It was 2002. Anna Parkinson, then 48, a news and current affairs producer with the BBC where she had been working for the last 20 years, had not a care in the world. She had just taken a sabbatical to write about her ancestor, apothecary John Parkinson, herbalist to Charles I.
Barely two weeks later, she was assailed by headaches, dizziness and improper vision and rushed to hospital. After many investigations, she was told that she had a tumor that was embedded very deep in her head, pressing on the right side of her carotid artery. The location made it inoperable. She desperately contacted many doctors but none of them were able to help.
She decided to explore other options and approached Martin whom she had heard of earlier. This is what Martin pronounced: “A brain tumor arises from tension in the crown chakra, which relates to difficulties in relationships with fathers, and consequently, with all forms of authority.” This instantly struck a chord with her as she had been separated from her father since childhood. Thus began her fascinating healing journey, with Anna meditating and working on the issue she had with authority.
When the tumor receded without medical intervention, it came as a pleasant surprise to even her neurosurgeon.
This is not just because the teacher was good but was a true inspiration as he himself was a living testimony to this technique.
Martin Brofman, chakra healer and author of Anything Can be Healed, had suffered from terminal cancer in his spinal cord in 1975. The doctors declared that he could die any moment. Martin recovered slightly after the surgery and left the hospital. Thereafter, he met a Zen practitioner who told him that cancer began in the mind. This fascinated him and he began to consciously de-stress himself. He also learnt the Silva method of meditation which includes affirmations and visualization after reading Ken Keyes’ Handbook of Higher Consciousness. “I realized that cancer was the result of a mental process, that I could use my consciousness to reprogram my mind,” he says.
Since the tumor was in the nape of his neck he also realized that it symbolized his lack of self-expression. He began to utter aloud his feelings, aspirations and emotions. When finally the doctors saw his report they were amazed to find that there was not a trace of cancer in his body. Martin later on devised The Body Mirror System healing technique based on his own experiences and applied himself to helping others. Martin believes that there is a healer in each one of us and that anything can be healed.
Chakras (meaning wheel or disc in Sanskrit) are energy centers that run from the base of the spine to the top or crown of the head. An important thing to understand is that the meditation works only if the associated issues are also worked upon. All of us are hobbled by emotional and psychological issues that come in the way of our further growth.
A profound approach is to work on our psychological and emotional issues in such a way that the chakra naturally opens and we remain in balance. The chakra system starts with a basic need and each successive chakra represents a progressively higher need.
Only a deep and strong sense of stability can enable us to explore our facets, take risks and uncover our potential. The mooladhara chakra also known as the root chakra, which is the conduit for our experience of security, is located at the perineum, between the anus and the genitals.
When we go further, we come to the swadisthana chakra, located two inches below the navel. Naturally, after our basic needs come feelings and emotions, which is what this chakra stands for.
The swadisthana stands for the pleasure principle and that is most often routed through food and sex.
Our capacity to control our desires is the measure of our capacity to balance this chakra.
The next step up the ladder is towards ‘power’ and the “I can” stage, which is centered around the manipura chakra.
All of us have a need for power, for significance and importance. When realized in a healthy way, this need can motivate us to achieve great things. When this chakra is imbalanced we can either veer into domination or helplessness.
The source of our power has to be vested in ourselves, that we can only control our responses and not of others is a fundamental spiritual rule.
The move from the manipura to the anahata chakra which is the next in order is a giant leap. This is because the first three chakras deal with personal issues.
Now, the process is about a movement from independence to interdependence.
It is very important for you to open your heart by getting in touch with your feelings and maybe meditating on loving kindness.
Communication is not easy and it is this challenge that the vishudha or throat chakra stands for.
Even with the best of intentions it is difficult to convey what we want to others. This is true in all areas of our lives particularly at home and at work. Unless we can communicate clearly and without reactivity and take responsibility for the other understanding us, we will be swamped by relationship problems.
There is a zone of the intuition or higher intelligence which is governed by the ajna chakra, located between our eyebrows where the bindi is applied. The ajna chakra also governs our capacity to discriminate, to be able to separate the real from the unreal. The ajna chakra is the command centre of the human psyche, and when balanced is the mark of the one who has mastered life.
If the mooladhara chakra stands for security symbolized by the mother figure, the sahashara or crown chakra stands for father or the direction and guidance we get in life.
In reality, our connection with our biological father becomes the model for our relationship with authority, and ultimately, with God.
The sahashara chakra is the apex of the spiritual or personal growth ladder. When we balance this chakra we will be able to complete the journey that began with the heart, for we will have completely skimmed past the limitations of our ego and arrived at oneness.
A perfect metaphor for the chakras is music. Each chakra stands for one note of music, starting for the basic note of Do in the western system or Sa in the Indian system and moving up to the highest note of Ti in the Western system or Ni in the Indian system. Like each note has to be perfect for the music to sound all right, each of our chakras also have to be perfectly in sync for a harmonious life.
The theory of chakras is also similar to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in human development that focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. Maslow used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, Self-Actualization and Self-Transcendence to describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through.
Whether or not one believes in the existence of chakras, if we understand what each chakra stands for and accept each aspect of our personality, it is surely beneficial to us.
This is both a psychological and spiritual tonic to lead a joyous life.
Jamuna Rangachari is the Editor in charge of Life Positive Websites and and has authored five books, One (Rupa & Co, 2005), The Magic Liquid (Rupa & Co, 2005) and Teaching stories (Life Positive, 2008), More Teaching Stories (2012) and Elixir for Zylake (Life Positive, 2013).
She also blogs at www.jai-joy.com.