divine, and upper chakras have trouble staying grounded without the the touch of physical reality. We need both kinds of energy and the heart is the bridge. Use the following practices to fortify the bridge of the heart and bring your energy into alignment in the chakras
"Just as we open and heal the body by sensing its rhythms and touching it with a deep and kind attention, so we can open and heal other dimensions of our being. The heart and the feelings go through a similar process of healing through the offering of our attention to their rhythms, nature and needs. Most often, opening the heart begins by opening to a lifetime's accumulation of unacknowledged sorrow, both our personal sorrows and the universal sorrows of warfare, hunger, old age, illness and death. At time we may experience this sorrow physically as contractions and barriers around our heart, but more often we feel the depth of our wounds, our abandonment, our pain as unshed tears. The Buddhists describe this as an ocean of human tears larger than the four great oceans. As we take the one seat and develop a meditative attention, the heart presents itself naturally for healing." -Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart
The focus of this blog is digestion: how we digest things we take in on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Its just not about how we digest the food we eat, but how we take in experiences in our life and integrate them into ourselves. And when we talk about digestion, of equal importance is elimination. When I was sitting with this idea of elimination I came across a passage in Lama Surya Das' book Awakening the Buddha Within that spoke about renunciation. This was a piece in the yogic practice I always had some trouble wrapping my head around on a certain level, but he explained it this way:
“Trungpa Rinpoche said "Usually we think of renunciation as celibacy, poverty, obedience, shaving your head, going off somewhere and leaving everything behind." He then gave a wider tantric interpretation of renunciation: "Renunciation means to let go of holding back."...Renunciation refers to opening the tight fist of grasping and relinquishing our weighty burden of accumulated excess baggage. The heart of renunciation implies allowing rather than controlling. It requires letting go of that which is negative and harmful while opening up to sanity and wholeness.”
In Ayurveda we talk about the 3rd chakra as being ruled by the element of fire. When I think of fire, my mind often drifts to the blazing heat of forest fire...a force that on one hand is powerfully destructive and on the other hand brings about immeasurable change. While preparing for the practice this week, I picked up the book Five Spirits: Alchemical Acupuncture of Psychological and Spiritual Healing to see their approach to fire through the fire element system. I came across this description of fire:
“The element fire includes the spark, the flame, the light and the heat as well as the dying embers. It is the energy of summer, of relationship and blossoming creativity as well as the qualities of spiritual warmth, initiating impulse and spontaneity that give an organism that ability to expand, to express its true nature and to reach out and connect with others.
The 1st chakra, is deeply connected to the physical body and to our experience of being in present in any given moment. The 1st chakra invites us into the laboratory our of bodies and invites us to fully experience each opportunity that comes along. Furthermore, we invite the essence of Shakti into the practice. We often speak about the 1st chakra as the home of Shakti, and the 7th chakra subsequently the home of Shiva. It is their union that animates all life and their meeting in our own bodies that invites Kundalini to awaken and rise up the spine. ¬†In my own experience, I think of Shakti as this heavy, Earth Mama energy. She keeps us grounded and connected to all of life, and like the Earth, is the birth place of all living things.
Below you will find some practices to help you further explore embodying the 1st chakra:
"Those who dwell among the beauties and the mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life." ~ Rachel Carson
The governing element of the 1st charkra is Earth. The 1st chakra rests near the base of the spine at the perineum. And the exploration of the element of Earth through the 1st chakra brings focus on running energy from the 1st chakra into the earth. This can be done in your seat or standing. In a standing pose, the legs provide a vehicle for that energy to travel downward and connect with the Earth, and vice versa, to travel back upward and feed the chakra. The practices listed below are opportunities to open to Earth energy, and whatever you experience beyond that is true and accurate and represents your own knowledge around Earth in your body. Rather than having an expectation of what your experience will be open up to all the possibilities. Truly we are our own masters and have the best knowledge about our own energetic systems.
Yoga teacher, sound healer and explorer of the inner landscape. Join me!