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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