Friday, March 2, 2012

What are chakras?

I just typed the word "chakras" into's search engine, and it returned with 6,222 books, and for all departments it returned with 21,150 items!  Chakras is certainly one of the in-words nowadays; I found one item called "mimulux Psychedellic Art - MANDALA mandala zen InnerBalance harmony gold yellow orange glowing chakra meditation - Tote Bags"!

Instead of overloading the existing public information arena, I shall try to talk about the experiential aspect of chakras from a Taoist perspective, i.e. chakras and its relation, if any, with Taoist meditation (or Neidan).

In Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayāna Buddhism), the chakras are called wheels, and the Central Nadi (channel) is called Zhong Mai 中脉, in Chinese. There are indeed subtle conceptual differences, but the explanatory purpose here, I shall treat them as the same.

The interesting question is: are these physical definitions? The answer is no! These chakras only appear when a learned practitioner is guiding his chi to activate them with a totally relaxed body and mind. In addition, the chakras have to be made to open in order that chi (energy) can be flow along the Central Nadi.  Otherwise they will be like, metaphorically speaking, dried pedals.

From a practice or experiential point of view, the steps become clear. Firstly, a practitioner needs to find or experience the chakras; secondly, he has to open the chakras and thirdly he has to "perfect" the shape or integrity of the central channel, and lastly he has to activate and allow energy to flow along the central channel.

Hence the question of "what are chakras?" can be translated into the experiential question of "How to find or experience the chakras?"

I shall now look at the chakras from the perspective of Taoist meditation (Neidan). In Taoist meditation, any chakras like entity is called the "mysterious aperture" (玄窍). And the opening of the a "mysterious opening" can only begin after one has successfully done the "100 days foundation" of microcosmic circulation.

The interesting subject of opening a "mysterious aperture" shall be tackled in a future post.

Chakras or Wheels (轮)


  1. The most coherent data I've found about chakra theory is in Paul Grilley's DVD. He is a student of Hiroshi Motoyama, who has studied and written about chakras, meridians, and qi for several decades.

    Grilley has said that, of all that Motoyama has written, this book is the one to get. The lone Amazon review of it summarizes it pretty well.

  2. Thanks for sharing this learned piece of information of yours here!!

  3. It's true we hear a lot of chakra awakening these days. The most I have experienced is an obvious sense of physical/emotional well-being during simple meditations. Your posts are very informative for those who seek greater clarifications :)

  4. Thanks for sharing your experience...and thanks for your appreciation of my "practice notes"...:):)

  5. Very interesting, thanks to share !


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