Adapted from the book Sex, Love & Dharma by Simon Chokoisky.
Any relationship has a hierarchy of needs to fulfill in order to make it functional. The chakras are a body-based, vertical model of human evolution, showing how the building of our life is to be constructed if we are to enjoy a stable, happy, and ultimately enlightening human experience.
The first chakra represents security and survival. It is the instinct for food, air, clothing, and shelter, and, in modern times, the thing that supplies them—money. Money and security are the number one reason couples break up, and the first chakra has primacy because it is the foundation for everything else. Female mammals are attracted to males who can provide for them. Even the most romantic relationships break down if the male is essentially helpless to provide for himself or to secure his environment.
This chakra is represented by a square because squares are the most stable shape in nature. Squares also indicate inclusion and exclusion—this is mine and that is yours. When imbalanced this identification leads to jingoism, patriotism, and racism, because these “isms” are all rooted in the same place: the first chakra need for security. The dominant emotion here is fear, especially fear that we won’t survive. Statements like “My _______ is better than yours” stem from this kind of fear; a person in a position of strength has no need to make these sorts of statements. Therefore, whether we fill in the blank with country, team, or race, the fundamental impetus behind this sentiment is the same.
That does not mean that we cannot take pride in our ancestors, our land, or our sports teams. However, there is a fine line between pride and obsession. If you are ready to pummel someone because he is wearing the other team’s jersey, you’ve probably gone too far!
First-chakra disorders include lower back pain, constipation, stress (especially over bills and money), joint and foot pain, and fanaticism. If you or your partner suffer from these issues, look at your living situation, using the tools of Vastu Shastra. Begin by eliminating clutter and creating space in the center of your home and every possible room. Unburden the northeast direction and fix leaky faucets (leaking money). Next, do the same for your body by eating every 4-6 hours and eliminating snacking. Also, fast once a week for 24 hours and do this for at least three weeks to see how you feel. It takes twenty-one days to begin changing old thought patterns and another forty-two days for new ones to become embedded in your routine. Finally, while you are doing this, learn about your dharma type and let it help you find your path. Prosperity, love and god are on your path; find your path and you find them all! Follow these recommendations for two months and you will create magic in your life.
The first chakra relates to the Earth element and fear for survival. Questions of property and ownership are essentially at the root of most wars on this planet. The second-most likely cause of conflict is sex. The second chakra is ruled by Water and this relates to procreation, since all life requires water and at one point originates from water. The symbol here is a crescent moon in the shape of a bowl, filled with creative abundance. If you are experiencing sexual difficulties, hormonal fluctuations, blocked creativity, or reduced pleasure in life, this is the center to address.
To do this, honoring the Water element is important, first by drinking enough water and doing it at the right times (before meals, not after) and next by allowing it to flow in your life. Water stagnates when it doesn’t move; this means sharing your creativity with the world—whether as a hobby or onstage—will improve your hormone balance and sex life. Not the creative type? Allowing water to flow also means sharing your abundance by giving to charity. Living near water also helps. Second-chakra problems include depression, since our emotions(or lack of them) are largely based on our neurochemistry, and sexual dysfunction. Being by a waterfall or a tropical beach can certainly improve these, at least temporarily, as can daily abhyanga (oil massage) especially during the dry winter season.
This chakra is represented by a downward-pointing triangle, which indicates grace descending to the earth. The desire here is to express your power in the world. It is associated with the Fire element and the outward-moving energy of self-actualization. After basic survival needs are met and our desires for partnership and sex are satisfied by a stable relationship, we naturally turn our minds to self-fulfillment.
That is why a good marriage (second chakra) is a stepping-stone for success in the outer world (third chakra). Statistics support this, showing that married couples live longer, make more money, and are self-diagnosed as happier than their unmarried or divorced counterparts.
The drive to “be somebody” takes precedence here. If it is blocked, it can lead to gastric problems like GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease), Crohn’s disease, and sluggish digestion, which itself creates a myriad of health issues, from skin eruptions to compromised immunity. Honor the Fire element and the third chakra by setting good goals and sticking to them. Follow your dharma type, especially its evolution point*, to make the most of yourself in the world. Give yourself time within your relationship to follow your dreams, and talk about this with your partner.
*The 5 dharma types and their evolution points are discussed in The 5 Dharma Types: Vedic Wisdom for Discovering Your Purpose & Destiny. To take the dharma test and find your dharma type go to www.spirittype.com.
If the third chakra relates to expressing your identity in the world, the fourth is about balancing that expression with acceptance that others have an equal right to express their own identities. This is symbolized by a Star of David—two triangles, one pointing up, one down. This indicates a balance of grace descending down and aspiration rising up. The fourth chakra is not just about me, but us. Communal and democratic instincts are strong here, as is the desire to preserve life and harmonious relationships. The fourth chakra relates to the Air element, and places that pollute their atmosphere, like large urban centers, also pollute their heart center, typically making them more cynical places to live.
“Places that pollute their atmosphere, like large urban centers, also pollute their heart center, typically making them more cynical places to live.”
Problems with the fourth chakra include the inability to express vulnerability, which can doom a relationship to mechanical levels of existence—having dinner, having sex, and repeating, for years on end. A closed heart leaves a person unable to experience innocence or wonder in life, and can lead to cynicism. Suggested remedies include traveling and movement to honor the Air element. Travel allows your heart to open up to new cultures, recipes, lifestyles, and vistas, which, in turn, should help you open your heart to your lover. Exposure to Air also means hiking mountains, riding horses, or otherwise exposing yourself to this element. A special, powerful technique is to practice pranayama—yogic breathing.
The fourth chakra is also about clear communication. The Sanskrit word anahatameans “unstruck,” which relates to a person’s ability to hear another’s grievances and not take them personally, to not have their egos bruised because they understand the other person’s point of view. This ability to empathize makes those who possess it incredible mediators.
The fifth chakra relates to the throat, the Space element, and also to communication, specifically of higher realities. Space is absolutely pure, a receptacle for whatever it contains. This allows you to be like a mirror and reflect the world around you perfectly. It can also be disorienting, because it loosens the bonds with mundane reality. Disorders of this chakra include speech and hearing loss, as well as loose joints and problems with the spaces of the body, including the synaptic spaces. Dizziness and a lack of groundedness due to an overextended personality are also common; don’t lose touch with mundane reality just because you have connection to other realities. Suggested remedies are similar to those for Outsiders: accept responsibility for everything in life (just as space holds everything), and absolutely refuse to blame others for your problems. Learn to understand the laws of karma and dharma and express your unique gift to the world. You have a body for a reason; use it.
Refuse to put impure thoughts, foods, and words in your body and try to maintain your integrity. If you’re a Space element person or suffer from misalignment of this chakra, get your bearings by anchoring your life in deep philosophical traditions. Study of the Kabbalah, dharma types, Hinduism, or your own religion is indispensible in helping you find your fixed star and steering your life to the happy shore of personal fulfillment
In the sixth chakra, relating becomes the self interacting with the self, as duality ultimately disappears and the oneness of all creation dawns in the awareness. With the opening of the third eye, there is no more need for dharma types, doshas or designations. To arrive at this point, however, the roadmap of the previous chakras is a necessary and helpful guide to your evolution. Bon voyage!
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