5 Things You Should Know About Chakras
If I hear any more New Age claims about chakras this or chakras that, I think I'm going to puke.
Yes, indeed there are such things as chakras.
Yes, indeed they do "open" or develop when you truly tread the spiritual trail.
However, enlightenment does not lie in chakras or kundalini fire.
Here's a few things about chakras you need to know.
One: While chakras do exist, you cannot "open" them by any method other than by having your chi flow through them. The safest way to have that happen is by practicing "emptiness meditation" that abandons holding onto thoughts.
When you let go of the habit of holding on to your thoughts, they start to die down. Next, the chi flows that are normally interrupted in your body due to your grasping your thoughts are replaced by the natural, inherent optimal chi flows of the body. These chi flows are supposed to be here, but they are the ones which disappear because of intellectual activities. Because you cling to thoughts and interrupt these chi flows, that's why you are not healthier, psychic and enlightened!
If you ever wondered why kids can develop psychic abilities rather quickly it's because their minds are relatively empty of this clinging.
Now in time this proper chi flow, once restored because you practice "emptiness meditation," will clean out the obstructions from your chi channels. That is the meaning of your "chakras opening," and it takes time.
When you get massaged, listen to music that relaxes you, get crystals waved all over you -- that sort of thing -- they're going to do nothing for your chakras and true spiritual development. If you hear anyone claiming this so as to market their seminar or retreat, forget it.
Two: Even if you do "open up" all your chakras, which means that your chi channels have been cleared through-and-through, that doesn't mean you're enlightened.
That achievement is a good base for treading the path to enlightenment, but it isn't enlightenment itself. That accomplishment will help you achieve samadhi, but you can achieve all sorts of samadhi attainments, superpowers and psychic abilities and still not realize your original nature.
Realizing who you are -- your original nature or absolute being -- is what the spiritual path is all about. After that -- after "Seeing the Tao" or "Seeing God's face" -- the next task involves wiping out your lingering negative habit energies, transforming your body so that it's completely transformed as a perfect conduit for the Tao (the ultimate union of matter and mind), and working on service-filled activities to help others.
What does that have to do with chakras?
Three: There's no such thing as someone being able to open your chakras for you. The entire path of spiritual development is one of personal efforts, as Shakyamuni Buddha said. Yes you are saved -- everyone is saved because they share in the same original nature or God essence -- but to reach the mental state wherein you realize that and can prove it requires the road of self-cultivation practice.
Shakyamuni Buddha gave hundreds if not thousands of cultivation methods people could use to help clear their minds, harmonize their chi and purify their body's five elements -- which as an umbrella task includes purifying and opening the chakras -- but in all that he said you still have to do it yourself. Countless other masters and spiritual greats have said the same thing. Another person can point the way and assist you now and then, but the path is yours and the responsibility is yours. Progress can only come from you.
So when you hear of someone who can open your chakras for you, turn around and walk right out that door once again. They don't know what they're talking about or even if they do, that sort of marketing approach shows they're trying to rob you of self-responsibility for the spiritual path, and you want a teacher or friend who doesn't encourage dependency.
Books such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika or Tao and Longevity talk about these events. How to Measure and Deepen Your Spiritual Realization goes into these changes and sequences most deeply.
The stages of spiritual development do indeed exist and you have to go through them just as you have to go through puberty. But here's the thing -- you don't have to guide the process because the body knows what it's doing. All you do is ignite the process through your spiritual efforts, and the rest happens itself. So forget about having to visualize this or that chi flow in the body or some macro- or micro-cosmic circulation. Forget all that stuff because what's really going to happen will happen naturally. All you have to do is ignite the process.
In fact, when you really ignite the inherent chi of your body, that's when your kundalini energies will arise. But that's just a stage called "Warming" on the spiritual trail. It's just an initial stage of spiritual progress because there are many more stages to go.
You can use breathing exercises to do this igniting or visualization practices or all sorts of other efforts, but frankly, having a "vacuum in the head" from cultivating emptiness will "draw up the chi from below" and get the whole process going. It's the safest and surest means of cultivation that's in line with the Tao.
Think about it!
Five: If I hear one more person who's said they've opened up their head chakra or heart chakra I'm simply going to scream.
Yes that does happens, but only at advanced stages of spiritual cultivation when you really have all sorts of advanced spiritual attainments. When the head chakra really opens it feels like it's going to explode. The same goes for the heart chakra.
Prior to a real opening, the chi channels around that area will open but not fully. That's why people say "they're opening." Suffice it to say that if they were really open you would already be in the category of the sages and since you're not, stop repeating that nonsense, get back to the basics of meditation, and let whatever progress come that comes. Rest assured they are not already opened.
If you want to learn more, I suggest buying Tao and Longevity or our meditation manual, How to Measure and Deepen Your Spiritual Realization. The cases studies in that manual show all sorts of ordinary practitioners who truly worked through these various aspects of chakra development -- the rudimentary stages and the advanced stages involving enlightenment.
But remember, chakra development is simply a very low stage of cultivation that involves the purification or transformation of your body, the physical nature. They are a physical thing, not a spiritual thing. They happen along the path to spiritual development but the real progress has to do with your wisdom, your mind and human behavior. In addition to meditation, that's where your practice efforts should lie.
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