Understanding And Awakening
Your Chakras (Energy Centers)
By Jon Terrell, M.A.

Would you like to connect with radiant sources of wisdom, healing and creativity within yourself? Clear out mixture, confusion, limitations? And effortlessly express your light into the world?

Do all this and more when you learn how to purify and awaken the chakras (energy centers) in your body.

These places within yourself, when awakened, are focal points in your body that uniquely express your true nature. Each one expresses a particular aspect of your deepest self...the teacher within, the healer within, your creative self, and much more.

Our job is not to open them, but to clear out the blockages to their full expression.

Read on to learn about your chakras and then follow the link at the bottom of the page to have an experience of clearing chakra blockages--by cleansing and awakening your own Heart Center!

Many folks talk about life energy and chakras. Yet there's considerable disagreement about the purpose, meaning, size and location of them. Why is this?

One reason is that many people believe all sorts of ideas about energies and centers without having clear experiences of them.

You may have heard that it's good to open your chakras or clear blockages in them, or that certain symptoms relate to this or that center. But how can we know and not take someone else's word for it, who may have in turn taken someone else's?

We can easily confuse intellectual understanding with actual experience. If someone tells us something with authority, or we read it in a book, and it sounds plausible, we can believe it and repeat it to others.

Fortunately, it's possible to go beyond intellectual understanding about chakras into a direct genuine experience. Then we can learn and verify the truth of it for ourselves.

Chakras Or Centers?

I try to use English words instead of foreign terms to help clarify often misunderstood concepts. So I often say “center” instead of “chakra”, although most people use the later term. Let's define it.

What is Chakra?

The term chakra comes from ancient Sanskrit and means “wheel” or “disc.” Chakras in Hindu, Buddhist and Tantric traditions are often described as wheels of light within the body. They are generally stacked vertically, either along the spine or along a central vertical axis that runs through the center of the body. Some systems, including Agni Yoga Meditation, which I teach, describe an energy center above the head or centers at other locations.

Why Are There So Many Different Interpretations?

Each tradition and culture describes the centers/chakras somewhat differently. They disagree as to the number of chakras, their location in the body, their purposes and the colors associated with them. Chakras are often associated with the endocrine glands, sometimes with nerve plexuses and are also associated with specific organs.

Most commonly, seven main energy centers are described.

I believe the main reason for these variations is that humanity's needs are evolving through time. As we evolve and awaken to spirit our needs and abilities are changing. Different cultures and times call for different methods.

Humanity has changed tremendously from 2,000 years ago when many of the human chakra techniques in yoga and other systems were developed. In the past, for example, much of the focus was to draw energy upward through the chakras towards higher consciousness.

Today, what we need is to bring higher energies down, to ground them in our bodies and the world.

In the awakening method I teach (Agni Yoga Meditation) clients learn how to tap into pure sources of life energy from within and direct that energy into their bodies and the earth. The focus is real and practical: to lift the vibratory rate of our bodies and minds, and of the earth itself. Bringing pure life-energy down into the body and earth cleanses blockages and awakens consciousness.


The history of chakras goes as far back as the Upanishads in India, at least 3000 years ago. In the West, the idea of chakras was probably first introduced about 100 years ago by teachers in the Theosophical Society, who were acquainted with Eastern philosophy. But there are references to energy centers and working with them in ancient Jewish texts (the Sefirot or 10 emanation points of the Tree of Life in the Kabbalah) as well as in Egyptian, Islamic and Christian texts.

In the West, Rudolf Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy, was one of the first to talk about drawing energy downward, as we do in Agni Yoga Meditation. In the East, the downward flow of Qi (Chi) is a key practice of Qigong and other energy therapies.

Modern understanding of energy centers comes from an amalgam of many ancient traditions and New Age ideas. Some of the many therapies that include a chakra focus are Reiki, the many types of yoga, Eastern martial arts, crystal/gem therapy, aromatherapy, Tai Chi and Qigong.

A Practical Approach To Chakras

I have been teaching people how to tap into and direct pure life energy from within since 1970 when I began my studies of Inner Light Meditation, also known as Agni Yoga or Actualism. The following information and practical advice comes from my personal experience teaching hundreds of people meditation and serving as an energy healer.

Please note that working with the energy centers is powerful, transformative work and should be carefully undertaken, preferably with the supervision of a qualified teacher. I strongly recommend that you do not mix energy techniques from different traditions or you could end up bringing up more than you can comfortably handle! It is better to try one approach for awhile to ascertain how it benefits you and then switch to another so you have something to compare. Your own experience is the best guide, not the words of another, even someone described as a great master.

What Do Chakras Do?

Chakras have two main purposes. They are (1) places within our nature that express unique aspects of our Divine Self and (2) focal points for pure life energy from within.

1. They are unique places in consciousness Each one expresses a particular aspect of our divinity, which can be thought of as a rainbow spectrum of divine attributes. For example, the energy center in the center of the brain, when purified, connects us into the wisdom of the divine…the clarity of our inner knowing. When you want to deeply understand something or clarify a situation in your life, this is the place to go. Entering the center is like entering a room where you can connect with the Teacher Within.

Likewise, you can travel to the heart center to get in touch with the Healer Within. Or travel to connect with your Creative Source, the Warrior Within and other aspects of your Self.

Chakras are places in consciousness that, when purified, are powerful, limitless sources of inspiration and renewal. So often we turn outward to others for help, inspiration and guidance. Or we look outward for something to give us a boost--food, exercise, literature, etc. When we learn to turn to vibrant, pure sources within ourselves, we can tap into our own wisdom and healing gifts. But they are more than places in consciousness.

2. They are also focal points for pure life energy, pure inner light, from within, from source. This energy light can be tapped into and directed outward, into your body, mind and energy field, and out into the world.

There is no energy shortage within! Limitless, pure light is yours directly from Source. For most people, without training, this life energy is hardly tapped. And that which is acessed is often channeled into old behavior patterns. For example the pure inspiration of the Teacher Within in the center of the brain gets distorted in the brain into conditioned mental habit patterns that are often endlessly repeated: self doubt, fear, negativity.

In Agni Yoga Meditation we work with inner light-fire to cleanse our bodies and energy centers of these old habitual patterns and clear out blocks so that we can get in touch with the pure light of Presence within and be able to express it without distortion.

As you learn to connect to your energy centers you can tap, at any time, huge reserves of light and power. Talk about “Green energy!” (Actually, you learn a rainbow spectrum of energies for all life situations.)

The energy centers are like hidden treasures…waiting for us to discover them. And as we learn to access these treasures, we can become powerful forces for good in the world, radiating our light out to others.

Where are they located?

In Agni Yoga, the centers are located along a central vertical axis that runs from above the head through the center of the body and down below the feet. Each one is 3 inches in diameter.

How Can You Cleanse Your Chakras And Release Blockages?

Purification and awakening of these centers can readily be accomplished through Agni Yoga (Inner Light energy meditation) which I teach in person and using Skype. But other means can help as well.

You may have heard about opening chakras. Please read Proceed With Caution before you try it.

Physical forms of purification and cleansing, such as a wholesome clean diet, exercise and diaphragmatic breathing can be helpful. Relaxation tools and physical (Hatha) yoga can help with releasing old patterns from the body. And psychological and spiritual techniques can certainly be of benefit, such as prayer and the right kind of psychotherapy (such as transpersonal counseling).

And massage and bodywork, especially those that work with energy, can also help with the releasing and cleansing. Energy therapy, such as the Chakra Balancing Massage that I offer, can be especially useful.

The fastest and most direct cleaning and purifying can be done through energy meditation like Agni Yoga.To learn more about Agni Yoga Meditation and experience a taste of it, click here.

For an experience of purifying your energy centers go to Working with Your Heart Center.

Jon Terrell, MA, LMT, offers Meditation Training, Energy Healing Therapy and Counseling at his office in Northampton, Massachusetts and in New York City, in downtown Manhattan. He offers retreats on emotional healing. For more information or if you have a question, contact him using the form below.

Jon Terrell, M.A.
Fitzwilly's Building
25 Main Street, Suite #342
Northampton, Massachusetts

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