Element: Air (Vayu)
Color: Emerald Green
Mantra sound: YUM
Special Heart Chakra Mantra: Om mani padme hum
The fourth chakra is located in the heart center. It’s where matter and spirit meet. It marks the halfway point, with three chakras below and three above. This is a very important chakra indeed, as it’s our center of love and connection.
Here you transcend the confines of the lower chakras and move into a greater awareness of living in dharma, your righteous duty or virtuous path. Love flows from you. You are peaceful, joyful, and compassionate. Your actions are no longer self-serving but are motivated by helping others overcome suffering.
Anahata encompasses the heart center, lungs, arms, and hands. It also includes the circulatory and lymphatic systems.
The flow of prana, or life force, is prominent in the fourth chakra as the lungs reside here. Air flows in and out from the time you are born until the time you take your last breath. The strength of prana is regulated in part by control of the breath.
The mind, in turn, remains calm or becomes agitated based on your ability to regulate your breath. The slower and more controlled your breath becomes, the calmer your mind. A faster, erratic breathing pattern gives way to rapid, disorganized thought, which can lead to anxiety, panic, and even psychosis. A panic attack cannot manifest in the presence of a calm, even, and steady breath.
The Anahata or heart chakra is also where your deepest heartfelt desires reside. While you have desires that emanate from the second and third chakras, fourth chakra desires are deeper and more profound, with a greater spiritual quality to them.
The color we attribute to the heart chakra is emerald green. The mantra, or bija (seed) sound, we vocalize for the fourth chakra is YUM.
While imbalances in any of the chakras can create disease, those in the heart chakra can cause major, life-threatening diseases. Mind, body, and spirit are intimately linked, and the anatomical region of the heart chakra governs major life-sustaining bodily systems. Among them are respiration and heart health, which is why I encourage you to make certain that you keep the heart chakra open and aligned. In the United States, heart disease is the number one cause of death, and respiratory disease is the third.
Ailments of the fourth chakra include heart disease, lung disease, blood pressure issues, thymus problems, vascular problems, respiratory and circulatory problems, and breast problems such as breast cancer.
The English translation for the Sanskrit word Anahata,“unstruck” or “unhurt,” embodies perfectly the energy of the fourth chakra.
Love, the emotion of the fourth chakra, can be vague and difficult to understand in its fullest sense. You can say in the same thought, “I love chocolate and I love my mom,” but love of those two things has different meanings. Loss of chocolate may not generate the same reaction as loss of your mother, yet you can use the same word to describe the emotion you feel about both things.
The fourth chakra bridges matter and spirit, and we begin to experience a more altruistic form of love that only grows with greater spiritual awareness. In the first three chakras, love is mostly motivated by having needs met. The first chakra meaning of love is “I love so I can get my needs met.” Second chakra love is “I love so the other will love me back.” Third chakra love is “I love so others can recognize I’m a good person and therefore I’m able to love myself.” These are all stages of development in love and not inherently wrong, but they can be immature expressions of love.
Growing in spiritual maturity, when you reach the fourth chakra, love comes from a less conditional source. You learn to love regardless of being hurt and regardless of whether others meet your needs all the time. You love because you know that, like honesty, learned in the third chakra, love is a higher vibrational frequency that will lead you to greater authenticity.
The greatest spiritual leaders of the past always responded with love in the presence of hate. Jesus said while being crucified, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Mahatma Gandhi forgave those who oppressed him. Nelson Mandela forgave those who imprisoned him for twenty-seven years. These examples embody the true meaning of Anahata. Despite being hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally, they did not allow the hatred to penetrate their hearts.
A person in fourth chakra energy, who is “unstruck,” experiences strikes from others but without the marks of being struck. That is powerful. Their sense of worth, well-being, and ability to love is no longer measured by external forces. The love from within radiates outward.
The form of love most often portrayed in the media is not the true form of love from the fourth chakra. But we do have moments when we touch on this love, often during times of crisis, when people make sacrifices to help others. For example, after Hurricane Harvey damaged 203,000 homes and caused $180 billion in damage, federal emergency workers rescued 10,000 people trapped under their homes or on the highways. American companies pledged over $157 million toward recovery efforts. A great number of other people poured money into charities such as the Red Cross to aid the rescue and recovery efforts. Outpourings of love often take the form of volunteerism for those in need, and these acts of selflessness are an expression of fourth chakra energy.
Society as a whole can make this shift in consciousness when enough individuals make the conscious choice to live at this level of love. Life is no longer about survival or getting what’s “mine” but about going through life with the attitude “How can I help?” and “How can I serve?” When enough of us make this decision and it reaches critical mass, we can all move forward in a new direction to awaken to a different state of being.
The transition from living life in the lower chakras to living life in the higher chakras is akin to awakening from a deep slumber for the first time. Life is no longer rooted in survival, procreation, attainment of worldly pleasures, pleasing others, or self-serving goals. Life now becomes an expression of service to others through compassion, giving, and openheartedness.
Fourth chakra living doesn’t embody the go-getter attitude of third chakra energy, but rather a passive openness, which attracts others to it. While the third chakra embodies yang, or masculine energy, the fourth chakra holds yin, or feminine energy. An air of peacefulness surrounds Fourth chakra people. They’re lighthearted and laugh heartily. Their laughter is contagious. Love flows from their beings.
Fourth chakra people are compassionate to those around them. Their hearts ache and feel deeply for those who suffer. Their sense of empathy is real. They readily cry or laugh with others out of genuine connection to their experiences. Their giving comes from kindheartedness and not from selfish motives. The light that radiates from their hearts attracts others to them.
Vulnerability is an attribute of the fourth chakra. To experience the rewards that emanate from the heart requires openheartedness, a two-way exchange of giver and receiver in an authentic manner. Intimacy and closeness are the prizes to be gained by your willingness to be vulnerable.
In his book Love: What Life Is All About, psychologist Leo Buscaglia states, “Love is always open arms. If you close your arms about love, you will find that you are left holding only yourself.” I believe this to mean that you should neither clasp too tightly nor release and then refuse to let anyone else in. When you love fully and unconditionally, your loved ones feel equally loved by you whether they are close or far, or whether they are pleasing you or not.
Too often we set limits on love. We say things such as “I’ve opened my heart too much” or “I’ve given too much, and look where it’s gotten me.” Remember, every time you think of reasons not to open your heart to love, that is your ego getting in the way again.
Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Bring your awareness to your heart center, your source of love and compassion. Imagine, think, or feel an emerald green color radiating from your heart. This sparkling green light is shining outward in every direction.
Breathe into this space, and feel the circumference of the light surrounding your heart getting wider and wider. Feel the balance between physical matter and spirit here. Feel yourself grounded and open and awakened to spirit at the same time.
Now that you’re aware of your radiating, compassionate light moving out of your body and into the world, bring your attention back to your heart center. Search within your heart for any discomfort that resides there. If you find any, send the discomfort flowers and then escort it away from your heart. As you’re escorting away the discomfort, which can come disguised as hurt, shame, blame, anger, or lack of forgiveness, thank it for its message and let it know that it can go now.
Repeat this with every source of discomfort that comes up in your heart center, until you’re only left with light and ease of breath. You will know when you have let everything go because your heart will feel lighter, as if a large weight has been lifted off your chest. Feel how easy it is to breathe now.
Now that your heart is clear, feel flooded with unconditional love. Allow this love to flow in and fill your heart space. Feel the warmth and expansiveness of this love. Allow yourself to receive. Allow yourself to feel vulnerable and open to this great love, of which you are worthy.
You are becoming a vessel of love with each and every breath. Love flows to you and through you. You become a conduit for this love, and as this love fills every cell of your body, you feel lighter and more joyful. Your joyfulness radiates throughout your being. You may even find yourself smiling for no apparent reason. Let it be as it is, for this is the state of love. At this moment you may even feel a tingling sensation pulsating through your body. This is normal, as you have raised the vibrational frequency of your being. Sit with this sensation. It’s here, and you can always access it whenever you desire.
You can sit in this silent meditation for as long as you like before opening your eyes and slowly returning to activity. To enhance the vibrations, chant the mantra sound YUM three times.
1. I am ready to release hurt from my heart and forgive everyone who has harmed me, including myself.
2. I am open to giving and receiving love and know I am worthy of love.
3. I feel compassion toward others, especially those whom I don’t understand.
4. I am a vessel of God’s love, transporting unconditional acceptance to all who need it.
©2018 by Michelle S. Fondin.
Reprinted with permission from New World Library.
Chakra Healing for Vibrant Energy: Exploring Your 7 Energy Centers with Mindfulness, Yoga, and Ayurveda
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 this book, demystifying their role 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.
Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book and/or download the Kindle edition.
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.