March 18, 2014

Just One Way to Open the Heart Chakra & Find Our Voices. ~ Greg Turiya Liotta


Everybody’s got a bead on that Crown Chakra.

Kundalini classes fill up with good folks intent on moving that energy from the lower chakras (“lower” = “less than” = “bad”) to pierce the Heart Chakra. Of course, that’s the main meal. The Crown Chakra, that’s dessert. Final Destination.

As if there is a “final.”

Ok, maybe that’s just me. A lifetime of rejecting every other chakra but two: the heart and the crown. Every other chakra an obstacle to that damn peace and unity I was craving. The idea that if I could just get beyond my cravings, beyond my physiology, beyond my illusions, beyond me, I’d merge into blissful unity with all that is.

And so every spiritual path and every spiritual practice had the weight of an expectation, a goal attached to it.

Everybody loves lotus flowers, the way they float so effortlessly above the surface of a pond. Imagine what would happen if you attached a weight to that lotus. Yeah. You get the point.

That’s the problem with aiming for the heart chakra, or the crown chakra, or…anything. Life becomes about effort.

Aiming + Efforting = Miss.

The game becomes about what’s out there, rather than what’s right here.

There’s a game at the carnival where you pay to take a giant sledge hammer and try to pound the ball up to the top. If it hits the top, a bell rings. If the bell rings, you win.

I always wanted to win.

And since we’re telling the truth here, I’ll admit that often it wasn’t even about winning for me. Like the guy trying to win that Teddy Bear for his date, I wanted to win for somebody else. My father. My family. My girlfriend. The girl I wanted to have for a girlfriend.

So, for many years, I was like that guy slamming that hammer down, trying to get that ball to go up, getting tired, getting mad, running out of money.

Eventually, I’d lay down the hammer and go off looking for another game. Shamanism, Kabbalah, meditation, yoga, pranayama, mantra…

I once asked my teacher, “If you could prescribe the one most powerful practice specifically for me, which would you prescribe?” Without hesitation, he told me: The Heart Breath Meditation.

And so I commenced with breathing in and out of my heart. I rubbed my heart till it caught fire. I added a mantra for special effect because, you know, I’m all about getting that handicap.

“Burning. Give me more burning,” said Rumi.

“Bring it,” I said.

And for the next 10 years I ignored my other chakras like unwanted step-children as I chased my dream.

Occasionally, I’d spend money to have someone stand over me with a pendulum and “open” my chakras. Then I’d go right back to twisting them up again.

But then something happened. I don’t know why it happened or what I did to make it happen.

Maybe it was the accumulation of practices or maybe it was the practice of teaching what I desperately wanted to know.

Or maybe it had nothing at all to do with me, but one day something became clear to me, that my life is simply a vehicle for the creator to express herself through this that I am.

Nothing more, nothing less.

That this body of mine is a flute the breath of the divine flows through, and the way I live my life is the sound it makes. That every chakra is a hole in this flute, and nothing gets “clogged” unless I ignore it or turn against it. That the “song” this flute sings depends on me keeping it clear, absent of goals, expectations, resentments and a whole lot of ideas about me, myself and I.

It dawned on me one day that there’s really only one purpose for being in this body, and it’s to allow the Great She to express herself through me. And the very best way to do that is to acknowledge what makes my heart sing. To stop denying what it is that I want to say in this world. To realize that it’s not supposed to sound like anybody else’s song, because the creative principle of this universe, well, she loves diversity.

She can’t help it, she’s a little bit of a Hippie like that. So whatever I’m doing, if I’m authentic, it’s got to look and sound different.

There’s no box that can contain the power and beauty of a free heart.

A lifetime of living for other people, spinning my wheels on that treadmill of external approval, is a recipe for despair. The depression I’d experienced so often in my life (which I gleefully glorified for all the great poetry and existential masturbating it churned out) were symptoms of this mis-fire. As a shaman once told me, “Your depression is a sign that your heart is giving up hope that your head is gonna get this.”

Indeed. It took me 10 years to understand what that crazy old fool was saying.

When the day came that I knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, what my particular song was, something interesting happened. My heart erupted into something that felt like exuberance. All the heart rubbing and mantra and Sufi Zikurs had nothing on this.

They were shadows compared to the freedom that erupted from a heart that suddenly became free. And then it was like dominoes. Suddenly, my throat chakra opened, and I found my voice. I opened up my mouth and began expressing what was in me. And what is in me is a collective collaboration between ALL the chakras. There really are no “lower” or “higher” chakras.

We need to come up with a better name to describe what’s going on there. Because when I began to trust, and stepped into my power, and opened my heart, I found my voice, and I began to sing.

Perhaps for the first time, I didn’t do it for anyone else. I didn’t care what anyone else thought, if they liked it or not. I didn’t care if I made any money from it. I don’t care if it opens my crown chakra. I don’t even care if what I have to say is, um, wrong.

It’s well beyond “right” vs. “wrong.”

I express this because I have to.

And suddenly I hear the bell clang, and I think I won that Teddy Bear.


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Editorial Assistant: Kimby Maxson / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Flickr

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