that maks the world a garden."
Robert Louis Stevenson
Chakra Four: Air, Social identity, oriented to self-acceptance
This chakra is called the heart chakra and is the middle chakra in a system of seven. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A healthy fourth chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, have a deep sense of peace and centeredness.
Now that we have awakened the firest of our will, we are ready to enter the sacred and tenderrealm of the heart. Here lies the very centre of the chakra system as well as the heart of our being, the chamber from which we give and receive love.
As we move onto the fourth chakra in Anodea Judith's Chakra Balancing Workbook, we must ask ourselves these questions:
How do we open our hearts to love? What is this mysterious essence that has such power to rule our lives? What is its purpose in our journey through the chakras and how can we align ourselves with this purpose?
These are the essential questions we ask of the heart, the organ whose beating defines life itself. But when we speak of the heart, we are speaking not of a physical organ out of a realm of connection, where we are beckoned to expand beyond ourselves and find union with another.
Love is the essence of life. It is the ultimate healer, the most potent teacher, the inspiration for great works. For the child love provides the assurance of survival. For the adult, it brings the intimacy that allows acceptance and invites expansiveness. And while the desire to receive love is a basic need of all human beings, this alone will not open the heart.
The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Anahata, meaninging unstuck or unhurt. To open the heart is to treat others (as well as things) with honour and respect and refrain from causing unneccessary harm. This occurs naturally when we discover the divine nature of the self within and realise that a similar nature resides within others and indeed all of life.
An open heart feels compassion and empathy for both self and others. It understands the tender nature of spirit, the delightful joy of connection, and the deep peace of body, self and other, light and shadow, masculine and feminine, inner and outer realms. The result of this balance is peace.
Healing Essence of the Chakra: Located in the region of the heart and between the shoulder blades, it is the area of the body where love resides, in the cave of the heart. The ecstasy of love teaches us to let go and trust in the world, ultimately transcending the flames of sexual passion and emptying our life, giving spirit and spirituality into the world.
Keywords: Love, Unconditional Love, Surrender, Compassion, Forgiveness, Grace,
- I am unconditionally loving of myself and others.
- There is an infinite supply of love in the world.
- I am love.
Interpreting excess or deficiency in the fourth chakra
- Codependency (focussing too much on others)
- Poor boundaries
- Being a martyre
- Being a pleaser
- Antisocial, withdrawn
- Critical, intolerant
- Lonely, isolated
- Lack of empathy
- Fear of intimacy
The Fourth Chakra Self Evaluation
- Are you able to love yourself as you are or do you put up certain conditions?
- How often do you show your appreciation to those around you including strangers?
- Are you holding onto any feelings of grief?
- Do you have any feelings of hatred or resentment towards someone in your life? If so, what can you do to forgive this person and free yourself from these old wounds?
- What parts of yourself do you deny? What can you do to reclaim aspects of yourself that you may have sacrificed to be accepted?
See participants' responses: