An open third eye

The “Ajna” Chakra, is located around the pineal glade, is happily described as the “third eye.” Ajna is considered by many to be the seat of intuition. There is no denying it is a sensitive area. Ajna is also referenced as a chakra of introspection, the eye that turns inward. Philosophically speaking, when this chakra is clear I can sense the moods of others. I can’t literally clear it, because it actually, physically may not exist. But Ajna certainly exists as an idea. Circular logic suggests I must have a blocked chakra if my psychic ability is puny, why is it puny? Because the chakra is blocked! Blockhead. grrr Use the ajna chakra to pick up on unspoken sentiments, vibes, moods, tension.

Have you ever met someone who can read minds?

Before I get too impressed with the average psychic, consider that my dog could do the same thing. Tango could tell friendly people from unfriendly ones (most of the time.) She certainly honed into my moods. She knew what time it was without a watch. Hence, it doesn’t take brains to resonate with the universe. Resonance requires being open to possibility. There are times when visceral distaste burps snap judgement. A twisted gut causes me to dismiss an idea without further analysis. There are other times when meditation reveals I have been hampered by cultural mores, tradition, past history, habit or other subconscious constraints. How do I know when it is right to follow my “heart” without further question, and when to pause and reflect?

Years of practice produces spontaneous results.

The average dog is pretty well fueled by commercial dog food. People, on the other hand, have so many more choices. If I weigh myself down with processed food, or overindulge on fat, sugar, alcohol or fuel inefficiently for my body type, I inhibit my self. I dull my senses. I default on auto pilot. Introspection goes out the window. Habits of a good life are habits worth creating. Make eating well second nature. Lack of sleep, physical or psychological stress can also stunt my special yogi powers. A daily asana practice helps me stay fit. A daily meditative practice keeps me thoughtful, mindful, innovative.

Meditating to the Ajna chakra is an accepted ancient tradition. I tune attention to this area in asana practice, kriya, during pranayama and in meditation. Many a yoga class includes “breathing” into the third eye, or imagining the gland. Where I place my awareness, my energy will follow. Stimulating the pineal gland can regulate moods. Regular meditation on this area will increase focus. For some this is a truly religious experience, for others a spiritual one. At any rate, focusing inward is a step more subtle than external mediation on mandala, candle flame or scrolls.

Organized religion and lack of religion start a person out in the same space of “no-braining.” Someone else decides what’s yer favorite color. Fads. Trends. Pop music to like. Fashion dictates acceptable clothing. It’s all decided by social or religious norms. The unthinking person isn’t “awake” yet. A religious person who starts to wake up will question authority, doctrine, and tradition. A non-religious person will start to question life, the universe and all that. Either which way leads to a personal journey.

Those who awaken turn in for navigation, and out for stimulation. If you turn out for navigation, and in for stimulation, you’re always on someone else’s course, in someone else’s boat, doing someone else’s dance.

Tune into self is what Patanjali yoga sutras tersely suggest. The threads are short, mysterious aphorisms much overlaid by interpretation. I like to think the still small voice inside my head that some call “God” is me. That I know what is best for me. Except when I don’t. Remember the time I lost my house, my marriage, my health, my friends, my job, etc. etc. etc. If Kumari were tuned into God with a big G, she wouldn’t have made such heinous mistakes. But calling that inner voice “me” lets me off the hook. I’m allowed to make mistakes. I do the best I can with what I have, but then, when more information is available I reserve the right to change my mind, direction, beliefs.

That doesn’t mean tuning in is worthless. “It” doesn’t have to be God to be estimable.

That still small voice generated much activity. I had adventures. I met people and tried things. Part and parcel of risk is reward. I may have lost my job and my dog and yadda yadda yadda but if you read my blog you’ll soon learn I had more experiences than the average person.  What are you here for? ? ? You can either discover your purpose in life, or decide your purpose. . . Thus M Scott Peck’s observation, explained. The externally motived will search to discover purpose. I.e. someone outside of themselves will tell them what to do. The internally motived will decide life’s purpose based on desire, curiosity, interest. Personal Passion.

Discover or decide, it’s all up to you.

A healthy awe of the Universe is fantastically satisfying. If you don’t believe me, drive up to my neighborhood for Labor Day weekend, and take a hike from Mt Abel to Mt Pinos, or spend the night watching stars through a telescope. When the need to know-it-all is displaced with a earnest acceptance of not-knowing, the mind can expand into that new-found space.

Despite the inherent beauty of the periodic table, I still meet teachers who want to dumb it down. They are dismissive of science and natural observation. They insist instead on respecting arcane ritual, trance, the occult. They hate being questioned. They love being venerated. They sprinkle insensitivity like cheese on a pizza, or should I say “cheeze” ? They may not be using super yogi powers to really make friends. Nay, some prefer to influence people. There’s no doubt the sharks smell fear. If I am intimidated by a swami, guru or yogi –  I find strength in trusting my own intuition. Everyone must open their own door.

The ability to shift mood at will speaks to a clear ajna chakra. I suffer from depression as do many people in my genetic line. Philosophically speaking one might say this is a reflection of a clogged chakra. When this area is blocked I am at the mercy of monthly hormonal cycles, getting up on the “wrong” side of the bed, chaos on the full moon etc. I tried adjusting my diet, working out, talk therapy, and big pharma  to “cure” myself of depression. Two marriages were effected by my depression. Two marriages that ended in divorce. ouch. In any work place or family, some people are the mood setters, and some are reactionary. Know what I mean?

Have you ever noticed that when your mood finally does change it is often not related to circumstance?

I have. I have noticed that one kid goes into the stall full of manure and gleefully starts shoveling away. He contends, with all this poop there must be a pony in here somewhere! Another child wails in a FAO Schwartz Toy Store because they don’t have the right outfit for Barbie, or the life-size horse is brown instead of black, she’s crying. It’s called “framing” and with an open Ajna chakra anyone can do it. Even a depressed person. Even me. I learned, that when I was depressed my thinker goes to stinker. I tend to see all black. My logic may be infallible. Studies show depressed people see reality more clearly than their optimistic friends. I swear I don’t make this shit up.

Rather than staring at the stall of manure, I reframe the situation. I reframe it numerous times. Five is a good start.

  1. The manure might have been piled there by the gardener
  2. There could be a pony in here
  3. There could have been a pony in here two years ago
  4. The manure might be imaginary
  5. The manure might have been placed there by the lazy neighbors who don’t want to take it to the dump

The task of reframing is NOT to come up with likely scenarios. The task is to come up with numerous ones. Train the brain to see things from multi-perspectives. An open mind will innovate. A mind in the habit of stretching will be creative, animated, resourceful and ultimately less depressed because I won’t stop thinking at the most painful interpretation. Recognizing different perspectives adds depth and texture to life, but don’t stop there. That is still rather passive. Don’t stall out at manifesting things, money and relationships – that’s just one rung up from the yogis who quit growing at asana. Manifesting happiness isn’t freedom from desire, it is indulgence.

The real Secret to freedom, to true liberation, is not freedom “from” but freedom “to.”

Now y’all play nice.

Sat Nam!