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ISBN-10: 1601632908
ISBN-13: 978-1601632906
Career Press, publisher, 288 pages



ISBN: 1-56414-656-1
Career Press, publisher, 284 pages


THE POWER OF CHAKRAS
(New Edition of the amazing
COVR
Award-winning book:
EXPLORING CHAKRAS

 

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Article: Your Subtle Energy Field

 

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The Power of Chakras

Dr. Susan Shumsky, author of this revolutionary, unique look at the chakra system, has delved deeply into ancient literature to uncover the hidden mysteries of the ages. Until now, much of this wisdom has been locked in secret hiding places in the forests and caves of India and Tibet. Therefore The Power of Chakras uncovers new understandings about the subtle energy field that, until now, have not been revealed.

Kundalini shakti is a mysterious, dormant, potent, force within the body that, when awakened, can bring spiritual enlightenment. Exploring Chakras provides easy, step-by-step methods to help you begin to gently awaken your kundalini energy in a safe, reliable, and systematic way. These meditation, yoga postures, and yoga breathing methods are traditional, reliable, field-proven practices. By learning from sources that have stood the test of time, you can be assured of deeper comprehension and better experiences.

The tools, tips, and techniques in this book help you open to subtle energies, understand your subtle nervous system, and verify your inner experiences. With a complete roadmap to chart your course, you can begin to navigate through the inner realms and master these energies. You can attain genuine spiritual experiences and achieve your spiritual aspirations. The Power of Chakras will show you how.

By reading this valuable book, you now:

  • Discover your subtle bodies and energy field.
  • Learn how prana functions in your body, mind, and spirit.
  • Understand kundalini energy and the chakra system.
  • Learn details about the energies and purpose of each chakra.
  • Use easy meditation techniques to awaken kundalini.
  • Learn to heal blockages in your subtle body.
  • Learn to maintain health of your energy field.
  • Practice gentle yoga methods and breathing exercises specifically designed to safely awaken kundalini energy.
  • Empower yourself as a multidimensional being.
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Praise for THE POWER OF CHAKRAS
from Best Selling Authors

"Dr. Susan Shumsky is one of the most genuine, sincere spiritual teachers that I am privileged to personally know. She is a rare treasure who truly walks her talk, and he profound connection with inner divinity is obvious."
--Dannion Brinkley, author of Saved By the Light

"The concept of chakras, of vital energy centers, is an ancient and
revered idea throughout much of the world. For anyone wishing to
examine ways of integrating knowledge of this area into their life
and health, Exploring Chakras is a valuable guide."
--Larry Dossey, MD, author: Healing Beyond the Body, Reinventing Medicine, and Healing Words

"Exploring Chakras is a magnificent companion book to Dr. Shumsky's Exploring Meditation. It links the practice of meditation to the highest attainment of self-realization by connecting it with the body's energy vortices--the chakras. Her scholarly and deeply researched book is, at the same time, easy to read and retain. The information within it is a much-needed guide to help seekers discover their own intelligence within."
--Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga, co-author, Yoga as a Form of Meditation and author, Kripalu Yoga, Meditation in Motion, Books I and II.

"Exploring Chakras is a practical, well-researched and thorough explication of the spiritual energy centers that are basis of all lasting inner transformation. The book provides an important alternative to popular presentations that are often superficial or inaccurate, offering the reader a knowledge that reflects the deepest, oldest and most wholesome methods of the Yoga tradition. For those interested in how to really work with the chakras, Exploring Chakras provides a wealth of information and inspiration."
--Dr. David Frawley, author Yoga and Ayurveda and Tantric Yoga. Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies.

"The ancient Indian yogic discipline recognises that man is but an inseparable constituent of, and identical with, the larger and higher Self which is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient. Only the realisation of this identity is lacking in the ordinary human being. The yogis discovered that a limitless energy lay dormant in every human being, ready to be awakened. This dormant energy they labelled as Kundalini and likened it to a serpent lying coiled at the base of the spine, with its head turned downwards. The whole yogic discipline consists of the awakening of this Kundalini through regular practice of yoga, and directing it upwards. In due course, the Kundalini moves up the spinal cord wherein potent yet subtle energy centres, called the Chakras, lie in an inactive state. Each Chakra or energy centre has specific characteristics and its activation confers specific powers on the yogi. As the successive Chakras get activated, they confer on the practitioner of yoga immense mental and spiritual energy so that eventually nothing remains impossible for him to achieve. Exploring Chakras is a brilliant and comprehensive exposition of this system of Chakras by the author who has spent decades in her spiritual pursuits, learning the various concepts and techniques of yoga from direct contact with Indian masters of this discipline. Her depth of understanding of the intricate aspects of yoga springs from her prolonged and personal experience. The book is highly illustrated and makes an easy and absorbing reading."
--Dr. K.S. Charak, M.D., Vedic Astrologer and author of Esssentials of Medical Astrology and Elements of Vedic Astrology, and editor of the magazine Vedic Astrology.

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Praise for THE POWER OF CHAKRAS
from Grateful Readers

Perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a wonderful book. It explains everything in detail so you understand. It's great for begginers who want to know the truth. Includes some exercises. Just great. You won't waste your money if you buy this.--Stephanie, Puerto Rico

"Digging Deeply into Ancient Wisdom. This is most profound and complete chakras book I have ever seen. I have looked everywhere for this information. Thank you, Susan Shumsky, for digging so deeply to put together this book, comprising the ancient wisdom of India, traditional yogic practices, along with your amazing revelations and healing affirmations."
--Samuel Robinson, New York, NY

"Best Book on Chakras Ever Written. I have never read a better, more comprehensive book about the chakras and kundalini. In fact, I have probably not read a better book about Indian philosophy. I have read Susan Shumsky's other books, which are also fantastic, but she has really done her research on this one. She shows not only how the chakras relate to the physical body, nervous system, etc., but also how they correspond to the cosmic body--even to the creation of the universe, Star of David, OM, Sanskrit alphabet, Hindu deities, etc., etc. Amazing how she ties everything together. All the things I thought I knew about the chakras were so much less than what this book reveals. It may be easy to read, and the exercises are simple to do, but its deep philosophy definitely gets my vote for extreme profundity. If Exploring Chakras doesn't totally blow your mind, I would be surprised."--Arnold Champion, Santa Barbara.

"The Ultimate Chakras Book. I have read every book about chakras that I could find. However, I have never seen one like this! The author has gone where no one has dared to go before--into the microcosm within the macrocosm. This is a breathtaking exposition of the universe that is your own body. Having read this book, I feel I have just taken the ride of my life into uncharted regions of time and space with the beloved Kundalini Shakti as my chaffeur. Wow!"
--Allison Winters, Chicago, Illinois.

"An Awesome book!! A must-buy! My sister got me this book about 1 year-ago cause I had been interested in a wider ranged look at spirituality. However, what I found in this book was much more. This book offers an excellent source of information in an relatively easy & fun way to learn. It has also inspired me to search and question much more in life. I love this book!!"
--Kat11

"Part of a body of work. I bought this after reading 2 of her other titles 'Divine Revelation', followed by 'Miracle Prayer'. I found her so interesting that I bought another 4. She's the author of 7 books at this point. Having said all this, I have only skimmed this one. I found it quite as interesting as the rest, at least what I have read so far and fully expect to learn a good deal. It's because of the excellence of her other work that I have scored this high. Susan brought 'New Thought Christianity' to my attention, something unknown to me. It's a school of thought and spiritual practice. Apparently its first advocate was Swedenborg and there followed several hundred years worth of others that included Emerson. She is thorough and reads with clarity, something of an accomplishment given the rather hard-to-define fields she writes about: e.g in 'Ascension', the transmutation of the physical body to light through a progressive divinisation. Her school of thinking is sympathetic in my view, with 'A Course In Miracles', though whether she would agree I don't know. She's serious, draws well on wide life experience and has something to offer. Her body of work is something of a resource and I think for some people could be a contribution to their exploration. And it's not just cerebral, she's nothing if not about direct personal experience and cognition. There are people who will disagree with these views, but that's life isn't it." --Starlight Sky, United Kingdom

"A treasure trove of information about the human energy system. Very complete information about the chakras. Exploring chakras is a very detailed and complete description of the chakras and the human energy system as well as yogic practices. The most complete explanation that I've seen of the chakras including very detailed explanations of their qualities, and characteristics and how to lift and open the chakras. You can see in this book that Shumsky studied with an eastern master for 20 years. It is detailed to read and for me it is an awesome reference book." --Maggie Hux, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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Reviews of THE POWER OF CHAKRAS

"Quintessential Reference on Chakras: EXPLORING CHAKRAS firmly establishes itself as the penultimate source on the subject of chakras, by providing an abundance of quality information in a very organized and easy-to-read format. Author Susan Shumsky studied for years with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in his ashrams, and her more than 21 years of working with chakras comes shining throughShumsky brings yogic wisdom together with western practicality in such a way that every chapter overflows with delectable Sanskrit words, beautiful illustrations, and tables. I found the description of secret yogic practices to be especially fascinating. I highly recommend EXPLORING CHAKRAS to any serious student of chakras; it's the quintessential reference on the subject!"--Cynthia Sue Larson, reviewer, and author of Aura Advantage: How the Colors in Your Aura Can Help You Attain What You Desire and Attract Success

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"This is one of the best explanations of the chakras and how to access them and benefit from that access that I have ever read."--Michael Gleason, New Age Book Reviewer.

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"The explanation of the chakras Ms. Shumsky gives on page 15 is far more detailed than any I have encountered before. The charts and illustrations contain in this book offer a unique perspective on chakras.

The first chapter answers basic questions about the foundation of belief in, and knowledge of, chakras is simple, easy to understand ways. It contains less than dozen questions, yet succeeds in setting the groundwork for what is to follow.

Ms. Shumsky does not claim to be able to convey all the necessary knowledge in this one, relatively short, book. And she does recommend finding a teacher to help you work through the rather intense experiences you might expect to encounter if you decide to pursue further studies in this area. Her book is intended as an introduction (albeit an intense introduction).

This is not a book ONLY about Eastern thought. There are references to quantum theory and other aspects of Western science as well. These references are kept as simple as is practical, but a fair understanding of current scientific terms would be a definite advantage.
Throughout the book Ms. Shumsky takes the time to explain the foreign (mostly Sanskrit) words which are unavoidably part of the explanations f this topic. She explains the roots of the word and relates it to concepts anyone can understand. It won't make you proficient in Sanskrit but, by the time you finish reading the book you won't be staring blankly when you see or hear these words.

The book is abundantly illustrated with black and white drawings and images of Eastern deities. Once again, it serves to make these ideas and deities easier to relate to.

Unlike many authors, she continues to give short reminders of the meanings of the foreign words throughout the book. She is also adamant about pursuing the yoga she teaches with a qualified teacher AND medical approval, both of which are very good pieces of advice often overlooked in other books aimed at the general reader.

This is one of the best explanations of the chakras and how to access them and benefit from that access that I have ever read. Of course, it can't replace personalized instruction, but if you take the time to read this book, and let the concepts within work through your various levels, you will more than amply rewarded. This is NOT an 'instant' formula for learning about chakras. It involves some serious study and some very hard work. The rewards are definitely worth the effort in my opinion.

There are plenty of charts to help simplify the absorption of information for those whose minds are attuned to that method of relating.

The last 54 pages are composed of exercises and techniques designed to help you begin the stimulation of your chakras, and you should be well prepared to begin that work by the time you arrive at that point."--Mike Gleason, Spiral Nature.

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"Exploring Chakras is a briliant, highly illustrated and comprehensive exposition of the system of chakras-inside you will discover the 14 main chakras responsible for physical, mental, and spiritual activity and evolution. A magnificent companion book to Dr Shumsky's Exploring Meditation, this book links the practice of meditation to the highest attainment of self-realisation by connecting it with the body's energy vortices-the chakras.

Beginners and advanced students can benefit from the information and methods, presented in Exploring Chakras. The book's authority rests not only on Susan's personal experiences but also on ancient scriptural sources. It makes for easy and absorbing reading.

The book will open the door to the potent, mysterious force called Kundalini. It will also uncover the Chakra system, a network of energy within your subtle body and will elevate your consciuosness, because your attention will focus on the subtle chakra and Kundalini energies."--Indiaclub.com

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THE POWER OF CHAKRAS
CHAPTER 1:
What's a Chakra, Anyway?
by Dr. Susan G. Shumsky


"The awakening of the inner Kundalini is the true beginning of the spiritual journey." - Swami Muktananda.

Kundalini is a mysterious, dormant, powerful, cosmic force within your body that, when awakened, is believed to bring spiritual enlightenment. It is also the potent energy within your body understood to be responsible for sexual orgasm. Because of this, much misinformation has been perpetrated in the name of kundalini.
The chakra system, consisting of energy centers within your subtle body, is widely explored today through myriad books, seminars, and gurus. Sincere individuals seeking kundalini experiences are led into practices that may or may not produce genuine spiritual evolution. Many authentic practices yield spectacular results in a short time. Others are erroneous and ineffectual. Methods undertaken sincerely and seriously, with proper training, can lead to spiritual awakening. Others, attempted haphazardly and carelessly, can cause confusion, harm, or worse, serious physical or mental illness.
After taking a weekend seminar, many misguided people print a business card, put up a shingle, and declare themselves the next "master," "yogi," "sanyasin," or "chakra healer." Suddenly they claim authority in a field that yogis spent lifetimes meditating in caves attempting to master. Some so-called experts are sincere, yet deluded. Sadly, much confusion is left in their wake.
For this reason, exploring chakras in a reliable, systematic way is important. Gaining deep understanding about your subtle bodies, energy field, and energy system is essential. Learning beneficial spiritual practices that will not harm your body or confuse your mind is necessary.
By learning from ancient sources that have stood the test of time, you can be assured of deeper comprehension and better experiences. By delving into scriptures of antiquity that have, until recently, been locked in secret hiding places in forests and caves of India, now you can uncover new, unexplored, and as yet unrevealed wisdom.
If you are curious about chakras, yet claim no prior knowledge or experience, then it is wise to begin slowly and practice step-by-step. If you know about chakras, you may want to rethink what you think you already know. Perhaps you can learn deep wisdom from the ancient sages.
Now it is smart to learn and grow spiritually in a safe, precise way. In a phrase: It is time to "practice safe spirituality."
This book will show you how.

What Can this Book Do for You?

Perhaps you picked up this book because of an interest in spiritual development. You may have heard about chakras or kundalini, or previously read about them. Maybe you studied Kundalini Yoga, Tantra Yoga, or Laya Yoga for years, but want to learn more. Or you faced disaster while playing with kundalini without supervision.
In every case, this book has something to offer. Beginners as well as advanced students can benefit from the information and methods presented here. That is because this book's authority rests not only on personal experience but also on ancient scriptural sources.
Through more than three decades of teaching spiritual disciplines, I have often heard the following complaints, to which solutions are found in this book:
1. "I've tried to meditate and awaken kundalini, but it just doesn't work for me."
This book provides easy step-by-step ways to gently awaken kundalini safely, reliably, and systematically, through time-tested, proven yogic practices.
2. "My negative beliefs, mental blockages, and limitations get in the way when I try to meditate or get spiritual experiences."
Here you will learn specific healing affirmations to help you overcome past negative patterns and attain the experiences you seek.
3. "My kundalini experiences are so strange, and no one understands them."
In this book you will find examples and explanations of kundalini, and a roadmap to your spiritual experiences.
4. "I get totally confused by this energy running through my body. What am I supposed to do with it?"
This book provides not only understandings about kundalini energy and chakras, but also methods to help you master the energy.
5. "I get frightened by negative kundalini experiences."
This book offers specific ways to handle any situation, no matter how strange or frightening it might be.
6. "I feel overly sensitive to people and influences around me."
In this book you will learn techniques for healing negative influences and for preventing harm from future influences.
7. "I've been deceived by the false promises of gurus."
The information in this book helps you become more self-reliant and less dependent on gurus.
8. I'm offended by rules and regulations, cults, and coercive organizations."
The universal techniques offered here impose no restrictions and are compatible with other religious philosophies, lifestyles, and personal beliefs.
9. "I don't want to work at difficult, strict, hard-to-follow disciplines."
This book is understandable, logical, and practical, with simple-to-learn methods requiring no previous experience, background, training, or knowledge.

FAQ's about Chakras and Kundalini

Perhaps you have already studied subtle energy fields, the aura, prana, chakras, or kundalini. Whether or not you are already familiar with these topics, you might be surprised at what you can learn here. Let us begin with the basics and answer a few questions you may have.

Q: What is subtle energy?
A:
Just like physics tells us the universe is made of subtle constituents invisible to the human eye, similarly, your body is made of subtle energy. Let us try an experiment right now. Clench both your fists and place them next to each other, as shown in Figure 1a. Then vigorously rub your left fingers against your right fingers back and forth (not up and down) for forty-five seconds. Then unclench your fists and face your palms toward each other a few inches apart. You might feel an invisible ball of energy between your palms. This sensation of vibrant activity is subtle energy.

(Figure 1a)

By entering a dilapidated house, a hospital, prison, bar, mental institution, or a crowed bus, you can sense bad vibrations. By hiking in the woods, boating on a lake, hearing inspiring music, or reading uplifting poetry or scriptures, you can feel elated. These are all indications of subtle energy.
In this book you will learn to energize your body, enhance your energy field, heal energy blockages, and prevent energy drain.

Q: What is the aura?
A:
The subtle energy field in and around your body is the "aura" (meaning "breath of air" in Greek). Just as the Earth has a magnetic field, so your body has an auric field. Your aura consists of several bodies, such as your mental body, emotional body, and subtler bodies that constitute higher self. Your subtle bodies are invisible to human eyes but visible to your inner eye or clairvoyant ("clear-seeing" in French) sensory perception.
If you stare at a person standing in front of a white wall, you might see energy vibrations or colors around the person's head. By looking into a mirror at night in the dark, you may see a subtle glow around your own head. These experiences are indications that auras exist.
In this book you will learn about your subtle bodies and auric field.

Q: What is a mental body?
A:
Your mental thoughts and emotions have physical counterparts in your subtle body. These thoughts consist of subtle substance not yet measured by science, but visible to clairvoyant sense perception. Thought-forms are habitual thought patterns taking concrete shape in and around your body. You might wear some old encrusted thoughts like an armor. Others might seem like a jail cell. These old thought-forms and habits can be healed.
You will learn how in this book.

Q: What does the word chakra mean?
A:
In the ancient Sanskrit language, in which the East Indian scriptures were originally written, the word chakra translates as "wheel." This word is pronounced phonetically as "chukr": chu, as in the English word "chum," plus cr, as in the English word "crumb," but the "r" is rolled.
Because chakras are centers of vital energy in your subtle body, they are not observable by your gross senses. However, they can be experienced through subtle sense perception.
Seven main chakras are described in the ancient East Indian Tantric scriptures. Each chakra in your spinal column is believed to influence or even govern bodily functions near its region of the spine. Because autopsies do not reveal chakras, most people think they are a fancy of fertile imagination. Yet their existence is well documented in the traditions of the Far East.
In this book you will discover and explore these chakras.

(Figure 1b)

Q: What is kundalini shakti?
A:
Kundalini
shakti is a spiritual cosmic energy hidden in the human body. The term derives from Sanskrit roots, kundal (curled up) and shakti (energy). Shakti is also known as the goddess, the mother of this universe.
Kundalini is a vast reservoir of untapped, potential energy. When fully awakened, this spiritual energy is said to bring self-realization and enlightenment. However, in most people, it lies dormant at the base of the spine near the tailbone, lodged in the subtle body. Kundalini is often called "serpent power," "serpent fire," or "mystic coil," because it resembles a sleeping snake coiled in spiral shape. Many yoga practitioners attempt to awaken this serpent, uncoil it, and nudge it to rise up towards the brain.
In this book you will learn about kundalini and how to rouse it.

(Figure 1c)

Q: What is prana?
A:
Prana
is universal energy that breathes life into matter. It is formless, ubiquitous, potent energy that sustains both living individuals and also the cosmic order - the power within everything, animate and inanimate. Individual prana is the vital life-principle in all animate life. Cosmic prana is a universal energy that unifies the living and non-living in a coordinated whole.
The word prana comes from the Sanskrit, pra (forth) and an (to breathe, move, live). Therefore prana is the life force in your breath. It is the key to life - electromagnetic fuel that energizes every tissue and cell. Without prana, your body could not function.
Gopi Krishna in The Dawn of a New Science describes prana as "a living electricity, acting intelligently and purposefully, that controls the activity of every molecule of living matter. It carries the life principle from one place to the other."
In this book you will discover how prana functions in your body.

Q: What is yoga?
A:
The Sanskrit word yoga comes from the root yuj (to yoke). The purpose of yoga, therefore, is to unite the individual soul with universal Spirit. Each path of yoga takes a different approach to attain this goal. Since the most visible, popular path today is Hatha Yoga, which uses physical postures called asanas, most people think yoga is nothing more than physical exercises performed on a floor mat. However, yoga is not an exercise routine. It is a profound science for experiencing union with the divine.
In this book you will learn how yoga can enhance your life, and you will learn some yogic practices to gently awaken kundalini.

Q: What's the purpose of raising kundalini energy?
A:
When kundalini shakti travels up the spine to the brain, the goal of yoga is achieved as Shakti (female principle or inner Goddess) merges with Shakta (male principle, the inner god Shiva) in divine union. This results in a state of higher awareness called nirvikalpa samadhi, the superconscious state of spiritual enlightenment. Here the individual is fully unified with universal Spirit, and all sense of separateness dissolves.
You will learn more about what that means in this book.

Q: What is Kundalini Yoga?
A:
Kundalini Yoga, Laya Yoga, and Kriya Yoga are systems of yoga that seek to awaken the slumbering kundalini. Practitioners engage in various methods to rouse the sleeping energy until it moves up the spine, pierces the chakras, moves through the brain, and finally reaches the crown chakra or thousand-petaled lotus above the skull.
Kundalini Yoga is an aggressive path of rigorous asanas (physical postures), intense pranayama (breathing exercises), bandhas (muscular locks) mudras (gestures), meditation using mantras and imagery, and strict dietary and behavioral control. Kundalini Yoga masters generally agree that celibacy is essential to this path.
If you are serious about deep involvement with Kundalini Yoga, then study with an enlightened spiritual master who can guide you personally through the sometimes-bizarre experiences that occur when the force of kundalini is unleashed in the body.
In this book you will learn basic, gentle meditations, physical practices, and breathing techniques to begin your exploration of kundalini energy without the benefit of a teacher. However, you can study a spiritual practice called Divine Revelation® or even embark on a serious study of yoga or take a yoga retreat. For more information, visit the web site mentioned on page 284 of this book.

Q: What's the purpose of reading about this stuff?
A:
You might think chakras have no bearing on your everyday life. After all, what can they do for you?
Learning about the subtle body, chakras, and kundalini can transform your life. You can heal mental, physical and emotional problems for yourself and others. You can develop intuition, ESP, and subtle sensory perception. You can attain greater sensitivity, manifest extraordinary powers, fulfill your desires, and unfold greater awareness. You can even reach the ultimate goal of self-realization and spiritual enlightenment in cosmic consciousness or even higher levels of consciousness.
You will discover more by reading this book.

What You will Learn Here

As you read this valuable book, you will:
· Discover your subtle bodies and their purpose.
· Learn about prana and how it functions in your body, mind, and spirit.
· Gain understanding of kundalini energy and the chakra system.
· Learn details about the energies and purpose of each chakra.
· Use easy meditation techniques to experience and awaken kundalini.
· Learn how to heal blockages in your subtle body.
· Learn how to maintain health of your energy field.
· Use gentle yoga practices and breathing methods specifically designed to safely awaken kundalini energy.
· Empower yourself as a multidimensional being.
By practicing the simple, easy-to-learn techniques offered here, you can begin to experience depths of spiritual awareness comparable to what many seekers have sought for generations.
In this book you will explore subtle realms of mind, spirit, time, and space, and how they relate to your body. You will chart previously unknown regions of your inner being. A map of your life will emerge - a roadmap providing deep understanding of yourself and how you fit into the cosmos. You will travel through worlds upon worlds and times beyond time in a multidimensional universe.
This is the time for action. So let us get started now!

Above is an excerpt from EXPLORING CHAKRAS, published by Career Press.
Copyright 2003 by Susan Shumsky

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 YOUR SUBTLE ENERGY SYSTEM

To write my award-winning book called Exploring Chakras, I went back to the original Vedic and Tantric scriptures of ancient India to find the most authentic information about the subject.

In my book I talk about 14 main chakras that are mentioned in the ancient scriptures of India. 7 major chakras that we all know and love, and 7 others that we might not be aware of. Many of these chakras are in our skull or above our head.

Okay, let us begin by learning to pronounce the word "chakra." I know this is challenging, considering that you can't hear me. But right now, say the name "Chuck." As in "Chuck E. Cheese's" Pizza. Now say the word, "run." Okay, now put the 2 together but eliminate the "n" at the end of the word "run," and replace it with an "h." "Chuck-ruh"-that's (approximately) how to say the word "chakra."

There is no such pronunciation as "shock-rah" in the Sanskrit language, or in the English language. That's how most people mispronounce the word. I'm now on a worldwide campaign to teach everyone how to pronounce this Sanskrit word "chakra" correctly-"chuck-ruh." Just remember, Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza, when you want to pronounce the word.

"Chakra" is a Sanskrit word, meaning "wheel." Why is it a "wheel"? Because it has a hub, and it has spokes. The hub is where many conduits of subtle energy intersect, and the spokes are the radiations of subtle energy. So a chakra is a concentrated center of subtle energy.

What subtle energy are we talking about?

There is a subtle form of energy that gives life to you as a living human being and also to the universe. The fundamental component of your being is consciousness. The life force energy called "prana" is the medium through which consciousness expresses.

The life energy in prana flows through your subtle bodies, sustaining all levels of your being. Prana is what gives you life. Without prana, you would cease to live. Prana is also known as "chi" in China and as "ki" or "reiki" in Japan.

What do I mean by "subtle bodies"?

You are a multidimensional being of light, living in a multidimensional universe. Although this statement sounds fantastic, it entirely concurs with the latest findings of modern physics-this universe consists of vibration and light in multiple dimensions.

Similarly, your own body is made of light and sound. And this physical shell is not the only form you inhabit. In fact, your body is multi-layered and multi-dimensional.
According to yogis of ancient India, several sheaths (called "koshas" in Sanskrit language) surround and permeate your physical body. They are called "sheaths" because they cover up your true higher self, called the "atman."
These sheaths are invisible to ordinary human sight but visible to clairvoyant sight. These radiant, brilliant, multicolored sheaths of pure crystalline light make up your "aura" or "auric field."

Your fivefold sheath consists of:

1. Your "annamaya kosha" (physical body or food sheath), so-named because it is a product of food, requires food, dies without food, and, after death, becomes food for plants and animals.

2. Your "pranamaya kosha" (vital sheath), through which your vital life energy ("prana") flows.

3. Your "manomaya kosha" (mental sheath), a mental body that stores your thought-forms, habits, conditioning, beliefs, and experiences.

4. Your "vijnanamaya kosha" (intellect sheath), which consists of higher mind, your intellect, as well as your ego, or sense of I-ness.

5. Your "ananadamaya kosha" (blissful sheath), a mere reflection of the true radiance of your real "atman" (higher self).

Each subsequent sheath is larger than and permeates the former sheaths. In addition to these five sheaths, you also have three higher bodies of immeasurable beauty, bliss, truth, and glory: your "'I AM' body," your "God body," and your "Absolute body."

Pranic energy flows through your pranic sheath (pranamaya kosha) in fixed pathways called "nadis" (conduits or channels). (Some of these nadis are also known in China as the acupuncture meridians.) In your pranic body there are hundreds of centers of concentrated vital energy where many nadis intersect, called "chakras" (literally "wheels"). (Some of these are known as the acupuncture points.) However, the nadis and chakras are by no means physical. If you dissected a corpse, you would detect no nadi or chakra anywhere.

The three most important nadis through which prana flows are "sushumna," "ida," and "pingala." Sushumna is the median channel reaching from the base of your spine, near the tailbone, all the way up to the top of your skull. Ida and pingala coil around this central canal. "Pingala nadi" and "ida nadi" govern the sympathetic and parasympathetic aspects of your autonomic nervous system. Sushumna nadi is the conduit of "kundalini," often called "serpent power" or "mystic coil"-a special spiritual cosmic pranic energy that remains dormant until it is awakened, usually through spiritual practices.

The term "kundalini" derives from the Sanskrit root "kundal" (curled up), because, in ordinary humans, it remains dormant, coiled at the base of your spine. As kundalini wakes up and rises up your spine, it opens specific chakras while traveling to its destination at the top of your skull. Opening your chakras brings greater health, well-being, energy, and, ultimately, spiritual enlightenment.

The 14 main chakras through which kundalini energy flows are as follows:

1. Muladhara, which means "base" or "root," because it is the lowest chakra in the body. The root chakra, located at the base of your spine near the tailbone, is responsible for excretion, sense of smell, and earth element. It is associated with the adrenal glands.

2. Svadhishthana, which means "one's own self," because it is where the individual comes into being through procreation. The sacral chakra, in the coccyx region, governs sexuality, procreation, sense of taste, and water element. It is associated with the gonads.

3. Manipura, which means "city of jewels," because it has so many conduits of pranic energy intersecting there, and because it is the place where the fires of digestion burn. The navel chakra in the lumbar region, oversees digestion, sense of sight, and fire element. It is associated with the pancreas.

4. Anahata, which means "unstruck sound," because the unstruck sound is the sound of silence. And Anahata is where the silence of your divine consciousness resides. The heart chakra, in the thoracic region, is the seat of consciousness and your soul. It is the gateway to higher consciousness. This chakra manages the sense of touch and air element. It is associated with the thymus gland.

5. Hrit chakra, which means "heart." Right below the anahata chakra, it is the seat of devotion to God and fulfillment of all desires.

6. Vishuddha, which means "purification," (and I'm not sure why). The throat chakra, in the cervical region, deals with sense of hearing, and ether element, and creative expression. It is associated with the thyroid gland.

7. Talu, the nectar chakra, in medulla oblongata, is related to the uvula, the current of pranic energy, and the flow of "soma" (nectar of immortality).

8. Ajna, which means "command center," because it is situated in the area of the glands that regulate the entire endocrine system. The third eye chakra, in the pineal gland/hypothalamus area, seat of the higher self (atman), is responsible for higher wisdom and clairvoyant sight.

9. Manas, which means "sensory mind." In the upper part of ajna chakra, it is the center of your lower mental vehicle: instincts, impressions, and habits.

10. Indu, which means "Moon." In the front part of the brain, it is the seat of your intellect and higher mind.

11. Nirvana, which means "dissolution." At the top of your brain, it is associated with the annihilation of your ego.

12. Guru, which means "light/darkness" or "teacher." Above your head in the lower part of sahasrara chakra, it is the center in which divine light dispels the darkness of ignorance.

13. Sahasrara chakra, which means "thousandfold." The thousand-petaled lotus above your head, itis the center of divine union, integration, and illumination.

14. The Bindu, which means "point." In the upper sahasrara chakra, it is a center of infinitely concentrated energy, the fountainhead from which your entire subtle energy system springs.

You might be interested to know the colors, planets, days of week, and gemstones associated with the seven major chakras. These colors and planets are based on ancient Vedic astrology, called "Jyotish."-not based on modern New Age ideas.

1. Day of week: Sunday ("Day of the Sun"). Planet: Sun. Solar (Sun) plexus chakra: Color: red. Gem: ruby. Associated with vital energy and the fire of digestion.

2. Day of week: Monday ("Day of the Moon"). Planet: Moon. Sacral chakra: Color: orange. Gem: pearl or moonstone. Associated with emotions, fecundity, and fertility.

3. Day of week: Tuesday (Mardi or Mars day in French). Planet: Mars. Root chakra: Color: yellow. Gem: red coral. Associated with primal needs and survival instincts. Mars is God of war.

4. Day of week: Wednesday (Mercredi or Mercury day in French). Planet: Mercury. Thousand petalled lotus chakra above head. Color: green. Gem: emerald. Associated with the brain-nearly an infinite network of interrelated communication. Mercury is planet of communication.

5. Day of week: Thursday (Jeudi or Jupiter day in French). Planet: Jupiter. Third eye chakra. Color: blue. Gem: yellow topaz or yellow sapphire. Associated with higher mind, wisdom, and intuition. Jupiter in Sanskrit is literally translated as "Guru." Jupiter is associated with higher learning.

6. Day of week: Friday (Vendredi or Venus day in French). Planet: Venus. Throat chakra. Color: indigo. Gem: diamond. Associated with creative expression. Venus is goddess of beauty and creativity.

7. Day of week: Saturday ("Day of Saturn"). Planet: Saturn. Heart chakra. Color: violet. Gem: blue sapphire or amethyst. Associated with contraction and expansion (beating of the heart) and also highest vibration. Heart is the key to the entire chakra system. It is the seat of consciousness and therefore has the highest vibration. Saturn is the deepest in space and therefore subtlest of the 7 inner planets.

You can learn much more about your subtle energy system in Dr. Susan Shumsky's book, THE POWER OF CHAKRAS.

Now order the book The Power of Chakras by linking to our online Online Order Form on our secure server

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