The Power chakra
Sanskrit name: Manipura
Location: At the diaphragm, under the triangle where the ribs meet.
Attributes: Mental; thoughts, dreams, life energy, personal power, individuality, boundaries and hierarchy games.
The power chakra has several important aspects, and they all relate to each other. First, it is the chakra of free will and Divine will... and so it is where the conscience resides. When cleared and opened fully, it discerns between karma and dharma.
The power chakra is placed at the diaphragm, because it is about the breath of life... chi, prana. Personal power, life energy. If your chi is abundant and your power chakra is open, then you have a feeling of relaxed contentment and well being, and do not get so easily drawn into arguments and power games. You do not feel a need to play the games yourself... you are filled, and fulfilled. You need nothing, and can choose to walk away from arguments without needing to engage in a power struggle of proving you are right. That is the "enlightenment" given by the non-Kundalini based spiritual paths like Tai chi.
Any sort of non-consensual power or control games, come from people with an inadequately functioning power chakra, trying to get their energy needs fed by vampirism. Any argument, if you look at it from an energy dynamic point of view, is a power chakra tug of war over life energy. It is a war over resources, people bombing each other with negative energy, and feeding on the life force of another.
Most everyone can feel their power chakra, but few realize that it is the power chakra response that they are feeling. How do you feel when you win an argument? How do you feel when you lose? Take a moment to think about it. Remember past events and the associated feelings, and notice where in your body the feelings -emotion or sensation- is located.
The feeling of triumph, or the feeling of loss is centered in the power chakra. In the belly, in the middle just below the ribs. Think of a time when someone praised you or gave you a really nice compliment. Think of a time when you felt very successful; think of a time when you felt failure. Remember, and feel. Where is the feeling located, in your body? Think of a time when someone criticized you, insulted you or demeaned you. Where is that feeling located?
Sometimes the emotional baggage of a memory, the karma of it is located elsewhere in the body, but generally emotions of winning and losing, success and failure, victimhood and satisfaction reside in or near the power chakra. It is the center for those issues.
"Gut instinct" is the physical sensation of receiving guidance from the power chakra. Since the power chakra also responds to your fear, it takes practice, healing and discernment to get the chakra and its signals clear enough to be reliable. You get a gut reaction, is it the power chakra acting to guide you, or is it your own fear? You have to get grounded and surrender the fear, before you can know for sure... but once you have done so, the power chakra is your best guide for navigating your day to day reality.
Many people advise living from the heart, and it can be beautiful to focus on love in that way, but the heart does not respect boundaries. Love languages are unique, everyone has their own definition of love, and what feels like love to you may feel like abuse to someone else.
Swami Beyondananda on the Golden Rule:
"It seems that when masochists do unto others as they wish to be done unto, they become sadists. Consequently, the Golden Rule has been recalled by the Maker until this design flaw can be fixed."
The heart cannot tell; it is part of the universe of non-duality... but the power chakra will let you know when your actions are not respectful of the free will, individuality or boundaries of another.
When you are afraid, when someone is lying to you, when you feel a sense of loss, grief or any kind of disempowerment, you may get a contracted, tight, heavy or sinking feeling in your gut. That is the power chakra responding. When we are nervous we say "butterflies in the stomach", but the location of the butterfly feeling is not usually the physical stomach, which is on the left side of the body, but rather in the belly, just under the bottom of the ribs. Feelings of guilt, foreboding of future bad events, worry, insecurity, all are felt in the power chakra. A bad feeling in your gut, is the power chakra saying "Don't go there!"
Feelings of being abused, victimized, persecuted, or any other kind of disrespect of personal boundaries are felt in the belly, in the power chakra. The power chakra is where your personal boundaries, as an individual are felt. It is the chakra of hierarchy games: winners and losers, abusers and victims... and also the chakra of team work and co-operation.
Knowledge of karma and Dharma reside in the power chakra. Dharma is alignment with Divine will, karma comes of actins that are fear based. I carry my conscience in my power chakra. That is where it lives. The higher chakras don't have any of this boundary stuff, karma or sin. The power chakra responds to any invasion of your personal boundaries, and it also responds to your thinking or acting in a way that is not respectful of the boundaries of another. It is the karma alarm.
Actions of your own that are projections of what someone else needs, that will stir up karmic feedback will proke a response in the power chakra. That which is not "Right action" or Dharma will make the power chakra contract, with a feeling of tension or constriction. The karma feedback is immediate, through time and you can use it for navigation. Just try it... think of doing something nasty to someone and feel the power chakra responding in advance to the karma such an act would bring to you.
The power chakra is part of the body's built in lie detector. The B.S. detector of gut instinct. It contracts when you hear, read or think something that is not true. The tricky part is knowing when the reaction is to a lie, or to your fear. The power chakra responds to fear, so getting the lie detector to be reliable it takes some clearing of karmic debris, and /or being grounded.
The power chakra is fed by the energy of gratitude, which is a powerful kind of surrender. Gratitude is the opposite of fear and resistance. The heart opens to love, the power chakra responds to gratitude. Most karmic stuff will transmute as soon as you can manage to be genuinely grateful for it. Count your blessings, feed your power chakra.
There is no such thing as a problem, without a gift for you in its hands. We seek problems, because we need their gifts. - Richard Bach, "Illusions."
"A problem is a gift you haven't found a use for, yet.." -Louise Hay
Apply gratitude to any problem, no matter what kind, and your perceptions about the problem will change: you will begin to get deeper insights into the situation that you cannot possibly see when you are stuck in resistance to what Is. Don't worry, be happy..:) Count your blessings, and your whole life can turn to bliss.
Feed the power chakra by breathing. Deep slow belly breaths that go right into the Earth and make you more firmly centered in yourself. Most people do not breathe properly, the breath is shallow, only the top of the chest moves. The most efficient alveoli are in the bottom of the lungs, and shallow chest breathing means the air in the bottom of the lungs gets stale. Chest breathing means not getting enough oxygen and prana... no wonder you feel tired, cranky or weak!
Insecurity and panic attacks are caused by a blocked or non functioning power chakra. Someone who is having a panic attack, usually cannot take a full, deep breath. It feels like there is a tight band, like a corset around the bottom of the ribs. This is tension of a closed power chakra.
To get a feeling of how breathing is supposed to be, stand up and place your arms as if you were putting your hands on your hips, but put your hands higher, on the sides of your rib cage: fingers on the front of the rib cage, thumbs at the back. Then bend over with both hands splayed at the sides of your ribs, and take a few deep breaths. With your hands, feel the bellows action of your ribs expanding and contracting as you breathe. Become aware of it, then stand up again and keep breathing in such a way that the bellows effect continues. Feel how your body feels more balanced when you breathe properly? Your posture will automatically improve, and you will notice a natural action of your belly moving in and out with your breathing. For an extra stretch, bend backwards gently and stick the bottom of your ribs out as far as you can, taking a deep breath, stretching like a child pretending to be a skeleton. This will help get rid of any tight feelings in your breathing. You might start to giggle from the rush of energy. Be careful you don't get dizzy! Karma, essentially is prana that is frozen into form, a fear or limiting belief that becomes a blockage to the flow of life energy. The power chakra carries those issues, so it responds. Fear is not faith, and that brings us back to its primary issue of free will and divine will.
they may have blockages, but the blockages stem from the power chakra stuff of free will and divine will... ego. Get out of the false ego boundaries so we can see the forest for the trees. In the Witness, there is no sense of boundaries, but the body is very aware of its boundaries, and it is only when you are fully in your body and centered, that you can find a sense of those boundaries to be aware of when they are being broken. It takes a clearing process, of releasing fear from the body for the body's true power and instincts for boundaries to be revealed. You cannot be true to yourself unless you are in touch with your Self. The fear reactions of the ego are reactions to false boundaries being broken, and getting into the Witness helps to see outside that box and make different choices. That is the process of clearing the body... but you cannot heal the physical from the spiritual. Get the insights from the witness, then come back into the body and let the insights give you stability, to ride out the emotional release process without needing to act on it. When that has passed, in the silence there is the Zen of knowing what is Right action. When ego is gone, and the spirit comes down to reside in the cleared body, then you can have the clarity to hear the voice of the body's true instincts for how energy is being exchanged. The gut feelings of the power chakra. I am trying to describe something that is *felt*. The middle path of walking between the worlds, maintaining a balance between the hearts unity universe and the power chakra sensitivity and respect for the boundaries of the physical/ energy worlds. I am enjoying the challenge, so I'll keep at it... :) (Note that my admission of self serving motives frees you from indebtedness...) The power chakra is also the level of dreams, and of the astral and energy based worlds where the winner/loser games are played out. Heroes and victims, saviors and seekers, abusers and abused. You can always recognize when someone is caught in an astral game, by the win/lose quality of it. Separation into heroes and bad guys.
On the level of the astral, you can use free will to draw a boundary of energy to keep out ghosts, and it will work. The power chakra is all about boundaries. The struggle for life energy that is all through nature.
Goddess supports every bird's right to defend its nest and every plant is in a competition for resources, sunlight earth and water. There is no karma in it, because nature is being true to its nature. Life eats life. It is only humans, who have an ego to make karma with. Animals do not lose touch with the voice of instinct that is Zen. Back to the Gandhi quote. Are lions violent? When there is a call to violence from instincts, then they are violent. The rest of the time they are the laziest creatures... much less violent than the preacher who wants to "save" you. Cats and porpoises are sadists.
Clear the ego based fear reactions out of the power chakra, with surrender. Keep it well topped up by breathing, staying grounded and applying gratitude, and you get laser discernment and the alchemy of transmutation. Energy is energy, and all of it food. Give thanks, say grace and chow down. Power chakra is also at the stomach, eh? Free will to decide if the projections are food or poison.
Think of yourself as someone's victim, think of how it feels when you get carried off in someone's projections... note the power chakra reaction to even the thought of giving your power away like that. The more you turn inward and keep your eye on the power chakra, the more you will become aware of the truth of your power of free will. You will realize that each time you give your power away, it is because you made a choice to ignore that guidance. You made something more important than heeding that power chakra bzzzz alarm reminding you of what occurs when you are not being true to yourself.
Projections from other people will set off a tiny alarm bell of disrespected boundaries. This is a subtly different effect from a gut reaction of fear. Sort them out by asking yourself "What am I afraid of? What do I want? Where do I feel dis-respected? Where am I giving my power away? What do I expect?"
The answers are all about you, and when they are cleared, there can only be "right action" ... which will often be, no action at all...
If you are only working from the heart, then you will end up crucified... and crucifying. In the heart there are not boundaries of Thou and I. On that level, life is illusion anyhow so who cares if you get crucified? LOL!! Probably you do... :) On the power chakra level. Honour that.
Kundalini most often first goes up, then goes down. FST is the route upwards... moving out of the false ego boundaries to experience unity with All... it is an important part of the path, especially the growth that comes of looking in the mirror, and embracing All as a part/reflection of the Self. The chakras open part way on the way up, but open much more fully on the way down. The path back down, is the harder part, in my opinion and experience, and a lot of people skip that part... assuming identification with the All is the attainment of the goal. It is not... it is simply another phase.
We can go out of the body to experience the absence of boundaries and expand consciousness, but staying there permanently is immature, and eventually will lead to the body breaking down if you spend too much time out of it... the goal is to clear the vessel so spirit merges with the physical.
Easy for Moses to go up the mountain to get the books of the Law. Much harder to come back to the masses and apply them to daily life. The very stones were broken when he came back down and had a lot of judgments about what his people had gotten up to in his absence.
We do that too, as individuals when we judge ourselves for not living up to the potentials we glimpsed in visits to the All. From the higher chakra, or the heart, I am All and I am you... so, if I like to listen to Elvis Costello really loud late at night, then my neighbors must like it too, because they are me? Doesn't fly... it is a projection, and the karmic feedback will be painful.
Each chakra is a dimensional universe, and the laws of that universe must be respected... Finding the middle path between the unity of the upper chakras and the individuality and free will issues of the lower chakras is the greatest challenge. The tension and balance between the heart and the power chakra must be found, and when the balance is present, there is grace and alchemy. Transmutation.
It takes some practice in discernment to walk the middle path of being true to yourself, without projecting your truth onto others. (Unless they ask, as you have done. Consensual.) On the way up we cultivate out of body states, like the Witness so we may get a bigger perspective on events in our lives, and how our own actions influence what we get back.
For example, in my empathic work, I write from the Witness. I accept the projection of need/savior and karmic gunk enough to get a perspective on it that I can share, that hopefully will be what the ego needs to hear, to release the issue. When I come back to my body, sometimes it is thrashed! I have not been in it to feel its boundaries being broken, but I sometimes return to a body that is clouded with other people's issues.
I have not been aware of broken boundaries of the body, when I am not in it... but its boundaries have been broken anyhow and I need to do the work to clear it, become whole and sovereign in myself again. As a result, I am discerning in who I choose to counsel... listening to the body before I leave it, to get a sense of whether the person I am considering working with, is really ready to let go of the stuff. If they are not, then it does not matter what I say, I will end up taking on stuff I cannot so easily release from myself because it is not mine and the owner chooses not to let it go. So I end up feeling thrashed.
They are the God of their own lives, and I know this... so truly they need nothing from me and it is better for me to not get involved if they are attached to keeping the game. Whether they know about their Divinity and power or not, it is still Truth... and kind of irrelevant. They are God for themselves and it serves me best to keep my nose in my navel and mind my own business.
Thinking someone needs "help" is negative projection #1. Easy to fall into, and many do... from Christians wanting everyone to be Christian, to the Bodhisattva vow of wanting all to be "Saved". It is just not the same game as seeing perfection in what Is. Rudeness disguised as kindness by ego. Shadow at work. Levels of rudeness that are not conscious, but rather repressed shadow stuff.Some folks live in the heart, but does not see what the power chakra is up to. All hierarchy games take place in the astral realms of the power chakra.
In order to think someone needs help, you must first see them as helpless, needy. That is not the same as seeing the Divine Perfection that is the truth of who we are. Projecting need is a power game. You see it in advertising all the time, advertisers seek to create a need, and insecurity because if you have something someone thinks they need, then you have power over them. You have some control, the carrot dangling.
So advertisements project that you are not good enough unless your teeth are white like icebergs and your car has a vibe and you drink coke, and that all these things can be attained through you giving them your power and life energy in the convenient exchange form we call money.** The following is excepted, edited from an email I wrote for the K list about someone who was trying to play savior.
A pedestal can feel very safe but it comes with a price of isolation. A profound spiritual evolution cannot occur when there is still an identification with labels and titles. One cannot bring choices to someone who already knows their power, and Spirit already knows everything.
On a soul level, we know all there is to know. Do you feel respected when people lie to you? When they patronize you by projecting helplessness and neediness onto you? Likely you would find such people very rude. On the hero pedestal and we are all in need of help.
Goddess does not judge us for how we choose to exchange power. I can bind and bruise someone and there is no karma if they asked me to do it ( a previous career) No karma in a Zen whack... but a non consensual exchange makes karma.
The control games of the power chakra make karma, when they are not consensual. When they are consensual, there is the power of teamwork to make miracles. Where two or more are gathered, and aligned as One. One ox can pull 1000 pounds, but two oxen can pull 5000 pounds. The energy of the infinite is infinite... and so on the level of the infinite, I can host/be a vessel, or channel for a fountain of Shakti like the grounding page, and not be affected by how people make use of it. It does not connect to my personal life energy or my day to day self. It is utterly surrendered, Goddess has it handled.
It is not affected by my personal Chi or prana... so I can be having a bad hair day and the grounding is not affected, nor am I affected by the karma people release there.
Chi and Shakti are different. Chi responds to free will. On body level, the power chakra is all about the movement of chi between people. The unconscious control games people use to try to feed on each other's energy were well described by the Celestine prophecies... and are a staple of many other self help programs that divide people into 4 basic types. When people who are not connected to source, try to feed themselves by energy vampirism, aggressive or passive aggressive you get power chakra control dramas and karma. The more you stay focused inward, in keeping your own personal energy levels clear and flowing, the less you are pulled into the control games. To thine own self be true.
When the energy exchange is not consensual... when it is ego based, the result is karma, loss of energy. Compassion is valuable, but even more valuable is to recognize that most acts of compassion are really self serving. Looking for the hidden motives behind the appearance of "helping" and "selflessness" is an important key to really learning your own secret power games.
It is a simple thing... when visiting a foreign country, it is good manners to know something of the customs, so as not to offend. When visiting a club, or a temple or even a friend's home, one likes to know the basic household rules... (no smoking inside, that chair is the cat's favorite, please take your shoes off at the door.) These are the simple social graces that lubricate society. Simple good manners we would reasonably expect of anyone, certainly anyone who has set themselves on a pedestal as model, healer, teacher or guide.
My expectations are my problem.
A projectile perfumed and gift wrapped, is still a projectile. Would you like your bullets scented with lilacs? Shall the hangman's noose be wrapped in silk? Is passive aggression better than overt aggression? The ultimate pacifist, Gandhi wrote: "It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence." That would be his vote for conscious aggression VS. passive aggression.
It is a call to own the violence within you. If you do not own it, then it slips past you, comes out unconsciously. I would rather be rude, than a liar. I do not pretend to be humble or impotent. It is not truth. My playing at being humble is a more effective power game than my being openly arrogant, because it is sneaky, people do not think to defend against it. Wolf in sheep's clothes.
Power games, are of the power chakra, and that is where the discernment of boundaries comes from. We ascend the chakras to break free of the false ego boundaries, but then we have to come back to the body and follow the guidance of instincts, to learn to respect our true human boundaries.