The sixth chakra, or ajna, is the chakra of light and inner sight. We open the sixth chakra when our masculine and feminine energy meld, recognizing ourselves and everything around as coming from one source.
In Indian myth, the fusion of masculinity and femininity is represented by Ardhanarishvara, an androgynous form that is half-man and half-woman—symbolizing the union of Shiva and Shakti. More than an androgynous figure, this icon represents non-duality: the belief that all aspects of the universe come from a single source.
Ardhanarishvara is the marrying of being and knowing, as well as of matter and consciousness. We must melt the heart and mind together to receive true bliss. Poet and playwright Kamla K. Kapur relates the split of Shiva and Shakti to a command from Brahma, who could not recognize their vast shimmering presence.
When the two split, the pain was so unbearable for Shiva that he turned to meditation to control his senses of desire and pain. Meanwhile, Shakti spent her days suffering, using her energy to manifest different ways to merge back with her beloved.
Shiva became all thought, and Shakti became all heart. Open to the pain of separation, Shakti understood suffering arose from people’s inability to connect with divinity and oneness. She incarnated into the form of Parvati and spent thousands of years meditating to reach union with Shiva. Through her discipline and inner tapas (austerity), Shakti in the form of Parvati, awakened Shiva’s heart. They merged again.
This fusion of heart and mind, and of matter and consciousness, is the opening of the sixth chakra—the ability to see beyond the physical object in front of us to the subtle energy that makes and connects all objects. According to Anodea Judith, “It is this gift of seeing, both inner and outer, that is the essence and function of chakra six.”
The ajna chakra, or third eye, is located in the center of the forehead and associated with the pineal gland—a small tissue located in the brain where the two halves of the thalamus come together. The thalamus takes in all of our sensory information. The third eye allows people to take in information beyond ordinary sight. The information seen by the third eye can be processed through the body as a hunch or gut feeling, and might be described as seeing auras or clairvoyant ability.
When we move into the ajna chakra, we gather all of the data collected from past experiences, sensory inputs, and future desires to recognize that time has no boundaries, limitations, or set order. We are all made up of the same energy coming from the same single source. When we connect with our third eye, our left and right sides merge. No longer do we search for balance in another person, place, or experience, rather we understand the unity within. There is no duality—light and dark, black and white, man and woman. When your sixth chakra is balanced and open, you see beyond the perceived dual natures and into the light of energy.
Trusting our intuition is the first step to opening the third eye and balancing the sixth chakra.
Ajna chakra is also associated with creative visualization: the idea that we can imagine. To strengthen your third eye, meditation is an important tool. However, to engage in visualization, it is important to become clear on what you want. In order to hold a picture in your mind, you must be able to formulate the picture. Many people spend their lives focusing on their fears, jealousies, and incompetence rather than strengthening their lives with positive dreams. You will manifest what you imagine.
People visualize in different ways. Some hold pictures or a thought, and others tune into a sensation. Visualize what is comfortable for you and trust your process.
Think of a measurable goal you would like for yourself, such as becoming more patient with a co-worker or child, getting a promotion, being asked out, or increasing your bank account.
1. Find yourself a comfortable seat.
2. Begin to relax your body completely.
3. Allow thoughts to come and go.
4. Don’t try to push your thoughts away or hold onto them—this only gives them power.
5. Bring your attention to the space between and just above your eyebrows—the space of the sixth chakra.
6. Imagine inhaling through the center of your forehead and down to the base of your spine.
7. Exhale moving up your body and out through the crown of your head.
Once you are completely relaxed, begin to imagine your goal in the present tense. Include details to ensure the situation is as you want it. When you finish, bring your palms together at your heart center. Ask yourself, “May this be so in perfect grace,” or something else that resonates with you. Bring your thumbs to your third eye or forehead center, and conclude with a word of gratitude, such as namaste, amen, or thank you.