The Crown Chakra
Just as the Root or “First Chakra” connects us to Mother Earth, the Crown chakra connects us to the universe, and gives and receives the energy of consciousness. In other words, it is thought of as the meeting point between the finite and infinite, where our spiritual essence permeates the material world to the deepest level.
To quote a line from my yoga teaching manual:
The light of the soul is always there, shining just behind the clouds of forgetfulness.
When I went to research where this came from, I came upon an amazing ode by William Wordsworth named “Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” (I’ve listed the full poem at the end of this blog). He talks of our deep connection to the natural world during childhood, and that as time passes, “the things I have seen I can see no more”. He describes the wonders of nature - animals, rainbows, the moon - expressing that “Heaven, lies about us in our infancy”, but as time passes we move from this state of connection, describing adult life as an “earthly freight”. Wordsworth alludes to life on earth as a mere shadow of an earlier, simpler, and more connected existence.
As a child our consciousness is not restricted by belief systems, we are far more open to the connections and possibilities that exist beyond our minds, egos, and the material world. Adults who venture into a spiritual journey are trying to find their way back to that childhood innocence and beyond, to our original source from where we all came, accessed through our Crown.
During times of deep meditation when the mind is perfectly still and calm, we might get a glimpse of the light of the soul: the part of us that moves from one body to the next, life after life. It is the awareness before the form of thought, and said to be always at rest, watching the whole dance of life, completely unmoved.
Known as Sahasrara in Sanskrit, which means “thousand”, the crown chakra is often referred to as a thousand-petal lotus. It is the source of Nāda - the inaudible sound currents responsible for manifesting all creation through vibration. That is why the Yoga associated with Sahasrara is Mantra Yoga. Each expression of life finds its source point in AUM (see below more info on AUM). As such, the seventh chakra acts like one end of a bridge or a “star-gate” through which our spiritual essence (pure light) passes and becomes refracted into the colours of the rainbow (Chakras), much like sunlight does when directed through a crystal.
The Third Eye, Ajna chakra is the other side of the bridge, the dualistic or material side. From there, the light portions out into the frequencies of the lower chakras creating our unique human design.
Based on this, my yoga teaching states the point of Yoga is to send our energy and consciousness back in the other direction, up the spine and back home to our source in “cosmic consciousness” from where we came. This is why it is so important to keep your state of being in check, because how you are at an energetic level affects the electromagnetic field. The more positive emotions and frequencies you emit - such as love, kindness, understanding, justice, peace - the more you can impact the unified field...consciousness itself.
We begin with the sound of CREATION: AUM mantra. The first sound ever heard. AUM is considered the original Mantra.
Working with the Crown Chakra
Many energy healers who work with chakras believe the Crown chakra does not block easily, and is constantly “open” as our connection to universal spirit is our own life force. However I know the balance of this chakra can still fluctuate, especially considering how feelings of alienation are more present than ever throughout society, particularly with the high usage of technology.
There are times in life, such as adolescence, where isolation is actually important as it is a form of protection when going through a metamorphosis, but obviously needs to be kept an eye on. I am constantly requesting the pleasure of my eldest daughter's company, gently encouraging her from her tween cave to eat meals with the family and have some social engagement. But if you are experiencing a feeling of not belonging to this world - separateness, seclusion, and disconnection - then it is a sign of a blocked Crown chakra.
Note: I never like to use the term “closed”. For me the chakra can be underactive (blockage of some kind) or overactive (exceptionally or excessively active), either way the intention is to bring the energy centre back into balance, optimised and harmonious, as nature intended.
On a physical level, indicators of an unbalanced crown chakra are clumsiness, frequent headaches, chronic exhaustion, or being over-sensitive to light and sound. On an emotional level it can show up as cynicism (especially spiritually); being rigid in your beliefs; excessive worry; becoming easily overwhelmed; feeling like you have a lack of purpose or doubting yourself; and serious blockages can lead to depression.
When the Sahasrara is balanced we experience open-mindedness and the ability to learn from our experiences. We feel open to cosmic and spiritual connections and our disposition is generally joyful, inspired, centred and whole. A person who lives their life from a place of compassion, is living through their connectedness. They move beyond ego, thought, feeling, and body, and they have the ability to carry these feelings beyond their meditation, yoga practice or Reiki self-healing. They understand that how they live their manifested life has an implication to the greater whole.
The "way of the crown chakra" is the way of transcending the ego and knowing that all of creation is interconnected at a fundamental level.
Living with peace, joy, serenity, oneness, compassion, faith, trust, and wholeness with all things is the only true way of being.
Head to my Third Eye blog for a Pineal gland meditation practice that is bound to get you to a deep state of meditation, feeling connected to your centre of intuition.
So what’s AUM got to do with it?
The Sanskrit symbol in the centre of the Crown chakra symbol is for ‘OM’, meaning the Absolute, all that is and all that ever will be ~ the seed of creation.
The sound itself is in the key of B, and the frequency of 480 Hz., with the vowel sound is “Eee”. But as the symbol depicts “OM” at its very centre, chanting this sound is a powerful mantra as well! It has three distinct sound vibrations (A-U-M) when chanted.
The ancient yogis claimed that the AUM vibration was heard in deep states of meditation and Samadhi (the state of intense concentration achieved during meditation), and that it is the collective sound of creation, containing all sounds of the universe.
AUM is considered the original Mantra - the sacred sound source of all that is - and to hear it brings illumination to the body, mind and spirit.
AUM contains all Mantras of the petal sounds of the Chakras and is sometimes referred to as OMKARA in Sanskrit or PRANAVA.
AUM has no beginning and no end. It is an eternal pulse, an undulating wave of frequency lifting and falling like the waves of the ocean.
AUM is recognised as AMUN in the Egyptian civilisation, AMIN in the Islamic religion and AMEN in Christianity.
Chanting AUM is one possible doorway to “hearing” AUM, if we chant it correctly.
Chanting AUM has the power to lift our consciousness up to the subtle, spiritual dimensions beyond this one, because according to the sages, that is where the sound originates.
There are many ways of chanting the AUM and the three vibrational syllables have many other meanings, one of which is the representation of the three stages of life: birth, life and death.
One of the most powerful version of AUM as an external chant is to articulate the three syllables (A, U and M) separately, then accompany the mantra with an inner visualisation of the vibrations of each syllable moving up the spine as follows.
The A, which represents our lower states of consciousness, moves upward from the tailbone towards the back of the navel.
The U, representing our everyday conscious mind, initiates a movement of energy from the lower navel up the spine towards the chest.
The M, representing our higher centres and states of consciousness, brings the wave up from the chest and heart area through the skull and into the space beyond.
The silence at the end of the mantra represents the state of ‘Turya’ - a spiritually awakened state of complete merging between our individual self with pure consciousness and boundless love. (It is the state that Krishna speaks of in the Bhagavad Gita as existing beyond the binding of the three Gunas.)
Another version and meaning:
The sound of “awe”, which represents the beginning of the universe
The “ooo” sound represents the energy of the universe;
The “mmm” sound represents transformation.
It is then followed by a syllable of silence.
Crown Chakra Meditations
There are loads of crown chakra meditations online. You can search and find one that resonates with you; try Insight Timer or YouTube. In an ideal world it would be great if you can commit to a daily practice for 40 days but if that feels unachievable then why not try 21 days and if that feels too long then take it back to Usui's Reiki principals - "JUST FOR TODAY". Put a note in your diary.... just for today I will spend 15 mins meditating on my crown chakra. Let me know how you get on!
Crystals & Oil
You can work with crystals that amplify the higher energies of the Crown Chakra such as diamond, quartz, amethyst, white calcite, selenite or other white or purple stones. You can hold them while meditating, wear them as jewellery, or place them on your meditation altar, or around you in your physical space.
The esssential oils can help cleanse and invigorate the Crown chakra include cedarwood, Frankincense, sage, myrrh, juniper and Lavender.
The crown chakra (along with the third eye) relates to our inner wisdom, but also to the wisdom that we are all connected, and connected to higher consciousness. Reiki and yoga has given me a deep understanding of this, and evidence of this connection. If you had told me 10 years ago this information I would probably have dismissed it, but the more I learn, meditate, and see the results of distance Reiki healing and attunements, I gain a deeper and deeper understanding that this is no fallacy.
Now we are lucky to have access to the knowledge, tools and techniques to connect with our higher consciousness, if only we commit to the daily practice, and moments of remembrance throughout the day, we can start to live our lives through serving others. All acts of gratitude and kindness, big or small, can make a difference to the field of unity and our connected consciousness!
Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
William Wordsworth - 1770-1850
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong.
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep,—
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong:
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng.
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday;—
Thou child of joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy
Ye blesséd Creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
O evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning
This sweet May-morning;
And the children are culling
On every side
In a thousand valleys far and wide
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm:—
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
—But there's a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look'd upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a mother's mind,
And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can
To make her foster-child, her inmate, Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years' darling of a pigmy size!
See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learned art;
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral;
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his 'humorous stage'
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That life brings with her in her equipage;
As if his whole vocation
Were endless imitation.
Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy soul's immensity;
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal Mind,—
Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!
On whom those truths rest
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the day, a master o'er a slave,
A Presence which is not to be put by;
To whom the grave
Is but a lonely bed, without the sense of sight
Of day or the warm light,
A place of thoughts where we in waiting lie;
Thou little child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!
0 joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That Nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest,
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—
—Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings,
Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,
High instincts, before which our mortal nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us—cherish—and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor man nor boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence, in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither;
Can in a moment travel thither—
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
Then, sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound!
We, in thought, will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
And 0, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish'd one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway;
I love the brooks which down their channels fret
Even more than when I tripp'd lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born day
Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.