Chakra Scan Practice
Reader: Find your own voice. Speak at your own pace. Watch your partner’s breathing and take that as a clue, let it guide your breathing. There is no hurry.
Give your partner a chance to get comfortable lying on the floor. Any time she wants to, she can stand and you can continue.
For a minute, just let yourself be. Give yourself time to settle in and make yourself comfortable. Whether you are lying down or sitting, begin to release your body to gravity.
Now make yourself available for whatever is calling your attention. You may have thoughts, images, and remembered conversations from the day floating through your mind. Allow this process, because it is your mind to “clearing its desk.” It’s like housekeeping.
Breathe out with a whoosh or a sigh three times. This is often called a Cleansing Breath, because it seems to wash stress out of the system. You can continue doing as long as you like.
As you quiet down, bring your attention into your body sensations. You might discover all sorts of tingling, pressures, sensations of fatigue, delicious restfulness, and so on. You might feel tension here and there. Approach this casually, with a sense of curiosity. This realm of sensing is as rich in its own way as music is to hearing, and good food is to the sense of taste.
As you begin to relax, you may become aware of particular sensations, calling you – aches, pains, tensions – that you did not have time to feel during your last action phase, the phase of working and commuting. Just let yourself be called to whatever is there.
Let’s take a journey through the body. You can go at your own pace. Tell me if I am going too fast or slow. We are going to start in the middle and work outwards.
Now notice what is happening in your belly. Do you have any sensations of tension or relaxation there? Enjoy a deep satisfying breath and note that you might feel pleasure in your belly when you breathe a sigh of relief.
Reach your hands out to your sides, and then gather them in to touch your belly very lightly. Let your hands alight on your belly and greet this area.
The belly center is called MANIPURA. City of jewels. Mani = bead, precious stone, jewel, gem. Pura = city, town. Inside your torso are all kinds of intelligent systems and life processes. Metabolism, converting the food we eat into energy. The adrenal glands are in there, which help us respond to emergencies and get quick bursts of energy. Magic happens here, the conversion of food - which itself is magic, sunlight falling on green leaves and algae and turning into plant energy.
From here, from MANIPURA, this whole area from the spine and behind the spine, through the body, out from the belly, pranashakti as POWER flows.
Lightly touch these thoughts with your awareness:
I enjoy expressing myself.
I have a right to take up space.
I am free to expand my territory and explore.
I can digest my experience.
The mantra for Manipura is RAM.
Make up your own sound if you like. Everyone is different.
Let’s say goodbye to manipura and move on to the heart.
Reach your hands out to your sides, then gather them in and lightly touch the area in the center of the chest. Deep in there, from behind your spine, through all those muscles, and extending out in front of you, is the magic flow of energies called ANAHATA, the heart as a center of intelligence and feeling.
Hata is a word from music meaning “struck” as a drum or a chord. The beating of the heart.
The A in front of HATA means “NOT,” so there is a joke or pun in ANAHATA. Anahata means “Produced otherwise than by beating.” Your spirit heart is a chord that keeps on resonating, keeps on vibrating. And it is unbeaten, unwounded. Anahata also means intact.
This level of heart, your spiritual heart, is a place in you that is unwounded and you can call on it at any time when you feel wounded. You can go there for healing, courage, to renew your will to live.
The anahata chakra is not a place inside your chest. Your physical heart is there, the cardiac nerve plexus and respiratory system are there. Your heart chakra is located in your body of love, your body of prana, your body of pure life energy that is always flowing.
The official mantra for Anahata is YAM.
RAM is also wonderful, an accepted variant, and you may have your own personal variation.
YUM. RAMA. YAY.
If you explore, what sound sounds best to you right now, when your attention is in the heart area? What sound would you LIKE to have permeate this area? Or would it be no SOUND at all, just a silent HUM of joy?
Now consider these thoughts very lightly. Just consider them for a few breaths each.
My love can flow freely.
I adore the people I adore.
It is Okay for me to get angry when there are obstacles to love.
When I am hurt, I will tell someone I trust and unburden my heart.
Take a breath, open your arms, and place them on your pelvis, just above your genitals.
Under your fingertips, all the way back to the spine, is a magic area called
SVA DIS THANA, SVADHISTHANA. “One’s own place. Having a good place. Having a good standing place.” SVA means “one’s own.”
Think of a time you felt wonderful in your genital area, pure happiness flowing, delight, contact, physical love. Now consider the thought, “This joy is mine.” This joy is my own.
Check in with yourself and sense if you like this term of Sanskrit -
SVA DIS THANA, or you would rather just say something anatomical in English.
Consider the sound VAM. Whisper the sound quietly and then wonder, would you want the subtle vibration of VAM permeating the area of your pelvis? Would you want just a quiet hum of joy, or a vibration of vitality too subtle to hear?
Give VAM a chance, and if you don’t immediately like it, explore AmMmm or YUMMM or mmmmmmmmmm.
Lightly consider these thoughts:
I am free to express my creativity.
A quiet flow of sensual pleasure permeates my pelvis and my whole body.
I am sparkling with pleasure.
My sexual energy flows freely throughout my body, renewing every cell, enlivening every cell and nerve and sense.
If any fears, or old memories come up, welcome them into this healing place.
Perineum & Tailbone Area
Now take a breath and let your attention drift down to the area between your legs, between the anus and the tailbone. This area is a center of feeling and
Energy flows. Lots of energy flows here. Lots of sensations.
The Sanskrit name for this area is MULADHARA. MULA means root, base, basis. DHARA is supporting. Depth. And also stream.
The perineum is an erotic area, tingling with energy of delight, and a feeling, I can do it. I can survive. Life is worth living. Consider one of these thoughts lightly, for the space of a breath. Life is good. I have a foundation.
The tailbone is an amazing area - where the spine begins.
With your awareness exploring the zone in and around the perineum, consider the sound LAM.
It’s AAAAMMMMMM with that hint of LA at the beginning.
Is this a sound you enjoy?
Is there a vibration or hum you would want to permeate your perineal area?
Now take a breath and open your arms wide and embrace life.
Bring your hands up to your throat and touch it lightly.
The throat is the center of speech, and human beings have been given the gift of being able to shape the breath into spoken language and song.
Make some sounds - the vowel sounds, AAA EEE III OOO UUUU and enjoy your ability to shape the breath into these resonances.
Which sound do you like the most right now? Where in your throat, or chest, or face, or head, does it vibrate? The official name of the throat center is vishuddha, or vishuddhi.
Now consider the sound HAM. Whisper it or chant it. Does it feel like your mantra for the throat? If not, what sound would you enjoy making right now?
Explore very quiet sounds. HAM might sound weird when you say it out loud, but might be soothing when you hear it as the softest whisper.
Explore and feel what you like.
In this area of the throat are the vocal cords, big arteries, the thyroid gland, and a nerve plexus called the laryngeal nerve plexus.
Lightly consider these thoughts:
I know what I want to say.
I am free to speak my mind.
I know when to keep my mouth shut, hold my peace.
I listen to myself even if others do not.
The world wants to hear my voice.
Notice any suffering or joy you feel when you consider these thoughts. Take a few breaths and let the feeling subside. Know you can return anytime.
Open your arms wide and bring them to touch your forehead, lightly. Underneath your fingertips are 80 billion neurons. Each one has thousands of synapses connecting it to other neurons. The synapses fire hundreds of times a second. This whole area is luminous with the electricity of the brain processing the universe. You can give thanks that you have a brain.
Just be in awe of this whole area under your fingertips - inside your skull is a universe of connections, more interconnections than there are stars in the sky.
In the area behind the forehead is a center called AJNA, the “third eye.” The ajna is in your prana body and it corresponds to the pineal gland, which produces hormones such as melatonin.
You can think of the ajna as being a kind of subtle magnetism that flows through the area behind the forehead
The mantra that goes with AJNA is OM.
You can consider OM is already vibrating in your mind, and you can let your attention be called to hear it as a quiet hum.
If you like, you can quietly whisper the sound OM, or a sound like OM. Or you can consider that billions of tiny cells vibrating with tiny amounts of electricity give off a hum of life. It the most beautiful sound. The word you can say, OM, is just to remind you of the hum of life in all its exquisite beauty.
Ajna (ājñā) means unlimited power, command, permission, authority.
Consider these thoughts pertaining to your third eye.
I see the way clearly before me.
I can follow the trail of my own life.
I see the truth.
I love light and all colors of light.
I am in charge of my own life.
I give the commands around here.
Just explore the way these thoughts make you feel, or stimulate sensations, or open up vistas in your mind. Don’t be concerned if these feel challenging. Simply touch on these thoughts, look at them for a moment, then move on. You can come back later and review.
Now open your arms wide again and bring them to touch the top of your head.
Let your fingertips touch the center of the top of your head, and then slowly open your arms, very slowly, to open up the space.
This whole area around the crown of the head is called sahasrara, the thousand-spoked circle, thousand-petaled rose or lotus.
Sahasrara is a party spot for Shakti, the goddess of infinite energy and power, and Shiva, cosmic intelligence and I AM consciousness. The vibrant power of life and the consciousness who embraces her are playing in sahasrara.
The mantra here is silent awe at how vast the universe is, silent wonder that you are here in a human body, silent amazement that there is so much to learn and see and discover and experience.
Consider these thoughts, very lightly:
I am open to awe
I am open to wonder.
I am open to enlightened thinking and feeling.
Take a few deep breaths, sigh, and return your hands to your heart and rest them there. Be open to feeling sensations anywhere in your body.
Scan your body head to toe. Start by simply becoming aware of your head. Feel around the crown of your head, your scalp, the back of your skull. Notice the sense of your head resting on the floor, or on top of your spine if you’re sitting. Your head may feel heavy or light.
Now gently scan through your whole body. For the space of a few breaths, simply let your attention meander wherever in your body it wants to go. All these sensations, tingles, and feelings are how life is touching you right now.
Continuing to sense your whole body, continuing to bring loving attention to any place that’s asking for more awareness…
Then get up to enjoy the rest of your day or evening.