Chakra is the Sanskrit word for wheel. In traditional eastern thought, energy moves through the human body’s seven main chakras, situated roughly along the spine. When the chakras are open, they “spin” life energy throughout the body, keeping us in balance. When a chakra is blocked due to stress, trauma, illness, etc., energy gets “stuck,” causing physical or emotional imbalance.
My recent road trip to Aberdeen led to this meditation on chakras. The trip was my annual pilgrimage to be a guest teacher, give a reading, and visit with my friend & fellow poet, Portia. I had to leave from there to meet Ray in Milbank, where his 70’s band Small Howard was going to play a benefit for the Catholic school and let me sit in on a few songs.
I had a wonderful time in Aberdeen—first year I’ve gone when they DIDN’T have a freak blizzard. Then, on the way to meet Ray, I stopped at Blue Cloud Abbey outside Milbank, just to look around. I wandered the grounds and ended up in the sanctuary, a mammoth, cavernous long stone room with an arched wood ceiling and marble floors and columns. I made sure no one was around, then I did something I've always wanted to do: I sang in the sanctuary. I sang an old Sufi dance hymn that echoed in every corner of the massive room. By the time I finished singing and stopped to light candles on the altar of Mary, I was weeping like a little girl.
I don’t think my sobbing had anything to do with religion, sin, guilt, etc.; I’m not Catholic or a follower of any religious tradition. I think it was vibration—the echo in the room and in my bones suddenly, unexpectedly, tripped open my Anahata, the Heart Chakra. Tradition says that opening the Anahata can release emotions connected with past traumas or it can cause a sudden rush of love & compassion. I just know I wasn’t thinking anything that made me cry—I was just suddenly crying.
I ended up back in my car, crying most of the way from Blue Cloud to Milbank. And I know this sounds weird, but I am so grateful. I’ve believed this for a while now—music is the Great Trigger for me, the thing that can briefly crack open, or blow open wide, my Anahata. I feel it when I sing with bands—if the song is right and I can feel it in my ribs, I relax, feel a sort of spontaneous joy. I sometimes feel it at funerals, too, where it’s always the music, not the sorrow, that makes me cry.
So today I’m working on a poem about Saint Cecelia, who sang to God as she died (miraculously, since she lingered on a few days after two unsuccessful and one successful attempt to behead her). And I just know her Anahata opened, too.
Emilie's minion on the moveThis begins another summer of wandering and adventuring! I intend to post once or twice a week, except for the month of July wh...
2 years ago