There are seven energy centers along the spine known as Chakras. Activating these is the key to opening awareness, entering higher states of consciousness. It’s also the source of energy for enhancing our health and wellness. Learn how to use them to enrich your life.
7 Vital Keys To Spiritual Health
Our spiritual, mental, and physical health are all intertwined. If you affect one of these, you also affect the others. Some believe we overlook the spiritual aspect. This leads to many forms of mental and physical health. Many ancient cultures understood the connection among these three.
One way to affect all three is through the energy conduit that is our spinal column. The spine holds 7 key energy connections. The Indian culture calls these chakras. Chakra is a Sanskrit word which means ‘wheel or circle’. It also has an Indo-European base meaning “to turn”. These are junction points that send energy throughout the body.
Our spiritual wellbeing affects our physical and mental health. Our spiritual mindset is the product of our thinking. If we change our thinking, it affects our attitude. Both are energy and it’s a dynamic energy that can facilitate healing of mind, body and soul.
Chakra Energy Centers
We can measure the electric current of our bodies. This energy runs through the principal conductor of the spine. Along the spine, there are seven main junction points or centers. These are important physical energy junctions.
You’ll find many spiritual practices use these centers, either directly or indirectly. Most spiritual practices start with grounding. When you are grounded, you are ready to begin. Grounding takes place when our energy is in alignment.
It is therefore practical to start with the center closest to the Earth and work our way up the spine. You’ll find this theory in almost every form of natural healing. But it is also the practice with other technologies such as Tai Chi and the Enneagram Personality Profile. And the reason for this is simple. Everything works better when it has a foundation. These chakra energy centers respond to the needs of the body sending where needed.
Even if you’re not engaging in advanced spiritual practices, you can still benefit. You can learn to understand activate them. This knowledge helps us to manage our overall health and wellness. First, we need to realize our consciousness is spiritual energy. We cannot confine consciousness to the brain. It’s something much more mystical and spiritual in nature. This perspective isn’t new. It’s the basis of many ancient forms of healing and consciousness exploration.
So, working our way from the bottom up…
1st Chakra “Muladhara”
The first energy center is Muladhara, “I am,” or the “base”. This center is in the perineum, the lowest point in our body. We associate it with the color red. This one is all about the self-preservation instinct, survival, and stability. This center nurtures our most basic needs and desires, first and foremost the desire to live.
“I am” as a starting point which correlates well as the first step with many spiritual practices. For example, many meditative practices start with grounding and centering. It’s also the first step in the study of many intellectual approaches like The Enneagram. This is the root of the tree. It is one of the main chakra energy centers. This is because it roots the body and the soul to the Earth. We are part of nature and ultimately, we draw our energy from the Earth. It’s our connection to our physical vitality and endurance. For this reason, it’s key to our physical and spiritual health and wellness.
Eastern health practitioners find many of our health problems are because of misalignment with this center. Kundalini Yoga is a practice that helps to restore this alignment. It focuses on promoting the flow of energy up the spine. It begins with aligning and releasing the energy from this junction.
2nd Chakra “Svadhisthana”
Second, “I feel,” most associate it with the color orange. This center is just below the navel. This is the center of your larger-than-life passions such as dreams, ambitions, and fantasies. This energy portal is the emotional and sexual center of the soul, a fountain of universal energy. It’s your strong link to the world, which bonds you to your loved ones.
Many people confuse this bond with the heart. However, this is different. So, think of it more like the protective “love instinct” bees have for their queen bee. But this is also why this is one of the spiritual energy centers key to the practice of Shamanic Journey. Our imagination and dreams derive their power here.
3rd Chakra “Manipura”
Third, “I do,” Manipura is the solar plexus. This is the tender spot just below the junction of the rib cage. If we strike you in this center from the front, it will deflate your lungs. Its color is yellow. This is our center of personal strength, learning, and comprehension. It is the center of our social instinct and social interaction.
Of all the spiritual energy centers, this one is where we find our sense of self, and awareness of others. It helps us recognize set healthy personal boundaries and self-esteem. “I do” is the source of our willpower. The ability to bring change into our lives and to the world is born within this center.
4th Chakra “Anahata”
Fourth, “I love,” This is the heart center. They associate Anahata with the color Green. You find it in the middle of the chest just above the physical heart. This is the center of all emotions. It also channels anger, hate, vulnerability, anxiety, and dependency. It also channels unconditional love, compassion, friendliness, and healthy self-love. So, this center has a tremendous impact on our spiritual health.
5th Chakra “Visuddha”
Fifth, “I Speak,” Visuddha, we find this center at the base of the throat. We also associate it with the Adam’s apple. Blue is the color we associate with this spiritual energy center. This is the gate to a truthful existence and the communication center of the body. It is the center that handles all messages, both internal and external.
What we think and say is important. When we have thought, it plants a seed. So, we want to make sure our thoughts are not harmful to ourselves or others. When we speak these vibrations go out into the universe. They bounce back in the form of Karmic returns.
Some believe even the thoughts of the mind go through this center. Through the throat we voice (think) our opinions, beliefs, and truths, express the self, and try to make sense of this world. Speech can inspire others and add to the flow of mutual influence. It is also the voice that can make vehicles like Mantras and Sutras powerful.
6th Chakra “Ajna”
Sixth, “I See,” Ajna, is the “third eye.” We find this energy center in the center of the forehead. The color indigo is its trademark. This center is responsible for what we refer to as “the sixth sense.” As such, it connects our intuition, mystical, and logical mind centers altogether. It is the center through which perception manifests. Hence, we need to be mindful to clean this center regularly. It’s what protects us against subliminal social and cultural programming.
There are methods for opening the third-eye of perception. However, these not for the beginner. Be careful, because once open it can not be closed.
7th Chakra “Sahasrara”
Seventh, “I understand,” is Sahasrara, the crown. It’s not part of our physical body. We find this chakra just above the head. Many believe this to be the center of pure consciousness, wisdom, sacredness, and wholeness. Through this portal, we are connecting our Soul to the Universe. So, it’s the gateway enabling the expression of higher states of consciousness.
People associate the color white with the crown chakra. Because of this, it’s not surprising to see a “halo” of white light in pictures of great spiritual teachers. Of the spiritual energy centers, this is the one is which connects us to the Universe.
This connection makes several miraculous things possible. It opens us up to energy which makes many types of healing modalities powerful. And, it’s the gateway to higher states of consciousness. But, for these things to happen, all the other chakra energy centers must open and functioning.
The Connection with Spiritual Technologies
Everyone is different. So, everyone has their own way of awakening and activating the healing energies of the body. Medicines do this by aligning with the healing properties already in the body. Many of the healing arts of the East combine Western and Eastern medicine. They find that this holistic approach works well together.
Spiritual technologies are tools for exploring consciousness. They are processes that can change or expand our awareness. Some of them are also doorways to higher states of consciousness. In short, spiritual technologies are methods of change. These processes result from eons of research by cultures around the world. Using these tools is what we call spiritual exploration.
These tools stand up to the test of science. That’s because they are repeatable. Several produce measurable changes in our physiology. It’s important to realize what spiritual exploration is not.
Spiritual exploration does not involve belief in a religion. This means they are available to anyone that can follow a process. It’s like baking a cake. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. One simple way is to divide them into four primary groups. You could list some of these tools in more than one group.
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Healing Practices
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools. However, analytical processes are vital to the spiritual quest. This is because their use enhances our reasoning ability. This helps us to think more clearly. This helps us avoid many of the common obstacles. The two tools in this group are Logical Reasoning and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice. It’s especially helpful for those new to the spiritual path. We come back to review them regularly. This keeps them fresh in our minds.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning. This article summarizes logic. It shows how people misuse logic to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the logical axioms, ties everything together.
Comparative Analysis is another valuable analytical tool. This is a systematic approach to research based on the scientific model. It is a method that compares ideas and beliefs from different worldviews.
This process introduces the challenge of comparing their beliefs to other worldviews. Here we also learn why it is so important to use emotional checks. It helps us research with the least amount of bias and prejudice.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion, politics, they are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. Modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others was and remains a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram. It has nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate profile of our personality. The scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will lead you to an understanding of the source of your personal power.
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration. The practice of meditation is now common knowledge. Both seated and moving meditation bring many health and wellness benefits.
Seated meditation is the heart of many spiritual practices. Meditation is a range of mental tools for exploring consciousness. It has everything from Mindfulness Meditation through Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). And also includes more advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is action together with a heightened level of awareness. So, this includes a range of activities involving the mind-body connection. Using these modalities helps improve our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. It also includes Forest Bathing. techniques for grounding, like Tree Grounding and Sun Gazing.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This group is a mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group of processes starts with the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation. It also includes lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory. Another important tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows. This is your best coach. It also includes exercises like automatic writing. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first spiritual technology. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures. It serves as evidence to the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but all use essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a key element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey. A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
This is one of the ancient technologies that people have tried to rename or rebrand. They do this to make the Shamanic Journey more marketable. So, some people know it as guided meditation or creative visualization.
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet from Indonesia, or Reiki, and Shiatsu from Japan. Vedic medicine is also available, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. Then they find it is an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
Most of the ancient process for expanding awareness involves chakras. So, exploring consciousness not only fulfills our innate desire for the inner quest, but it also heals. In fact, our physical and spiritual health work together.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia