What are Chakras?

Chakras are energetic centers in the human body. As we have a physical body we are all familiar with, we have an energetic or subtle, light body that animates our physical body. In essence, we are the chakras. We are the energy that animates our body.

Chakras are part of our subtle unseen body. Orbs on the man sitting above illustrate the general location and color for each chakra. The word “Chakra” is a Sanskrit word meaning "wheel" so named by Indian Masters who were able to see into the operation of their body during meditation and watch and hear each chakra centers in operation. They report being able to see vortices of colored spinning energy in specific locations within their body. The drawings we have now come from very old Indian writings describing these visions. Each chakra is responsible for specific aspecs of our live.

Yogananda called the chakras “energetic centers of consciousness” implying the each center had a mind of it’s own. It might be helpful to imagine your body being controlled by seven computer systems. Each computer or “drive” is responsible for some aspect of your life. Each center working together as one system in perfect harmony.

There are seven major chakras in the chakra system, however counting the upper and lower heart chakras, there are actually nine chakras. (We will take more on that later)

Although part of our subtle body, our chakras are experiential, in that we can sense and feel each energetic center through a variety of experiences.

Listed below is a basic description of each chakra with its associated drive, location and way we experience love through each energetic center. As you read about each chakra, bring your attention to that area and see how the description resonates with how you feel.

1. Root Chakra - Drive for Survival

Location: Base of spine in tailbone area.

Purpose: The Root Chakra seeks to connect with things or people that add to the sense of safety and survival in the material world. Through finding Security, the Root Chakra experiences RELIEF followed by Thankfulness - the face of Love that calms and satisfies the Root Chakra.

2. Sacral Chakra - Drive for Physical Pleasure

Location: Pelvis area

Purpose: The Sacral Chakra is concerned with pleasure and procreation. It seeks to connect with experiences or people that can connect it with the on-going experience of excitement and gratification. As the Sacral Chakra connects with what gives it pleasure, SENSUAL DELIGHT is experienced-- the face of Love that excites and satisfies the Sacral Chakra.

When we feed too much attention and energy into the Sacral Chakra, seeking ‘more and more’ pleasure with reckless abandon, the result is a life filled with only temporary pleasures that satisfy for a little while and then are quickly followed by needing ‘more food’ to keep satisfying the delight. This is how addictions and compulsive behaviors are formed. When the desire for sensual delight goes out of control, the only thing that can support the Sacral Chakra continuing its obsession is the shadow side of its counterpart: the Brow Chakra. Thus Illusion/Delusion - the shadow side of the Brow - feeds the Sacral Chakra the energy it needs to continue (in its overdoing). Hence we have pornography, fantasy in romance (followed by the inevitable disappointment), overeating and other forms of spending too much of our precious time and energy in seeking intense sensual delight.

3. Solar Plexus Chakra - Drive for Personal Power

Location: Between diaphragm and belly button

Purpose: The Solar Plexus is concerned with power. It seeks to connect with people or experiences that will enhance and increase its sense of personal power in the world. When it makes a successful connection and its power is increased, EXHILERATION is experienced-- the face of Love that uplifts, fulfills, and satisfies the Solar Plexus Chakra.

When we feed too much energy into our desire for power in hopes of experiencing more exhilaration, the result is careless risk-taking such as gambling, ruthless ambition, trying to over-power another. What is being violated is the Solar Plexus’ counterpart: the Throat Chakra, seat of logic and conscience. The compulsion for risk-taking, gambling or over-reaching one’s power (to experience more and more exhilaration) inevitably leads to loss. The shadow side of its counterpart - the Throat Chakra - is being evoked to boost the Solar Plexus to go into over-drive (rather than maintaining balance). The shadow side of the Throat Chakra is not using logic, not telling the truth, and avoiding the facts of the situation. The consequence of not integrating the Throat and Solar Plexus Chakras is predictable loss of clear conscience.

4. Lower Heart Chakra - Drive for Personal Love

Location: 10th vertebra

Purpose: The Lower Heart Chakra is concerned with Personal Love relationships. It seeks to connect with people, pets or experiences that can connect it with the experience of feeling special and loved on a personal level-- because of who you are as a person-- just for being yourself. When the Lower Heart Chakra successfully connects with another who makes them feel special and loved, ACCEPTANCE is experienced-- feeling appreciated and part of the clan. This is the face of Love that fills and satisfies the Lower Heart Chakra.

5. Center Heart Chakra - Drive to Express Love

Location: 7th vertebra

Purpose: Middle Heart Chakra is concerned with passionate expression. It wants to connect with others directly on a heart-to-heart level. It’s like a burning fire that wants to initiate an action that creates an effect in the world, makes an impact-- wakes the other person up and starts a process of an intense energy connection. When the Center Heart Chakra successfully makes an impact on another or others-- connects with them on an intense level that creates

both people feeling intensely connected with each other in rapt attention, it experiences PASSIONATE INVOLVEMENT -- the most intense and fiery love connection. This is the face of love that satisfies the Center Heart Chakra.

6. Upper Heart Chakra - Drive for Bliss

Location: 3rd vertebra

Purpose: The Upper Heart Chakra is concerned with impersonal love relationships. It seeks to connect with others in a way that involves the mind and spirit and has loftier ideals than strictly the personal, physical life. This is the chakra that sings uplifting, inspirational songs, or that becomes involved with projects that help humankind. When the Upper Heart Chakra successfully connects with a spiritual path that it resonates with, or with another person who

carries a similar inspirational energy, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE is released and experienced. This is the face of love that satisfies the Upper Heart.

7. Throat Chakra - Drive for Communication

Location: Throat

Purpose: The Throat Chakra is concerned with logic and communication. It seeks to connect with others mentally, verbally, to understand and to be understood. It seeks a full cycle of communication and the feeling of ‘being heard’ and accepted. When the Throat Chakra successfully connects with another on a mental level and feels understood, RECOGNITION OF A KINDRED SOUL is experienced.

This is the face of Love that satisfies the Throat Chakra.

When the communication cycle does not form a complete loop of mutual understanding and acceptance, it is lopsided due to too much or too little listening. Too much listening to the thoughts and beliefs of others can result in being brainwashed and losing one’s own innate point of view. Too little listening - or superficial listening - results in not connecting deeply with what the other person is saying and the joy of a true mental rapport is lost. On a more serious level, not listening to what the other person is saying - trying to communicate - leads to arguing and fighting as a technique to try to force the other person to ‘hear’ us (misuse of the Solar Plexus Chakra and of Power). This abuse of power to force another person to accept our position leads to bullying, and in the case of countries, it leads to wars.

8. Brow Chakra - Drive for insight and to see the solution

Location: Center of Brow

Purpose: The Brow Chakra is concerned with accurate perception-connecting with clearly seeing the Truth of a situation. The Brow seeks to see the ‘big picture’ that connects all the dots and results in an ‘ah-ha’ moment.

Such a realization changes the course of our lives and empowers us to make clear choices that result in successfully manifesting our dreams.When the Brow Chakra successfully connects with an ‘ah ha’ moment, ESCASTY is the face of Love we feel.

If the desire for more and more knowledge becomes exaggerated in the quest for the ecstasy of the ‘ah ha’ moment, our lives can become devoid of the sensual pleasures that our bodies need to feel loved. Life becomes dry and lacking the vitality of creative energy. Then the shadow side of its counterpart - the Sacral Chakra - is evoked and we begin to feel shame around the fun of spontaneously being ourselves and participating fully in life. Once again, it is the principle of balance that leads to a steady and truly fulfilling life in which a steady stream of all the different faces of Love can be experienced.

9. Crown Chakra - Drive to connect with the Divine

Location: Crown of head

Purpose: The Crown Chakra is concerned with connecting with a Higher Power and being at-one-ment with ourselves and all others. It seeks to find the right spiritual path - or practice of prayer or meditation - that will connect it with the clear Divinity it seeks. When that connection is made, the Crown experiences the ultimate pleasure of FREEDOM from worldly attachment and thereby a self-mastery in approaching daily life situations.

From this vantage point it is possible to fully experience life without the attachment that leads to suffering when things don’t go as we had planned. Freedom is the face of Love that satisfies the Crown Chakra.

If the desire for more and more knowledge becomes exaggerated in the quest for the ecstasy of the ‘ah ha’ moment, our lives can become devoid of the sensual pleasures that our bodies need to feel loved. Life becomes dry and lacking the vitality of creative energy. Then the shadow side of its counterpart - the Sacral Chakra - is evoked and we begin to feel shame around the fun of spontaneously being ourselves and participating fully in life. Once again, it is the principle of balance that leads to a steady and truly fulfilling life in which a steady stream of all the different faces of Love can be experienced.

For more on chakras please see ChakraKey “Map of Consciousness”.

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