Everyone has heard it before, the word "chakra". Often understood as mystical, non-physical energy centers in the human body.
But what exactly is a chakra?
Why are there different energy systems with different numbers and colors of chakras?
Which energy system is right or wrong and why?
What does working with chakras do?
Is there such a thing at all or does it only exist in the imagination?
I will now get to the bottom of these questions.
The meaning of the word:
The Sanskrit word Chakra means energy wheel. It is an energetic nodal point in the human body.
Depending on the system (for example: Buddhist, Hinduist, Taoist, Egyptian ...) the idea of an energy body has four, five, seven, or even more or less chakras.
Various Energy- and Chakra systems:
Over the centuries and millennia, different systems and techniques have evolved in different cultures to work with the energy of the human body.
Mostly used spiritually, energy work techniques are also used for health, healing and other purposes.
In my opinion, there is no right or wrong, because the reality of the chakras is above all in the perception of the individual and the respective system and is not based on fundamental facts such as the biology of the body.
In fact, there are some similarities between the sometimes very different energy systems, which are related to functions and facts of the physical body.
I will discuss this in more detail later, but first I would like to give you two examples of the relativity of the various chakra and energy systems.
Different religions and spiritual paths often describe enlightenment very differently and the paths to it are also very different. Therefore, one can assume that the word enlightenment actually means and represents different things and goals depending on the particular way.
However, in the schools of Tibetan Buddhism, enlightenment is very clearly and uniformly defined.
In the two Buddhist Tantras "Chakrasamvara" and "Guhyasamaja", however, different lengths of the central channel and different colors of the chakras are described and used in the meditation practice.
Based on this example, I want to substantiate the fact that there is no right or wrong, and that different methods have been developed for people's different needs and preferences to achieve a goal. From the point of view of Vajrayana Buddhism, the practice of both Tantras can lead to full enlightenment.
Another example relates to the statement that the left half of the body is female and the right one is male.
Something that is often used at the end of a Qi Gong training is to place both hands on the Dan Tian (Energy Center four fingers below the navel). Buddhist Qi Gong masters teach that as a man, first place the left hand on the stomach and the right one above it, as this is the way the "female" should be strengthened. For women, the reverse applies.
When I was at a workshop with Master Lam Kam Chuen, however, he taught that all people, women and men alike, should always place their right hand on their abdomen and the left over it. This is because he teaches healing methods as well as principles according to which one draws energy with the left hand and releases energy with the right hand. Since one wants to bring the energy into the center and does not want to take it away, he teaches his students to always have the right hand under the left.
Based on this example, it is also very clearly visible that the effect depends primarily on the practitioner's imagination and a concept (which also has useful effects in the respective system) and is not based on any universal fact.
The chakras and energy systems and the physical body
Really all just imagination or biomechanical processes?
Some people claim that the chakras are not in the physical body and have nothing to do with it. To be honest, that's not right.
There is a consciousness that is undoubtedly not physical and independent of the body, as countless near-death reports and deep states of meditation show us.
But if one has a body, then what the consciousness / mind experiences is very much dependent on the nervous system, the chemical processes, etc.
Subsequently, as already announced, I will discuss now some interesting relationships between the chakras and the physical body. I have selected three areas / chakras for this purpose. Of course, the following can also be done with others as well.
Four fingers below the navel is the center of power in Buddhist and Hinduist energy systems, and the Taoists also locate there the Dan Tian (the body's power center).
But what makes this point so interesting in the human body and why is it always associated with strength, sexuality and intuition?
In fact, at this point we find the intestine, which according to the latest scientific researches is connected to the human brain by only one nerve cell and is also referred by western scientists as the second brain. This is not least because it has as many nerve cells as the brain and thus more than the spinal cord.
Proverbs such as "Trust your gut feeling" do not come from anywhere, but show very nicely that the European culture already knows the intuitive powers of the abdomen.
Furthermore, this "chakra" / "energy center" is close to the sexual organs. That the sexual drive can be enormously strong everyone knows (at least the male readers ;-D), after all, it is about survival and the continuity of the human race.
Another exciting fact is that the point four fingers below the navel forms exactly the center of the longitudinal axis in the body. A principle used in Qi Gong and Asian Martial Arts; to do any movement from the Dan Tian. What happens here is that the entire body will always move, from the legs to the head. Thus, on the one hand, a maximum of force can be applied and, on the other hand, the greatest possible cross-linking of the neurons in the nervous system results.
All in all, it seems obvious that it is no coincidence that this chakra is associated with power and sexuality and has even been named by the Chinese as the second brain for centuries, as well as by our scientists.
The heart chakra or heart center is also an exciting point and although this is usually above the solar plexus depending on the system (in the main Hinduist system there is also a separate chakra for this purpose) I think it is related to this organ.
It is precisely this area in the body (solar plexus height and above) where usually the strongest feelings of love and joy are perceived.
The forehead chakra is associated with the third eye in a variety of systems. This, too, is no coincidence. And why?
We have the pineal gland in the middle of the brain. A tiny organ that releases dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in meditation as well as at the birth and death of every human. A substance which enhances consciousness and also occurs in animals and plants. For example the Shamans of the Amazon brew potions (ayahuasca) that contain DMT to heal under this influence and to communicate with their gods.
The pineal gland is also suspected of being the organ that allows humans to see electromagnetic fields.
In it, large amounts of electricity are generated and exchanged with the central nerve of the spine.
Pineal gland or not, the brain is the control center of the body and great masters and yogis relate telepathic abilities back to the point between and above the eyebrows, centered in the brain.
Since thoughts are electromagnetic waves that are measurable, it is logical that a human brain whose nerves are completely open can receive and decode these waves = telepathy.
Energetic principles and conclusion
As we already know, the chakras are not fixed immutable facts, but energetic nodal points with which one can work with. For example to heal the body (for better understanding of this, read my article on Qi Gong), to bring about spiritual experiences and various states of consciousness.
On one hand these nodal points relate undoubtedly to functions of the physical body (nervous system, organs, etc.).
In addition, their effect depends very much on the perspective and ideas of the practitioner.
For the exercises I teach, whether it is breathing exercises, Yoga or Qi Gong I use neither a specific philosophy, nor a specific system of chakras or the energy channels of the human body.
I use the idea that the body is a shell of light and that the breath and energy are moved within it.
In order to heal the body and to gain more inner strength and peace, experience has shown that it does not take more than just that ;-)
The practitioner sees energy in the form of light in front of his inner eye as he exercises, feeling it in the form of heat and magnetic electricity. The more this becomes apparent when practicing breathing techniques and Qi Gong, the more specific it can be moved and used for healing.
Finally, I would like to do a short meditation with you so that you get an experience of the different chakras or energy areas in the body or whatever you want to call it.
We take 1-4 minutes for each of the following points.
We start by taking a few deep and conscious breaths.
We can close our eyes if we want to.
If our attention sweeps away, thoughts or disturbing noises appear, then we come back with our concentration to the breath.
Now we concentrate on the power center four fingers below the navel in the center of the body.
Here we dwell with our consciousness.
We perceive, without judgment, how it feels and what experiences we have.
Then we slowly go up through the body out of the skull and experience consciously what it feels like to rest with the mind one arm's length above the head.
Then we come to the heart center, which is indeed at the level of the heart, but is centered in the chest and we also feel here how this feels.
We end the meditation by coming back into the world with the perception on the heart level.
Maybe you have already noticed that your ability to experience and perceive and the body feeling has changed depending on where you rest with your mind.
Thank you for reading this article!
I wish you much joy and health!