Saints and mystics are often painted with a corona or halo of light, but the rest of us have one, too. This chakra points upward from the top of the head and has the finest and lightest vibration of all seven chakras. If it had a note, it might sound like the clear chime of a tuning fork or a silver bell. I love putting my hand above someone's head and tuning into their crown chakra. When it is working well, it feels luminous and ethereal, which makes me feel uplifted and inspired.
The crown chakra has two important jobs. The first is to connect us with the sacred energy above. Depending on your belief system, you may call this God, a higher power, or the highest point of light. The second is to connect us to the divinity within ourselves and make us aware of our eternal, spiritual aspect, which you might call your soul, spirit, or higher self. Humans have been struggling for thousands of years to express what it means to experience a divine connection. Here are three different methods that you can use to try to gain a sense of it.
1. Boost your spiritual connection
Here are some words that make me feel uplifted: The divine, the source, the highest point of light, heaven, celestial, elysian, heavenly, angelic, light, luminescence, radiance, clear, crystalline, pellucid, translucent, peace, calm, love, gratitude, inspiration, joy, wonder, euphoria, rapture, ecstasy, bliss, spiritual journey, awakening, raised consciousness, high vibration, transcendence, enlightenment, nirvana, the soul, the spirit, blessings, Namaste.
Do any of these words work for you? If you find pictures are more potent, what kind of images inspire you and give you a sense of transcendence and connection?
2. Experience spirituality
Here are some ways we may encourage our crown chakra to bloom and open up to spiritual experience:
* Religious practice: Many religions have worked out how to stimulate the senses using prayer and ritual. Visit a Gothic cathedral that draws your eyes upward toward God; a Hindu temple full of incense and icons; a Buddhist stupa with bells and chanting or a Native American drumming circle under the stars.
* Tapping into other vibrations: When you meditate with other people, you can get into a meditative state more quickly. You can also tap into spiritual vibrations by visiting places where other people have been inspired for centuries, such as the pilgrim path to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain.
* Art and music: You can connect with spirituality through art in all its forms – listening to music, going to galleries, or reading poetry (particularly by mystics such as Rumi). Just be aware that this can be strong stuff: Stendhal syndrome, or Florence syndrome, is a recognised medical condition – symptoms of which include a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting and even hallucinations – that can occur when people are exposed to too much great or spiritual art.
* Nature: Climb a mountain or hill so that you can see for miles. Try staring up at a sky full of stars, a dawn sunrise; shafts of light coming through clouds; or the Northern or Southern Lights. Flowers and trees can be inspiring, too. As the English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning put it, “Earth's crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.”
3.Connect with yourself (and it can be hard)
* Ground, centre and be present: You can open up your crown chakra by being fully aware and present in everything you do. It doesn't matter if you aren't a yoga teacher or a mystic. If you are, say, a gardener, computer programmer or painter and you can notice what you are doing, see beauty and a deeper reality, then you are on a spiritual path.
* Be brave: The Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung said there is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own soul. “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
* See higher purpose and lessons in every situation: Life lessons are there to teach you, until you are no longer triggered. As Buddha said, “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blossoming of some kind. The goal is to find it.”
Defining the crown chakra
Ancient Sanskrit name Sahasara (meaning: thousand-petalled)
Commonly known as Crown chakra, violet-white chakra
Number Seven, the seventh and highest of the main chakras
Location Top of the head – a single chakra, pointing upward
Associations Connection to the divine, and to the divinity within you
Related organs Top of the brain, pituitary gland
Element Cosmic energy
Age 43-49 and 92-98
When in balance Spirituality; a feeling of connection, but also of benign detachment; sense of euphoria,wonder, calm, spaciousness, and light; life has meaning
When weak or damaged Feeling of being cut off from spirituality or hostile to it; sensation of meaninglessness; loneliness and depression
When over-developed Disconnection from reality; delusion or religious fanaticism
Symbol/yantra A thousand-petalled lotus; the number of petals can also represent infinity
Phrases I am divine, I am connected, I know
Crystals Try clear quartz or amethyst, to clear your mind and enhance feelings of spirituality
Georgia Coleridge is the author of The Chakra Project (Octopus Books), from which this extract is reproduced with kind permission.