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Enlightenment is Meant for All! By Galeet Farrow (Gollan), M.A., LPC

Awakening is a process of realizing ourselves as a consciousness, it is a natural development inherent in human beings. As consciousness, we reside here in our physical, emotional and mental bodies. There is a tendency to become identified with the physical body because it is the densest or “realest” material. Yet, the body is temporal, limited in time. What animates this body? Who is it that witnesses this life? In traditional Chakra Psychology, there are 3 bodies, the physical body, the emotional or subtle body and the mental or causal body. You are not any of these bodies- they are your possessions. When you forget this and overidentify with them, thinking this what you are, discontentment begins. When you remember yourself as witness, through mindful practices, you begin to come back into mastery of this life. It reminds me of the quote by Robin Sharma “The mind is a wonderful servant but terrible master”. You, as consciousness, exist beyond all bodies and ultimately aim to be in mastery of these three possessions. As these three bodies unify and come into contentment an awakened state of mind can arise, where the individual experiences themselves as consciousness itself.

The human body is built for this enlightenment, it is a natural development in human progression. It is not meant to be reserved for only a lucky few, but rather, these latent powers want to be activated in everyone. In a more conscious society, life would be designed to better support this higher development of humanity. Regular practice of yoga and meditation assist the energy upward to higher states of mind. Physical yoga is a preparation for deeper expansion. Through alignment of the spine, the body is able to be still for longer periods of time. This stillness enables the Pranayama (breathing) and Nada Yoga (sound yoga) to become more effective. Through slowing of the breath and the use of specific sounds, subtle channels can be activated which allow one to experience existence differently. This inner technology exists in all bodies and has the potential for awakening in everyone. Certain lifestyle choices can encourage or discourage its activation. Purification of the bodily system and alignment with natural rhythms are a significant portion of the process.

So how do we bring these three bodies into unification?

There are seven major chakra centers which, through three channels, intersect all three bodies. Each Chakra has its own motivational need and can be thought of as a dimensional consciousness. They are each a mind in and of itself with needs that must be contented. These ascending needs move much like Maslow’s hierarchy, from physical survival through emotional and social needs and then expanding to greater compassion and eventual connection with all of life. Developmentally, we are primarily focused on one Chakra mind at a time, this is simply the consciousness we are in, it is the mind from which we see the world.

The Root or 1st Chakra is ruled by the element of Earth and thus has to do with survival needs. Without survival nothing else can grow. In this way we need to be able to create stability for ourselves in this life. This also rules the body and the awareness of what the body needs, what types of foods are good for it, what kind of exercise it needs etc. Without the root chakra in good functioning, other higher openings may not be able to manifest. Meaning, people may have some higher understanding but unable to channel it in life due to lack of stability. This mind can be greedy, when in excess it always wants more. This is where the human behaviors of greed and selfishness arise.

The Sacral or 2nd Chakra is ruled by Water and has to do with exchange. Humans do not live alone; we live in families and communities and thus the way in which we exchange with others has a lot to do with the functioning of Chakra. All business related and sexual exchange is based on this chakra. Are we honest and integral in exchange? Do we watch out for ourselves? Is there a toxic quality to what we leave behind in the water. When we engage in sex with others we share waters, so being aware of the purity of the waters we exchange with is important. Addictions and anxiety are the signs of excess in this Chakra.

The Solar Plexus or 3rd Chakra is ruled by Fire, and this is the seat of the ego. As all humans develop from childhood, we go from complete dependency on others to the development of pride and a sense of self. This is a healthy and important step. The development of a career or what we offer in the world is a part of the satiation of this Chakra. Excess in this Chakra points to an unhealthy desire for power. This Chakra represents one of the most important developments in the progression of awakening. It has within it a downward pointed triangle, this directs the fire, the ego, towards the lower Chakra needs. Here the person looks to fulfil the needs of self and power through sex and greed. The amount of karma one has accumulated is said to determine how deep this triangle goes. The most important human development is to flip this upward, such that the ego surrenders to the heart- a wisdom greater than ego. It is this action that frees us from our lower animal tendencies and begins the path upward towards awakening. The greed and destruction of our earth is a representation of where the overall human consciousness is at.

How do we move this triangle upward? Sound is a great tool in working with all of the Chakras. Specifically, the 3rd chakra responds to the sound Ram. There are a number of mantras available related to it.

When the lower Chakras are satiated, we have figured out how to have stability and take care of ourselves, we have positive and supportive relationships with others, and we can assert ourselves as needed and choose to give our energy to higher purposes. Now we can begin the upward ascent. Flipping the triangle upward is the action that gets us “above gravity”, it becomes increasingly easier to move up through the higher Chakras and they will open in time quite naturally.

The Heart or 4th Chakra is the center of compassion and ruled by the element of Air. Here we experience love that does not involve sex. Sometimes becoming a parent can be the impetus for this opening as unconditional love is discovered. We begin to care about others and desire to help the world in some way. Often, we are then drawn into some type of service work, where we continually give our energy of the 3rd to the Compassion. It is important here to not get caught in attachment. This doesn’t mean not to love and enjoy our lives and partners; it simply means to understand it is temporary as everything in the phenomenal world is. Whatever love helped us open this consciousness we then want to maintain it without the object or person. We want love to become a state of consciousness which is not dependent on an outside trigger. For example, if you had a child that opened this unconditional level of love, you then want to learn to maintain this unconditional love as a state of being instead of only for this child. Eventually love consciousness becomes the way you see and move in the world; it is not reserved. A person in this consciousness would not be able to kill anything and develops a gentleness about themselves.

Moving to the Throat or 5th Chakra is highly unlikely and generally requires the use of sound, Nada Yoga, to do so. Its element is call Akaasha, or Ether, which is the most subtle of energies produced by sound. This is where love consciousness becomes refined into devotion. A focal point of a deity or cause may become prominent. Here the person becomes committed to their higher growth. Creativity for spiritual growth becomes opened and the person will feel a need to create for reasons beyond artistic inclinations. As the sound sensitivity expands the use of tone and mantra can do a lot to further open this Chakra. The quality of sound and the energy created with the opening will become palpable, leading the individual to higher quality tones which can help to build towards the opening of the higher Chakras.

Increasingly unlikely in today’s world are any openings of the highest two Chakras, 6th and 7th. However, the human body is made for this development, so it is not impossible. The world we live in is designed to keep us in the elemental minds and focused on the physical reality. The 6th Chakra, the Third Eye (located in the center of the forehead), is connected to the pineal gland which responds to light and darkness. This Chakra mind is beyond elements, it is connected to the core qualities from which all of life emerges, called the Gunas. Everything is made of some mixture of these core qualities: heaviness, action and purity. This concept is well developed in the 3 bodily constitutions of Ayurveda, Kapha, Pitta and Vata. The sixth Chakra is about opening to the inner light, experiencing one’s divinity from within and understanding the world as it is. As the higher Chakras open the sense of self expands. The ego must become as mild as possible until in the 7th, the Crown Chakra, one merges with all of life. In this state classically called Samadhi, there is no self at all, and yet one is completely a part of and experiencing the life all around.

A morning circadian rhythm is one of the most powerful actions a person can take to assist the opening of the 6th chakra and for increasing the likelihood of spiritual development. Due to the connection with the pineal gland, keeping false lights low which allows the brain to recognize it is night after the sun goes down, allows for the proper alignment with natural cycles. Ideally, waking 1.5 hours before the sunrise allows for the purest light to be absorbed.

Overarchingly, it is important to understand that these successive developments bring an individual through a process of increasing compassion and widening the sense of self to increasingly include more and more of life. At the same time the personal self, the ego, decreases becoming less of a person’s orientation.

These extraordinary changes are worldview shifts, they take time to fully develop and stabilize in. One should not rush the process as it takes time to adjust to each small opening. However, the human system is made for such developments. Everyone has to start in the Root Chakra and move upward. According to Microchakra Psychology, a lot of the mental health symptomology we experience has to do with blockages in this system. These blockages can be created in childhood, through trauma, through interaction with the world which orients us to ego. Poor food choices, constant entertainment and pursuit of the sensory experience can continue these blockages throughout one’s life.

How do we begin to open our system?

The first step is the physical Yoga, as I said earlier this is the preparation of the body. Through the process of wiring the brain to the physicality, one may become more aware of the foods they’re eating and begin to reduce processed foods and excessive meat and sugars. There are many Ayurvedic practices that can be incorporated as well. Through purification of the physical body new opportunities open. As the person becomes grounded in a daily yoga practice, a focus can move to the alignment of the body rhythms with the natural life cycles. For example, rising before dawn is a significant action one can take to begin shifting their Chakra functioning. There are plenty of psychological research which supports the Morning Circadian Rhythm being related to far less mental health symptoms. Breathing techniques and Sound (Nada) Yoga can be included in daily practice. A morning mantra can be particularly powerful. Working with a teacher or counselor who can guide you can be especially useful and is highly recommended. It’s important to remember to start wherever a person is and begin by making small and manageable steps. As those steps become easeful, the individual can shift again, ever so slowly beginning to approach the ideal. Many chakra openings happen from small steps, so it’s important not to allow the final goals or the ideal be overwhelming. A lot can happen with small but consistent change!

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