chakras meaning

Eight months after we discovered the postures of strength, Barbara recognized a connection between the nine postures of strength and the locations of the seven major chakras of the human body as described in ancient Vedic literature. At that point we felt we had discovered the link between two bodies of mystic information: the nine-pointed enneagram and the seven energy wheels of the Hindu cosmology. Soul types 3, 6 , and 9 are associated with the 4th chakra. This unique association is indicated on the enneagram diagram by the inner triangle which connects 3, 6, and 9.

The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol 3, 1993, page 58, defines the chakras this way: “The chakras are conceived of as focal points where psychic forces and bodily functions merge with and interact with each other. Among the supposed 88,000 chakras in the human body, six major ones located roughly along the spinal cord, and another one located at the crown of the skull, are of principal importance.”

The chakras are not only a phenomenon of the Eastern religions. Many other non-western cultures, such as the American Indians, Toltec Indians, and Ancient Egyptians, maintained a tradition of practices related to these energy centers. Chakras, however, do not have an equivalent basis in contemporary Western practices.

To give you more of a flavor of what these energy centers are, following is a non-linear and non-Western description of the chakras from The Chakras, p. 5, by C.W. Leadbeater:

“All these wheels (energy centers) are perpetually rotating, and into the hub or open mouth of each a force from the higher world is always flowing-a manifestation of the life stream which we call the primary force all its forms operate in each of these centers, although one of them in each case usually predominates over the others. Without this inrush of energy the physical body could not exist. Therefore the centers are in operation in everyone, although in the undeveloped person they are usually in comparatively sluggish motion, just forming the necessary vortex for the force, and no more. In a more evolved man they may be glowing and pulsating with living light, so that an enormously greater amount of energy passes through them, with the result that there are additional faculties and possibilities open to the man.”

The mechanism of the New Equations practice appears to be a method for activating and enhancing the energetic forces of the chakras. Research has led us to conclude that teaching people to maintain an active primary chakra and therefore ‘be in their strength’ more and more of the time provides tools that help them solve their own problems.

We hypothesize that the differences between each of the nine soul types can be explained in the following way: We each have one chakra more open and active than the others, and this primary chakra gives us access to unique information. This unique information results in superior insight and ability so fundamental that it helps to shape personality in the same recognizable way for everyone of the same soul type. We believe the enneagram diagram maps and defines nine different experiences of reality as influenced by the perceptual capabilities of each chakra.

More Quotes About Chakras

From Chakras by Harish Johari, p. 14:

“Chakras are psychic centers that cannot be described fully from a materialistic or physiological standpoint. Just as a painting cannot be described from the standpoint of lines and curves or varying shades of paints-even though these can be said to form the basic structure of a painting-similarly, chakras cannot be described in terms of psychology, physiology, or any other physical science. Chakras are centers of activity of subtle, vital force termed sukshma prana (subtle prana); they are interrelated with the parasympathetic, sympathetic, and autonomous nervous systems, and thus the gross body is related to them.

Chakra is a Sanskrit word that denotes circle and movement. Because everything in the body is of a circular shape and is constantly in movement, the centers of those movements are called chakras. Chakra is a word also used for wheel. Chakras can be thought of as wheels of the mind that dwell in the forest of desires. And desires, like wheels themselves, are great motivating forces. Each chakra is a stage-by-stage playground of desires. Throughout life one dwells in this forest of desires, and one thinks and understands life’s situations from the standpoint of the chakra in which he normally feels most comfortable.”

From: Theories of the Chakras: Bridges to Higher Consciousness by Hiroshi Motoyama, p. 282:

“In each person one chakra is naturally more active than the others, but which one it is differs from person to person according to the individual’s karma and nature.”

From: In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, The Hierarchy of Psychophysiological Functions: The Cakras by George Feuerstein, Subhash Kak & David Frawley, p. 224-225:

“Since a person’s state of mind is mediated by the psychosomatic energy, or prana, the ancients paid intense attention to the study of the energetic template. They discovered that prana is not evenly distributed in the pranic sheath enveloping the material body. Rather it forms several vortices or funnels that seem to be actual connecting points between the etheric field and the nervous system of the physical body. These vortices are widely called cakras (also spelled chakras in some English books), which literally means “wheels.” Often they are also referred to as padmas, or lotuses, because in appearance they somewhat resemble the lotus flower.

The Hindu tradition recognizes seven such primary focal points of the prana, which correspond to major nerve plexuses in the physical body and are analogous to the seven primary lights of the external universe. The Rig-Veda frequently speaks of seven worlds, seven rivers, seven sages, seven wisdoms, seven pranas, and so on. While the Rig-Veda does not specifically mention the cakras, it is quite possible that the Vedic sages knew of these seven pranic vortices. At any rate, the model of seven energy wheels is thoroughly Vedic.

The lowest vortex, called “root-prop wheel” (muladhara-cakra), is located at a place corresponding to the base of the spinal column. The next pranic center, enigmatically called the “self-standing wheel” (svadhishthana-cakra), is a few inches above the reproductive organs. The third vortex, called “jeweled city wheel” (manipura-cakra), is at the solar plexus. The “wheel of the unstruck sound” (anahata-cakra) is in the heart region. The fifth vortex, known as the “purity wheel” (vishuddhi-cakra), is at the throat. Between the eyebrows and possibly located at the brain core is the “command wheel” (ajna-cakra). At the crown of the head (fontanelle) is the “thousand-spoked wheel” (sahasrara-cakra).

By stimulating these chakras through breath control, concentration, and other techniques, the ancients endeavored to cultivate not only paranormal abilities (extensions of our ordinary sensory functions) but also mystical states of consciousness. Above all, by activating the topmost pranic vortex, the sages and yogins have always aspired to piercing through all the layers or sheaths of the body mind in order to realize the transcendental Self, or spiritual Singularity. According to an esoteric teaching transmitted in the Upanishads, it is also the center at the crown of the head through which the sage seeks to consciously exit at the hour of death. On the cosmological level of explanation, this represents an ascent to the top of Mount Meru, or the pole star. Esoterically, the pole star is the pinhole in the roof of our symbolic universe through which we can escape into the implicate order of the invisible reality. The Vedic sages were as concerned about the way in which they exited the world as how they conducted their life while living in it. They did not fear death, because in their intuitions they had acquired knowledge of the deathless realm of Being, but they respected it. For them, the emergency of death meant emergence into the invisible domain.”

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