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The sixth chakra: The third eye.

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The mind with its reasoning ability and the psyche with its subconscious undertows meet in the sixth chakra, the third eye. Intellect, rationale, logic - the mind needs no introduction. Less familiar is the territory of the psyche, home of the self. While logic follows the straight road of black and white, true and false, always and never, right and wrong, the subconscious fills the space between the well defined lines of the mind. In the shadows, the holes, the hidden caves, under the shifting plates, in the murky greys, among the infinite truths, the “sometimes” and the “right and wrong for whom”, pulses the true motivation behind action. When the sixth chakra matures, the mind and psyche become equal, giving rise to wisdom. The wise, combining intellect and self-awareness, know the how and why of living in the best interest of all parties involved without excessively compromising the self, a challenge daunting enough to rarely be mastered. The sixth chakra illuminates the power of the mind.

In addition to developing wisdom, this chakra is also associated with the awakening of the true self - the I we refer to when we ask “Who am I?“ But we ask not of the I who is a “…doctor, wife, father, killer, liar, victim, abuser…“, and such other relativistic relationships. We ask of the I that was put here for a specific reason. Of course, this works only for those who believe in purpose, those who are interested in finding out their full potential for contributing most and equally to themselves and others. In Anatomy of the Spirit (NY, 1996), Caroline Myss suggests the following methodology for discovering the self.

1. Look inside. Know what you believe in and why. Were these beliefs and the reasons behind them taught or discovered through experience? Have you looked for the exception?

2. Notice when your mind is shutting down. Defensiveness keeps out new information. Consider why the defense mechanism gets triggered by people and situations.

3. All people and situations teach a lesson. Sometimes the lesson is not easily seen and so it is presented over and over. Eventually the lesson is learned. Are you still learning new things?

4. Listen to your dreams.
The psyche speaks through them, allowing for spiritual consideration over cold intellect.

5. Avoid self-pity, self-directed anger, or self-victimizing.
Correct each self-harming thought by following it with a positive one. Change the words
of the inner chatter. Mistakes happen; don’t treat yourself any worse than you would your most beloved for the same infraction.

6. Practice detachment.
Don’t worry about the outcome. It rarely works out as imagined so make the best choice
for the moment. Of course, this is not the same thing and having no concern for
repercussions.

7. Avoid judgments of people, situations, and importance of tasks. Since we do not really know the long term effects of most action, aim to see the truth behind everything. Letting go of the judgment does not imply condoning. What is truly happening?

8. Notice when fear is the driving force behind action or lack of.
Is it fear of finding out the truth, the diagnosis, change, the work required for change,
rejection, success? One thing we all recognize is fear; consider why it shows up
when it does.

9. Change your definition of success and replace external goals with internal accomplishments. Think energy over material.

10.Trust your inner guidance over “proof”. You are the only one who knows what your spirit needs.

11.Live in the present. If there was no past and no future, how would your present be?

The question is in the mind, the answer in the shadows. From answer sprouts another question, another answer, another truth, and another question. The sixth chakra allows for understanding that each question brings us closer to getting the answers to questions such as “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?”. Each question is merely looking for clarifications to previous questions until finally: an answer that feels right. When one chapter comes to an expected or sudden end this chakra prevents anger or self-pity from taking over. It tells of a larger need for change and movement where all things end and begin at the appropriate times. With the help from this chakra we understand that an unfortunate diagnosis is not punishment. It is either result of personal choice or perhaps how one life will end. When a life ends it is not due to a failure to heal; it is because all life ends. This chakra leads to understanding.

The “third eye” is located in the center of the forehead and is physically associated with the brain and neurological system, pituitary and pineal glands, eyes, ears, and nose. It is also responsible for visualization, imagination, psychic ability, and intuition. Excessive energy in this chakra can manifest as headaches, insomnia, nightmares, and difficulty concentrating. Deficiency can lead to eye problems, poor memory, and inability to visualize. Visualization exercise, alternate nostril breathing, and meditation are most effective for balancing out this chakra. Physically, one may lie on the back and place a light object on the forehead to activate the third eye.

Since the eyes are physically connected to this chakra, what they look at can have a profound effect on it. Most spend the majority of the time in offices, under fluorescent lights, away from nature, art, or any thing of beauty. In addition, not only is there a lack of beauty to look upon throughout the day, but the eyes are also bombarded by people and images which often lead to feelings of incompleteness. To lessen these negative effects take time out every day to check in with yourself and look at something beautiful, preferably outside. Bring in the other senses, place your bare feet on grass or earth, smell a flower (that‘s right. I said it!). And then perhaps one day a sleepy third eye will slowly open. And then we will know.

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