(Check out Phoenix Adoni’s introduction to the seventh chakra here.)
Just as a child gets a new visual perspective of the world as he/she begins to crawl, walk or talk, when we open our crown chakra we attain knowledge of the Unknown, the Infinite, a reality beyond what we can physically perceive. We reconnect to a time when we knew no boundaries, when we had supreme trust in the Universe, when we felt a part of everything, and ecstasy was an ongoing experience.
Transcendence and Enlightenment
What we ultimately seek in working with our chakras is to bring wholeness to our entire being, bringing balance to both our inner and outer world which is accomplished by opening our seventh chakra and aligning ourselves with the great spirit of true source. The seventh chakra is the point where our finite bodies meet the infinite timelessness of the universe; it is where we join the two, experiencing the transcendent bliss of ultimate unity with all of life.
The crown is the entry point where spiritual consciousness enters our bodies and we transcend the shortsightedness of the limitations of the finite world as well as pain and suffering – all part of the illusion of our finite existence and experience. This is the final step into the ultimate reality: enlightenment.
Enlightenment is essentially the breaking free of the false identification with our ego which is bound within the illusion of space and time, where we experience the harsh world of pain and suffering. Our ego, the smaller, limited self, is the obstacle that prevents enlightenment, and its chief concern is its own survival. It lives within the realm of attachment.
Releasing attachment creates a mind of absolute clarity where we enter the primary characteristic of enlightenment: emptiness. It is here that we realize that there is no separation between self and others, experiencing the ultimate truth that spirit is within us, finally becoming the empty vessel for which the universe can experience itself through our very existence.
Attachment: The Obstacle to Enlightenment
Attachment is the result of placing our focus upon the external and becoming trapped or stuck within the obstacles of the lower chakras. It comes in many forms, one of which is refusing to let go of desired outcomes, which is ultimately lacking faith and trust that Source will guide us to that which we need in order to grow spiritually.
Attachment is related to our ego – the finite, smaller self, where we think we know what’s best for us and have all the answers. This confines us in the space/time continuum, keeping us from moving up the chakra system and connecting to Source via the crown. Our attachments appear in a multitude of ways: attachments to material possessions and acquisitions, spiritual growth, happiness, even our own pain – just to name a few.
It was Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, who taught that attachment is the root of all suffering. For example, suppose you’re attached to money or your house or a particular relationship and derive great happiness from them, but also your sense of self, so much so that you hang onto them with all your might just to keep them in your life. And now suppose that you lost one or all of them. Now you’re drowning in sorrow and suffering, creating an identity for yourself, of which you are now attached.
However, suffering is not bad in and of itself. It is the resistance to it that causes the greatest harm and is all a matter of perspective. We can either live in ego identification – I am suffering – or, that this is yet another teacher. When resisting the pain of loss, we hold it in our lives. We become attached to wanting the suffering to leave. But when we release the attachment and allow the pain to just be, without forcing it or wishing it away, it passes through us like rain, washing away out-dated beliefs and allowing complete healing to occur. It is then that we awaken to an enlightened mind of clarity, seeing that spirit is within all things, is all things and that when we release our attachment to the things we fear most to loose, we realize that enlightenment is not a destination, but a glorious, ever expanding and continuous journey.
Meditation and Awareness
When you join the finite, perceptive consciousness with the infinite, absolute consciousness, it creates the space for Source to enter your life or, more to the point, grants the awareness that source has always been with you, in all things and all people – and that you have only been asleep to its eternal presence.
The practice of meditation develops the awareness that allows us to awaken and embrace each and every moment that coalesces into the fabric of our lives. This starts with sitting and bringing awareness to the breath and when thoughts arise, which they invariably do, watching them like clouds passing through the sky, then bringing our attention back to the breath – over and over and over again – always back to the breath, back to life.
Many people hold the erroneous view that a practice in meditation will make life easier and less painful. This view is not a practice in meditation but a practice in escapism. Life is painful but is also incredibly joyful. They are two heads of the same coin where one cannot exist without the other. Meditation is the act of pulling our heads out of the sand and awakening to our own lives and experiences whether we interpret them as good or bad, joyful or painful; it is a revolutionary act of being the silent witness into the inner workings of our own minds.
Eventually, we come to see that what separates us from ourselves and our experiences derives itself from our thoughts – the constant, incessant, even obsessive chatter, the judging and comparing, reliving the past or imagining a projected future – the list is endless. By meditating, we become the observer of the consistent, changing channels of thought and imaginings, moving into the realm of intimacy with ourselves, our world, and the moments that make up our lives.