The Chakras and Psychotherapy – Heart Chakra

Chakra View – Heart Chakra

chakra bands

Most people don’t get to a point in their development where they are spending much time in the upper four Chakras, which are considered "non-material," "higher," "Spiritual" Chakras. As I noted last week, for most people, it’s a stretch to get to the "self-interest" phase.

I was working with a quite neat client yesterday, who is making that leap. The woman talked about how, throughout her marriage (which is now ending) she was the peace-maker, the go-between and, as she put it, "the German housewife." By this she meant that she had spent 22 years trying to be exactly the woman her husband wanted (coming from Germanic stock myself, I knew what she meant – "die hausfrau.") As I’ve bored in, more and more, on her wants and needs, there’s been some panic. Last week she hauled in her kids, wanting me to talk to them, to make sure they were OK. Finally, finally, we are focusing on her. This is strange, new, frightening territory.

And, of course, it is not the last stop on the path of life and understanding, for, along with self-knowing comes self-responsibility.

One of the trickiest parts to this walk is learning not to (try) to manipulate others. I put the word "try" in brackets because I recognize the impossibility of manipulating anyone, without their covert or overt cooperation. This acknowledges, however, that people certainly try, and often people do allow themselves to be manipulated, as it seems easier at the time than simply laughing and telling the other person to "Get Over Yourself!!"

As I said in the opening paragraph, for many folk, the "forming relationship with someone and finding a self" is the extent of their walk. This is so because it took so much time and effort to find their self in the first place. Because of the kind of work I do, I often (in fact, mostly) see clients who are digging deeply into their selves, and for the first time. Often, they are pulled back into putting their relationship(s) ahead of their self-development. They want to push through and ask for and get more out of life, but are "guilt-ed" into pulling back "for the sake of the relationship."

The "finding a self" trouble point is where the self becomes the only focus. What I mean is this: many people, upon discovering more of their self, become fixated on what they perceive as the importance of their self. Thus, instead of finding self-knowing and ultimately finding self-actualization, they instead find self-importance and selfishness.

People caught in this place expect those around them to put them first. They expect to be noticed, and indeed go out of their way to be noticed. They want to be recognized and valued and want others to think they are special.

I remember back in the 80’s visiting with a friend of Dar’s. The woman’s brother had dropped out of Seminary and had joined the "Da Free John" sect. (Guy’s changed his name a hundred times. Don’t know what he calls himself now. Now I do – Google says he’s: Adi Da Love-Ananda Samraj.) The woman handed me a few of his books to read. Two things immediately tipped me off to his "stuckness":

1) he included pictures of himself to pray to, and
2) in each book there was a letter from a guru in India which basically said, "I think Da Free John is enlightened and you should listen to him."

I figure anyone who has to produce a letter to tell you (or get others to tell you) that they are enlightened is basically full of crap. I think of my time with Ram Dass, and how little doubt I had of his wisdom – and strangely, he never once told me or anyone else that he was a guru. You knew by listening to him and through what he was doing with his life. (i.e. his words and deeds matched.)

One of the paradoxes of this walk is this: the leap (and it is a leap) from the 3rd to the 4th Chakra is this:

what was gained at levels 1 to 3 becomes less significant.

There are parts of the Christian Bible that capture this, as various speakers talk of "dying to self." What dies, of course is the small ‘s’ self – the egoic self. Thus, the more I "transcend and include" and move along the path, the less "Wayne-ness" remains. I become invested in living for something larger than myself, not for the adulation, fame or credit I might receive, but precisely and exactly because what I do is then of benefit… wait for it … to others, and yet primarily to my self..

The 4th, or Heart Chakra, (green, in the above illustration) is all about a shift to vocationality. ("Being of service to others without putting others first.") Who I am more exactly matches what I do. And what I do and who I am is about guiding others while my mentors guide me. What I do and who I am is still "all about me," yet is now directed outward. The "me" this is about is less and less "Wayne" and more and more something deeper and more about Spirit.

The clearest demonstration might be in how a person at Chakra 4 enacts relationship. The key is action with compassion. The compassion is a deep understanding for the other person – who they are, where they came from, how they get in their own way – combined with a willingness to act in a way that will assist the other in walking their own path.

What this means is that my choice of actions is based not upon being popular or being liked, nor upon having power over others. My choice of actions is based upon being of assistance to another’s walk, without losing sight of the primacy of my own. In other words, I’m not going to sacrifice my soul at the request of another, no matter whom they are. On the other hand, I’ll move heaven and earth to be of assistance to others. Because this is what I am "called" to do.

You can’t enter Chakra 4 without a sense of vocation – that whatever you are doing is a calling from something larger than yourself. This is why the 4th through 7th Chakras are considered "soul or spirit" Chakras. Thus, if you are playing at Spirituality yet continually calling attention to yourself ("Here I am! See! ME! ME! ME!") you are stuck at Chakra 3. If, on the other hand, what you do is almost invisible, this is stepping into Chakra 4.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, talks about the Pharisees vs. the person of Faith. The religious leaders made a show of everything. They were out there, doing what they did in the eyes of as much public as they could draw. In giving charity, they did it so everyone would know. And "they had their reward." Their reward was the adulation of the crowds. The person of Faith, Jesus argues, gives charity so that "the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing." The reward, in this case, is that "God" notices.

However, and here is the paradox, this vocationality is not being done for others. It is being done for the person of Faith. As I choose to serve with less and less ego in the mix, I strengthen my spirit or prana or chi. I become more of who I truly am. That others may benefit in the process is an extra benefit and blessing, but not the motivation.

Because of the paradoxical nature of Chakras 4-7 and above, there is much confusion connected with them. This is a turn-off for the logical mind. This is really a turn off for those who are caught in their ego and want to be the centre of everyone else’s universe.

This week, examine ever again your walk, and discover where you are stuck. Wonder with yourself about making what you do and who you are match, and how you might shift from an egoic, self-important stance to a freer, less clingy one. Set those around you free, in your mind and in your heart, from having to act a certain way with you. Breathe into your heart, and see what emerges.

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