S.P. Austen has practiced, written on and taught the subject of meditation for over 40 years.
The chakras are energy centres which are said to be located in the etheric body, (the finer body which corresponds to the physical body) and they are intimately connected to the endocrine glands of the physical body.
Chakra is a Sanskrit term which means wheel. They are plexuses of psychic energy, said to revolve like wheels or vortices of energy. They have been variously described as possessing certain basic colours which correspond to the spectrum which may be witnessed in the rainbow—radiating the colours of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple in ascending order at specific points along the spine up to the crown of the head.
The chakras are connected to three main channels known as nadis in Sanskrit, which interconnect by crossing over at the chakra points, bringing pranic energy to these centres. These nadis are known as ida, pingala and sushumna. Ida nadi begins on the left side of the spinal canal and pingala on the right side, with sushumna going directly up the central spinal canal.
Each nadi acts similarly to the veins and arteries of the physical circulatory system and instead of conveying blood the nadis convey prana, the psychic force which mystics and spiritual teachers speak of. Prana is then channelled into the various chakras or vortices which are located in the subtle bodies and these, in turn, convey the prana into the physical system.
We might devote an entire book to this subject, and many writers have indeed attempted to do so, yet there still remains much left to fulfill in this task. When we speak about the chakras, we have, in fact, entered into the realm of spiritual anatomy and physiology so it is a very big subject.
The Chakras and Their Colours
- At the base of the spine near the coccyx, there is the muladhara chakra (as known in Sanskrit) which is associated with the nerves that form the sacral-coccygeal plexus. It is linked to the life force, anchoring the soul in the physical form. For ease of reference, we can simply call it the base chakra. Generally regarded as red in colour.
- Just a few inches above the base and below the naval (belly button), we have the swadhistana chakra which corresponds to the prostatic plexus and is vital in force for the health of the male and female reproductive organs. We can call it the sacral chakra. It is orange in colour.
- Just below the tip of the sternum, or breast-bone, we find the very potent manipura chakra which is linked to the solar plexus nerve centre. This chakra affects the adrenal glands and digestive processes. This vortex tends to draw energy in from outside of the self, and is often a very large chakra in many people, connected to the emotions. We call it the solar plexus chakra. The colour is yellow.
- At the centre of the chest is the anahata chakra, connected to the heart and thymus gland along with the nerve plexus located there. This centre tends to send energy outwards into the world as opposed to the solar plexus which draws energies inwards. Not always fully open in some individuals. This centre is called the heart chakra. Green is the dominant colour.
- At the level of the throat, and corresponding to the thyroid gland we find the vishuddha chakra connected to the laryngeal plexus of nerves located in this region. This space represents an expression of creativity at a higher level. Whereas for example, the sacral chakra is creativity expressing itself at more basic levels. Often a blocked or unexpressed and undeveloped energy centre. This chakra is known as the throat chakra. Blue is the colour found here.
- Between the eyes we have the ajna chakra which is a vortex of energy emerging from the cavernous plexus and the pituitary gland. This centre is the brow chakra which is connected to clairvoyance and the higher mind. Some people mistakenly call it the Third Eye, but in fact, the Third Eye is absent in most people, and only develops with spiritual evolution. It emerges from the brow chakra as an extra-sensory apparatus during the course of spiritual evolution. This space is often closed and undeveloped in many people. It is indigo in colour.
- At the very top of the head, we have the sahasrara chakra which is also known as the thousand-petalled lotus, in reference to its resemblance to a lotus (which all are said to resemble) with countless petals radiating as fine filaments of energy in an etheric substance. The petals, so-called, are actually an extensive network of the fine filaments of nadis mentioned above, found in the etheric body, which emanate from the crown of the head. It is connected to the pineal gland, which is located in the brain. It is simply known as the crown chakra. The colour is said to be violet or purple.
The Condition of the Chakras
The main colours mentioned above correspond to the seven principle chakras which most books on the subject refer to. But in fact, the seven main chakras may be all kinds of colours, depending on the consciousness and health of the individual. Sometimes they may appear as sort of dirty lights which appear to be in need of cleaning, and in highly spiritualised people they can have golden and silver hues and shine very magnificently.
The solar plexus is nearly always a very large vortex in most individuals, as it is attendant on the desire nature. It sucks energy into its centre from the atmosphere and from other people who come into contact with it. It has a tendency for astral vampirism in some lower grade people. Such an individual will also probably have very little development of pure colour in the heart chakra, and sometimes this centre is almost completely closed off energetically. The throat and brow chakras are likely to be hardly 'open' or operative at all. The crown chakra is often completely shut off and unopened, if we think in terms of the chakras unfolding, or opening like lotuses or rose buds. It is as if they have been sealed off.
An opposite situation may be seen (and there are countless variations on the colour themes seen in individuals) in the highly spiritualised or 'evolved' individual, who may possess a base chakra of a full, healthy red hue, likely to have flecks of golden light suffusing through it. The sacral may be basically orange, again with other colours like blue or gold within it. The solar plexus can be seen as a shimmering vortex full of white pranic light with hints of gold rather than yellow. It tends to draw in energy more for vital force rather than for selfish desire. The heart chakra is a shining sun, radiating outwards unselfishly to all beings, not just human beings. The throat chakra is often highly developed and active, with much of the pure spectrum of blues pouring creative forces through it.
In the evolved person, the brow is operative, of deep indigo with a point of bright light in the very centre. This is the Third Eye, fully functioning, a sign of the true Seer. Such a one usually has mystical gifts of clairvoyance and strong intuitive senses of all kinds. The sixth sense and all its attendant abilities is a normal sphere of activity for such a one. The crown is a majestic and effulgent light often of pure white light, but with golden rays found shimmering amongst the filaments composed of the thousand petals which compose this chakra.
The Energy Breath
To meditate well on the chakras, we first need to engage the breath and to combine it with mental concentration. I use a breathing technique which I have coined The Energy Breath, outlined below for you. Just practice this method for a few minutes before moving on to meditating on all of the chakras.
- Imagine that on every in-breath an invisible energy is arising within you. As you breath in you can sense this 'energy' just at the top of the head. As you feel the air entering the lungs, just bring the focus of your mind upon the top of the head. Go mentally, right to the very crown of the head. Just breathe in and out slowly, for several breaths, allowing this sense of 'energy' to feel like it is growing and glowing right at the top of the head. I imagine that this energy arises from the base of my spine, on the in-breath, and then travels up the sushumna nadi all the way up the spine to the top of the head.
- As you focus on this nebulous 'energy' see if you can mentally colour it with a golden-white halo of light. I find that I prefer to visualise a golden sun shining and radiating from the top of my head. You may even begin to feel that there is a slight pressure or tingling sensation at the top of the head as you do this.
- On every out-breath, allow the mind and senses to feel that all negative thoughts and states of being are dissolving on the out-breath. You are deeply breathing out all negativity.
- On the next in-breath, you engage the mind and the sense of feeling again, and perhaps the halo above your head feels brighter and stronger. Every time you breathe in again the halo of light radiates out that little bit farther, like a golden and brilliant sun shining on all beings.
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The Energy Breath can produce a very profound sense of well-being, even one of benevolence. It is very much a 'spiritual' practice and tends to work as well as your own consciousness will allow it to.
This meditation may take as long as you feel necessary, perhaps spending several minutes focussing in each of the chakras, as outlined below. If you spend 5 minutes in each chakra, for example, you will be about 35 minutes in this meditation. However, it can also be covered in much less time, say around one or two minutes for each chakra, and is extremely energising and revitalizing as a 'short' meditation.
Seat yourself in a comfortable position, either on a firm-backed chair so that the spine is straight, or sitting on the floor in the half-lotus posture or the full-lotus posture if you can do them. Make sure that you cannot be disturbed for the time spent on the meditation.
Using the Energy Breath, we are going to focus the mind and the breath onto the centre at the base of the spine, the base chakra. Really feel that the breath itself is entering into the base as you breathe a few times into this vital centre of life force. Initially, you may want to visualise the colour red which represents this chakra, and as you breathe into it, gradually see it transforming into a brilliant golden-white colour that shines at the base chakra like a radiant sun. We imagine an orb of light shining out from the base chakra. Feel the centre glowing with vitality as you do this.
We move the mind and the breath up a few inches into the sacral, near the belly button, and see an orange colour there; breathing into it, we transform it into golden-white light. All lower desires are cleansed away.
Solar Plexus Chakra
Coming into the solar plexus, we again breathe into the centre, see it change from a vivid yellow colour to the golden-white light and radiating out like a brilliant sun. The solar plexus is balanced and cleansed emotionally through this process.
Bringing the mind and the breath up into the heart chakra, we can see a glowing green colour like a traffic signal. We breathe the Energy Breath through it and it changes into the golden-white light of the magnificent sun. We can feel rays of light and love shining out from the heart centre to all beings. There is a sense of benevolence and spiritual transformation taking place within you.
We come to the throat chakra and see a beautiful blue colour, like a clear summer sky. Breathing through it, we mentally infuse the centre with the golden-white light and feel our creativity and higher expression being stimulated as we do so. We transform frustration and blockage into flow, ease and expression.
As we enter the space between the eyes, we can see the deep indigo blue of the brow chakra, almost like a night sky. We feel our connection to Universal Consciousness as we focus on this centre, and breathing into it we transform the centre into the golden-white sunshine of the higher self. We feel a definite higher connection to the Universal Source of all being.
Finally, we bring the mind and the breath into the highest chakra, the crown chakra, and see that it has predominantly a purple hue. We linger here for longer than in the other centres, and get a true sense of the one thousand petals or filaments of fine etheric energy lines or nadis, which stream out in all directions like a fan, from the crown of the head. Perhaps we are aware of the many other subtle colours which radiate and transfuse through these filaments similar to a fibre-optic effect.
As we bring the Energy Breath into the crown chakra, we transform the centre into the magnificent golden-white light of the radiant sun. The thousand-petalled lotus is now all aglow like the brilliant and radiant sun that it is. We can feel the deep and eternal connection to the Universal Source of all being.
Thus ends the meditation. If you feel like you are glowing, this is normal. If the crown feels tingly and expansive and glowing, then well done, you have activated it.
You are complete.
© 2018 S P Austen