Chakra meditation presupposes that there are energy systems at work in the body not yet recognised by Western philosophies, especially of medicine. Nowhere is the gap between traditional Chinese and Western medicine clearer in terms of basic philosophy, than in acupuncture. The World Health Organisation reported as long ago as 1979 that:
“The sheer weight of evidence demands that acupuncture must be taken seriously as a clinical procedure of considerable value”.
Medical research has, somewhat grudgingly shown meridian systems at work in the body. Studies exist on the anatomic nature of the meridian system, using radioactive isotopes injected into acupoints (Pierre de Vernejoul). A gamma camera showed that the isotope migrated along classical Chinese acupuncture meridian pathways for 30cm in 4 to 6 minutes. Isotopic injections into other ‘random’ parts of the body didn’t show the same results.
The acupuncture meridian system is seen as an interface between the physical body and the energy body. Through this Chinese medicine is more concerned with treating the whole person and their energetic states and less concerned with focus on the obvious problem, how the disease manifests which seems to fixate the practitioners of Western Medicine.
Experiments with MRI machines and acupuncture show something to be going on in the brain during treatment. Doctor Kathy Sykes is presenting us with scientific proof of how acupuncture and therefore other meridian-based interventions might work. In what can only be described as a ‘breakthrough experiment’, she found evidence of an effect of acupuncture on the brain’s limbic system, also known as the mammalian hind brain. Combining on-the-spot acupuncture with an MRI scanner we were able to view the direct effect of acupuncture for ourselves in calming areas of the limbic brain.
As yet though ‘chakras’ and energy medicine are an anomaly to the Western culture of rational positivism. This is a shame because lots of people are having immense fun playing, energising and experimenting with their chakras using techniques of chakra meditation.
There are many factions who don’t quite agree about chakras – whether they should have associated colours or not, whether their sound element should be expressed in vocal mantras or defined by a scientific definition of tone, even to exactly where they are in the body. Chakras seem to have gemstones, aromas, planets, metals, elements, flowers, senses and mantras associated with them, which can all be used to aid visualisations and meditations. Although of course, some people don’t agree with this.
On the whole though, chakras are seen as energy centres, residing in and perhaps ruling over various areas of body and feelings. A Chakra Meditation can therefore take many forms but works around activating energy in the body directly.
To go with this article written especially for Shakti Tantra I have made a free, downloadable, mp3, Chakra meditation using sound, as an example. Some schools of thought insist on specific tones for each chakra but my feelings are that the harmonic relationships are probably more important than some kind of standardised set of rules. The ancient Solfeggio system defines a range of tones, one of which I have associated with each chakra. Please note you will need to know where your Chakras are to practice this meditation. I have ‘phased’ these sounds to make them sound like they are spinning. Please right-click the download link (windows) and save it where you want on your computer or Mp3 player. If you have a player on your computer, the Chakra Meditation Mp3 should open and play automatically when you click it. It is 5.6 meg. and lasts about 6 minutes.