“Meditation is nothing but withdrawing all the barriers; thoughts, emotions, sentiments, everything that builds a wall between you and existence. The moment they drop, you suddenly find yourself in tune with the whole; not only in tune, you really find you are the whole.” ~ Osho
Feeling out of whack? It may be an energy thing. Want to get back into whack? Maybe try adjusting your subtle points of energy. Chakras are part of the subtle body, not the physical body. They are more akin to energy fields than to easily identified physical aspects, though they can have very real physical consequences when not aligned.
Aligning the chakras is usually a matter of being mindful and present to the way energy moves through our body when we meditate, so that we can attempt to match our inner frequency with the outer frequency of the greater cosmos. The more we match our frequency, the more we resonate. The more we resonate, the healthier we feel. The healthier we feel, the more in whack we’ll be.
In the Kundalini series, we went on a seven-part journey through the seven chakras, following the vital Kundalini energy from root to crown and back. In this article, we’ll dive into the likely blockages to the seven chakras, and how to unblock them in order to get back into whack.
1) You’re blocked by fear (root chakra):
“You’ve got to stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
A clear sign that your root chakra is out of whack is a strong sense of fear and paranoia along with a looming feeling of disconnection and imbalance.
Many people feel this way. That’s because this chakra is also known as the earth chakra, and many of us grew up in lopsided cultures that falsely perceived a separation between nature and culture. We were raised to believe that we are separate from the earth, and that the earth must be conquered and controlled rather than appreciated as an extension of our own interdependence.
As a result, we have millions of dysfunctional humans running around with blocked root chakras, unaware of their misalignment with the earth. The majority of us are unmindful victims of an epidemic nature deprivation. The average person has been severed from the source, and they’re not even aware of it.
To unblock this chakra, follow the steps at the end of Kundalini Rising, Part 1, while also being present with your fear. Embrace it. Surrender to it. Tenderly wrestle it through your mindful breath work (inhale). Then let it go (exhale). Keep at it. Slowly dissolve the anxiety associated with it. Receive the full bounty of the earth’s primordial energy. Eventually you’ll be able to transform fear into courage.
2) You’re blocked by guilt (sacral chakra):
“The mystical is not how the world is, but that it is.” ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
A clear sign that your sacral chakra is blocked is an overwhelming feeling of guilt and self-blame along with the threatening feeling that you will never feel pleasure again.
Guilt is a bugger of an emotion. It hangs around like a thorn in the side. It forces us to look backward into the shattered mirror of regret. It tricks us into believing that the past can be different if we just dwell on it a little bit longer and bemoan it a little bit more.
To unblock this chakra, follow the steps at the end of Kundalini Rising, Part 2, while also allowing yourself to become vulnerable enough to forgive yourself. Sincerely forgive yourself. Fearlessly forgive yourself. Give up all hope for a better past. Be fluid. This chakra is also known as the water chakra. Allow yourself to feel pleasure despite the pain. Cuddle up with the pain and experience existential masochism. Embrace the moment and allow your mindful breath to wash over you in loving forgiveness.
3) You’re blocked by shame (solar plexus chakra):
“To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world.” ~ Rudolf Steiner
A clear sign that your solar plexus chakra is blocked is a crushing feeling of shame and humiliation accompanied with an overwhelming sense of insecurity and self-doubt.
Shame is very difficult to resolve, because a little shame is necessary to keep us humble and unassuming. The same can be said for insecurity and self-doubt. These are all healthy in tiny doses. But when we’re blocked by them they tend to sap our willpower and disintegrate our resolve. We feel unworthy and our self-esteem is so low it becomes a crippling thing.
To unblock this chakra, follow the steps at the end of Kundalini Rising, Part 3, while also mindfully engaging the fire of whatever it is that keeps you passionate and enthusiastic about life. Another name for this chakra is the fire chakra, after all. Dance with your shame in the fire. Let it burn your shame. Let it burn you. Let it burn your insecurity and self-doubt into manageable ashes. Breathe in the alchemical power of transforming emotions into ashes. Then exhale the ashes.
4) You’re blocked by grief (heart chakra):
“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” ~ Kenji Miyazawa
A clear sign that your heart chakra is blocked is a profound feeling of grief and angst coupled with a miserable feeling of apathy and ennui.
This is usually due to love lost, a death in the family, unmet expectations, and/or an inability to let go of the ego’s attachment to love.
We experience a lack of empathy on the emotional level, and a lack of openness and flexibility on the spiritual level. We have trouble loving ourselves, and we become afraid to be vulnerable with others.
When we’re blocked by grief we’re blocked by our ego’s attachment to the way things could have been. There’s a lot of “if only” and “Shouda-wouda-coulda.” We become so wrapped up in the misery of having lost something that we forget about the only moment in which anything can truly be gained: the present moment.
To unblock this chakra, follow the steps at the end of Kundalini Rising, Part 4, while also focusing on the breath as an interdependent force binding you with all things. Another name for this chakra is the air chakra.
Breathe in love. Breathe out love lost. Imagine your heart breaking into a million little pieces (exhale), and then imagine it coming back together again, stronger than before (inhale).
Sweet oxygen is your connection to the loving energy of the cosmos. Feel the pain. Suffer the broken heart. Be with the grief. Embrace the angst. Then let it all go with a loving exhalation and let the healing forces of the universe spill through the cracks.
5.) You’re blocked by lies (throat chakra):
“Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.” ~ Bruce Lee
A clear sign that your throat chakra is blocked is a closed-in feeling of inauthenticity and dishonesty coupled with claustrophobic feelings of insecurity and anxiousness.
Many people experience closed throat chakras, that’s because the majority of us live in unhealthy hyperreal cultures filled with deception and lies. As a result, we’re often lying to ourselves without even realizing it, and we’re unable to be honest with ourselves or genuine with others.
We find it difficult to be impeccable with our word and so we experience poor communication with ourselves, with others, and with the greater cosmos. The truth seems elusive and sometimes even unreachable, so we shut down and become codependent agents just going through the motions of an anxiety-riddled life.
To unblock this chakra, follow the steps at the end of Kundalini Rising, Part 5, while intermittently practicing a self-interrogation meditation in order to go beyond yourself and the world as you know it to find out what you are profoundly, originally, and authentically.
Ask existential/ontological questions (breathe in); answer the questions as honestly as possible (breathe out); repeat. Try to Q&A in a deep rhythmic tone.
Another name for this chakra is the sound chakra, after all. Mindfully break down reality as you know it. Then surrender to no-mind and engage reality as you feel it.
With enough mindful/no-mind meditation coupled with self-interrogation meditation centered on the throat chakra, feelings of anxiousness, restrictedness and claustrophobia will melt away into harmony, openness, and honest connection with the cosmos.
6) You’re blocked by illusion (third eye chakra):
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” ~ Marianne Williamson
A clear sign that your third eye chakra is blocked is a strong feeling of dissociation, like you’re living in a dream world, coupled with poor intuition and a weak sense of identity.
Ah, the famous third eye. This chakra is often closed in our western societies because we are conditioned to view the world as separate from us. But the illusion of separation is the greatest illusion of all. Everything is connected to everything else.
Yet when we’re blocked to this deep understanding, we’re under the impression that the self (ego) is in opposition with the world (soul). When really, self and world, ego and soul, are all connected. A blocked third eye is just a perception of reality hung-up on the surface of reality (or worse, locked into the prison of a hyper-reality). An unblocked third eye is a perception of reality that goes beyond the surface and allows for a deep interconnectedness with all things.
To unblock this chakra, follow the steps at the end of Kundalini Rising, Part 6, while also engaging imaginatively with your breath work. Imagine your breath work as light work. Another name for this chakra is the light chakra, after all.
Visualize the bright light of your third eye as the wide open firmament itself, looking down on all things. Breathe out (your pupil is the sun). Breathe in (your pupil is the moon). You are all things (world), and all things are you (self). Understand intimately the wise words of Meister Eckhart: “The eye through which you see God is the same eye through which God sees you.”
7) You’re blocked by attachment (crown chakra):
“To me, God is an energy and I am made of it. I am not separate from God, and neither is anything you see.” ~ James Van Praagh
A clear sign that your crown chakra is blocked is a feeling of existential angst and nihilistic numbness along with a feeling of disconnection between mind, body, and soul.
This is the most elusive chakra of all, and thus the most difficult to open. Even once opened, it is the most difficult to keep open, or to reopen. That’s because this chakra deals with attachment in a deeply existential and ontological way.
Our limited perception of our existence, our very essence, must be annihilated and replaced with a detachment that obliterates the ego. Our feeling of finitude is smeared out into a heightened state of awareness of infinity. An unblocked crown chakra is a fountainhead of the infinite.
To unblock this chakra, follow the steps at the end of Kundalini Rising, Part 7, while also attempting to constantly let go of each passing moment. Breathe in that moment; breathe out this moment. Let go of the hold that the physical world has on you.
Let go of body (surrender to breath). Let go of mind (surrender to no-mind). Let go of soul (surrender to infinity). Let go of all the chakras (surrender to energy). It’s all an illusion. It’s all a beautiful chimera. It’s all a loving fantasy. Surrender to divine union and cosmic love (then let it go), stretching out forever (and never).