Color plays a role in our daily lives, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically. Some ancient cultures practiced chromo therapy, or using colors to heal. Chromo therapy, which is sometimes called light therapy, continues to be a popular holistic healing treatment. Psychologists and medical researchers have conducted hundreds of studies on the effect of color on the psyche. Color is used in advertising to induce us to formulate certain feelings about products and places. The body mind spirit has a subtle way of telling us what we need to bring ourselves into balance. Often, when we have a compulsion to wear a certain color, we are receiving a message that the chakra in which that color predominates needs a little support. If, for instance, one morning you are drawn to wear red, your root chakra might be asking for attention. If, however, you are drawn to wear yellow, your solar plexus might be speaking to you. Let’s review the colors of the chakras and issues typically associated with them.For example, studies have shown that the combination of blue and yellow attracts more buyers than any other combination; the color red has been shown to negatively impact students’ performance on exams; rooms painted blue has been shown to have a calming effect on prisoners. For the same reasons, focusing on color during your daily mediation can have a significant impact on your well-being. Inside us we have a complex energetic system that we can simplify as three main energetic channels and seven main energetic centres, known as Chakras, as you can see in the image. Each chakra governs different qualities. Hence the state of these centres determines the quality of our life: if they are awakened and in balance, then we live in harmony and serenity. So necessarily, finding that balance becomes a target for those who want to experience a life of self knowledge and inner balance.
Meditation is a state of consciousness possessing very specific and unique attributes. To enter into this almost forgotten quiet space within, is the most natural thing you can do to experience inner peace and calm; dissolve stress and boost your immune system; feel mentally focused and refreshed; slow down the ageing process and improve the quality of your entire being.Meditation is revealing itself to be one of the greatest breakthroughs in healing and personal growth. There is more and more scientific evidence that proves meditative practices should be at the very heart of our healthcare system. Meditation gives you an opportunity to come to know your invisible self. It allows you to empty yourself of the endless hyperactivity of your mind, and to attain calmness. It teaches you to be peaceful, to remove stress, to receive answers where confusion previously reigned.
Meditation is a particular state of consciousness having very unique attributes. This means meditation is a noun, not a verb. For the sake of convenience we may still speak of “meditating” but in fact this is inaccurate. What we really mean is that we are in the state of meditation. I won’t split hairs here and try to decide if there are multiple states of consciousness that can all be called meditation, or if there is only one. It suffices for our purposes to note that meditation is a state of consciousness possessing very specific and unique attributes.
We may use the term “to meditate” as a convenience, but always keep in mind, what is really meant is that we enter into a state of meditation. It’s an important point to distinguish because if we get caught in the trap of regarding meditation “as a verb” it leads into all sorts of problems and misunderstandings. If a person incorrectly believes meditation is a verb, they generally also confuse whatever technique they use to arrive at a state of meditation as being meditation in and of itself.
All techniques whether mantra, focus on the breath, contemplation of a koan, or any other, are simply the vehicles we use to take us into (hopefully) a meditative state. Put another way, the purpose of repeating a mantra is not to get proficient at repeating a mantra. The purpose is to take us to a meditative state where the mantra slips away and is no longer necessary.
We should Meditate to:
Relax. Too often, we don’t fully relax during the day. In our misguided desire to “do it all” and always achieve more, we neglect relaxation. I’m not talking about taking an hour off to do nothing. Let’s face it – most of us just can’t take that much time and actually relax, because we’d be constantly worried about things that aren’t getting done. 10-15 minute practice is perfect to start with, and you can increase the duration if and when you have more time. You can squeeze that into the busiest schedule by doing it at a time you have the least distractions and urges to “do stuff” – such as just before bedtime.
Get our inner peace. With all of the negativity that the media, Internet and TV throw at us all day, it’s no wonder we’re always fearful and on edge. You can train yourself to be calm and peaceful inside, and not let yourself be as affected by external events and influences.
Happy. Meditation stimulates activity in the brain’s “happiness center” – the left pre frontal cortex. Simultaneously, it relaxes activity in the amygdala, which is the brain’s “stress center”. Most meditators report feeling happier during and after meditation, and they report being happier in general than people who don’t meditate.
Be in better health. This is huge! The body’s parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated during meditation. That’s the body’s “rest and digest” functions, which help the body heal and restore proper organ functioning. Yes, your body does this during sleep, but if you experience sleep disruptions or don’t get enough sleep, meditation will help keep your body functioning at its best.
Slow aging. Did you know that meditators look and feel an average of 12 years younger than people the same chronological age who don’t meditate? That means – your biological age is significantly younger than your peers. What a great way to turn back the time!
Have greater memory retention and recall. When you’re stressed out, overwhelmed and overworked, it’s tough to come up with the answers that are “on the tip of your tongue”. But when you meditate, you train yourself to create a mental stillness and during that stillness, you can easily relax and bring up relevant information from your mental archives.
Have greater compassion. It’s easy to let people get under your skin when you’re busy and stressed, but you can learn to pause and see things from their point of view, even in the heat of the moment. You can understand that they too are experiencing some struggles in life – perhaps even greater than yours – and you can easily prevent things from bothering you.
Get better mental rehearsal. You can mentally rehearse success in any area. While this can be considered “creative visualization” and not truly meditation, you can use a particular idea as a sort of visual mantra – rehearsing a physical movement over and over again keeps the mind present-focused, engaged and quiet. And, bonus… you pre-learn something that might be causing you some anxiety, including overcoming an obstacle.
Have emotional self-control. How many times have you exploded in rage only to later regret your behavior? Meditation teaches you to self-regulate and pause in any situation so that you can choose the best response rather than succumbing to an emotional snap reaction.
Have better sleep. Part of a person’s inability to sleep can be caused by stress. Meditation helps you de-stress, put things into their proper perspective, and it teaches you that no matter how big a problem you think you have, you are clever and resourceful enough to find a way around it – if you just listen to your inner guidance.
When so many sports professionals, celebrities and successful people all around the world are enjoying the wonderful benefits from meditation – when more and more doctors are recommending meditation for an abundance of stress related illnesses… my answer is why not make meditation part of your daily routine? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Meditation is a state of mental silence or rest, where our attention is aware, but not engrossed in thinking. By quieting the mind, which then quiets the body, and the less turbulent the body is, the more the self-repair healing mechanisms get amplified. In fact, scientists have shown that the better your DNA, your genetic machinery is at healing itself, the longer you live. That’s how meditation lowers biological age. It is known as ‘thoughtless awareness’. It is achieved when the indwelling Kundalini energy awakens and carries the individual attention beyond the level of the 6th chakra, into the seventh chakra, known as Sahasrara.Most techniques of meditation fall into 2 main categories:
Mindful meditation – which focuses not on a single purpose but rather, you are aware of all thoughts, feelings, sounds and images that pass through your mind. This technique is said to help you be aware of situations and thoughts rather than react to them, thus allowing you to deal with them in the best way.
Concentrative meditation – these techniques focus on a single image, sound, mantra or your own breathing. This is used to still the mind and allow a greater awareness and clarity of mind to emerge.
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position in a quiet room.
Take a few deep cleansing breaths.
Start breathing slowly and evenly.
Visualize a golden light over your head and draw the light down through your body, all the way to your toes.Visualizing and meditating with color are powerful healing tools if used regularly, healing this way can be very potent because as we experience different color vibrations they in turn affect our energy bodies.It takes a bit of time to get into visualizing and meditating with color but if you are willing to spend the time you will benefit greatly.
To explain this further… each color of the light spectrum has it’s own unique vibration with specific healing characteristics and those vibrations interact with and affect our personal vibrations (color is light, light is vibration and we are made up of vibrations).
An imbalance in our personal vibration is the major culprit behind various disorders ranging from high blood pressure to skin disorders as well as psychological problems.
Color can therefore have a profound effect on your mood, vitality and well-being.
Colors are living and vibrant and have a great healing capacity. Yellow and reds are stimulating; blues and greens are calming. I also recommend that you choose the same time each day to practice visualizing or meditating with color because this creates a good habit that is easy to follow.
When you’re visualizing and meditating, do not be concerned about doing things correctly. There is neither right nor wrong in visualizing and meditating with color: only what benefits you. Follow your feelings, if it feels good or seems right, go with it and if it makes you uncomfortable, then change.
To begin, make yourself comfortable. Adjust your clothing as needed and assume a comfortable position.
First, before the calming color relaxation begins, notice how your body feels in this moment.
Passively pay attention to the state of your body right now. Do not try to change anything, simply notice how your body and mind feel.
Feel your body begin to relax slightly, as your shoulders drop a little lower…. your jaw loosens so your teeth are not touching…. and your eyelids start to feel heavy.
Take a deep breath in…. hold it…. and slowly breathe out….
Now just notice your breathing. Your body knows how much air you need. Notice with interest how your breath goes in and out. Feel the pause after you inhale and before you exhale…. and the pause before drawing another breath.
Allow your body to relax and your mind to focus on the calming color relaxation.
Allow the relaxation to occur naturally…. allow and observe….
Create a picture in your mind of the color red.
Imagine red of all shades….
You might picture red objects, a red landscape, or just a solid color…..
Imagine all of the different tones of red…. roses…. bricks…. apples….sunset….
Enjoy the color red.
Now allow the color you are imagining to change to orange. Picture the color orange…. infinite shades of orange…. flowers…. pumpkins …. carrots….
Fill the entire visual field of your mind’s eye with the color orange.
Enjoy the color orange.
Visualize the color yellow. See in your imagination all the various shades of yellow. Allow yellow to fill your vision…. lemons…. flowers….. fall leaves…
Imagine the endless tones of the color yellow. Imagine yourself surrounded with the calming color yellow….. Immerse yourself….
Enjoy the color yellow.
Let the color you are imagining become green. Fill your imagination with the color green. Endless shades and tones of green…. plants…. leaves…. grass….
Imagine being surrounded by beautiful green….. all shades from the lightest to the darkest, bright green…. subdued green…
Now see in your mind the color blue. Surround yourself with beautiful blue…. Unending shades of blue….. water….sky….
Imagine blue filling your vision…..
Enjoy the color blue.
Allow the color in your imagination to become violet….. Focus on the multitude of purples around you…. flowers….eggplant….sunrise….
Immerse yourself in the color violet….
Now allow your attention to return to your breathing….. notice how calm and regular your breathing is now…..
Meditate on the calming color relaxation once more….
Imagine the colors again, one at a time…. starting with red….
Now picture whatever calming color you wish. Do you have a favorite? Or a color that suits your mood right now? Imagine whatever colors you like. Allow your mind to be relaxed, focused, and calm…..
Enjoy the feeling of relaxation you are experiencing……
Now it is time to return your attention to your regular activities…..
Become more alert with each breath you take….
More aware of your surroundings….
Stretch your muscles…. and open your eyes. Fully alert and calm.
Color and the Chakras. Chakra is the Sanskrit word for wheel. There are seven chakras in the body, located in a straight line with your spine; this line runs down the center of your body, from the top of your head to the base of your spine. Each chakra is an energy center and is represented with its unique color. Color meditation involves focusing on each of your chakras and their color vibration in order to bring about balance in your mind and body; promoting healing and peace of mind. (Each of the chakras relates to the elements of Earth, air fire water, ether, spiritual awakening and enlightenment.) The seven chakras and their color associations are:
In the first, or root chakra the color red predominates. Issues associated with this chakra include personal safety, personality stability, and groundedness. I’m sure you’ve heard someone you know referred to as “flighty” or “not grounded.” An energy practitioner might see or sense this ungroundedness in the flows into and out of the root chakra, or detect damage to the root chakra from past events. For instance, if your parents did not provide a safe environment for you when you were a child, there might be structural issues that need addressing. Again, these issues, arising from life events, have widespread effects on the bodymindspirit and will have played a part in shaping how you see the world and how you relate to everything on it and in it, including people, places, energies, and every manner of creature within your environment.
The second chakra, or sacrum, is thought of as the governing chakra of sexuality and creativity—from the creation of new life in the womb to the creation of characters on a page, a work of art, or a movement in a symphony. The predominant color of the sacrum is orange, but as with all the chakras, many colors, representing different energies and states, can appear in the sacrum. It is here that information comes forward quite often about your relationship with your mother or father, your partner, or your child. Structural anomalies or blockages in the sacrum typically affect your attitudes toward sexuality and govern how you relate to your sexual partners. They can also block creative flow. Often, so called writer’s block can be traced to changes in flow into the sacrum.
In the third, or solar plexus, chakra the color yellow predominates. Will and determination are governed by the third chakra. It is here that we often receive messages that alert us to danger or fraudulence. We say that we had a “gut feeling” about this or that, and that feeling guided our decisions. The following story illustrates the power of this chakra. Someone I love dearly was walking to a subway entrance on his way to work early one morning. He was listening to music on his IPod, so he couldn’t hear street sounds. He passed what he took to be a street person, wearing a hoodie and rummaging through a dumpster. He had no sooner passed the dumpster when a gut feeling stopped him suddenly and he whirled around to find the street person, who had run toward him with his hands raised as if to hit him, not two feet away. The street person stopped, realizing he would have to face and fight his alerted potential victim, and quickly ran away. When I asked what my loved one had felt, he described feeling as if he had been punched in the gut. “The feeling was so strong. My first instinct was to turn around, and I’m glad I did.”
The fourth, or heart, chakra is the center of the chakra system and the repository of love. Kelly green is the color of the heart chakra, but rose pink can predominate when we experience love. Feelings toward others, as well as feelings toward ourselves, move through this chakra and are modulated by this chakra. The heart chakra is the brain of the spiritual self. Thinking with one’s heart and not one’s head is often thought to originate in the authentic self or soul. The heart chakra serves as a transmitting station between the lower chakras (one, two, and three) and the upper chakras (five, six, and seven). Let’s pause for a minute at the terms “lower” and “upper.” Some people mistakenly believe that the upper chakras are somehow superior to the lower and that the goal of spiritual growth is to process through the lower chakras in order to focus and remain in the upper chakras. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each chakra serves an important function within the chakra system, and spiritual growth is facilitated through each chakra. If you attempt to live only through the upper chakras, you create an imbalance that can impede growth and health.
Through the fifth, or throat, chakra we speak our truth. Sky blue predominates. Issues related to shyness, ability to present ourselves and our needs, in fact, most presentation skills, are associated with the fifth chakra. If you have difficulties speaking before an audience or you’ve been told many times that you need to speak up for yourself, then you may be dealing with what Anodea Judith in Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self terms a deficit in the fifth chakra. If people find it hard to be in your company because you are a non-stop talker and carry on incessantly about things that irritate you or just tend to dominate the setting you occupy, then you might be dealing with what she deems an excess in this chakra. Of course, these issues relate to every chakra, in particular the solar plexus, and are tied to questions of will and dominance.
The sixth chakra, or third eye, has traditionally been thought of as the portal to inner vision and communication with other dimensions, the spirit realm, and the soul. This traditional view has been expanded to include the understanding that head and heart communicate, and as they become conjoined more closely, communication centers in the heart. The predominant color is indigo that is infused, as are all the chakras, with great light. The third eye is the conduit that taps into Source for the great ideas that have moved mankind forward in every field. It is through this chakra, therefore, that we can fall prey to hubris unless our head and heart are in balance.
The seventh, or crown, chakra is our connection to God and Spirit. The predominant color is white moving toward lavender, and the light of this chakra reaches up into the heavens. It is the conduit of the energy source that constitutes the primal flow through the body and into the earth, illustrating the dictum “as above, so below.” Balance in this chakra is essential for groundedness and, of course, for balance in all of the chakras. We are said to have our meetings with our guides through the crown chakra, and those who experience NDEs (near-death experiences) tell of hovering above their bodies and observing the efforts of rescue workers and physicians to bring them back to life
Red. This color represents the root chakra, located at the base of your spine. This is your life force and represents stability. Focusing on the color red and your root chakra will help you alleviate feelings of frustration, anger and raw passion. Physically, red is the color that stimulates your body and mind and increases your circulation.
Orange. This color represents the sacral chakra, located in the area of your naval. Focusing on the color orange and your sacral chakra will help you with issues involving sensuality, relationships, physical pleasure, emotional self-expression and creativity. Physically, orange is the color that stimulates your nervous system.
All meditation sessions begin with grounding. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet on the floor. Remove your shoes and wiggle your toes. Picture a cone of white light above your head. Take a deep breath in through your nose. As you inhale, visualize the light moving through your head and body to your feet. See your feet become pools of light. Watch these pools expand around your feet. As you exhale slowly through your mouth as if blowing out a candle, send the light deep into Mother Earth. Breathe normally.
Choose a destination. You can see yourself in a garden, by the seashore, in the mountains or woods. If you choose woods, for instance, allow the woods to unfold in your imagination. Do you see a path of light? Follow that path to an opening. What do you see? A waterfall? A pool of water? What color predominates? Red? Green? Yellow? Whatever color you see, let the color speak to you. If it is green, for example, your heart chakra may need support. Walk into the gentle waterfall or pool of green light. Allow your bodymindspirit to soak in this color. Place your right hand over your heart chakra. Breathe the color into your heart chakra and out again. Can you feel tingling or pulsing from your heart chakra? If you don’t feel tingling or pulsing, let it go and move on. If you feel something, remember that feeling. You are sensing the flow through your authentic self. You can continue to explore the woods for other colors or choose to end your session and return.
When it is time to return, see yourself walk back down the path to where you started. Breathe in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth as if blowing out a candle. Wiggle your toes and fingers. Slowly return to yourself.
As you continue your meditation practice, awareness grows and opens you to your bodymindspirit, an essential part of expanding your consciousness. The benefits of color meditations, therefore, are several: increase in the power of the chakras through focus, reinforcement of the vibration of each chakra through connection with the vibration of its color, support of the natural healing processes in the body through deep relaxation and balance of flow within the energy system, as well as growing awareness of the authentic self.
Start breathing slowly and evenly.
Visualize a golden light over your head and draw the light down through your body, all the way to your toes.
Allow the light to illuminate every aspect of your being.
When you feel completely relaxed, begin meditating on each chakra and its color. Start at your root chakra, which is red, and focus on the aspects of that chakra while you visualize the color red. Continue focusing on each color and chakra until you reach the crown chakra.
Finish your meditation by taking a few more deep cleansing breaths.
Once again, visualize your being with golden light before you come out of your meditative state.
Colour therapy meditation is something you can practice yourself in quiet moments of deliberation for personal healing, shifting your mood or re-energizing.
Some schools of thought believe that different colors have an effect on the way you feel, think and heal yourself. Color therapy meditation is used to heighten your susceptibility to the effects of the colors. Color therapy meditation encompasses a number of different techniques for your consideration. One technique involves sitting in quiet contemplation while focusing on a single color, whether on a small card, paint on a wall or an item you see. Alternatively, you can use your imagination while in a state of deep rumination, picturing the color you choose enveloping and filling your whole body. As each level of the seven chakras in the aura has a different color, some people like to use color therapy meditation techniques that include them all.
If you are in search of a cure for a particular ailment or issue, perhaps you should spend time sitting in reflection on the color that most attracts you right now. Alternatively, you could look into the cure that would be used in color therapy meditation practices. A few examples for consideration include those of violet, indigo, blue and green. Violet is connected with self knowledge, spiritual awareness and the crown chakra, where as indigo is related to the third eye, self responsibility and intuition. The color of the throat chakra is blue, so this color is used for matters relating to speech and communication. Green is for the heart chakra, and will heal and enhance love for others, love for yourself and giving and receiving.
Yellow is used in color therapy meditation for matters relating to the solar plexus. This includes self worth, personality and ego, and will encourage you to follow your path in life with confidence. The sacral chakra, otherwise known as the lower abdomen, is orange, and represents respect, boundaries and creativity. For matters relating to self awareness, survival and fear, the color red of the base chakra is commonly used. Color therapy meditation is much more detailed and in depth in its analysis, so the above information can be used as a simple, basic guide. Although each shade of color may vary, the basis for color therapy lies in the seven chakra colors being used for healing.
Color therapy meditation also involves a type of subconscious art, where you paint whilst in a meditative state. The idea is that when your conscious mind steps aside and you are in deep relaxation, your subconscious, creative side can dominate, bringing forth new depths of creativity. In this process it would be seen by a color therapist who would recognize that meditation has brought out colors that you would otherwise not have chosen, giving them a deeper insight into your current issues. Color therapy meditation is an excellent tool for any artist who is experiencing a block in their natural creative flow. Using color in your daily meditation practices can certainly help you achieve deeper relaxation and healing. Color therapy meditation works because each color has its own individual vibration that impacts your brain in different ways. Studies are being conducted nowadays to further understand how color therapy works, but you only have to pay attention to your surroundings to realize for yourself the definite impact they have.