Module 7: AJNA Chakra
You have the right to your inner wisdom.
To know what you know and to allow intuition to guide your life.
You have the right to imagine, to dream, to change your mind at anytime.
The sixth energy center resides at the brow. Also know as “the third eye,” ajna charka is the home of our intuition, our deepest knowing born of the soul. Ajna means to “perceive” or “command.” When energy is flowing freely in the lower chakras, we’re able to see through what I call “the eye of the goddess.” We see everything clearly through the lens of love. We have a wide angle view of ourselves as sacred Beings and understand that all of our life experiences are Gifts Of Embodiment, even those that are painful. Instead of staying stuck in Fear, Anxiety and Tension, we can transform darkness into light, which is the element of ajna chakra.
Intuition is seeing with the soul.
Trust your intuition and be guided by love.
Feeling All Truth of the embodied life lifts the veil that once distorted our perception of self and heals The FAT Experience. Through ajna chakra our cosmic wisdom is activated. You know all you need to know for a happy, healthy, abundantly joyful life. The sixth chakra relates to:
dreams (sleeping) & dreams (waking)
intuition & imagination
perception & cognition
insight, clarity, vision
On the physical level, anja regulates the lower brain functions and the five senses. So while it’s a “high vibration” energy center, it’s strongly related to basic human functions helping us interpret information received through the body. Conversely, data from Source is transmitted through this energy center. These “Divine Downloads” as I like to call them, are expressed as inspiration, ideas, insights, “a-ha” moments (as Ophra would say) and “gut feelings.” Freeing and empowering our lives requires us, as discussed in previous modules, to allow the energies of emotion and desire (Shakti) born in the lower chakras to rise up through the heart and throat centers. There, they are purified and must be fully expressed for the mind to become clear and for intuition, imagination and vision to be activated. These are our human super powers! Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately without conscious reasoning, to know from instinctive feeling. It’s often referred to as a hunch or feeling, an inkling, a sense, or even a suspicion. Imagination is the ability to form new images and sensations in the mind that are not perceived through the five physical senses, while vision is the seeing of ideas and possibilities.
The soul never thinks without a picture.
These skills come from our feminine side and therefore, are typically feared. These feminine faculties are usually undermined, minimized or totally dismissed in our patriarchal culture. We must work to reclaim and trust this innate wisdom. We must stop abandoning these aspects of ourselves to keep healing and live PEACEfully. Disconnection from the body removes our superhero status. It’s kryptonite! This sounds like a bad thing but remember…painful body image is a symptom of ego (False Self) which is created for good reason at times in our lives when our body/soul was overwhelmed and needed protected. It’s often the most intuitive and creative souls that struggle with body image because they are here to make BIG changes in the world. This is why healing body image is sacred service. It is incredibly brave.
It’s time to reclaim your superpowers. Find a skirt, large scarf or other piece of fabric to create a superhero cape for yourself. Decorate it to express your most confident, courageous self. The one free of fearing her power, liberated from any pain in her past and from the cultural conditioning around what she should be. The one here on Earth to fight for what’s right with grace, to share her gifts fully and to enjoy the adventure of it all. Put your cape on when you start to forget your awesome or when you are feeling super sassy and need to let it be known! You can also wear it for meditation. Feel free to share pics. This is me at one of my BKH Weekend Retreats. My music recommendations for this project are: PINK’s “So What,” Florence and The Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” and David Guetta’s “Titanium.”
In vishuddha, the previous energy center, we learned that listening is yet another form of love. With a healthy and balanced sixth chakra we can take command of our lives by listening to our True Selves, to the voice of the soul. She speaks softly through image, metaphor and the felt sense. Our yoga practice reconnects us to, and allows us to hear this wisdom. We must slow down to perceive and receive it. This is where our last niyama comes in, svadhyaya or “self-study.” Join me for an exploration of this concept as I believe it applies to the journey home to wholeness.
Commanding, an aspect of ajna, is far different from controlling. Control is fear-based and driven by opposition to something outside ourselves. To command is love-based. It is leadership from the Divine within. We change things because we love ourselves and have faith, hope and trust in the whole of humanity and the Universe. The sixth and seventh energy centers are located in the head and are therefore closely related to both the functioning of the mind and liberation from it. Yoga teaches there are two distinct levels to what we identify as the mind: “vritti” and “bodhi.” We’ve been working with both all along here. Vitti is the lower mind made up of past conditioning and painful life experiences. This level of mind is what yoga calls ego and what I refer to as the False Self discussed early on. Ego focuses on the past, the future and is judgmental. It labels things and experiences as good or bad. It resists being fully in the present moment and accepting the reality of right now. It is a huge part of The FAT Experience. Vritti=fear-based.
Most of us know this vritti/ego “mind set” all to well. It’s often referred to as the inner critic. It’s that constant negative chatter and worry, it’s racing thoughts. It’s fickle and mean towards you and often others too. It’s hypocritical. You can usually catch it contradicting itself. It blames and shames and dooms and glooms. On one hand, it judges us and our lives as not enough then will turn around and say we’re somehow better than others. It constantly compares to either put us down or build us up which. These are all actually attempts to provide a true sense of self and a sense of safety, from the outside in. In short, vritti/ego is what creates the majority of our suffering and it totally fears intuition. It is the number one sign ajna chakra needs attention.
Since the mind seems to be the problem, conventional approaches tend to employ CBT: Cognative Behavior Therapy to healing body image. This technique is based on the idea that thoughts create our feelings and then drive our behavior so to feel better we must change the way we think. Makes sense, right? Variations of CBT are also employed by many spiritual/new age/alternative/self-help programs encouraging us to monitor and change negative thoughts based on the Law Of Attraction. The belief being that our thoughts create our reality. I agree with this…to an extent. My life experience, understanding of yogic philosophy, and my intuition leads me to believe that vritti/ego is not actually the problem but a symptom; a symptom of the starving of Shakti, a symptom of controlling the Divine Feminine, a symptom of our wounds, our pain, our abandoned dreams. It is ultimately a symptom of our lose of connection to God/Source as we understand him, her, it, they.
As I see it, and I encourage you to observe for yourself, vritti mind happens when deep emotion is awakened. For example, the mind gets to chattering before a test or a speaking engagement, well you’re feeling nervous. Or the mind rattles when you are enjoying something delicious to eat, guilt has been triggered. Or maybe you run into an old flame at the store and for hours afterwards your mind replays the scene and worries about what you said. Grief around the lose of your experiences with that person have bubbled up. We can wrestle with the mind and try to change the thoughts but if it’s soul stuff the pace of the vritti is so fast you can’t even catch a thought to restructure it! Furthermore, pain distorts our perception. Perception being the way in which we see the world, especially our bodies, but also how we understand what we’re experiencing down even to the way we see what and how much or little we’re eating.
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. He who looks outside, dreams. He who looks within, awakens.
CBT is something to work with in times of ease but when our wounds are opened the work is to tend to them, not to further distract and disconnect from the body with more thinking. This is the time to work with the other level of our mind: bodhi. The bodhi mind is our highest consciousness. It can observe the vritti mind, and all other experiences (physical sensation, emotions, etc.) non-judgmentally. It simply notices and observes with pure awareness seeing all of what’s present right now without attachment or assessment. Bodhi is love-based. Bodhi=witness.
Chakra six represents our archetypal identity. An archetype is like an imprint on the psyche. The psyche is that which is not the body. Psyche is a constellation of mind, soul, spirit. It includes both the intellect and the subconscious. Archetypes are universal patterns we can all relate to, they exist across all time and space and they play out in our relationships with others and in the relationship with ourselves. Everyone is working from archetypes whether they realize it or not. Some archetypes are ego driven, others are soul based. There are 3 main ego archetypes which are often referred to as “shadow.” They are The Victim, The Persecutor and The Rescuer.
Our body image and eating issues are directly driven by these. For instance, blaming our body for not getting the love we want or blaming the media for our negative self-perception. Or perhaps we blame advertising for our eating too many chips or our city for not having sidewalks for us to walk on, so we believe we can’t exercise. These are both Victim and Persecutor. As rescuers, which women are notorious for, we take care of others over ourselves tending their pain rather than our own healing. This leaves us feeling depleted and ungrounded which is where food comes into to soothe. Functioning from these imprints is how ego keeps us distracted from our own healing work and the fullness of our power.
We inherit much of our archetypal blueprint from our parents and find ourselves working hard NOT to be like our mothers and fathers. This can be a trap. Much like changing the body out of disgust (fear) or eating more fruits and veggies to prevent cancer (fear) we need to connect with the shadow, with what we are trying to control and love it as it is. Nurture your body for the love of the soul, for the love of life rather than the fear of being judged or dying. Acknowledge and accept the similarities between yourself and your perceived enemies and the things that don’t serve you will heal in the light of compassion. Look at your symptoms (painful body image, restriction or overeating, etc) as messengers of the soul. They are signs that life is out of alignment and/or there are wounds that need tended. We can connect with our light archetypes to care for ourselves this way.
Body Karma Healing is based on the Divine Mother archetype. We have been working with this energy from the start and here at ajna chakra we meet the Hindu goddesses that guide us. These four great devis govern the domains of healing and self-empowerment. In my forthcoming eCourse titled Goddess Wisdom, we’ll deepen our connection to these fine ladies. For now, meditate on their images and the brief description I give about them. Stand in a mirror with your cape on and recite their affirmations.
Durga is a fierce Goddess that sits courageously upon a lion. Durga means one who alleviates suffering. She stands for our life purpose, our Divine Dharma helping us discover what that is and have confidence in living authentically. Affirmation:
“I Am Divinely guided & protected.”
Kali is the dark mother, the goddess of death and destruction. She represents our worst fears and the freedom gained through conquering them. She helps us remove obstacles along our sacred path. Affirmation:
“I courageously embody my power.”
Saraswati is the patron of the arts, music and science. She is the goddess of wisdom and creativity and helps us know the joy of the embodied life. Affirmation:
“I Am wise, creative & blissful.”
Lakshmi is the goddess of abundance of both spiritual and material wealth. She is also the goddess of light teaching us to receive the beauty of life and the totality of our worth. Affirmation:
“I welcome the fullness of life.”
How about living from the archetype of awesomeness! Coming from this place shatters ego and illusion empowering Truth and Divine inspiration. When we don’t decide our archetype we stay trapped in the one living unconsciously inside us. This is one aspect of karma. It’s why we repeat cycles of behaviors over and over again. Here at ajna we can illuminate our issues and come to live life in a different light. Complete the rest of the Practice Points here to reclaim your light and live BIG.
Exploring & Healing Ajna Chakra
It’s time to deepen your awareness of ajna and continue to empower you in transforming your dreams into reality. Take some time and space to write your responses to the following reflections.
When was the first time you experienced intuition? Having a deep inner knowing that seemed to come out of nowhere about something you weren’t even thinking about. What was the situation, the insight, and how did if feel?
What is your relationship to intuition? What do you understand it to be? What did you learn about it from others? Do you trust it? Do you fear it? Do you follow it? What happens when you listen to it? What happens when you don’t?
When did you stop eating intuitively? What messages were sent to you about eating? Did you have to be part of the “Clean Plate Club” or did you grow up in restrictionville with dieting parents?
When did you stop moving your body naturally, just for fun because it felt food or you wanted to experience something like nature? What messages are ingrained for you around exercise such as how, when, why, etc.?
What patterns archetypal patterns keep playing out in your life? Do you keep feeling victimized, do you try to rescue everyone?
Imagine your third eye open and bright. Roll out your Body Mapping and bring that image to life at the brow center and surrounding areas. Maybe even place symbols of ajna chakra power throughout the body as we see through feeling in the flesh.