About: Intuition, imagination
Goals: Clear seeing, guidance, wisdom, stillness, clarity
Practices: Quieting the mind
What is the Ajna chakra?
The Ajna, or Third Eye Chakra, is located between the eyebrows, just above the bridge of the nose. It is represented by a lotus with two petals. Ajna is the sixth layer of our identity and is thought to be the centre that controls all higher mental activities including psychic, emotional, and mental intelligence, and insight.
This chakra represents our mystical identity. Ajna enables us to consider our own story as part of a wider drama, expanding our viewpoint from the individual to a broader perspective. It is associated with the pineal gland which produces the hormones serotonin and melatonin.
Ajna means “to perceive” in Sanskrit. It facilitates our sense of perception, sharpening our intellect and concentration and strengthening our imagination. When the sixth chakra is open, even our dreams may become more animated.
I see clearly, I think clearly, I trust my intuition, I trust my decisions.
How does Ajna chakra affect a person?
Ajna usually forms in adolescence as we develop greater self-awareness and start to establish our individuality, perhaps by identifying with archetypal figures whom we admire. Happily, increased self-awareness is not limited to our teens and can occur throughout our lives.
Ajna relates to our right to see. It can be damaged when we are young if we repeatedly see things that are frightening or incomprehensible, prompting us to curtail our own capacity to see as a result. Similarly, undermining the breath of our vision, and being told that what we perceive is wrong, can blunt our sixth chakra, affecting both physical vision and psychic awareness.
A person with excessing Ajna may be unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy, their vision tipping into illusion that is not rooted in experience. Inclined to obsessiveness, they may also be inflexible and self-righteous in their religious beliefs.
Repressing uncomfortable memories can undermine the sixth chakra. A person with deficient Ajna lacks imagination and is capable of seeing the outcome of their actions. Their limited vision prevents them from understanding alternative viewpoints, so that changing their minds becomes difficult.
Vision permits us to look into the past, the present and the future and to act with motivation to pursue changes, going beyond needs and instincts that drive action from the lower chakras.
How to strengthen the Ajna chakra?
A healthy and balanced sixth chakra means keen imagination and intellect, strong intuition and deep spiritual awareness.
Our actions can always facilitate change, but whereas the lower chakras prompt change inspired by our instincts, Ajna supplies insight from a higher plane. By recognising patterns in our behaviour, we are better equipped to anticipate outcomes, which should have a positive impact on the way we behave.
Through visual exercises, including visual-based meditation, visual art, and simply being exposed to enough natural light, the Ajna can become a streak-free window to the soul. You can also experiment with closing your eyes during this whole sequence to become more connected to the vision inside of yourself, instead of outside.