Manipura Chakra : Power Centre
An emotional place :
To go to for energy, to achieve or change things.
Primarily concerned with:
- Energy, power and activity (doing).
Connects to :
- Activity, doing and achieving things.
- Energy and power – the ability to do or change things.
Fire / sun / energy
- Strongly associated with diaphragm, upper abdomen (abdominal muscles & organs like liver, adrenals, pancreas), and metabolism
(internal / cellular metabolism).
- Activity, energy, heat / warmth.
- Assertive, passionate, enthusiastic.
- Feeling able to do things, to get things done – self-confident.
- With curiosity – reaching into and acting on.
- What one can do, what one can change and how to change things.
- Ways to achieve one’s aims and aspirations.
- In finding / evolving new ways of using / applying what is already known / in existence. This can be new uses in familiar
circumstances or in applying in new circumstances – may involve change in perception.
- In transforming (perhaps via shifts in perception [change of self] or by changing the thing) things from one thing into another.
- Via dismantling, taking apart (e.g. “what is this made of ?”, “what is its parts ?”, “how does this work ?”).
- Trying out different ways of using something.
- Applying transformative processes e.g. translating a passage from one language to another.
- Taking information apart to see how the different parts “fit” together.
- Fragmenting information / understanding to aid absorption and assimilation.
Activity / doing
- Doing things to achieve particular aims or goals.
- Active – a reaching out into the world to cause change.
- Reactive (and pro-active) responses (rather than passively allowing things to happen).
- Via applying and using (things, ideas, procedures ….)
- Aided by perceiving a role or usefulness for what one is learning.
- Aided by feeling one is “making progress” or “succeeding / achieving” in some sense.
- The attitude is one of “What is this useful for ?” and “What can I do with this ?”.
When acting skillfully from this place:
- One acts assertively, with vigorous and well applied drive to get things done with good dispatch.
(If Muladhara supplies the immovable place to
push against, then Manipura supplies the force with which to push and so act or cause change in things. When both Manipura and Muladhara chakras
are strong and active, then sometimes one finds one can do the apparently impossible – cf. the feats reportedly done at moments of extreme stress).
- One is willing and able to act to make something one desires more likely to happen (or be).
- One is likely to be perceived to be : - active, energetic, forceful, powerful, masterful, enthusiastic, passionate, vigorous, poised, assertive,
able, capable, self-confident, self-assured …. And so on.
Issues that may occur when acting unskillfully from, or when stuck in, this chakra or when it is too dominant :-
Forcefulness / Effortful
It is great to have plenty of drive and enthusiasm to get things done. However, when taken to excess, this can become more problematic
than useful or helpful. One of the problems is that, in pursuing forcefully for what one wants to achieve, one can create resistance. If one
acts really forcefully without any thought of other peoples’ feelings and reactions, one can find that resistance turns into active reaction and
action against what one wants to achieve – in other words, one’s actions end up having the opposite effect to what one intends. Working with
Ajna (to help with thinking through likely consequences of action) and Vishuddha (to help become more measured in one’s actions and develop
greater proficiency in explaining the value of one’s aims) is likely to be helpful.
Thwarted Energy / Frustration
Sometimes one gets motivated and all geared-up (energized) to act, and then, for some reason, cannot act or all one’s attempts to achieve something
gets thwarted. One problem is what happens to the energy one has prepared to release in the form of action – with nowhere to go, it can become
destructive. The ideal is to find another use for the energy to put it back into storage – but this can be difficult. Working with Vishuddha (to
develop control and ability to purify / redirect the energy) is likely to be helpful.
Prideful egotism / Pride
It is really good to “take pride” in one’s actions and the results of one’s actions as this can encourage one to take suitable care. But, taking pride can
slip into being full of pride and, thus, assuming whatever one does is good and without flaws. This is hubris and is dangerous. Without awareness that
one can make mistakes and get things wrong, one does not act with appropriate care to reduce the risks of making mistakes – and so one tends to make
more mistakes and more serious mistakes. Working with Vishuddha and Ajna (to develop one’s ability to dispassionately assess the quality of action
and give attention to minimizing mistakes) is likely to be helpful.
Fearlessness / Self – Confidence
(This can relate to what is said above on Pride.) If one is confident in one’s abilities to take appropriate action, even in difficult situations,
then one can act with fearlessness. This is great if one’s assessment of one’s abilities is not greater than one’s actual abilities – problems tend
to arise when this is not so. Then one tends to either get oneself into situations that one is ill-equipped to handle or get oneself out of. Also,
situations often turn out to be more difficult or dangerous than one had thought. Working with Ajna and Vishuddha (to develop a more accurate
perception of oneself and a more cautious assessment of what might be needful in different situations) is likely to be helpful.
Emotional / Temperamental / Quick Tempered
The seeds of most emotions come from Anahata, but many of them are given power and expression through Manipura. This is particularly true of the
reaction emotions such as anger, hate, rage, jealousy, envy and so on. Being able to access these emotions is useful (for example, anger can give one
impetus and drive) – but, when Manipura is very active, they can seem to flare up almost uncontrollably and unpredictably. Working with Muladhara
(to develop patient calmness) and Swadhisthana (to aid being more “cool” and relaxed about things) is likely to be helpful. Also working with
Vishudda (to develop in one’s ability to moderate and direct one’s emotions) is likely to be helpful.
Being active and causing change requires resources, just as a fire requires fuel to burn. When Manipura is active, there is a tendency to use (and use up)
resources – both of oneself and those that happen to be around. The more focused one is on achieving a particular goal, the more likely one is to draw
on and use resources without giving much thought to where the resources are being drawn from (and the potential consequences of those resources
being used up). Working with Vishuddha (to develop in moderation and regulation) and Anahata (to develop a balance in the needs and aims one
attends to) is likely to be helpful.
Hyper-activity / Unsustainable activity
The more active one is, the more resources one needs and uses for activity. For short periods it can be useful to engage in an unsustainable level
of activity – for example, sprinting at the end of race or dealing with a short-term crisis. But such bursts of hyper-activity need to be followed by
rest and recuperation. Where one tries to remain in a state of hyper-activity (even if only slightly) then one drains oneself of resources and one may
“burn out”. Working with Swadhisthana (to encourage recuperation and rebuilding of resources) is likely to help.
Desire for power / Power-drunk or intoxication
Power is the ability to do – and this is a perfectly natural and healthy thing to desire (especially in relation to making something better in some way).
However, desire of power (especially just for its own sake rather than to achieve one’s aims and aspirations), when in excess, can push aside awareness
of other things that matter to one. Similarly, using Power just for the pleasure of exercising Power can lead to one being inconsiderate in how one uses
Power. Working with Anahata (to develop a balance in one’s desires and awareness of needs of both “self” and “non-self”) is likely to be helpful.
Issues that may occur when one inadequately accesses this chakra or when it is weak :-
Burn Out / Exhaustion / Lacking in vitality
If one is hyper active for a while, then this is likely to be followed by a period of needing rest and recuperation. Trying to activate Manipura is likely
to be pointless as one lacks fuel/resources to be active – working to first rebuild resources and then activate Manipura is much more sensible. So
working with Swadhisthana (to recuperate and rebuild resources) is likely to be helpful.
Aggression with Fear / Bravado / Lacking in Confidence
Sometimes one feels one needs to act despite being afraid or not capable of acting as needed. Sometimes in such circumstances one adds a little
extra forcefulness or show of courage either to cover one’s fear or to try to be sure one reaches what one is aiming for. This is pragmatic but
working with both Muladhara and Manipura is likely to help with developing self-confidence and lead to one acting more assertively.
Powerless / Impotent
Feeling powerless or impotent can feel bad / painful enough of itself. But when one feels powerless regarding something that matters to one then
this can lead to feelings of despair and/or depression. Working with Swadhisthana (to build up one’s resources) may be helpful, but this can also
open one to feeling more emotional pain. Working with Muladhara (to develop self-confidence) and Manipura (to develop ability to act) is likely to be helpful.
Hibernating / Inactive / Hypo-active / Dormancy
Why be active if there is nothing in particular one wants to achieve? If nothing needs doing, then there is no need to be active. If one has truly reached
such a state and is (philosophically) happy with it then there is no need to change things. However, more likely is that one simply is not aware of something
that would give one reason to be active if one was aware of it. Working with Anahata (to explore one’s desires and motivations) may well lead one to feeling
there is something one wants to achieve after all.
Passive / Submissive
Allowing things to happen and submitting oneself to the will of others is not always inappropriate (cf. the many religious / spiritual texts that advocate
submitting to the “will” of God or one’s guru.) But where it excessive or inappropriate then working with Muladhara (to help with stabilizing one’s
sense of self), Manipura (to develop ability to act according to one’s own desires) and Anahata (to develop one’s sense of self and understanding
of one’s own desires) is likely to help.