The biggest problem that faces the planet right now and has since the beginning of time is that we don’t know who we are. By taking the time to get to understand our most essential natures we are doing ourselves and everyone a great service. A focus on studying chakras can help bring us closer to this understanding.
There are things we can solve with our minds, but the most important understanding must come from the heart. Whether you have a religious or spiritual belief system or not, it is important to recognize that you are a being made energy, connected to everything that is alive. The great mystery exists not only in the understanding of our “small self” – the human self that goes through the practical matters of daily living, but also our LARGER self – the energetic and eternal aspect of ourselves that are fully interconnected with one another. It is possible that all of the problems that this disconnection over time have caused in history are a result of this “small self” thinking, and have now caused us to need to shift to an understanding of our “eternal” self. The part of us which is energy, flows through time because for it no time exists, has always been here – and will always be here. Some belief systems call this consciousness. Some call it soul. I call it Self.
Here at the WillowCreek Retreat we use the energy of horses and nature to help people become aware of their SELF through a focus on centers of energies which exist as a part of us, as use that knowledge to find a place in themselves which surpasses even thoughtful knowledge and can be found in the heart only. The Hindu culture calls these centers “Chakras”, which means “spinning wheel” in Sanskrit.
This article will focus on our upcoming retreat on the second-sacral chakra. It is intended for the participants of the retreat, but I want to make following the process available to anyone who is interested.
The second chakra, also known by the Sanskrit name, Svhadisthana, relates to those aspects of our energy that have to do with creation, fertility, sexuality and the joy of living. The physical location is about two inches below your navel. The colour relating to this center is orange and the element is water.
When this energetic area of your body is blocked, it can result in physical ailments such as bladder problems, circulatory issues, lower back pain, menstrual issues, kidney & reproductive problems. Life issues can include difficulty working with others in a creative fashion, addiction, sexual dysfunction (hyper or hypo sexuality) in relationships, difficulty setting healthy boundaries, and a lack of flow of abundance (like money and other resources) into your life. Psychologically, a imbalanced second chakra can produce low sexual desire (frigidity), frustration, anger, fear, hypersensitivity, unreasonable feelings of guilt, and being unreasonably hard on yourself. In your life you may find yourself surrounded by abusive or energetically imbalanced relationships, difficulty in attracting resources, feelings of unhappiness regularly upon awakening. Healthy second chakra energies bring about healthy relationships, well established boundaries and flow of money and resources into your life. It is easy to see why a concentration on coming to terms with and healing second chakra energy would be beneficial.
In the west we have an extreme disconnect from our energetic centers. Eastern cultures socialize their children in a way that emphasizes awareness and connection to each center of the body. Through food, prayer, song and other cultural norms, those in the East have a focus on the essential nature of the physical and spiritual connection we have to each other and the world of nature. Here in the West we are just beginning to see the very real and practical importance of this knowledge.
Horses are an excellent partner to help quiet the mind and open the awareness we have in ourselves of how our body is feeling at any particular moment. Because a horse’s energy calibrates at a higher rate than humans, just being in physical proximity to them can help quiet the mind. This is primarily because they don’t have the thoughts of past and future that keep our energies tied up in illusion and non-reality. Horses can help put our feet back on and into the ground.
A practice of intimacy with any living creature, two or four footed, can quiet your mind and center you in presence. This is the most important first step for any act of self-inquiry. Without presence, you cannot establish intimacy with yourself or anyone else, for this requires that you be centered in where you are, not in the past or future. Intimacy with another requires intimacy with your SELF first.
Intimacy has been expressed as “into me I see”. Intimacy with another person requires that we first be intimate with ourselves. This means taking the time to see deeply into our true nature, true mnotivations true thoughts and beliefs about things. Charka studies are like treasure hunting for truth about yourself. Sometimes the journey is treacherous and can feel a little dangerous, but these are the risks you must take to find the greatest treasures.
The goal is to become unashamedly and blissfully aware of who you REALLY are.
This means learning to be naked with yourself.
An act of emotional vulnerability is sometimes easier with an animal. We feel that animals don’t judge us, they won’t take advantage of our feelings of weakness. We feel we can “be ourselves” with animals.
We fear emotional vulnerability with humans because we are accessing negative past experiences and transposing them into the now of life. Eventually, you will come to a place where you understand that the judgements of others, neither positive or negative, should be taken personally. That each person’s “judgment” comes from a place of self-judging. But, when the second chakra is blocked and not yet brought to your consciousness, you can only see what you can see.
Second chakra issues revolve around TRUST and TRUTH.
Who do you trust? Do you have a best friend? When you were young, did you have a best friend? Have you known someone to whom you could tell all your secrets to and you knew they were on your side and you would never fear they would break your confidence or hurt your feelings? Do you have someone in your life like that now?
Many people suffer from the loneliness they impose upon themselves from their own self-judgements.
To relieve yourself of guilt – try to remind yourself of this wise thought by author and poet Maya Angelou
“if you would have known better, you would have done better”.
Angelou goes through life with this core belief about people and about herself. It is a very freeing thought because it acknowledges the FACT that everyone does what they believe is their best at the time they are doing it. In hindsight, everything has a different hue.
Forgiveness is an important focus for this and every chakra. Forgiveness is NOT an act of placing an approval stamp on the past. Forgiveness is a recognition that the past cannot be changed. Forgiveness holds within it, if it is the truth, a desire to discover what every experience has brought to you, not what it has taken from you. Then, focus on the need you were trying to fulfill when you did whatever it is that causes you guilt. Discover truthfully, fearlessly – the belief behind the need you were trying to fulfill. Then understand fully (prayer helps with this) that your needs are important. That you can find healthy ways to fulfill these needs without causing yourself harm. That you can remain from this time forward, aware of your needs, so you make choices and decisions for yourself in an aware an dhealthy way. This is possible for everyone.
But the first steps begin a process of a new kind of thinking. They will produce changes in your life, and the people around you will react. Be aware of this as you continue. Allow the changes to unfold, and as the elemtn in the second chakra urges us as does the Tao te Ching – follow the lesson that water teaches us. It flows with all the circumstances it comes across. It recognizxes that it is ever changing and ever moving, but like water, we never fully disappear. If we remain like stone, and we are not in the flow of our live, using our minds and thoughts to resist what is, then we will find ourselves being eroded and chipped away, until we are finlly pulled free into the river of what life is doing around us.
TAO TE CHING – VERSE 8
The Supreme Good is like water,
Which nourishes all things without trying to.
It flows to low places, loathed by all men
Therefore it is like the Tao.
Live in accordance with the nature of things,
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others be gentle and kind.
In speech be true.
In ruling be just.
In action, watch the timing.
No fight: No blame
One who lives in accordance with nature,
Does not go against the way of things.
They move in harmony with the present moment,
Always knowing the truth of just what to do.
Lao Tzu – Tao Te Ching
The excercise we will do in this retreat is to request our participants to take a horse aside, privately and have a “conversation”. You will tell the horse your most deep dark secrets. The one you wouldn’t even tell your best friend. The one your surely wouldn’t tell your priest. The one you secretly believe God will judge you for.
Then take time to look deeply into the horse’s eyes. See what they see. Listen to your self, and acknowledge the feelings you have in this interaction.
Ask yourself some questions and stay in meditation with the horse – quiet in your present space:
Do you believe the horse can see inside of you?
Can you see yourself as clearly as the horse sees you?
Ask to be shown how to forgive.
Observe your horse’s eyes.