The chakras exist within the human energy system, creating in each individual a unique balance of a broad range of influences, from survival instincts to vastly expanded awareness. The chakras can therefore also be used as a model to consider one’s own mind.
By reflecting upon the nature of our own thoughts, inclinations, perceptions, desires, and actions, we can fairly accurately identify which chakras are dominant within us. We can also determine ways we might develop in order to be more fully expressive of the latent forces within us.
For example, a person who is consumed by personal ambition and takes every opportunity to get ahead in a way that furthers his or her own personal fortune, while focusing on little else, is strongly influenced by the third chakra.
Having a strong third chakra is by no means a bad thing. Doing for oneself is good and valuable. But it can be terribly limiting if there are no other strong influences. For such a person, performing service for others is a terrific way of achieving a more balanced mentality and chakra influence. There is nothing mystical or esoteric about it. If you’re self-consumed, then doing something for others is a way of retraining your attention and energy. By contrast, a person who devotes himself or herself largely to the comfort and well-being of others is very likely a fourth-chakra “type,” a giver and lover of humanity.
A person who is dominated by influences from the lower chakras can simultaneously be influenced by the higher centers as well. There are many power-mad gurus and sages who have paranormal perceptions and occult abilities that indicate some higher-chakra activity, but who operate from a fundamentally low-chakra base, using their powers to cheat, deceive, and dominate others. Don’t be fooled: psychic abilities do not indicate a fundamentally integrated person who works from a higher chakra level.
It is important not to be awestruck when someone demonstrates psychic abilities. Consider the whole person. Or as the Zen saying goes, “Look to the obvious.” If the person with psychic abilities is also loving, kind, charitable, and quick to serve others with little or no concern for personal gain, then he or she may in fact be well integrated. Take time to find out. Don’t assume that just because someone wears a turban, speaks with an exotic vocal lilt, and spews mantras at the drop of a dollar, he or she is either well integrated or interested in your well-being. Spiritual hucksters are everywhere.
Chakra psychology is a valuable tool for greater self-understanding. If we can honestly assess the influences within us, we can then work on those areas in which we may be lacking or consciously modify influences so extreme that they work to our detriment. If you toil ceaselessly for the benefit of others (a fourth-chakra type) to the point that you put yourself at great peril by utterly neglecting your own basic needs, then you may need to work on your survival instincts. After all, if you really want to serve others to the best possible extent, you need to be alive and well. Otherwise, your mission to serve will be short-lived.
If you want to live a balanced life but find that you are so sex-crazed (a very strong second-chakra influence) that you spend most of your time attempting to satisfy insatiable sexual urges, you may need to practice moving beyond self-gratification by involving yourself in some form of service or community work. Some people, sometimes referred to as “bliss ninnies,” are lost in a little etheric world of their own (a likely third-eye dominance) and lack any sense of grounded-ness. Physical labor is very helpful with this kind of chakra imbalance, as is challenging intellectual work.
The instructions for chakra meditation are of great benefit in balancing the energies of the chakras. But meditation alone is insufficient. In addition, self-analysis is of great value, and action is critical. If, for example, you wish to be less spaced-out and in the clouds, then performing a chakra meditation is helpful. But that meditation needs to be supplemented by specific physical and mental activities that challenge you and demand your full mental attention and physical participation.
If you are excessively self-absorbed and hyperambitious and wish to be more outer-directed, then meditation will help. But consciously engaging in some form of work for others will help you make substantive changes. In other words, chakra meditation isn’t a mystical quick fix for personal imbalance. It simply helps, along with a great deal of critical self-examination and action.
The variations of chakra imbalance are endless, and virtually everybody is imbalanced in some ways. Chakra influences permeate the entire body and mind, and can be overwhelming because they work at every level of who we are. It often takes extraordinary effort to achieve a greater measure of balance.
Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to assess ourselves honestly, because we humans are endowed with extraordinary powers of self-deception. Thus the task of creating balance is rarely a simple one. It is a struggle that demands strength of character, tremendous vitality, trust in greater awareness, and the kind of clear mind that comes from meditation practice.
Nonetheless, an examination of the chakras, coupled with the most frank self-assessment that we can muster, can be an illuminating step on the road to personal balance and harmony.
©1994, 2011 by Christopher S. Kilham. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Healing Arts Press,
an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl. www.InnerTraditions.com
This article has been adapted with permission from the book:
The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power
by Christopher S. Kilham.
Originating in the Himalayas, the five yogic exercises known as the Five Tibetans take only a minimum of daily time and effort but dramatically increase physical strength, energy, and suppleness as well as mental acuity. Also called the Five Rites of Rejuvenation, regular practice of these postures relieves muscle tension and nervous stress, improves digestion, strengthens the cardiovascular system, tunes and energizes the chakras, and leads to deep relaxation and well-being.
Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter, author and educator. The founder of Medicine Hunter Inc., Chris has conducted medicinal research in over 30 countries. He is the author of fourteen books, writes articles on plant medicines for several publications, and is a contributing columnist for FOX News Health. Chris and his wife Zoe travel the globe on Medicine Hunter expeditions, and work together to promote plant medicines, environmental protection and cultural preservation. CNN calls Chris "The Indiana Jones of natural medicine."