In today’s part of our guide to Working with your Chakras, Swami Saradananda introduces the brow or “third eye” chakra, the chakra most identified with your mind and personality. She offers a meditation that you can use to reinforce the energy of this chakra whenever you are feeling fearful or confused.
Discover the power of your chakras, and how to work with them to achieve balance and harmony, in The Essential Guide to Chakras.
What is the Brow Chakra?
Known as your “third eye”, the brow chakra (ajna) is the command centre of your subtle body and the source of intellectual understanding. It is the seat of judgment, emotional intelligence, rationality and wisdom. Its energy enables you to understand and develop symbolic concepts, abstract thinking and organizational skills.
Ajna chakra is your “sixth sense”, which manages your five physical senses. It regulates the five lower chakras and the nadis (meridians) leading into them. Six spiritual powers are associated with your ajna chakra: the ability to control your thoughts and to direct your attention, perfect concentration, unobstructed meditation, enlightenment and samadhi (the super-conscious state).
What are the benefits of the Brow Chakra?
- Enhancing intuition
- Cultivating creativity and imagination
- Flexibility in opinions and viewpoints
- Breaking through to higher consciousness
In your physical body, the ajna governs your brain. On a more subtle level, its energy is related to the functioning of your mind. When the energy of your “third eye” is out of balance, physical symptoms may include headaches and poor eyesight. In extreme cases you may suffer a brain haemorrhage or a stroke, a tumour, Alzheimer’s disease or epileptic seizures. You may have a learning disability or dyslexia, lack concentration, have frequent nightmares or be very forgetful. Many mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, also seem to be related to ajna imbalances.
Imbalances in the Brow Chakra
When the energy of your ajna chakra is unblocked and balanced, you are able to see well, both physically and intuitively. You are open to psychic perception and able to view the “bigger picture”. A healthy ajna chakra tends to encourage balance in the lower chakras. For this reason, many yogis suggest that it is best to begin your chakra work with your ajna chakra. Once your ajna chakra is balanced and free of blockages, it helps to counteract many negative effects that occur in your other chakras.
What to look for
You tend to be indecisive and jump to conclusions. You may be plagued by nightmares, migraine headaches, poor eyesight, lack of concentration or extensive forgetfulness.
Imbalances of the third eye often manifest physically as dizziness and endocrine imbalances. A misaligned brow chakra can be related to such problems as mental confusion, insomnia and acute sinusitis. It may lead you to be extremely self-righteous and excessively proud of your intellectual capacity. You might misuse your intellectual abilities. If the imbalance is very extreme, you may live in a world of illusion, suffer from hallucinations and have little or no connection with reality.
Possible causes of imbalances
A variety of traumas may cause imbalances of ajna energy. You might have witnessed something that was particularly ugly, brutal or frightening. You might have been betrayed by your spiritual teacher or someone whom you particularly looked up to. Perhaps you can’t accept or are unable to “see” something that is vitally important to the growth of your soul.
Meditations for the Brow Chakra
The ajna chakra is identified with your mind and sense of individual self. Of all the chakras, the energy of the brow chakra has the most powerful overall effect on your personality. This is where you integrate your perception of the outer world to create your inner reality. Meditation on your ajna chakra frees you from the illusion that cognitive perceptions are real. Your sense of separateness of body and mind disappears. Once you break the energetic knot of ego-awareness and intellectual pride, your spiritual energy can transcend duality.
Bhuchari – gaze into the void
Bhuchari stimulates your ajna chakra; it is a powerful psychic cleanser that greatly enhances your powers of concentration. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, it is best to remove them before you begin this meditation exercise.
1. Sit in your preferred meditation position, preferably cross-legged, facing a white wall. Make sure that your spine is straight, head erect and your body relaxed.
2. Bring the thumb of your right hand to the centre of your upper lip. Let your index, middle and ring fingers relax as you stretch your little finger straight forward. Stare at the tip of little finger with a steady gaze, trying not to blink. There should be no tension in this.
3. Your eyes will probably start to produce tears; this cleanses your eyes, tear ducts and sinuses. As well as strengthening your eyes and the nerve centres in your forehead, it is also a powerful psychic cleanser of the ajna chakra region and promotes intense concentration.
4. Practise this for 5 minutes. Then drop your hand and continue to gaze at the point where your index finger was.
5. Gaze at this void for at least 15–20 minutes every day.