Chakras and Meditation
The word Chakra has a Sanskrit origin meaning Vortex or Wheel. The chakras refer to each of the seven energy centers of the body pertaining to consciousness and the energy system. The chakras are not physical. They are similar to Auras and are aspects of consciousness. The chakras are denser than auras but less denser than the physical body. The chakras work similarly like a pump or valve regulating the flow of energy through our energy system. The auras interact with the two main systems of our body-
- The Endocrine system
- The Nervous system
Each chakra is associated with each Endocrine gland and also with a
plexus meaning a group of nerve cells. So, each chakra is associated
with a particular body part and particular functions within the body
is controlled by a particular plexus or that endocrine gland
associated with that chakra. Whatever you perceive, experience and the
possible states of awareness is divided into 7 categories. Each
category is related to a particular chakra. Thus chakras represent our
consciousness apart from our physical body. An effort to comprehend
the chakras enables one to understand the relation between
consciousness and the body. The chakras are divided into 7 categories.
Each chakra has specific characteristics. Let us study each chakra in
Crown Chakra is also known as the Sahasrara Chakra. It is the center of cosmic consciousness. This chakra is the "I AM" center. This chakra is located at the top of the head. The color of the chakra is violet. The chakra is associated with the top of the head, the brain, and the whole of nervous system. The Endocrine gland associated with the chakra is Pineal gland. The various senses associated with the chakra are- sense of empathy, unity, experiencing another human being's experience as if you are the same person. The Crown chakra shows those consciousness which relate to perceptions of unity and separation. This chakra shows our relationship with Our father in Heaven. The element related to this chakra is the inner light also known as the white light metaphysically, is believed to be the creator of the physical universe.
Brow Chakra is also known as the third eye. This is the consciousness or awareness center. It is located at the center of the forehead. The chakra is associated with the forehead and temples and with the carotid plexus. The color of the chakra is indigo. The endocrine gland associated with the chakra is Pituitary Gland. The senses attached to the chakra are- the extra sensory perceptions. All the inner senses which corresponding to the outer senses. The element of this chakra is the inner sound, the sound one hears from within irrespective of the outer world.
Throat chakra is also known as the Visuddha chakra. This chakra is located at the base of the throat. The chakra controls the throat, neck, the arms and the hands. It is associated with the cervical plexus. The color of the chakra is sky blue. The sense associated with the chakra is the sense of hearing. The gland associated is the thyroid gland. This chakra is related to listening to one's intuition which guides one's activities and also helps in goals realization. This chakra is metaphysically related to creativity, creation and fulfillment of one's goal. The element related to this chakra is Ether, which is a crossover between the physical and the spiritual world. It represents the man's relationship with his space.
This chakra is also known as the Anahata chakra also known as the living love center. The chakra is located at the center of the chest. The heart and the blood circulatory system, the cardiac plexus, the lungs and the chest area is associated with this chakra. The color of the chakra is emerald green. The endocrine gland related to the chakra is the Thymus gland controlling the immune system. The sense of touch is associated with the chakra. A tension in the heart chakra indicates the problem like-difficulty in breathing. The element related is air.
Solar Plexus Chakra
This chakra is known as the Manipura chakra or the Power center. The chakra is situated in the solar plexus. The muscular system, the solar plexus, the skin as a system, the large intestine, liver, stomach are the organs related to the chakra. The eyes, the face is also related with the chakra. The color of the chakra is yellow. The endocrine gland associated is the pancreas. The sense associated with the chakra is the sense of sight. The consciousness associated with the chakra include perceptions like-power, control, freedom. The mental body is also associated with the chakra. The sun and the fire are the elements of the chakra.
Orange chakra is also known as the Hara chakra, Spleen chakra or the Svadhisthana chakra. The chakra is located at the center of the abdomen. The sexual organs, reproductive system, lumbar plexus are associated with the chakra. The chakra is orange in color. Gonads is the endocrine gland associated with the chakra. Sense of taste, appetite is associated with the chakra. Consciousness concerned with food and sex is associated with the chakra. Water is the element of the chakra.
This chakra is known as the Muladhara chakra. The chakra is the security center. The chakra is located at the point between the anus and the sex organs. The skeleton system, Lymph system, the prostate gland in men, the sacral plexus, the bladder and elimination system, and the lower extremities (legs - feet, ankles, etc.) and the nose are the organs associated with the chakra. The color of the chakra is red in color. The endocrine gland associated with the chakra is the adrenal gland. The root chakra reflects one's association with mother Earth. The sense of smell is associated with the chakra. Terror, or a threat to survival, insecurity and tension indicate disturbances in the root chakra. Earth is the element of the chakra.
Meditation has become an alternative method of healing. Meditation is not just meant for yoga masters who sit on mountains in the Himalayas. Meditation is very useful for coping with stress, anxiety and many medical problems. Meditation is very useful in balancing a person's physical, mental and emotional states. It is a very simple process but is very beneficial. Meditation is the outcome of a union of diverse people and cultures. Meditation has deep rooted connections with world's great religions. It has been found that all religions practice mediation. The main purpose of meditation is to remove suffering and to heal. Though meditation has a rich tradition yet it has only been three decades that science has come up with the clinical effects of meditation on health. It has been found that medical practitioners who are not satisfied with the side effect of drug treatment for stress related disorders often find a solution in meditation. Today both physicians and patients are enjoying the benefits of regular mediation.
There are two major types of meditation, like :
Concentrative Meditation : This kind of meditation focuses on one particular object. It may be breath, an image, or a mantra. This kind of meditation enables the mind to come to a stand still and thus allowing greater awareness. The simplest way to practice concentrative meditation is to quietly concentrate on a breath or object. It has been found that one's breath is directly correlated to one's state of mind. This can be explained by the fact that when a person is agitated or tensed his breath would be rapid, uneven and shallow. On the contrary when the mind is focused, calm and composed then the breath is deep, slow and regular. As one focuses on the breathing as in the inhalation and exhalation, the mind becomes attuned to the rhythm as a result the breathing becomes deeper and slower. Thus the mind becomes calm and tranquil.
Mindfulness Meditation : Mindfulness meditation is not to be confused with concentration. In this form of meditation, the person who meditates assumes the role of an impartial observer. Contrary to concentration where the practitioner focuses all attention on a single object/concept, in mindfulness meditation, all experience/aspects of experience are welcome. The aim of mindfulness meditation is not to be focused, but to be aware of the present moment. It also involves attentiveness with regard to the breathing process so as to be rooted to the present moment. All ideas, thoughts, feelings, images etc. which arise in the mind are encouraged. In other words, if the mind wanders, it is allowed to wander. All thoughts are welcome. They are not judged, evaluated or discriminated. The practitioners of mindfulness meditation simply sit and observe the mind. This form of meditation can be applied to all areas of life. Mindfulness meditation is all about embracing the present moment in any place, at any given point of time, during any activity.