Chakras are energy centers that appear in the subtle-physical or energy body. The word ‘chakra’ means ‘wheel’; the luminous lines of the energy body come together in several nexus which appear like the wheel of a chariot. Most systems of yoga recognize seven principal chakras, though there are many more. The seven are usually referenced by their approximate relationship with the physical body, though they do not exist in the physical body. These would be the root chakra, located at the base of the spine, the sex chakra located at the base of the genitals, the navel chakra located just below the belly button, [note: some systems substitute a chakra located above the navel in the solar plexus area for the navel chakra], the heart center located in the center of the chest, the throat center at the base of the throat near the collar bones, the third-eye center which is located between the eyebrows and slightly above, and finally, the crown center which is found above the crown of the head.
Chakras, like Yantras, are said to be a doorway into other dimensions of light and energy. Each chakra has a specific quality of energy, and by focusing on a chakra during meditation, you draw that energy into your own energy body. There are practices that involve focusing on all of the chakras, but for basic meditation practices, you may choose to primarily work with just 3 of the 7 chakras, namely, the navel center which has the quality of energy of willpower, the heart center which has the quality of energy of love and spiritual balance and the third-eye center which has the quality of energy of wisdom.
If you practice the chakra meditation described below, it is important that you give equal attention to all three of those chakras, so that you draw an equal amount of each of those various energies into your energy body. Otherwise, you will become imbalanced. It doesn’t do you much good to have a lot of willpower, if you don’t have the wisdom to use it. Wisdom is hollow without love. So, you may either focus on each of the chakras in turn during a single meditation session (always start at the lower chakras and work your way up). Or, you can focus on one chakra during one meditation session, then the next day focus on the next and so on.
To meditate on a chakra, all you need to do is to inwardly try to feel that location in your physical body. It helps to place a finger on the spot for a few seconds so that you can get a sense of where that spot is, then, just focus your attention there; try to feel it from the inside. When you think you have located the spot, you can take your finger away. If you lose the spot, put your finger back for a bit. Eventually, you will be able to feel the spot without needing a touch.
Hold your focus on that spot as long as you can. If thoughts come in and out of your mind, just ignore them and bring your focus back to that spot. During the meditation, you may experience a tingling in that area, or some warmth. If you are focusing on the heart chakra, you may experience a profound sense of love. If you are focusing on the third-eye, you may perceive flashes of light, or visions, even with your eyes closed. If you experience any of these sensations, just ignore them. Don’t let them distract you from your meditation. Just note them, but don’t try to analyze them, or you will stop meditating.
Chakra meditations are one of the most powerful forms of meditation that you can do. If done properly, they will bring a tremendous amount of power and energy into your energy body. Therefore, it is also important that you have your daily life together, and that you practice mindfulness, for whatever you allow to flow through your mind during the day, will be magnified many times over by this excess energy. However, if channeled in a positive direction, it can be the conduit for rapid personal growth.