greatsaiyaman

Chakras & Enlightenment

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Hello daobum geniuses. I have been recently questioning myself about chakras. It is said that, with meditating on the chakras, breath and visualization, that the pathway of the Kundalini is awakened and brings gnosis or enlightenment. I've worked with the chakras, but are they really what they are proclaimed to be? My intuition tells me, that working with the chakras is much like any system of metaphysical energy. They don't actually exist but are mental 4th dimensional structures that allow us to build a consciousness somewhere. Much like a Dantian. You have to actually build it. It's not inherently there. And it takes more than just "opening" chakras to become truly enlightened.... Hmm.... Who knows i guess....

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Chakras are mental mind maps to stored issues and fears.

 

As you mentioned, some traditions have 4 , 7 or 12 chakras. While other traditions have no chakras at all.

 

To me they are already there, it is just the depth of getting to the point of noticing them. As we progress in my experience and all the chakras open they kind of collapse into a unified field or the light body. To me, it isn't the end but just another beginning along the path that really never ends.

Edited by Jonesboy
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8 hours ago, greatsaiyaman said:

And it takes more than just "opening" chakras to become truly enlightened.

My only questions would be,

 

"Why do you want to become enlightened"?

What do you picture enlightenment to be like?

What if enlightenment was nothing special at all,  and if you became enlightened,  the majority of folks would not even notice?

Lastly,  What if the very thing in you that wants to become enlightened is the very thing that is stopping you from becoming enlightened? 

Not trying to bum you out, but a long time ago, I had to sit down and really reflect why I am on this path.  the insights are interesting.

Good Luck!

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1 hour ago, Zen Pig said:

My only questions would be,

 

"Why do you want to become enlightened"?

 

To help others

 

1 hour ago, Zen Pig said:

What do you picture enlightenment to be like?

 

I don't have fixed concepts.

 

1 hour ago, Zen Pig said:

What if enlightenment was nothing special at all,  and if you became enlightened,  the majority of folks would not even notice?

 

That is ego, if you were enlightened would you really care?

 

1 hour ago, Zen Pig said:

Lastly,  What if the very thing in you that wants to become enlightened is the very thing that is stopping you from becoming enlightened? 

 

The local mind and attachments surly are.

 

1 hour ago, Zen Pig said:

Not trying to bum you out, but a long time ago, I had to sit down and really reflect why I am on this path.  the insights are interesting.

Good Luck!

 

Thanks.

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9 hours ago, greatsaiyaman said:

Hello daobum geniuses. I have been recently questioning myself about chakras. It is said that, with meditating on the chakras, breath and visualization, that the pathway of the Kundalini is awakened and brings gnosis or enlightenment. I've worked with the chakras, but are they really what they are proclaimed to be? My intuition tells me, that working with the chakras is much like any system of metaphysical energy. They don't actually exist but are mental 4th dimensional structures that allow us to build a consciousness somewhere. Much like a Dantian. You have to actually build it. It's not inherently there. And it takes more than just "opening" chakras to become truly enlightened.... Hmm.... Who knows i guess....

 

Chakras are different from Dan Tiens.  We don't build them.  Everyone has the 7 basic chakras that are described in the t yogic system.  But each person's perception of these Chakras, where exactly they feel them, how they view it, hear it, etc differs from one person to other.

 

Yes, opening of all the 7 bodily chakras does not necessarily lead to the full realization.  It brings a person out of their individual shell or bubble and let's them expand to become everything.

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1 hour ago, Zen Pig said:

My only questions would be,

 

"Why do you want to become enlightened"?

What do you picture enlightenment to be like?

What if enlightenment was nothing special at all,  and if you became enlightened,  the majority of folks would not even notice?

Lastly,  What if the very thing in you that wants to become enlightened is the very thing that is stopping you from becoming enlightened? 

Not trying to bum you out, but a long time ago, I had to sit down and really reflect why I am on this path.  the insights are interesting.

Good Luck!

 

Each person generally decides for themselves what they want and why.  I wouldn't go around questioning others why do you want this or that.  It's their choice what they want.  And it's your choice if you want to raise such type of patterns of questions in different topics.  I am sure you are doing this with the intention to help them by bringing a different perspective.

 

My concern is such questions deviate from the topic or what the OP wants to discuss.  Here in this case, it is clear to me that the OP's main question is in regards to Chakras and whether the opening will automatically lead to enlightenment.  If we start questioning eloborately why do you want enlightenment, it can steer the conversation off topic and even completely derail certain topics as we see at times.  It becomes entirely a conversation about whether enlightenment is worthwhile

 Perhaps not something intended by the OP or some of us interested in discussing such topics.

 

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10 hours ago, greatsaiyaman said:

Hello daobum geniuses. I have been recently questioning myself about chakras. It is said that, with meditating on the chakras, breath and visualization, that the pathway of the Kundalini is awakened and brings gnosis or enlightenment. I've worked with the chakras, but are they really what they are proclaimed to be? My intuition tells me, that working with the chakras is much like any system of metaphysical energy. They don't actually exist but are mental 4th dimensional structures that allow us to build a consciousness somewhere. Much like a Dantian. You have to actually build it. It's not inherently there. And it takes more than just "opening" chakras to become truly enlightened.... Hmm.... Who knows i guess....

We don't have to build either dantians or chakras. if we didn't have them, we'd not have a body. :)

What we do, is to cultivate the energy in the dantians. There are many who claim dantians and chakras are not the same. They are not different either ;) 


Dantians and chakras are interfaces between our subtle body and the physical body. While Dantians are the perspective from  physical side, the chakras are the perspective from the subtle side. 

 

Oh and yes Kundalini awakening will bring one to a realization of Being beyond the body-mind. Is that enlightenment? It is the beginning. 

 

There are of course three types of kundalini awakening. One is called the "prana kundalini" awakening (which is popularly associated with "kundalini, yoga and awakening"). There is another called "chita kundalini" awakening. This type of kundalini is awakened when employs the direct path of jnana yoga (no asanas, pranayama etc). But in order to embark on jnana yoga (which is what is entailed in following the Vedanta path), one has to have sufficient purification of the mind, ego, intellect. The Chita kundalini awakening happens as a result of realization, not any psycho-somatic exercise. The realization happens from meditation on and inquiry into our true nature. 

 

The third type of kundalini awakening is not possible in the human body. 

Edited by dwai
adding more context and expanding the answer
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9 hours ago, greatsaiyaman said:

Hello daobum geniuses. I have been recently questioning myself about chakras. It is said that, with meditating on the chakras, breath and visualization, that the pathway of the Kundalini is awakened and brings gnosis or enlightenment. I've worked with the chakras, but are they really what they are proclaimed to be? My intuition tells me, that working with the chakras is much like any system of metaphysical energy. They don't actually exist but are mental 4th dimensional structures that allow us to build a consciousness somewhere. Much like a Dantian. You have to actually build it. It's not inherently there. And it takes more than just "opening" chakras to become truly enlightened.... Hmm.... Who knows i guess....

 

Welcome new Bum,

It's good that you're questioning yourself, always a good practice, especially when it comes to beliefs and assumptions in the spiritual realm. We should question all of our assumptions, especially the most basic - hence Zen Pig's fundamental questions.

Meditation on such questions is every bit as valuable as working with mental constructs like chakras.

 

FYI - I'm coming from a Tibetan Bön paradigm in terms of my chakra practices and understanding.

 

My experience and understanding differ from your statement that "They don't actually exist but are mental 4th dimensional structures that allow us to build a consciousness somewhere." 

I hope you forgive me as I pick it  apart.

What we are practicing towards does not need to be built, it is always already right here awaiting discovery and connection.

No need to build consciousness somewhere, it is always present, closer to me than I am to myself.

Yes, chakras are mental structures but that doesn't mean they do not exist.

Do your thoughts exist? 

They certainly make an impression on both the inner and outer worlds.

Not sure what you mean by 4th dimensional structures, if you are relating to the dimension of time and implying that chakras are transient, aren't we all?

 

I look at a chakra as a conceptual construct that helps us to focus on the things that are preventing us from making the discovery of the purity of our essence, our essential being which is a limitless resource, that is always with us. 

Chakras are convergence points where the mind and body intersect - areas where we can access, experience, and store energy.

That energy is related to our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, experiences, memories, hopes, fears, etc... and how all of that affects and is held in our body. The chakra system is a tool to help us categorize, localize, and work with this very complex amalgam in order to free our selves from all of those blockages and obscurations, the very things that prevent us from discovering what Zen Pig is pointing to - we are already there, we are just distracted.

 

Without a conceptual framework like the chakra system, we can still work on all of that but the system gives us a useful and well-organized tool that assists in the process. In the Daoist system, it is similar, as is the Tantric system. You first build all of the energetic structure (analogous to tantric practices) and then realize you need to let all of that go to experience what has been there all along, primordial purity (I had about 12 years of experience with Daoist meditation practices before coming to Bön).

 

In my practice, from the Bön Dzogchen tradition, we work with the ideas of channels, chakras, and subtle winds (Tibetan word for prana). We have a series of exercises that combine breathing, visualization, and body movement to clear each channel and chakra in order to connect with the stillness, silence, and spaciousness that are always already there. After a series of such exercises, we then simply abide in our natural state. Over time we learn to bring this off the cushion and into every aspect of waking, dreaming, sleeping, and ultimately dying.

 

I hope my perspective is of some value to you.

 

 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, steve said:

Yes, chakras are mental structures but that doesn't mean they do not exist.

Yes. from my experience the idea of chakras is a bit complex.  I have had real physical sensations on both my throat chakra, (while doing classic zen meditation, not focusing on this area, and at the time,  did not even realize that this was a chakra),  and also at three spots on the top of my head, (where i later learned that these areas agree with traditional Chinese medicine).  

I do pull in breath, so to speak into my Hara/tanden,  and "feel" the energy turning,  but not as physical as experiences in throat and top of head.

I feel that the separation between thought and physical is mostly a thought. LOL.  but in the end, i really don't know.  maybe a bit of both. either way, it feels like these areas open when they want, and in the order they want.  I just have to relax, not force it,  and let it happen.

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7 hours ago, Zen Pig said:

I feel that the separation between thought and physical is mostly a thought. LOL. 

Spot on

 

Quote

but in the end, i really don't know. 

Wisdom

 

Quote

maybe a bit of both. either way,

 

 

Quote

it feels like these areas open when they want, and in the order they want.  I just have to relax, not force it,  and let it happen.

Pith instruction!

 

While we can do things, like the practices with channels and chakras, they are simply setting the stage for the  real my primary practice -

no practice, doing nothing at all, resting in openness in order to allow awareness to remain connected to what is... here and now.

"When they want" that opening will blossom into a direct experience of our fundamental essence.

When that happens, all our questions are answered without any words or concepts, and all of the words and concepts of the ancient traditions and masters suddenly make sense.

 

 

Edited by steve
my primary practice is not necessarily the only "real" practice, that was a poor choice of words - thanks to those who pointed that out
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22 minutes ago, steve said:

While we can do things, like the practices with channels and chakras, they are simply setting the stage for the real practice -

no practice, doing nothing at all, resting in openness in order to allow awareness to remain connected to what is... here and now.

 

While I agree with the 'no practice' -- I call it as the state of just 'residing' in the flow or light -- is the real practice, I wouldn't discount the value of conceptual frameworks, practices or methods.  You mentioned in the other thread, different practices are valuable in different states and for different practitioners.   Like the sleep and dream yoga for instance.  

 

Depending on where we are in the journey, some practice or conceptual framework may be immensely helpful for us.  Whatever helps or takes a person forward in their current state is the real practice for me.  

 

I never did any targeted practice with the intention to open some chakra.  It just happened by divine grace.  But I see lot of value in the framework for understanding.  Also, not everyone is ready to appreciate the 'no practice' or contemplate the meaning of existence or ask fundamental questions about all assumptions.

 

Zen pig mentioned he has to sit down one day and question why he is on this path and gained some insight eventually.  This is beautiful and that is how it happens.  But we all become ready to sit down and ask such questions when we are ready to, in our own time.  I don't feel the need to rush or tell anyone to question the fundamentals.  The will sit and question when it is the right thing to do for them.

 

I am also getting an impression from some discussions that it is wiser to ask such fundamental questions and sort of inferior to talk about conceptual frameworks like chakras etc.  I don't see it this way at all.  When we question whether it is worthwhile to pursue enlightenment, it is also valid to question, whether it is worthwhile to raise questions to others about the value of enlightenment or to engage in lengthy discussions about this!  Why do we do any of this?  Something to ponder upon!  In the meantime I see all of this as part of one game or projection, some see it as one dream.  Whether fundamental question or chakra question, or enlightenment question/discussion all are projections of mind.

 

Let's just float on the river and let others float and go in their own natural path. I don't see any point in convincing someone that some question is more valuable or fundamental or trying to inject our insight into their path!  These are my thoughts on this subject.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, steve said:

real practice -

no practice, doing nothing at all, resting in openness in order to allow awareness to remain connected to what is... here and now.

 

There’s a fine line.

 

Most cultivators that I’ve met that have stopped practicing in this way are kidding themselves. 

 

Unless ‚Äėdoing nothing at all‚Äô is another way of saying resting in full stillness for long periods... most of the very advanced cultivators I‚Äôve met do just that. But to me that‚Äôs still ‚Äėpractice‚Äô.

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9 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

There’s a fine line.

 

Most cultivators that I’ve met that have stopped practicing in this way are kidding themselves. 

 

Unless ‚Äėdoing nothing at all‚Äô is another way of saying resting in full stillness for long periods... most of the very advanced cultivators I‚Äôve met do just that. But to me that‚Äôs still ‚Äėpractice‚Äô.

I’m not disagreeing with you, however  I’d like to add a few lines. 

 

The ‚Äúdoing nothing‚ÄĚ is really abiding as¬†pure awareness/being. That‚Äôs all. I observed that our (most people)¬†¬†tendency is to always focus on/concentrate on one thing. It could be a chakra or the MCO or whatever. But what most beginner/intermediate practitioners don‚Äôt get is that the¬†objective of said action is to bring the mind back inward, from outer objects to inner objects and further inward until one is resting in/as pure awareness. From there even if a thousand actions arise, they can be considered non-actions (not doing) because they arise from Being.¬†

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10 hours ago, Jonesboy said:

Chakras are mental mind maps to stored issues and fears.

 

As you mentioned, some traditions have 4 , 7 or 12 chakras. While other traditions have no chakras at all.

 

To me they are already there, it is just the depth of getting to the point of noticing them. As we progress in my experience and all the chakras open they kind of collapse into a unified field or the light body. To me, it isn't the end but just another beginning along the path that really never ends.

 

Chakras (in my understanding and experience) are centers in our subtle bodies, much like the physical body has its nerve centers and glands too. They are relay stations for pranic energies, as it were. True that fears and other issues can get stored in them, blocking the free flow of those energies. Removing those impediments will have a positive effect on your physical and psychological health and also open your channels up for spiritual experiences.

 

What you call 'collapsing of the chakras into a unified field of the light body' is (again in my understanding and experiencing) nothing but the activation of their more integrated functioning - as may result from prolonged practice of yoga and other systems.

 

It's correct that chakra systems as taught in different traditions vary from each other somewhat, e.g. in regards to their number. That said, more often than not, those traditions are quite in agreement as to the location of centers and their functions.

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2 hours ago, freeform said:

 

There’s a fine line.

There certainly is

 

2 hours ago, freeform said:

Most cultivators that I’ve met that have stopped practicing in this way are kidding themselves. 

I think you mean most cultivators you've met that are practicing "no-practice" are kidding themselves.

 

2 hours ago, freeform said:

Unless ‚Äėdoing nothing at all‚Äô is another way of saying resting in full stillness for long periods... most of the very advanced cultivators I‚Äôve met do just that. But to me that‚Äôs still ‚Äėpractice‚Äô.

Non-doing or non-praciticing implies remaining fully open, present, and connected to the present moment.

The 'doing nothing' refers to no visualizations, no mantras, no effort.

The core instruction is don't follow the past, anticipate the future, or change the present moment.

Whatever comes, leave it as it is and allow it to come, abide, and dissolve as it will.

And yes, I'm certainly at a place where it is still practice.

There are extended periods of time for me when it is absolutely effortless, so much so that there is sort of an inertia that resists distraction or disconnection.

More often, however, there are fluctuating periods of connection and disconnection that still require reconnecting.

 

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1 hour ago, Lakshmi said:

 

Chakras (in my understanding and experience) are centers in our subtle bodies, much like the physical body has its nerve centers and glands too. They are relay stations for pranic energies, as it were. True that fears and other issues can get stored in them, blocking the free flow of those energies. Removing those impediments will have a positive effect on your physical and psychological health and also open your channels up for spiritual experiences.

 

What you call 'collapsing of the chakras into a unified field of the light body' is (again in my understanding and experiencing) nothing but the activation of their more integrated functioning - as may result from prolonged practice of yoga and other systems.

 

It's correct that chakra systems as taught in different traditions vary from each other somewhat, e.g. in regards to their number. That said, more often than not, those traditions are quite in agreement as to the location of centers and their functions.

 

Do you mind commenting more on what you mean by ‚Äúactivation of their more integrated functioning?‚ÄĚ

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8 minutes ago, Jonesboy said:

 

Do you mind commenting more on what you mean by ‚Äúactivation of their more integrated functioning?‚ÄĚ

 

Not at all.

 

The chakras represent different functions of us as living beings, different parts, as it were:  from our most base survival instincts to our highest spiritual aspirations. Now in most people, there is some disjunction between various chakras and the functions they represent, respectively (e.g., between sexuality and love, etc.). However, a true spiritual practice will invariably have the effect not only of freeing the chakras from aforementioned impediments (whereby they become more radiant), but also of balancing and aligning them. Actually, these various effects don't happen in isolation from each other, but always go hand in hand.

 

Psychologically, this will be experienced as a decrease of inner conflicts and consequently a sense of greater harmony. In yoga terminology, the blissful state of samadhi refers to that. Enlightenment or satori would be the epitome of that state, a condition of perfect harmony with the universe.

 

When you talk about the chakras 'collapsing into a unified field of the light body', you are referring to this more integrated state of being, I suppose.

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11 hours ago, dwai said:

I observed that our (most people)  tendency is to always focus on/concentrate on one thing. It could be a chakra or the MCO or whatever.

 

Yes - you‚Äôre right. I think you‚Äôre talking about wei wu wei. Even with Qi Gong, the idea is to spend a period of time ‚Äėsetting up your body‚Äô so that the energetic aspect¬†takes care of itself without any direction¬†from the mind - which instead just listens.

 

But even in setting up the body, the aim is ‚Äėto do without doing‚Äô. For a basic example instead of ‚Äėbending the knees‚Äô one lets go of the things that are holding your knees straight. It‚Äôs a subtle but crucial difference and applied all over the place.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Lakshmi said:

 

Not at all.

 

The chakras represent different functions of us as living beings, different parts, as it were:  from our most base survival instincts to our highest spiritual aspirations. Now in most people, there is some disjunction between various chakras and the functions they represent, respectively (e.g., between sexuality and love, etc.). However, a true spiritual practice will invariably have the effect not only of freeing the chakras from aforementioned impediments (whereby they become more radiant), but also of balancing and aligning them. Actually, these various effects don't happen in isolation from each other, but always go hand in hand.

 

Psychologically, this will be experienced as a decrease of inner conflicts and consequently a sense of greater harmony. In yoga terminology, the blissful state of samadhi refers to that. Enlightenment or satori would be the epitome of that state, a condition of perfect harmony with the universe.

 

When you talk about the chakras 'collapsing into a unified field of the light body', you are referring to this more integrated state of being, I suppose.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Do you think bliss is the same thing as clarity?

 

Perfect harmony with the universe or are you the universe?

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A single chakra if cultivated deeply enough can result in Enlightenment, mostly people think of them as energy rather than identity.

Each one is different, generally the 7 in the yogic maps are considered a group, but in that group some are smaller some larger, some only hold energy, some can hold identity, some are more or less present, others need to be grown from scratch.
 

Edited by rideforever
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9 hours ago, Jonesboy said:

 

Thank you very much.

 

You are welcome.

 

9 hours ago, Jonesboy said:

Do you think bliss is the same thing as clarity?

 

No, not necessarily.

 

9 hours ago, Jonesboy said:

Perfect harmony with the universe or are you the universe?

 

Perfect harmony with the universe is equivalent to the realization that you are the universe.

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1 hour ago, Lakshmi said:

 

You are welcome.

 

 

No, not necessarily.

 

 

Perfect harmony with the universe is equivalent to the realization that you are the universe.

 

I agree ūüėä

 

Very cool stuff thank you.

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On 30/01/2019 at 3:15 AM, greatsaiyaman said:

Hello daobum geniuses. I have been recently questioning myself about chakras. It is said that, with meditating on the chakras, breath and visualization, that the pathway of the Kundalini is awakened and brings gnosis or enlightenment. I've worked with the chakras, but are they really what they are proclaimed to be? My intuition tells me, that working with the chakras is much like any system of metaphysical energy. They don't actually exist but are mental 4th dimensional structures that allow us to build a consciousness somewhere. Much like a Dantian. You have to actually build it. It's not inherently there. And it takes more than just "opening" chakras to become truly enlightened.... Hmm.... Who knows i guess....

 

The chakras and nadis were originaly a medicine system much alike acupuncture - with the difference that they are located in the skin and above, and not  bellow it. There are hundreds of chakras around your whole body.

 

This system was mostly lost, however, and now most schools use only a handful of them in order to generate mystical experiences. Kinda like what would happen if TCM was lost and only the cultivation accounts on how to use the acupoints remained. Points like the Ming Meng would remain known, but acupoints like GB 47 would provably end up forgotten. 

 

As for us building them, we can influence people's chakras even when they have no idea about the existence of chakras themselves. So, this should not be the case :)

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On 2/7/2019 at 9:29 PM, Desmonddf said:

acupoints like GB 47 would probably end up forgotten

 

Unless that's a typo, this point already is missing from most references!

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9 hours ago, Nintendao said:

 

Unless that's a typo, this point already is missing from most references!

 

Sorry, it indeed was. I meant to say GB37. Good for eye yang-tipe affections.

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