Author: Shai Tubali
It is not easy to choose a meditation. The chakra meditation “market” offers an overwhelmingly vast array of techniques, all shining brightly and full of great promises for profound experiences and long-term transformations. Yet surely, many of them are not necessarily suitable for us – though who could tell what “suitable” exactly means? Would “suitable” imply a technique that feels effortless, natural and in line with our character and inclination? Or would “suitable” be a meditation that goes against our character and compels us to transcend ourselves and overcome our automatic patterns and therefore, feels at times unnatural and even uncomfortable?
Some of us may stumble across a certain impressive figure – a spiritual teacher or authority – whom we wholeheartedly trust. Based on this fundamental trust, we go along with the meditation that they teach their students or recommend the most. Here too, however, there is a potential trap: this would not necessarily be the technique that could liberate us. After all, there is no one meditation for all, just as there is no one diet that fits everyone’s lifestyle and physical needs – and yes, even if that particular meditation has been tested for thousands of years and has been fervently cherished in the spiritual stream we greatly honor.
Interestingly, our chakra system offers us an inner compass that could assist in finding our right meditation. This ancient and wise system teaches us more than the seven levels of existence. Those we develop and cultivate in order to become free, complete and “enlightened.” It also reveals to us that each individual has one more active and strong chakra than all of the rest. Through this major chakra we experience reality. It is therefore the one that gives shape to the most intense and meaningful tendencies of our personality. This system is called “The seven chakra personality types.”
Getting to know our major chakra (and later on, the two secondary chakras that support it) could lead us to our type of meditation. The one that most directly and effectively speaks the language of our “soul.” When a meditation technique speaks in the language that our depths recognize and respond to, it holds the power to free us and broaden our awareness in the most transformative way. It is the meditation that is most synchronized with our constitution. With it, we can naturally flow towards the revelation of our true nature.
Here is a brief introduction of the seven chakra personality types and their ideal type of meditation. Try to find yourself in the descriptions. Notice that I have also added what I call a “complementary” meditation. The complementary meditation is the type of techniques that also ensures that we challenge and shake our natural constitution from time to time. Only going along with our constitution might eventually bring us to the very opposite of the original intention of meditation. This would be to take us beyond our known limitations. It could make us overly identified with our individual structure. And, in this way, prevent us from realizing the possibility of true inner freedom.
Root Chakra Personality Types: The “Builders”
Since they feel most at home when provided with a clear framework, they require the habit of daily closed-eyed meditations. At the same hour and with a practice that doesn’t change but only deepens. They need techniques that have been tested for thousands of years. Also, techniques that do not forcefully involve fireworks and extreme experiences. In their case, Vipassana and mindfulness techniques could be marvelous options.
Their complementary meditation should be to go every now and then to more intense forms of meditation. Such as silent retreats, that could take them beyond their well-contained practice and challenge their attachment to the physical world.
Sacral Chakra Personality Types: The “Artists”
“Artists” belong to the world of Tantra: an open-eyed type of meditation that works with the senses rather than suppressing them. They cannot comply with a routine of one practice, which requires self-discipline and quietude, as they are too restless. Their best meditations are dynamic and include dance, musical journeys, laughter meditations, tantric practices, and abiding in nature. They can also immerse themselves in artistic expression, which in the right context can be a meditation too.
Their complementary meditation needs to be listening to wisdom and self-inquiry. Since they can easily become overly attached to the sensual experience, they require some balancing clarity of mind and tools of discrimination.
Solar Plexus Chakra Personality Types: The “Achievers”
“Achievers” require spiritual practices that demonstrate and activate their wish for self-overcoming and self-discipline. They need to feel that they push against their limits and that their meditations are successful. They therefore should seek out practices that resemble gym exercises in spirit: strong breathing practices, meditation marathons, firewalking, fasting, and intense yoga asanas that lead to silence, are all good examples.
A vital complementary meditation for “Achievers” is relaxation techniques. They must not engage only in difficult and demanding practices, which might keep them stuck in their identification with over-doing. From time to time, they need to cool down with just being.
Heart Chakra Personality Types: The “Caretakers”
“Caretakers” need to be mainly engaged in open-eyed type of meditations. Since it does not make much sense to them to detach from the world and from others and to go into themselves. Their meditations need to be centered on devotion and the complete focus on the “other,”. This could also be a deity or a guru. Their meditations can also be active giving to others, like helping those in need within the context of dedication to the higher reality. Sacred singing, prayer, and other heart-opening practices, could fit well.
Their complementary meditation is to sometimes enter silent retreats or any practice that requires seclusion. Through this they might experience freedom from all dependency. As beautiful as their life’s focus is, they must also remember that the aim of meditation is to show us ourselves.
As strong believers in the power of the word, “Speakers” naturally seek meditations that are based on the transformative power of words. They love words and statements which seem capable of manifesting new realities. Accordingly, their ideal meditations are those which involve mantras, chanting, affirmations, and “secret” prayers. Such mantras and statements can be either silent or vocal – as long as they create a strong and far-reaching resonance in both their minds and lives.
A complementary meditation for “Speakers” is silence. Sometimes refraining from using their voices and moving away from the verbal world could balance their attachment to words and speech. Being unable to influence and shape reality for certain periods is a source of great rejuvenation for them.
Since the “Thinkers’” third eye is forever open, they clearly require an open-eyed type of meditation. One that allows them to wakefully observe and inquire. Their ideal meditation is all sorts of self-inquiry, striving to attain insights into profound questions. Practices such as “Who am I?,” “Who is in?”, zen koans, and even simply holding a big question in their mind for long periods of time, are all good examples. They can even find themselves meditating by reading scriptures and words of philosophical or mystical wisdom.
The complementary technique for “Thinkers” is any experiential form of meditation. Whether it is the practice of loving kindness, dynamic meditation, meditation in nature, or walking meditation. They must not neglect the challenge of disappearing into experience rather than purely “studying” it from afar.
Since “Yogis” are meditators by their very nature, it is quite easy for them to immersein spiritual practice. For long hours they are forgetting all of their duties and also neglecting themselves. Their obvious type of meditation is closed-eyed and highly detached. Though they may use methods of concentration, mantras, or visualizations, their main form of meditation is just being and silencing their minds while sitting motionlessly. Techniques that activate the subtle anatomy, such as Kriya Yoga, Chakra meditations and spinal breathing, suit them as well.
The complementary meditation of “Yogis” is all types of practices that align physical movement, breathing and mind. Asanas done in meditation, mindfulness techniques, walking meditation, and any mundane task, such as tending the garden as a meditative practice, could balance their natural detachment.