Friday, April 20, 2012

Chakra Con? (Don't Worry, I Feel For You)

If you've never even heard of chakras, well, color me surprised.  I grew up familiar with the term and a passing knowledge that they had something to do with new age weirdos and were usually illustrated on pictures of naked people.  Now that I am a New Age Weirdo, I know a lot more about what chakras really are, and how the relate to our lives. 

Have you ever heard an electrical transformer blow?  If you have, you're no doubt familiar with the feeling of a mild wash of panic and, if it was close enough to you, a subsequent bit of darkness, at least until the electric company comes out and fixes it.  Our major chakras are our bodies' transformers.  Each one services a neighborhood of your insides (and some of your outsides, but we'll get to that later).  Each chakra is aligned with a gland or organ and, interestingly, queues up well with our geometry, too.  There are several chakra traditions; they vary around the world and have different names.  Here in the wild, wild west, we tend to favor the seven Hindu Chakras.  Other traditions suggest there are as many as twelve, and most agree that those are just the big ones - the transformers.  The body is teeming with little ones, too (all the little houses that need their lights on).  Here's a pretty good rundown of the chakras for you, which I stole from the innerwebs -

While it's typical to hear the chakras described as 'wheels of light', they are in fact more band-like.  See the drawing on the right of this photo that I snagged from my own Reiki teacher, Brad's, site?

That's more the shape, these things are bands of energy that send information out of and into our bodies.  Now that we've established that we're really just very astonishingly organized and compressed energy, it's not such a leap to understand that up and down our forms, are the major power sources.  I used to wonder how anyone could know these things even exist, much less what color each one is, but it turns out, they're easy to see.

You have to relax a little, and commit yourself to paying attention.  Take any feeling you like and focus on it.  Feeling love for a someone?  Pride in an accomplishment?  Fear of some unknown?  Go ahead and let that flow for a moment, and close your eyes.  Let your mind find where that feeling makes an impression in your body.  Don't even try to tell me it doesn't, because you know it does.  This is why we say things like "I have butterflies in my stomach!" and "Oh, that breaks my heart".  So, where is your feeling?  Got it?  Now home in on it.  Put your hand over that spot.  What color is it (the spot, not your hand)?  It might take a minute, and don't try to make it a color, it'll show up.  When I do this, I nearly always find that the color matches the chakra that's in play (which you determined when you put your hand over the spot that's feeling the feeling). 

The chakras seem unknowable and fantastical, but when we pay attention, we can see them.  When all is well in our bodies, these transformers hum along at a perfectly tuned frequency, and we are healthy and content.  When all is not well, one of our transformers can blow, and leave us in a bit of darkness.  Left unattended, that blown transformer can lead to other blown transformers, as the system begins to shut down on us.  With just a bit of care, though, we can keep our chakras working the way they're meant to, and in turn, we'll find our physical bodies have a natural wellness about them, too.  In future posts, I'll describe more about the histories and traditions surrounding this energetic system, each chakra's job and some ways we can keep them balanced and functioning.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Frolicking in the Human Energy Field

Einstein was kind enough to prove for us that everything is energy.  When you look closer and closer and closer at the stuff that makes up the universe (atoms) you discover that you end up with what appears to be empty space.  Empty space that is vibrating.  Energy is information that vibrates.  As They Might Be Giants taught my children, there's only one everything.  That means we're part of everything.  That means we're energy.  That means we vibrate.  Each thing not only vibrates, but vibrates at its own particular frequency.  Groups of similar things vibrate at similar frequencies.  The vibration of a thing determines how it's organized into form.  The more complex organisms, like us humans, vibrate at a much higher frequency than, say, a table.  As we vibrate at higher and higher frequencies, we organize ourselves as purer forms of energy.

Too much?  I know, I get excited and I start talking really fast.  So, you ask, if we're all just energy why is there even form at all?  I thought Dr. Sue Morter explained this very well when she said that physical form is compressed energy.  Further, she said "there is no basic element to life, there is only form.  We participate in that with our beliefs and our thoughts".  Oh, snap, it's all going to boil down to that "think positive!" crap that at best is ambiguous and at worst leads to entire company that produces posters of photographs captioned with hollow aphorisms.  No, it's not, mostly because every thought we have is actually perceived by the energy around us as positive, but that's a whole other post. 

What I'm getting at here is this - when our thoughts and emotions (or beliefs, which tend to be emotional at their roots) take a downturn toward things like anger and shame, we begin to vibrate less like the grand expression of form our potential belies, and a lot more like a table.  Or worse - our form takes on elements like anxiety, exhaustion, aches, pains, and eventually disease.  Yes, every ailment has an energetic cause and every treatment  for every ailment, has an energetic response.  As Cyndi Dale states in her book The Subtle Body, "even prescription drugs work energetically, altering vibrations through chemical information that instructs cellular behavior".

Reiki is one of those energetic responses.  It engages our human energy field and attempts to raise the vibrations of its recipients to a level that will express a healthier form.  A healthy human being.  What I see Reiki doing for most people, is compelling a sense of calm.  As a Reiki recipient receives this energy, the physical body can begin to loose its grip, turn off the fight or flight response that is all too frequently aroused in us all.  When that happens, even for brief periods, our internal focus is freed up from high alert for intruders, to deal with the disorganization that is within it.  This is how we are able to heal.  The great thing about Reiki here, is that nothing invasive is required for it to work.  Neither practitioner or recipient are required to know the cause of a problem for the energy to assist in the healing process, which is also nice.  Even before you rush out to get some Reiki, be mindful of how you're feeling emotionally.  When you find yourself stressed, irritable, angry or sad, note it.  See if you can trace the emotion back to its cause or at the very least, observe it in yourself and know that you always have the ability to change that emotion by redirecting your thoughts toward anything that makes you feel any bit better.  Start there, in your quest for your best health.