By understanding the chakras, you can better understand the ways you interact with the world around you and the energetic roots of your inner being. Offering an in-depth guide to this powerful ancient yogic science, authors Victor Daniels, Kooch N. Daniels, and Pieter Weltevrede--all longtime students of the late tantric scholar, philosopher, and temple artist Sri Harish Johari--explain the essence of each of the 7 chakras and provide practical tools to work with these energetic “wheels of light.” Revealing how each chakra is connected with specific patterns of thinking, feeling, sensing, and acting, the authors explore how the chakras offer a vertical map of consciousness beginning with the root chakra at the base of the spine and ascending to the crown chakra on top of the head. They provide dynamic meditations, mantras, and other methods to work with the chakras. You will learn how to enhance each chakra’s positive features and transform the difficult ones. You will discover the complementary ways they affect each other, the gifts and strengths each can bestow, and the psychological causes of potential imbalances within them.
The third or Manipura chakra is linked with the gravitational center of the body, having self-command, and being balanced within your chi or personal energy. It is also connected with willpower, drive, ambition, and the desire for achievement and enjoyment of good times and good company.
On one hand, this chakra’s qualities can contribute to developing the strength of your ideas, intentions, and personal sense of power. You mature in awareness and unlock your potential to move revitalizing and uplifting energy throughout the body. On the other hand, third chakra potentials can develop in egocentric directions that can involve treachery and/or controlling others to serve your own interests.
Most of us have the potential to move beyond self-consumed perspectives. Speaking to others in ways that help them feel better, refusing to support harmful agendas, and acting boldly for the good of the larger community or ecosystem are potent third chakra attributes. But there’s a catch. You have to have the willingness as well as the potential, and it takes more than a little spiritual discipline to be humble about your accomplishments, acknowledge that you received help and luck from known and unknown sources, and hold back from bragging about what you’ve done.
The third chakra is also about inspiration and initiative. It includes the determination, drive, and focused perseverance that is often needed to realize your goals. Using our strength, passion, and will, we can watch for the next chance to act in a constructive way that resonates with the higher purpose of our heart and soul.
THIRD CHAKRA POSSIBILITIES
Capable Knowledgeable Shares power Considerate of others’ boundaries Dynamic Helpful, service to others Respectful and democratic Appropriately assertive Attitude of equality Empowering Centered
Dominating Arrogant Power hungry Fuzzy self-other boundaries Restless Uncaring, out for oneself Authoritarian Inappropriately aggressive Egotistical Demeaning Out of balance Excessive pride
The Pathway of Spirit: Imagery in the Third Chakra
The Triangle, the Lotus Leaves, and the Seed Sounds
Everything in plate 3 surrounds the red downward pointing triangle, a symbol for the element fire, the third chakra’s element. Fire is linked to the solar plexus and the stomach, which is the “furnace” that burns the food we need to survive. Here we find the Sun. Since the Sun is said to be related to intellect, in this chakra we experience our intellectual abilities to organize and manage. The nature of fire is one of purification and also destruction. What goes into the fire may get purified. But when the fire gets out of control, it will destroy or be destroyed.
After the point and the circle, the triangle is the simplest form. Since the red triangle faces downward, it indicates that movement in this chakra is downward toward the first two chakras. From here those chakras are organized and utilized.
The three raised lines off of the triangle represent three forces that are called gunas: tamas, or inactivity and laziness; rajas, or energy and activity; and sattvas, or illumination. These lines can also refer to our mental tools--ego, mind, and intellect--or India’s three main deities--Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer and the Lord of Yogis.
The ten lotus leaves represent ten more inner phenomena that we have to learn to handle. They can all contribute to keeping the illusion of our own created world alive. Harish Johari identifies them as spiritual ignorance, thirst, jealousy, treachery, shame, fear, disgust, delusion, foolishness, and sadness. One can think of these as side effects of getting too entangled in the power games of this chakra.
The seed sound of the element fire is RANG. The RA-sound originates in the navel and the NG-sound brings the energy to the brain. It will increase the digestive fire and may help you to live a long life.
A Longevity Visualization
Visualize the ten lotus leaves starting next to the top going clockwise.
As you visualize, utter the seed sound of each lotus leaf: DANG, DHANG, RLANG, TANG, THANG, DANG, DHANG, NANG, PANG, PHANG. Then visualize the downward pointing triangle and end with the seed sound of the element fire, RANG.
The Ram, Bradda Rudra (right), and Lakini Shakti Devi (left) will be discussed later in turn.
Practical Tools for Third Chakra Work Concentration
Purpose: Focusing on the present moment and calming the mind
Using a mudra can make it easier to focus your mind and be in the present moment.There are many different mudras or “seals” made with the fingers and the hand exercises to symbolically express various inner states of mind.
The mudra described here is one in which statues of goddesses and meditators are often shown, with palms facing upward toward the sky and the thumb of each hand touching the index finger to form a small circle. The three remaining fingers held close together point forward or upward--your choice. It is called the Chin Mudra or mudra of wisdom. It can also be done with your palms and fingers facing downward toward the earth instead of upward, which makes it easy to practice in a public place without anyone noticing.
To begin, notice and relax your breath and place your hands in a comfortable position on your legs with palms facing up toward the sky.
Next allow the top point of your thumb and index finger on each upward facing hand to come together to form a small circle.
Let your mind sit quietly with your hands resting in this position for calming benefit or do your mantra, your prayers, or affirmations. When your hands, the instruments of the mind, are in this position energy moves upward to link with the wisdom of your higher Self.
To help keep your attention in your immediate present, if you like you can make your mudra into a “moving mudra.” As you inhale, let your thumbs and fingers separate by about an eighth of an inch. As you exhale, let them touch. Continue in this way.
Victor Daniels, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Sonoma State University. He was the first director of the India Studies program at Sonoma and studied meditation with Harish Johari and Jakusho Kwong-Roshi. He is the coauthor, with Kooch Daniels, of Tarot d’Amour and lives in Bodega, California.
“Beautifully and wisely written, with rare philosophical and psychological depth, this book is a manual for wise living and, indeed, a map for the attainment of Enlightenment. The authors’ multilayered knowledge adds special color, resonance, and entertainment value to the precious knowledge shared here. Awakening the Chakras is truly a classic, a must-read for every spiritual seeker. I cannot imagine a finer gift.”
– Ram Das Batchelder, author of Rising in Love: My Wild and Crazy Ride to Here and Now
“This remarkable volume is a groundbreaking integration of Western psychology and Eastern wisdom. The three authors are longtime intrepid explorers of faraway continents and spiritual mysteries. They bring a multidimensional understanding that will deepen the reader’s appreciation of the chakra system. Moreover, contemplation of the magnificent color plates is likely to open new channels of intuitive insight into their power.”
– David Van Nuys, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology at Sonoma State University
“Awakening the Chakras can provide a roadmap for navigating life’s journey. The authors have presented their material in an engaging and interesting manner. Colorful artwork and inspirational messages help illuminate the reader’s path and fulfill the authors’ goal to rouse the inner spirit of those who accept their invitation.”
– Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., coauthor of The Shamanic Powers of Rolling Thunder
“The authors have collaborated powerfully to create a rich, poetic, and profound work of art as well as spiritual, psychological science. The collective wisdom and suggested practices are just what is needed for inspiration and balance in challenging times. Prepare to be led on a gentle, yet deep, expansive journey through the revelatory chakra system by the many masters the authors have gathered and generously shared.”
– Susan J. Wright, author of The Chakras in Shamanic Practice
“Awakening the Chakras looks at the chakras directly from ancient sources and examines how to use them as a focal point for meditation and other inner work in a clear and concise way. It engages both sides of the brain through storytelling intertwined with historical information in a way that brings us to a place beyond usual perception. Victor, Kooch, and Pieter could not have written this book together without being an example of the harmony of the chakra practices mentioned.”
– Miriam Jacobs, author of Tarot and the Chakras
“A multilayered perspective that enhances the information about the chakra system. Weltevrede’s artwork brings the words to life. The authors’ collective experience with this ancient system of spiritual development has enabled them to create a text that speaks equally to practitioners of all religious/spiritual traditions. This book rises to the top of the pile. It represents not only the most coherent explanation I have read to date but simultaneously the one that is most respectful of the ancient Vedic tradition from which it derives. Kudos to all three authors. It is a job well done!”
– Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight magazine
“Awakening the Chakras is an exquisite book. Beautifully written and illustrated, it is personal, practical, and authoritative. Spiritual and wise, the book itself truly has the potential to help awaken the chakras.”
– Eleanor Criswell Hanna, Ed.D., professor emeritus of psychology at Sonoma State University
“There is immense wisdom presented from both the Indian teachers and Western psychology. The synthesis of this remarkable material brought to you by extremely capable people is brilliant. This is not a minor work: It entices you in but demands more than a quick breeze through and can be used as an in-depth how-to manual for each chakra. A few words cannot do justice to this masterful presentation. This is a source you can trust.”
– Jack R. Neggerman, MSSW, LISW, LICDC, certified gestalt therapist and clinical social worker
“In this book Western psychology is informed by the power of Indian spiritual forms through a fuller understanding of the chakra system or hierarchy. The well-written narrative is easily accessible and an encouraging self-reflection at a deeper level than is usually possible in most Western systems of thought. This new work introduces the reader to a wisdom-centered view of self-awareness and consciousness.”
– Charles Merrill, Ed.D., professor emeritus of psychology at Sonoma State University
“The authors are not only philosophers but have also given voice to divine guidance--a wisdom beyond ordinary reach.”
– Ramesh Rastogi, lifelong associate of Harish Johari
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