Getting to Know Your Energy Body

Have you ever seen or felt your chakras? If you are reading my blog, you are probably already familiar with all the properties and correspondences that New Age lore associates with these energy centers: colors, sounds, emotions, internal organs, endocrine glands, crystals, musical notes—you name it. Doesn’t it feel reassuring to have it all figured out? What this set of beliefs has done is to come up with neat little boxes to help us develop a sense of control over something that, ultimately, we do not understand.

Consider this: many of our ideas about chakras are maps for a territory about which we really do not know much. They are definitely helpful for beginners who need to start finding their way in a non-physical realm. However, there is a point in one’s spiritual evolution when the false security provided by received knowledge and dogmas shatters, revealing them for what they really are: training wheels that may eventually hinder our progress towards a deeper, and more authentic, understanding.

For example, there is no good reason for chakras to come in rainbow colors. This is a relatively recent attribution that is inspired by the habit of mapping our knowledge of the physical world unto the subtle realms. The energy of chakras is not measurable and does not have wavelengths. In fact, it is not even energy—it is just something that belongs to a different dimension, and trying to squeeze it into our cultural categories will get us only so far.

This said, if you firmly believe that you have seven chakras and have been visualizing them in rainbow colors, this is what you will experience when you draw your attention inward. The astral plane is quite malleable, and, by activating the creative power of imagination, you are molding your subtle body (or at least parts of it) according to your beliefs. If you feel comfortable with this, there is no need for you to change your habits. If, instead, you are interested in a more authentic experience, do not be afraid to explore.

Here is how you can do it:

Sit with your spine and head straight; do not lean against anything. Keep your chest open and your muscles relaxed. Take a few deep breaths—if you practice hatha yoga, a few minutes of pranayama will do. Gently release your thoughts. Your inner chatter may continue in the background, but you should not pay attention to it. Bring your awareness to your tailbone, and let it rest there.

Observe your sensations without judging them. Most importantly, release all expectations. Your attention will begin to slowly rise through your spine, one inch at a time; allow it to do so as you remain quietly receptive. Pause frequently to just be and receive.

As your attention slowly climbs up towards the top of your head, you might obtain different impressions. These will come from your subtle senses and may include flashes of light and colors; pressure, tightness, or a sense of opening; a buzz, chimes, or other types of sounds; symbols, images, words, or, at times, memories. Allow these perceptions to flow through you without becoming attached to any of them.

Repeat this exercise daily, retaining a neutral attitude towards its outcomes. Each time you do it, things will change a little (or a lot!). However, at some point you may start noticing that some impressions are consistent.

Once you become relatively familiar with the energetic map of your spine, you can extend this exploration to the rest of your body, one limb at a time. Journal your experiences, day after day; most importantly, retain the lack of expectations that is key to actual discovery.

Slowly, a pattern will emerge. As always, take it with a grain of salt: this will be your subjective interpretation of something that, transcending the physical, is difficult for the human mind to grasp. Yet it will be your experience and your map of your own chakra system, not somebody else’s. Enjoy your explorations!

For a history of how we came to imagine (and experience) chakras the way we do, see Kurt Leland’s Rainbow Body: A History of the Western Chakra System from Blavatsky to Brennan

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Photo by Michael Dziedzic via Unsplash