“Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true”, Buddha
We have numerous thoughts running through our heads over the course of a day. Many of these unconscious thoughts are either based on beliefs that have been passed to us from outside sources (family, friends, media, etc.), or they are thoughts that are driven by fear. One of the major hurdles of working with the third eye chakra is sorting through these thoughts, pictures and images we’ve created in our heads and figuring out . . . . which of these things do I truly believe based on my experience and which of these things are there because someone else has put them there?
This brings us to the basic right for the third eye chakra – The Right to See. It’s not talking about physically seeing things, but about having the right to perceive, to seek and to find our truth based on our own personal experiences. Everything about our lives and our reality starts with our perception. When we wake up thinking we’re going to have “one of those days,” what happens? We usually DO have one of those days. What about those mornings we wake up feeling on top of the world? “We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are” Anais Nin. So, this right is about seeing ourselves as we really are – knowing that the beliefs, ideals and ideas we have are truly our own. We can only discover this through our own experiences and seeing what works or what doesn’t work for us.
The demon for Ajna chakra that prevents us from this right to see is illusion. In the last post I talked about Ajna being about creating a vision. So what’s the difference between a vision and an illusion? “Both are pictures held in the mind, and both shape our behaviour. But vision leads us forward and illusion holds us back. A vision is a possibility, a goal to inspire us . . . An illusion tends to be . . . something we believe is real and unchangeable” Anodea Judith. My interpretation is that a vision is something we have created to guide us to where we want to go. An illusion is a belief or a picture that is just there. We don’t really know how it got there or where it came from, but it has been with us for so long that we just assume it is true without questioning it. With a vision we are shaping our picture of how we want things to be. With illusions we are basing the image on how we think things should be and not looking at how they actually are. With visions we are active creators, but with illusions we are passive, and give our power away by putting our belief in something that we haven’t tested out for ourselves.
When working with Ajna, we definitely have our work cut out for us! I find as I move up the chakra system it becomes harder and harder for me to maintain my focus. By the time I get to the third eye, I feel like my thoughts are scattered all over the place. I have so many thoughts and so many layers to sort through. I always mean to sit down and just take some time to envision where I want to go and what picture I want to hold in my mind of what I want my life to be like, but I never seem to get around to it. I definitely have some things I need to work on in this center and I’m assuming that I’m not the only one that has this “problem.” I’m hoping my time at a retreat next month will “force” me to sort through some of these issues and help me to finally start to create MY picture and vision : )
To work with images and pictures and to find focus with the third eye chakra (I think I’m hearing a suggestion that I need to follow!), let’s take a look at working with mandalas. “Mandala” is a Sanskrit word which means circle or completion. Because of the circular structure, when looking at a mandala, our gaze is naturally drawn to the center, or inner world. There are a few different ways we can use mandalas.
- Find a mandala that you are drawn to (or one specific to the third eye if you want to work with this center). There are many that you can find on the internet (click here to see a good mandala site I came across). Start coloring. Allow the colors you pick and the process you use to color them be intuitive. Don’t think about it too much. You may find that thoughts drop away as you continue to color and you naturally fall into a meditative state.
- Draw your own mandala. Draw a circle (and again intuitively decide what size) and start drawing. You could set an intention for your mandala or just see what picture develops. It could be a geometric pattern that has symmetrical balance, or it could simply be a drawing within a circle. Choose colors and symbols intuitively or based on your intention. Carl Jung described the process of making mandalas as "a representation of the unconscious self." So, the image you're creating will be a snapshot of yourself at the time you are creating the mandala.
- Meditate on a mandala. You could use one that you are drawn to or one that you colored or drew. Begin by focusing on the center or the still point of the mandala. Eventually, you may find your gaze and attention starting to wander, so bring your awareness to the outside layers of the picture. What feelings, thoughts or ideas come up as you do this? Finally, when you feel it’s time, close your eyes and try to recreate the mandala in your mind. Try to make it vivid with as much detail as you can. Work through this process a few times and notice anything that makes it way up to your awareness.
Discover your inner sight, develop your vision and share your wonderful picture with the world,