3rd Eye Chakra | Ajna
What is it? Where is it? And how does it work?
Where to begin? And how do I not go off on a tangent when writing about the Third Eye?
It is our command centre, relating to our wisdom, intuition, and insight; it opens up our minds to information beyond the material world, and beyond our 5 senses.
In yogic terms the Third Eye, or Ajna chakra, is considered our ‘pranic control tower’. If Ajna is open, balanced, and optimised, then our minds become more focused and less distracted. We can rest in meditation, and practice non-reactivity from our lower “survival” chakras (Root, Sacral & Solar Plexus).
The traditional Tantra Yoga practice is not about having a fit and flexible body, but instead each class is structured to use the body to direct the breath, the breath to calm the mind, and once this systematic process has been completed, your guided and silent meditation will be free from distraction and EXTREMELY potent.
This can not be done overnight. Using this system you develop 'Mind over Matter': the motivating force behind all concentration and meditation techniques. It’s the ability to train your mind to focus, so it can direct energy and manipulate matter, helping you master your own life.
A yogic technique called ‘prana dharana’ belongs to the later stages of Sun and Fire practice (performed after you have steadied the body and calmed the mind with Moon practice). It works with the Third Eye chakra to shape your mind to become single-pointed, and from that you are not only able to sense energy, but to direct it.
Ajna chakra also exists as the magnetic axis inside of everything, from the smallest cell to the largest galaxy. Everything that exists in the physical world has polarity, and this chakra’s symbol is depicted as a two-petalled rosette, representative of the two main nadis (channels through which energies flow), called Ida and Pingala. Each of the two leaves contains a letter – हं “ham,” representing Shiva, male (cosmic consciousness), and क्षं “ksham,” representing Shakti, female (life force), and together they signal the ultimate union of the two. Therefore not only does the symbol signal these opposites, but also the necessity of transcending all dualities.
Dr. Joe Dispenza often speaks in quantum terms: that your mind creates matter because everything is energy, and when vibrating at different frequencies we are able to attune and direct our minds to create endless possibilities.
After all, we are magnetic beings, and in quantum science the electromagnetic field is this unified field that connects us all. We are all connected energetically so if my attention, emotion, and state is that of disharmony, fear, sadness, anger, resentment, confusion... then I am emitting these into our shared field. If everyone in the world is emitting the same negative emotions, then I don’t hold much hope for humanity.
But the reverse is also true: if I am emitting peace, love, kindness, understanding, justice - not only in meditation, but also living these positive emotions - imagine what our unified field would look like then, and imagine what our planet would look like then.
During our virtual Reiki shares we send Reiki - universal life force - with these heightened emotions, to ourselves, our families, our communities and into the field. It may seem infinitesimal, but if there are 5 million people with Reiki in the world, and they join a group every week or every month collectively, I am certain it will play its part.
The Pineal Gland
The Ajna Chakra, or Third Eye, is linked to the pineal gland, and therefore known as the chakra of time, awareness and light. This light sensitive gland produces the hormone melatonin, which regulates the instincts of going to sleep and awakening; interestingly also producing trace amounts of the psychedelic chemical dimethyltryptamine.
Long before brain imaging, ancient cultures knew this Third Eye existed, and they also realised it received information from sources outside of the five senses, hence the most intuitive figures of the time - psychics and clairvoyants - were known as having an active “third eye”.
In fact, when the brain is cut lengthwise down the middle, the view of the limbic system looks very similar to the hieroglyphic symbol for the Egyptian “Eye of Horus”. Anatomically the iris of the Eye of Horus shape is the pineal gland, and that’s why it is called the “third eye”: our inner vision. The ancient Greeks thought it to be our connection to the “realms of thought”. Buddhists see it as a symbol of “spiritual awakening”. In Hinduism the pineal connects with the third eye chakra, the seat of “intuition and clairvoyance”. Jesus proclaimed that “the eye is the lamp of the body”, so if it's clear, “your whole body will be full of light”.
Just like your two seeing eyes, the third eye possesses a lens, cornea, and retina. It is light-sensitive and helps regulate body temperature and skin coloration - two basic survival functions related to environmental light.
Dr. Joe Dispenza has completed a lot of research in relation to this tiny grain-sized, cone-shaped gland, having noted that your pineal gland can get calcified, particularly as you get older. One of the main causes of this calcification is fluoridated water. Fluoride decreases melatonin, causing accelerated sexual development in females and the onset of puberty at younger ages. To deter calcification in the pineal you can reduce the use of fluoridated toothpaste, non-stick cookware (with PFOA and PFC), stop eating processed foods, or foods sprayed with pesticides, and don’t take any synthetic calcium supplements.
There are many techniques out there to help stimulate and decalcify your pineal gland. I regularly send Reiki to this area, and use a Tantra Yoga Pranayama technique similar to Ujjayi breath - where the breath is placed on the top of your mouth palate to vibrate the midbrain and associated glands - I also frequently use ‘prana dharana’ (as mentioned above), and Dr. Joe Dispenza has a detailed activation technique that I look forward to sharing with you below.
The Bigger Picture
If the pineal gland is governed by consciousness then so is the pineal gland. When you wake in the morning your eyes pick up the signal of light, the optic nerve sends the signal to the pineal gland, which then starts to produce serotonin (the daytime neurotransmitter which regulates mood). Light (the sun) is guiding our consciousness, from sleep to wakefulness.
According to James Tyberonn from Healing Matrix, the energy of the earth is higher than it was in 2012, and will continue to increase. When solar flares reach the Earth they create geomagnetic storms as charged particles interact with the magnetic field. And when solar storms bombard the earth, they have been proven to create psychoactive experiences.
So is the increase in solar energy affecting our consciousness?
If light exposure changes our levels of consciousness, and if Earth’s sun exposure is changing, is it possible that our consciousness is also changing? I like to believe that this is all part of the greater awakening that we are experiencing during this time. For humanity and our planet to survive in harmony, we need a shift in consciousness, away from the egoic mind, power, greed and money. Traditional systems are clearly not working, and people need the power to challenge and revolutionise this with new ways of thinking.
So what can you do?
Increase your knowledge and learn more about your Third Eye and the pineal gland - see below for a list of resources I would personally recommend
Strengthen your intuition using Third Eye awakening pranayama
Make sure you are getting enough sunlight, especially during the morning to awaken your consciousness, and during sunset to ensure a restful night
Avoid fluoride toothpaste
Don’t irritate your pineal gland’s light sensitivity by engaging in too much screen-time first thing when you wake up, or last thing before you sleep?
Activate your pineal gland with meditation and Reiki
As we have learned, Ajna is known as our command center, our center of concentration and focus where we have the opportunity to ‘take command’ of our thoughts, emotions, and ultimately our lives. And as we work on mastering our lives, we can begin to wake up and activate our pineal gland: we start to understand what secrets it holds, and hopefully inspire and evoke a new collective way of being.
Techniques & Further Reading / Watching
Prana Dharana - Developing Sensitivity to Energy
Courtesy of The Practice Bali
Tantra is the science of ‘Energy Management’. The first stage in the process of developing higher perception to energy is called Prana Dharana. It is the process of contacting prana in the midbrain, the area that Yogi’s refer to as the ‘third eye’. As we develop this connection it is said that the third eye opens and the result is that the pranic field generated around it begins to reveal more of what is beyond normal perception.
The process is a relatively simple one. By focusing on the airflow moving in and out of the nostrils, the mind becomes more stable and we begin to become aware of something other than the breath moving with it - a kind of energy, a presence, light or vibration riding the breath, known as Prana Shakti. This is actually the force responsible for ‘pulling’ your breath into you when you inhale and ‘pushing’ the breath out of you when you exhale. Think about it. Who or what is moving your breath? A worthy contemplation. As practice deepens and we become more sensitive to both the breath and the energetic component of the breath as it ascends and descends to and from a point between the eyebrows, awareness within the midbrain will develop also. It will feel like a ‘pool of awareness’ that has a quality of vibration to it. It may also feel like a magnetic pulse, or dull throbbing either within the midbrain itself or further forward towards the point on the skin between the eyebrows. If you don’t feel it yet, you will at some point. In the meantime, simply hold the intention in your mind that this subtle pulse in the midbrain, the result of prana dharana, is currently developing and will become a living experience soon. As with all subtle body practices, intention opens the door and then sensitivity (not visualization) reveals the essence of the object or practice. Regarding the third eye, the exact location of it is less important than developing sensitivity within that area. This is what the Yogi’s refer to as ‘the opening of the third eye’ and considered the key to contacting energy such as required during KRIYA MEDITATION practices. Then, once the mind is imbued with enough pranic energy, whatever gets placed into this field of higher awareness will come fully to life. Whether it’s a Mantra, the breath, a flame or a Yantra, as it moves into proximity of the awakened third eye, the essence of the object, its highest potential will reveal itself. The result is the gradual transfiguration of the mind.
The Pineal Breath
Courtesy of Dr. Joe Dispenza.
No one explains the purpose and execution of the pineal breath better than Dr. Joe Dispenza. In the following section I prefer to quote him almost verbatim. This is a long read but it's important you understand the precise theory to maximise benefit of the practice.
The Purpose of the Breath
The purpose of the breath is to pull the mind out of the body, to take all the energy out of the first three energy centres in the body (chakras 1-root; 2-sacral; and 3-solar plexus), and pull it up to the brain. This is the sexual energy we use for procreation, and the energy we use for survival and food digestion. The first three energy centres are driven by survival. The majority of people live in these first three energy centres, repeating the same thoughts and feelings.
Every thought has a frequency which produces an energetic field. The majority of thoughts from these energy centres revolve around sexual identity, sexual fantasy, pain, guilt, shame, unworthiness, anger, aggression, judgment, frustration, fear, etc. Those thoughts then create neuropeptides which in turn signal certain hormonal centre in the brain which create feelings which create similar thoughts which create neuropeptides and so on and so on. Now you have created a loop that becomes your state of being. Therefore, the thought that became the emotion is then stored as energy in the first three energy centre of the body. Very little energy is stored in the upper four energy centres of the body (chakras 4-heart; 5-throat; 6-third eye; and 7-crown). The repetition of this loop/cycle over time is conditioning the body to become the mind of that emotion. That is how 95% of who we are becomes a set of subconscious emotional reactions, behaviours, habits, and hardwired programs where the body (which is the subconscious mind) runs the show. To break this cycle, we need to pull the mind out of the body and back up into the brain. When you continuously draw your energy from these survival centres, you reduce the life force energy that surrounds your body by turning that energy into chemistry. The result of this is that you become “more matter and less energy, more particle and less wave”, as Dr. Joe so eloquently states. Therefore, if we vibrate at lower frequencies, we become more disconnected and separated from the quantum field that surrounds us. This is “me-me-me survival mode” with very little energy for empathy, compassion, and connectedness. This survival energy also keeps us stuck in the past as we constantly repeat the same thoughts and emotional reactions 95% of the time. The body, as the subconscious mind, effectively keeps us planted in the past with little to no energy left to look at, plan, or see possibilities in the future.
The body is also a magnet with the head in the direction of the north (positive charge) and the base of the spine in the direction of the south (negative charge). All magnets have an electromagnetic field that surrounds them, and so does the body. This is the life force energy that surrounds the body and becomes depleted when you constantly draw energy into your survival centres. This depletes the polarity between the head and tailbone as well as depleting the charge of this force field. The energy consumed by the survival thoughts and emotions gets stored in the energy centres and nothing is returned to the force field. Before we talk about how to release this stuck energy, let’s look at the vehicle we will use to achieve this. The Role of the Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) Inside the spinal column and skull there is a closed circuit of fluid called the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) made up of protein, salts, and solution. When you inhale and exhale you activate a natural mechanism that works like a pump. When you inhale, the sutures of your skull open up and the sacrum (base of the spine) flexes back to drain the CSF down. When you exhale, the sutures of the skull close and the sacrum flexes forward to push the CSF up. This action propagates a wave-like action. It takes one molecule of CSF 12 hours of normal breathing to be pumped in this manner from the sacrum up the spine to the brain through the four cerebral aqueducts or ventricles. Then it takes another 12 hours for that same molecule of CSF to be pumped back down to the sacrum (two cycles in 24 hours with normal breathing). When we do the pineal breathing exercise by intentionally breathing deeper than normal and contracting the muscles in the abdomen, we forcefully push the CSF up the spine to the brain at an exponentially increased rate. This releases the creative energy stuck in the survival energy centres, opening up space in these centres for growth and access to the higher centres. This energy is not released out into the electromagnetic field that surrounds the body, but it is coaxed up into the brain. So, which intrinsic muscles are involved in the breath? The muscles we use for both urination and defecation, intercourse, the muscles of the lower and upper abdomen, and the bum – the muscles of the pelvic floor.
How to Do the Breath Sit up straight and breathe deeply, in and out. When ready, inhale deeply through the nose. Hold the breath and lift the perineum up, front and back, contract the muscles in the pelvic floor, pull the naval in towards the spine, and contract the upper abdominal muscles. Sip in a bit more air, and relax the jaw. You may notice that you tend to clench your jaw when you do these contraction exercises. Juan Pablo (Juanpa) Barahona (Quantum Health on MindValley) says that the jaw is connected to the pelvic floor. Juanpa also suggests to pump the pelvic floor muscles in the beginning by contracting and releasing the muscles over and over again. This will strengthen weakened muscles until the contraction can be held for longer periods of time, and helps you to familiarise yourself with the workings of the different sets of muscles. Visualise the CSF being pushed up from the base of the spine, to the thoracic area, through the neck, through the head and out the top of the head. Try to hold this breath and contraction for as long as you can, taking little sips of air if you have to. Release the breath and make the sound “aaaaaahhhh”, if you so desire. What are the Results? The CSF is made up of charged molecules (proteins and salts in solution). According to physics, when charged molecules are accelerated, an invisible field called an inductance field is created that moves in the direction of the charged molecule. The more charged molecules in the solution, the bigger and more forceful the inductance field. When you are able to accelerate the molecules of the CSF and create the inductance field, all the energy stored in the survival energy centers that was destined to be used for procreating, digesting food, and to survive gets pulled up into the brain and in turn it activates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) that governs fight or flight. The arousal created by the SNS pushes the energy up past the thalamic gate, activating both hemispheres and pushing the brainwaves past beta into gamma brainwaves (32-100 Hz). Now the individual is super-conscious and super-aware. The level of this blissful euphoric state will differ from individual to individual. When the gamma brainwaves are activated, the pineal gland also gets activated, and it upgrades melatonin to create a very powerful antioxidant called benzodiazepine. This is a Valium-like substance that relaxes the survival centres within the brain. In this state, the brain also produces the chemicals found in hibernating animals, resulting in a loss of sex drive, loss of appetite, and a loss of preoccupation with the outer world. The body goes into stasis (stability through change) while the neocortex (the thinking mind) gets sedated. The pineal also sends a signal to the pituitary gland which in turn produces oxytocin. The oxytocin signals nitric oxide and the nitric oxide causes the arteries in the heart to swell and the individual experiences the feelings of love, gratitude, and connectedness.
How to Activate the Pineal Gland Within the pineal is floating water with stacked small crystals of less than 20 microns in length formed by biomineralisation. When the individual does the breath and squeezes the muscles of the pelvic floor and abdomen, intrathecal pressure is created. This pressure pushes up against the pineal gland and compresses the crystals, causing a piezoelectric effect by taking a mechanical stress (tensing the muscles and pushing the CSF up into the brain) and creating an electrical charge. When the crystals become electrically charged, the pineal gland becomes like a radio antenna, enabling it to pick up frequencies faster than the speed of light from the quantum field. The pineal will pick up a frequency and transduce it (turn it into a picture). This is the moment that the individual experiences an inner vision. This is also when the pineal produces DMT (Dimethyltryptamine), the most powerful hallucinogenic substance produced in the brain. This is why the pineal is referred to as the third eye.
Further Reading and Watching
Becoming Supernatural - Dr. Joe Dispenza
Secrets of the Pineal Gland – Gaia
Rewired with Dr. Joe Dispenza | Gaia
YTT Manual - The Practice Bali