We’ve covered a lot of chakra rights so far. In order from the first chakra up, they are the right: to have, to feel, to act, to love, to express.
Today’s post covers your sixth chakra right – TO PERCEIVE.
Anodea Judith (whom I deeply respect) says the right of this chakra is “to see” and on a certain level, she’s right, since clear perception is truly “seeing.” But I like to say the 6th chakra right is “to perceive” rather than “to see” just to avoid confusion, since the actual sense of sight is connected to the solar plexus chakra. That fact surprises many, because most people just assume that sight is related to one of the higher chakras (6th or 7th), because of their location near the eyes.
It’s a fair assumption. But when you’re in your highest chakras – your 6th or 7th – you’re actually “seeing” with much more than your eyes. You’re using your intuition and wisdom to interpret what you see in such a way that your perception becomes clearer and more balanced. You’re “seeing” with your entire consciousness.
The physical sense of sight is penetrating and more ego-based – that’s why it’s associated with the 3rd (core) chakra. If you want to feel it for yourself, try to relax with your eyes actively open, looking at things. Unless, you purposely close down your lids part way and blur your focus, physically looking at things is not relaxing. This is why we close our eyes when we want to relax – because our sense of sight is connected to our fiery solar plexus chakra and our ego sense of self.
In any case, the right of the 6th chakra is TO PERCEIVE. The archetype of the third eye is the wise crone – the elderly woman who can “see” right through you. Her perception is so vast and clear, it’s as if she’s standing on a mountain top.
Of course, I’m keeping things simple in just saying “to perceive,” because I really mean, to perceive clearly – and the clearly part is very important. In the world of yoga and the chakras, there is an oft-used word — “avidya.” It basically means your inability to see correctly (a= not, vid= see, as in “video”). All of us have avidya at one time or another (our blind spots).
But if we can live out of our 6th chakra more and perceive our world from a spiritual vantage point that gives us a greater view, we experience far less avidya and a lot more clarity. In the Hindu tradition, the first branch of avidya is ego, meaning the ego is the first thing to get in the way of us seeing correctly. This is what I suggest for that:
If you’re feeling confused about something in your life, and you want to “see” the situation more clearly, imagine this: feel your ego-self residing in your solar plexus chakra. Visualize stepping onto an elevator at the level of your core, and then ride that elevator all the way up to your 6th chakra, and get off. Then “look” at the situation again from this higher, non-egoistic, viewpoint. You’ll be amazed at the shift.
Another 6th chakra exercise is to simply follow your intuition more by listening to what that little voice or that little nudge inside “tells” you. If you don’t know how to listen to your intuition, there are lots of books that give you good techniques.
When I was younger, I always thought that psychic ability was called the “sixth sense” because it was beyond the five regular senses. But now, when I hear “sixth sense,” I think of it as the sense of the sixth chakra – which it is.
Still, you can’t rely totally on hunches when perceiving, because they typically come with all sorts of judgments.
Coach and teacher, Jose Vilson presents a self-questioning technique he uses to check his own biases in his recent piece in the Huffington Post:
The one question I always ask myself when students walk in is, “What do I see?” Then, “What do I think I see?” I’m laying down some of my general assumptions for me to probe, then trying to understand why I feel that way. Sometimes, these assumptions come from observations I’ve made about the world, but often, they come from hearsay and stereotypes I’ve also inherited. Red herrings like black hoodies, big earphones, and unbelted low-hung pants might tell me that the person in front of me has no respect for any classroom courtesies, but he could just as easily be making a countercultural fashion statement. He might spend more time on the block or in his house helping his mother. He might actually care about what I have to say or he doesn’t on that particular day for any number of reasons.
So… how clearly are you perceiving? How much is your perception affected by your cultural norms? Fears? Desires? The answer is typically, quite a lot. But if you start perceiving from the wisdom and equanimity of your third eye – and question the stereotypes you’re using – you just might start perceiving things a lot more clearly.