The Third Eye chakra, also known as the Ajna chakra, is a center of intuition and higher perception. Opening this powerful energy center can lead to a profound expansion of consciousness and a deeper connection with our inner wisdom. Inspired by the teachings of Mantak Chia, a renowned Taoist master, let us explore practical techniques for awakening and nurturing the Third Eye chakra.
Understanding the Third Eye Chakra
The Third Eye chakra is located in the center of the forehead, between the eyebrows. It is associated with intuition, insight, clarity, and spiritual vision. Opening this chakra allows us to access higher realms of consciousness, receive guidance, and tap into our inner wisdom.
Mantak Chia offers a holistic approach to open and activate the Third Eye chakra. He draws upon ancient Taoist subtle body cultivation practices. He emphasizes the importance of balanced energy flow throughout the body, as well as harmonizing the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of our being.
Breathwork and Meditation
Conscious breathing and meditation play a crucial role in awakening the Third Eye chakra. Practice deep, mindful breathing, and focus your attention on the area between your eyebrows. Visualize a gentle, indigo-colored light radiating from the Third Eye, expanding and illuminating your inner vision
Inner Smile Technique
As part of the Inner Smile technique taught by Mantak Chia, one can direct loving and positive energy towards the Third Eye. Smile inwardly to activate the chakra, and visualize a warm, radiant light permeating the area. This practice helps to dissolve tension and cultivate a harmonious energetic environment for the Third Eye to awaken.
Taoist Energy Practices
Mantak Chia’s Taoist practices, such as the Microcosmic Orbit and Fusion of the Five Elements, can help balance and harmonize the flow of energy in the body. These practices involve circulating and refining energy. This allows the energy to reach the Third Eye chakra, promoting its awakening and expansion. Matthew has received private instruction in these practices with one of Mantak’s Chia’s senior instructors. Reach out to learn more.
Mindful Observation and Intuition
Cultivate a heightened sense of observation and trust in your intuition. Engage in mindfulness practices that encourage present-moment awareness. By paying attention to the subtleties of your experiences and trusting your inner guidance, you strengthen the connection with your Third Eye chakra.
Your Future Awaits…
Awakening the Third Eye chakra is a transformative journey that opens up a world of expanded perception and deep inner knowing. Following the guidance of Mantak Chia’s teachings, we can embark on a path of self-discovery. We can tap into the vast wisdom and intuition that resides within us. With patience, practice, and an open heart, we can awaken the Third Eye. Through this we can gain profound insights and experiencing a profound shift in our consciousness. Embrace the journey and allow the Third Eye to become a gateway to the realms of higher awareness and inner illumination.
Re-establishing the Commons is an essential aspect of community health. Ever since the dawn of humanity, we’ve found central locations to convene, share, exchange and transmit with one another. These locations often look like hearths, churches, temples, sacred sites and sometimes even natural landscapes.
Regardless of the physical expression (which we’ll get into in a moment), it’s useful to understand the non-physical aspect of these spaces as a nodal point for connection. These areas are created as source points for the healthy connection that drives the energetic health of an ecosystem. Communities benefit from having shared spaces to convene, to connect, and to charge up. Whether we’re gathering around a table for a shared meal, or circling up around a fire for a clearing conversation and healthy debate; The Commons provide a space for communities to come into harmony.
The Commons could historically be seen as areas devoted to shared experience. We see the Temple as a perfect example of The Commons; a space where bridges are built between realms. The stewardship of these bridges is a task done by the Temple Keepers and holy folk who care for the integrity of The Commons.
Things that are hard to reach feel more holy. We can see this in the way temples are designed, where the progression into holier and holier places feels like a journey into deeper sanctity. Perhaps you can feel this essence when you summit a mountain top; the longer the journey, the higher the altitude, the greater the view and the felt sense of achievement. This sacred space, contained and protected, is an access point to union and communion with The All that Is. The more we create and invite shared experience into these holy places, the stronger our communities become.
So, What Now?
Now that we’ve come to a stage in human history where we have unlimited access, the game has changed. We are awarded with the sacred texts from myriad traditions, holy insights from a multitude of sources, and scripture from hundreds of different traditions. The path we walk from here on out hasn’t been chartered. There’s a need for a new way to walk; where the steps of those who came before us are informing how we dance in a new way. Regardless of how we walk forward into the future we are all breathing into being, it’s essential we do so together. Let’s ensure we cultivate the strength communities need by nourishing the central nodal points for connection. As long as The Commons thrive, we will, too!
We covered a bit about tradition in our last post, yet there’s more to explore here. Do you ever question your traditions? What you do and why you do it? Do you ever wonder what other people in our human family do? Or theorize around what other possible ways of celebrating our holidays could look like? Well, so do we. We’re curious about it all; the traditions, the superstitions, the rituals and the rites. There’s something enchanting about a unified action that’s stood the test of time. In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the traditions that different folks adhere to. Whether they’re cheering champagne glasses or gobbling grapes, knocking bread on the walls or throwing ceramic dishes on the ground. We’re going to explore some of these traditions to feel into the myriad ways our human family celebrates and honors the shifting calendar year.
There are many ways to celebrate the year coming to an end, and the New Year coming. Some traditions, before the get into the celebrations, focus on the cleansing and purification (wink wink, nudge nudge; if you haven’t read our last blog post, get involved!). These traditions include the Puerto Rican tradition, where you’re meant to cleanse and clean your house to start out the New Year. Cleaning everything is believed to start your year off on a pure, unsullied canvas upon you can paint a brand new, brilliant masterpiece.
Another cleansing tradition emerges from the Irish tradition, where folks are encouraged to knock a loaf of bread throughout the walls of their home. This is, as lore has it, done to ward off evil spirits and keep the home protected for the year to come.
The last ‘cleansing’ tradition we’ll cover is coming from Denmark, and doesn’t necessarily cleanse your space as much as it creates some clean up for you to do, in case your home is already sparkling clean! It’s tradition in Denmark to throw old plates, breaking them on the ground in order to welcome in good luck for you and your loved ones.
Now that we’ve covered some of the cleansing traditions, let’s explore the celebrations that incorporate the foods that bring us all together during the holidays. There are so many traditions around the world that encourage people to gather together with trust and love in their hearts. The common denominator here? Food. We have so many ways of celebrating our human family’s cultures, and the ones that involve food seem to always go over well.
First, we have Japan, where it’s customary to enjoy a bowl of soba noodles on New Year’s Day. Then there are folks in Haiti who share bowls of a pumpkin joumou soup while our friends in France slurp flutes of champagne. We’re not sure why yet, but it seems as if folks in Spain eat 12 grapes as a tradition. In Mexico, homemade tamales make the perfect New Years gift for your friends and neighbors. Down in Brazil, folks fancy a beach day on New Years day while up in Canada, you’re likely to find many people out on the ice going ice fishing. In case you’re looking for a tradition to really boost your luck in the upcoming year, be like the Greek and hang an onion on the outside of your door and take notice when it sprouts!
So there you have a few traditions from around the world, spanning from cleansing and cleaning traditions and superstitions, to different food traditions. Of course we didn’t cover everyone’s traditions, so if you have one to add to the mix, please include them in the comments below! Enjoy the New Year, however you observe it’s dawning, and blessings to you and all your loved ones, friends.
It has been said, in many traditions, that the way you begin each new year will set the tone for the year ahead. Every country honors this calendrical change differently. Some folks celebrate with soul food and champagne, while others may focus on avoiding bad luck or tending their livestock.
In the US, we find ourselves living in a culture that focuses more on the celebration than the cleansing, don’t we? It’s important to know that each has their important role within the New Year experience. Of course, ringing in the New Year* with celebratory optimism and good cheer is a big win. Equally victorious, however, is the under-emphasized cleansing and clearing of our spaces.
There are some cultures that hold superstitions that cleaning on New Year’s Day will bring misfortune in the year ahead. Whether or not you’re superstitious, why not clean now, in December? It will surely feel better to celebrate with clean energy.
In this blog post, we’re going to cover some basics when it comes to ritualistic cleansing and purification for the end of the year. Our hope is that you read this and feel empowered to purify your space (and your Self, in the process), in order to enter into 2023 with optimal good fortune.
As Outside, so Inside…
When it comes to the clearing and cleansing, there’s a dance of reciprocity to acknowledge. We first decide, internally, that we’d like to cleanse ourselves and start the year with energy anew. Next, we go through a process of cleansing our outer world.
This could look like removing any clutter from our home and office and sweeping the floors (always moving towards, & eventually out your door, energetically). After clearing the space of physical objects that aren’t necessary or are holding denser energies that aren’t aiding in your development and evolution, we can then move into the subtle realms.
Smudging your home and office is an essential aspect of purification. White sage is a wonderful plant ally for this work; burning the sage and focusing your intention on clearing your space of any negative energy, you can move around your space, allowing the smoke to purify every corner, nook and cranny.
Burning and Bathing
Now that the physical space has been cleared, the non-physical can be cleansed as well. Clearing the skies of our hearts and minds is an integral component of our spiritual evolution.
Perhaps you experienced some hardship this last year. Perhaps there’s some lingering feelings that are weighing you down. This is the perfect time for a cleansing in all realms! So write it down; any phrases that include words like ‘ought’, ‘should’, ‘have to’ or ‘must’…draft them and prepare your fire. Wherever you can create a safe place to have a fire, create it with intention. Offer any burnable items that you found in your cleansing process, and allow for the transmutation to take shape.
After holding space for a transformational fire, one can then move into relationship with water. If you have access to a natural body of water, like a lake, river or the ocean, that is wonderful. If not, a shower or bath can work wonders, as well. The key aspect here is setting the intention to be cleansed, asking for support for this cleansing for the Highest Good, and entering with a willfulness to be changed.
There you have it, a simple guide to working with the elements to cleanse in preparation for the New Year. May this serve you, and those around you!
*Where does this phrase even come from, you may ask? In 1850, Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote “Ring Out, Wild Bells”; a poem that emphasized the importance of honoring beginning and endings with the sounding of bells. Share with your friends and loved ones this holiday season; who doesn’t love a poetry reading!?
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
In an effort to distill the wisdoms found within old Hermetic axioms, we’re publishing a series of blog posts that dive into the theme of Hermetic Principles. We’ve shared about the Principle of Gender, and now we’ll cover the Principle of Polarity.
“Everything is Dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.” ~The Kybalion.
Within this text, we find a designation of things as similar, if not identical, in their essence. Yet they differ in their expression, or rather, they are ‘different in degree’. What this is pointing to, is the similarity amongst what may feel like opposites.
There’s a kindred ‘sameness’ amongst two things that feel like they’re fundamentally different. Alas, they’re born of the same cloth, if you will. An example that is offered to explain this concept, is the notion of hot and cold. While, on one hand, someone may think these two are opposite, in reality, they are both temperatures. In their most fundamental definition, they are different degrees of the same thing; temperature.
The Middle Way
The principle of Polarity calls into view the notion of the middle way. There’s a path of reconciliation, of harmony, of balance and equilibrium. This is the path we are called to walk. What we can learn from this Principle is that there’s a gradual nature of how things slide along their spectrum of expression.
When we speak of temperature, for instance, we have varying degrees on the spectrum of cold to hot. Of course, there are incremental and gradual differentiations along the path from hot to cold. These gradual changes, especially closer to the center of this spectrum, are key to understanding the notion of equilibrium and balance. If we are able to understand, through the placement of both extremes on either end of the Polarity, we can then choose the centered route of neutrality and balance. Oftentimes, as you may come to realize, the path of the middle way is found through employing the Principle of Polarity to bring imbalance back into balance.