Break Down the Walls

SAHASRARA

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The Crown Chakra
Element: Thought
Color: Violet
This chakra deals with the universal conciousness
When out of balance, one can feel too spiritual in a way that inhibits reality, can't function practically, can't connect to reality
Mantra: I know


If the rest of the chakras weren't hippie-dippie enough for you, get ready! Having just come back from LA (particularly Venice) I encountered a ton of people who, to the average New Yorker, felt out of touch with reality, or at least the reality that exists inside of the city.  There were many people who felt almost too stereotypical in their embodiment of the practice.  That lifestyle of "let's just meditate and practice all day/nothing else matters" was very off-putting to me when I began my practice because I felt as though it was out of touch with the reality of this life.  We've all got bills and debt and rent. It's just a fact of life.  Though I would love to meditate and practice, I have to make a living.  

Like most things in the practice, I see this chakra as a metaphor; it has the ability to shape-shift, transforming itself into a lesson applicable to this modern life.  Yes, this is about the universal consciousness.  Yes, this is about enlightenment where there are no feelings just bliss.   But in a modern application, this chakra deals with breaking down the boundaries that we create between ourself and others.  Especially in this political climate where lines in the sand become walls, where there is a strong desire to "other" vast groups of people, finding our shared humanity is more important than ever.

In the yogic tradition, connecting to the universal consciousness tells us that we are all unique expressions of the same universal truths. All of the superficial differences we create to separate ourselves from others are an illusion.  Every single human needs to feel loved, like they belong.  Every person has suffered heartache and loss and defeat.  Every human knows what it means to love, to feel joy, to succeed. Each person's definition will be different, but we all experience these very human sensations.  This is what it is to be alive. 

So why do we create borders?  Why do we build walls?  Why is there so much hatred for other beings who, at their core, are the same as you and me?  Fear. Apathy. Ignorance. Do you want to change the world?  Do you want to stop the senseless violence that plagues all of humanity? Start to LISTEN.  Listen to people.  Listen to the hurt in their hearts.  Listen to ways in which they feel powerless.  Listen to their stories of hardship and battles they have fought to survive.  Listen because every single person wants to be heard. Every single person wants to matter. 

Live Life. Listen Louder. Stay Woke.


J O U R N A L I N G

At this point, if you've been playing along, you might have experienced that some topics are easier to write about than others.  Some things are hard to write about because they make us uncomfortable.  We encounter our own privilege, the ways in which we have taken for granted the gifts of our lives.  I encourage you to run into the discomfort instead of away.  If it feels better to talk about these questions with another person, do that.  Find your answers.

  1. Have you ever felt like you didn't belong?  Have you ever been othered?  What was that experience like?  How did it make you feel?  How did you cope?
  2. What are the feelings or experiences that you see as unacceptable or ugly in yourself?  Can you imagine a situation in which another person might feel this way?
  3. Picture a person with whom you are having a misunderstanding? Can you write down their story?  Who loves them?  Do they have siblings, parents, best friends, a significant other? How might their experience of life be similar to yours? How can you humanize them?
  4. Who are people you don't feel belong?  Why?  What makes them different and/or not worthy of inclusion?  Are these thoughts true?  Where do they come from?