Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self
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In EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND, chakra authority Anodea Judith brought a fresh approach to the yoga-based Eastern chakra system, adapting it to the Western framework of Jungian psychology, somatic therapy, childhood developmental theory, and metaphysics. This groundbreaking work in transpersonal psychology has been revised and redesigned for a more accessible presentation. Arranged schematically, the book uses the inherent structure of the chakra system as a map upon which to chart our Western understanding of individual development. Each chapter focuses on a single chakra, starting with a description of its characteristics, then exploring its particular childhood developmental patterns, traumas and abuses, and how to heal and maintain balance. Illuminated with personal anecdotes and case studies, EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND seamlessly merges the East and West, science and philosophy, and psychology and spirituality into a compelling interpretation of the chakra system and its relevance for Westerners today.
mixed messages Verbal abuse, constant yelling Excessive criticism (blocks creativity) Secrets (threats for telling) Authoritarian parents (don’t talk back) Alcoholic, chemical-dependent family (don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel) DEFICIENCY Fear of speaking Small, weak voice Difficulty putting feelings into words Introversion, shyness Tone deaf Poor rhythm EXCESS Too much talking, talking as a defense Inability to listen, poor auditory comprehension Gossiping Dominating
listen to it or not. In order to listen to it, we must validate that it has the potential to give us useful information. We must believe that it is there and is viable. We need not rely on it exclusively, as we can and should double-check the information our intuition gives us, but we can honor the hunches that lead us in the right direction. As intuition is a passive, largely unconscious experience, it cannot be forced. Instead we must tune in deeply to our feelings, listen to our guts and to
with other developmental models, as shown in Figure 0.11. CHAKRA ONE Mid-pregnancy to 12 months after birth, peaking at 4 to 5 months If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves. C. G. JUNG The first chakra relates to the formation of the physical body and takes place during prenatal development and infancy. In this stage body growth is most rapid, and is therefore the
coupled with fastidious dieting. Physical abuse has a fragmenting effect on the nervous system and a similar effect on the natural flow of experience. In some cases, the body is physically damaged by cuts, wounds, or broken bones. Does it not follow that the more subtle energy fields become broken and fragmented as well? This makes it hard to mend the shattered sense of stability, trust, safety, and well-being. As physical abuse usually comes from someone within the home, daily life becomes
breathe. When grief is denied, we become numb to our feelings and our aliveness. We become hard and cold, rigid and distant. We may feel dead inside. When grief is acknowledged and expressed, however, we find a vital key to opening the heart. Tears are shed, truth expressed, and the heart lightens. The breath deepens. There is a sense of spaciousness that emerges, allowing more room inside for our spirit. Hope is reborn. Coming to terms with our own grief leads us toward compassion for others.