Ajna is the third eye chakra, the sixth chakra, located in the space between the eyebrows. The word Ajna means command; this is your command center of your internal and intuitive wisdom, should you choose to access it. This chakra is characterized by two lotus petals, one on either side as shown. Each petal reflects the opposing attribute of the other. For example, if one represents your masculine Shiva energy, the other is your feminine Shakti energy. One is your manifest mind, the other your unmanifest. Ego self versus spiritual self; pineal gland versus pituitary. Both sides converge at Ajna, the center point.
Along with the chakras, there are meridians and nadis, which are other points and lines of energy within the body. The three main nadis are the Sushumna, Ida and Pingala. The Sushumna travels straight up the spine. The other two start at the base of the spine, as well, but they keep crossing over each other in and around the chakras. Ida and Pingala end up at the two petals of Ajna.
In class, to activate the third eye energy center, we first journeyed through various poses (asanas) to distract our minds from random thoughts. Once the mind is able to let go of to-do lists and grocery lists and kid-lists, it is able to recognize stillness. And from there, it is so much easier to access the intuitive and psychic wisdom that Ajna offers each one of us.
We created an amazing stillness in class that I hope you will try at home.
First, take a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Enjoy your natural breath as you elongate the spine. Sitting up straight allows for a more direct line connecting the energy flow of the chakras. Keeping your eyes closed, lift your eyes to focus on the third eye, the space between the eyebrows. After a few moments of breathing, add the following. In your head, every time you inhale, say the first part of "Om" and see the "O" part coming in through Ajna. As you exhale, say "Mmmm" in your head and see that vibration coming out of Ajna. Do this for a few moments and then repeat, except add on saying the "Mmmm" out loud, like a hum. Pay close attention; you may literally feel the vibration in your third eye center. So peaceful....
I read aloud a translation in class of a song called "Nirvana Shatakam" or "Atma Shatakam".
As a young boy of eight, Adi Shankara (who later becomes the first Shankaracharya- head of a monastery) is wandering in the Himalayas attempting to seek out his guru, when he encounters a sage who asks him, "Who are you?"
The boy's response are the following stanzas of the song, which explain his personal insights into non-duality. It turns out that the sage the boy is speaking to is, in fact, Swami Govindapada Acharya, the teacher he was looking for.
"I am neither the mind, nor the intellect, nor the ego, nor the mind stuff. I am neither the body, nor the changes of the body. I am neither the senses of hearing, taste, smell or sight. Nor am I ether, the earth, the fire, the air. I am existence absolute, knowledge absolute bliss absolute. I am He, I am He.
I am neither the Prana, nor the five vital airs. I am neither the materials of the body, nor the five sheaths. Neither am I the organs of action nor objects of the senses. I am existence absolute, knowledge absolute bliss absolute. I am He, I am He.
I have neither aversion nor attachment, neither greed nor delusion, neither egotism nor envy, neither Dharma nor Moksha. I have neither desire nor object of desire. I am existence absolute, knowledge absolute, bliss absolute. I am He, I am He.
I am neither sin nor virtue, neither pleasure nor pain, nor temple, nor worship, nor pilgrimage, nor scriptures. And I am neither the act of enjoying, the enjoyable nor the enjoyer. I am existence absolute, knowledge absolute, bliss absolute. I am He, I am He.
I have neither death, nor fear of death, nor caste nor was I ever born, nor had I parents, friends and relations. I have neither Guru nor disciple. I am existence absolute, knowledge absolute, bliss absolute. I am He, I am He.
I am untouched by the senses. I am neither Mukti nor knowable, I am without form, without limit, beyond space, beyond time. I am in everything, I am the basis of the universe, everywhere am I. I am existence absolute, knowledge absolute, bliss absolute. I am He, I am He."
"Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do." - Neale Donald Walsch