Chakra Tai Chi was created by Dr. Aminah Raheem a transpersonal psychologist from California and the founder of Soul Lightening International Acupressure. It helps to clear and strengthen our energy field including body, emotions, mind and spirit…opening our potential ability to connect with our own soul messages.
Chakra Tai Chi is a movement meditation, designed to activate and enlighten all parts of being—body, mind, emotions and even soul. It stimulates and aligns the energy from the base of the body to the crown of the head. When the Chakras are activated and aligned, they provide access to the full range of human consciousness and stabilize this consciousness in the body.
The purpose of Chakra Tai Chi is to bring more consciousness into all the chakras and all aspects of their influence on our lives as well as to bring awareness to integration of the whole person. It is a powerful tool for self-care. Practiced consistently, you can gain deeper understanding and connection with yourself and others.
Although it uses simple traditional Tai Chi movements its purpose is not technical refinement, although that may happen as you continue to practice. Like traditional tai chi, it activates the energy systems so that chi can flow more fully and smoothly. And as chi flows, more consciousness can open up, from within your own awareness, not as a result of following an outer teacher, but from contacting your own inner teacher.
The emphasis of this meditation is on expanding consciousness, at all levels. For example, as you practice you will become more aware of your body, in different and exact parts, you will attune naturally to the thoughts that flow through your mind and the emotions that arise. Then, even beyond these specific awarenesses, sometimes all of it will come together in a grand gestalt of insight, which perme ates you completely. An “aha” moment will occur and suddenly something that was a mystery before will become clear to you.
There are several advantages of keying the meditation to body movement
• the body’s wisdom becomes more available
• we can learn where and how emotions and thoughts arise in the body • we can instantly learn the effect of thought(s) and emotions on all parts of our being
• insight is immediately a whole-being phenomenon, not restricted to head and thinking
• as awareness of the body, thinking and feeling continue to open up as we go deeper with each session until we are finally accessing the very core of our being, our true nature, the soul.
• the more we move the body in harmony with the body’s energy systems (meridians, chakras and nadis) the more chi opens up in a cumulative fashion which in turn, enhances our health, awareness and well being.
At first the practice may seem too simple, especially if you compare it to traditional tai chi. But as you keep opening to inner awareness of all that is going on with you, the exploration becomes unexpected and fascinating. As you have a feeling in the body an image may arise, or a word, or song. Then a recent dream or a long lost memory may surface. As you keep moving up through the chakras all of these impressions may come together in a completely new perspective. You will experience consciousness of each chakra directly. And as you continue to practice you will come to know yourself at levels that you have not penetrated before.
You will also become more aware of your own auric field and, beyond it, to the field around you. You will experience how your field is connected to the greater field, for example how your movement may affect the environment around you, including plants, animals or humans. Then you may attune to the universal field and even tap into its wisdom, just as some indigenous people are able to anticipate weather changes. These awarenesses are not intellectual understandings but direct, body-felt realities.
The practice can be done in as few as 8 minutes, when you need to clear your field between clients or prepare for a presentation, or it can be extended to an hour, as a complete meditation. It is classic to do the movements in groups of three, that is 3, or 6, or 9, or 12, times for each movement. Experiment with different times of day and with your own rhythm and pace.
As you do the practice you will discover untold treasures within yourself and the world around you. With continued practice you will discover flowing with the Tao, within yourself and the cosmos. The New Millennium Chakra Tai Chi
Root & 2nd Chakra: Rocking with the Earth: Stand with feet flat, shoulder width apart. Swing arms up (as if lifting energy), rising on toes slightly. Then swing them back, coming back onto balls of feet and lifting toes slightly off floor. Exhale when lifting up; inhale when coming back toward body. Focus attention on root chakra for 3, 6 or 9 swings.Then bring attention to focus on second chakra for another 3, 6 or 9 swings. End with graceful conclusion.
Third Chakra: Clearing the Path: Place left heel out in front of body, while rocking forward on the left foot, swipe to the left with both hands (as if scraping around a platter). Then coming back with weight onto the right foot, swipe back around toward the body, making a full circle. Throw away whatever is no longer useful as you swipe away from the body. 3, 6 or 9 times. Repeat the same full motion on the right side but start with the right foot out in front. Focus attention on the third chakra 3, 6 or 9 times. End with graceful conclusion.
Heart Chakra: Giving and Receiving: Place left heel out in front of the body. Place both hands, palms facing forward, at the heart level, close in to the heart. While rocking forward on the left foot push hands away from heart, giving. Then coming back with weight onto the right foot, turn hands so they are facing your heart and bring them back into your chest, receiving. Give and receive the love you need as you keep attention focused in the heart. Repeat the same full motion on the right side but start with the right foot forward. Do 3, 6 or 9 times on each side. End with graceful conclusion.
Higher Heart Chakra: Gathering in to Serve: Foot motions same as beginning with left heel out. Begin with hands at higher heart, then reach arms out to gather energy from outside and draw it back into the body, at root chakra level. Then gather energy up, from inside your body, starting at the root chakra, coming up to the Higher Heart . Distribute this energy out to serve, each time you rock forward on the foot. 3, 6 or 9 times each foot. End with graceful conclusion.
Throat Chakra: Freeing Expression: Left heel out, left hand extended. Right hand at throat. Push right hand away from throat, clearing it, while left hand brings fresh energy back into it, as you go forward on left foot. Then right hand extends, as you come forward on left foot. As it comes back toward the body rock back with full weight onto right foot. 3, 6 or 9 times. Repeat the same full motion on the right side, starting with right side forward. 3, 6 or 9 times. Focus attention on throat. End with graceful conclusion.
Brow Chakra: Clearing the Vision: Scoop up fresh energy with hands and ground it. Using same footwork as before with left heel out in front of the body, swing your hands behind you to gather up fresh energy. While rocking forward on the left foot raise the energy with your hands forward. Then coming back with weight onto the right foot, raise the energy to your brow and comb it back through your brow chakra, clearing it 3, 6 or 9 times. Repeat the same full motion on the right side 3, 6 or 9 times. Focus attention on brow chakra. End with graceful conclusion. At the end, take whatever time you need at the brow for seeing beyond ordinary sight into clairvoyance.
Crown Chakra: Bringing down Heavenly Chi: Scoop up fresh energy and ground it. Lift the energy up to the crown over the top of your head. Clear the crown by blowing out while you come up on toes slightly and then take hands away from the head. Repeat three times. Then “stir” the energy. Repeat twice. Take time to connect to your soul and the Universe.
Finishing in the present moment
End with Chakra Balancing: Reach high above your head into Heaven. Sweep Heavenly energy down through all the chakras, all the way to Earth. Say the mantra aloud or to yourself, “I align with my Soul Now.”
Left hand over crown while right hand attunes all remaining chakras to crown with a downward motion.
Throat: manifested creativity, clairaudience, expression of truth
Higher Heart: manifested values and dreams of the heart, “walking one’s talk” Heart: unconditional love and compassion, ability to love and forgive all things
Solar Plexus: personal power, ego
Pelvis: sexuality, sensuality, fundamental creativity, physical energy
Root: physical survival, procreation, grounding, sense of security
CENTRAL ALIGNMENT AND THE CHAKRAS
Chakra development progresses as we age: it begins at birth with the root chakra and continues, chakra by chakra in stages up through later life (about 60 on) when the crown chakra can be predominant. As we grow and develop each of the chakras activates its corresponding abilities. In simplest terms: root activates survival instincts; second activates sexual and creative potentials; third activates personal identity and power; heart activates empathy and love; throat activates truth telling and higher creative expression; brow activates higher intuition, intelligence and witness consciousness and crown activates our conscious connection with the greater Cosmos.
LOCATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS OF THE CHAKRAS
All eight major chakras penetrate the midline of the body. They bulge out from the front of the body in energy centers which have been described as spinning wheels. They penetrate the body in a cone shape, extending through and beyond the spine in the back. They can be located with touch in either the front or back of the body but are easier to feel at first on the front. Location and position may vary from body to body.
Crown, or Seventh Chakra: Located directly above the crown point of the head, extending upward. Sometimes named the “thousand petaled lotus” to indicate the extensive consciousness potential an open crown provides. Associated with cosmic consciousness, union with universal mind.
Brow, or Sixth Chakra: Located at the middle of the forehead. Sometimes called the “third eye” because it can provide paranormal vision and knowing beyond thinking when activated. Associated with intuition, objective knowledge, clairvoyance.
Throat, or Fifth Chakra: Located in the middle of the throat. Associated with manifested creativity, paranormal healing abilities, clairaudience, expression of truth from the self. Higher Heart chakra: Located over the manubrium and thymus gland. Associated with manifesting the values and dreams of the heart. “Walking one’s talk.” Only recently recognized as important.
Heart, or Fourth Chakra: Located in the middle of the chest, in the heart region. Associated with unconditional love and compassion, the ability to forgive and accept all beings. Both Jesus and Buddha exhibited fully open heart chakras.
Solar plexus, or Third Chakra: Usually located at the navel, this chakra is the one most likely to have a variable position, all the way from the bottom of the sternum to the navel. Associated with personal power and ego. Sometimes termed the emotional center because most ordinary emotions are thought to center here. Also identified with ordinary thinking (analysis, logic, etc.). This is the center most likely involved when a person either over-identifies with others (feels others’ feelings in his/her body), or cannot connect with others.
Second Chakra: Located about 2 to 3 inches below the navel. Associated with sexuality, sensuality, fundamental creativity in general and physical energy.
Root, or First Chakra: Located at the base of the spine.It is the first chakra activated in early life. Pertains to physical survival, procreation at the most basic level, grounding and a sense of security in life.
My birthday is October 23rd. Autumn baby. Friday’s Child. Loving and giving.
I was born in Pensacola Florida 1959 at a US Navy Hospital.
My sister and brother were both born in North Carolina in the 2 subsequent years. We all had little Southern accents.
Then we grew up in our parents original home in Connecticut. New England killed the Southern accent. Stayed there until I went my sophomore-senior years to New York, then lived in NYC for 4 years before moving to Boston. You had to have a Boston accent to communicate up there. Too cold…Moved to Florida for a second time. Too hot!! 4 yrs later moved up to Martha’s Vineyard then to the Jersey Shore, then 22 years later back to Florida for a 3rd time! I guess I keep coming home!
You could say I’ve got the accents pretty much down pat.
When I lived in Fort Lauderdale in the 1980’s everyone was called “Bud” with a heavy drawl. It’s not like that now unless you’re really back country. Not sure if that’s true anymore.
When I first moved back to Naples FL to be near my friends who had moved there I was surprised at how much development had taken place in those years between 1986 and 2002 (I had started to visit them and moved 6 years later). And it was beautiful and comfortable.
I had started networking right away so it was easy for me to pick up work when I got my Florida massage license . What started as self-care became caring for others and my first ever Spa employment. My first full-time job in Naples was actually in Marco Island at the brand new (2008) Hilton Spa. I got to be in the original training program which took place for an entire month in one room with 40 or so people. We learned about products and protocols, service and operations. We had a close knit team. And then the Economic Collapse happened and only a few of us got to keep our jobs which were barely keeping us alive.
Even then I would come home after a long day and I’d get on the computer and arrange classes, applying to the various Boards and State and the various tasks that keep it going. I would work til midnight and then be on the road by 6 or 7 the next day. For two years I did that and then started working at LaPlaya Beach Resort in Naples. I loved working there because it was beautiful with wooden floors and garden views.
I was there until March 2020 when COVID struck the world. It didn’t make sense for me to expose myself to that virus and all the people who might be jet-setting around the globe so I stopped doing spa work and didn’t work again until June 2021 when I got my COVID vaccine.
During that time I learned about giving Webinars and arranging for them to be approved in the proper channels. I volunteered with Soul Lightening International Acupressure to update their programs many of which I teach. It was a very busy time. Enforced education.
I also gardened. I volunteered to beautify the back area of my condo association. It was good to be out on the Earth and was very worthwhile.
I still have a lot of class building to do and I am confident that it will go well and grow and it takes a lot of time and energy to do so. I have not gone back to spas and am only seeing private clients now and working on creating and building my classes.
I hope to be more free to travel sometime when COVID dies down. I miss my family in Connecticut and friends in various places that I would visit occasionally.
I have been to visit my father in Pompano Beach FL, 2 hours away, who will celebrate his 85th birthday this month. I enjoy joining him and my step-mom for lunch then he and I walk in the pool for an hour. He still plays golf three times a week. Does the grocery shopping and cooking. Keeps him young. That and the 11 Grand Children and 6 Great-Grand Children & 1-on-the-way!! It is a joy to watch our family grow. A really beautiful family. Very accomplished and lovely. Lots of handfuls. Heartfuls.
My friend Rosemarie Phillips was from Hawaii. I met her in my massage class. I was 35 years old, she was 70. Her daughter Radiance (Charlene Madeiros) lived in Hawaii and took folks on treks around the islands and when I was through with school I took myself there to be with her. This is a photo essay of my time there.
One of my favorite stories to tell is of when on my first visit to Hawaii I was backpacking cabin-to-cabin in Mount Haleakala. The trip started with light, cloudy rain. The mountain was covered in a cloud, very damp and then the rain came faster and faster.
The first leg of the trip was the longest — 10 miles — to get to Poliku Camp Cabin. The walk was vigorous and rocky and slick! It was invigorating and wet!
When we got to the cabin Radiance set about making a fire and dinner from the fresh vegetables we had packed in. We took everything out of our packs and hung all the clothing around the cabin so that the warm wood stove could dry everything. We called it a Chinese Laundry.
Radiance gave me a traditional Lomi Lomi Massage right on top of the picnic table that could seat 12. She used some vocalizations along with her massage — toning. I fell completely asleep. I was so deeply asleep that I did not hear her pop popcorn which was on the counter when I woke up in the dark!!
We learned to hide our Powerbars under a heavy pan when we found the ones in our pockets had been sampled by the local resident mice.
It rained so hard that night that I got to see how waterfalls are formed…many waterfalls. And later one of the rangers on horseback who had checked on us told us that it rained more than 32 inches that night!!!
How marvelous. I thought for sure it would be on the front page of the newspaper but it wasn’t. Because such things are normal in a rain forest and in fact that is how waterfalls are formed and fill the water areas all around the island.
It also gets cold up on that mountain/dormant volcano. She had told me to bring a “down jacket”. To Hawaii???!!! I never have. It just blows my whole perception of Hawaii. I did bring a down sleeping bag. Good cozy call.
The next morning after we repacked our dry belongings and headed out it was still raining hard. I had made a poncho and leggings with large plastic bags. (The pictures here are of a later trip I took that was just as wet where I came more prepared) When we left the cabin the water was up to my thighs.
We walked about 50 yards and another couple approached us through the rain on the flooded one-lane path. They asked us for the combination to the cabin since they were supposed to be camping in tents. We gave them the combination and they said, “Stay with us!” We declined the invitation. We were heading to the next cabin — a 5-mile hike to Kapalaoa. (There are three cabins the final one was another 5-mile hike to Holua).
After we said “no” to the invite, in the downpour, with his hands covering his eyes so he could see the German gentleman yelled, “Do you know what you are doing?” We looked at each other and we looked at the trail and we nodded to him that yes indeed we knew what we were doing as we headed to our destination, swimming with our feet.
Whenever I get into a situation that is somewhat difficult I remember that man yelling through the hard rain, “Do you know what you are doing?” and it helps me to realize that I do know,, that I am prepared and I am moving forward.
The same routine followed the second night…fire, food, time together, peace.
Packed the next day and headed out to a third final day which sunnied up. Things got lighter and we could hike in our sarongs, hats covering our heads from the strong sunshine.
When we got to the end the ranger told us about the inches of rain and then asked Radiance if she would like to be an honorary Ranger. She had lived there her whole life and they knew she respected and understood the land in ways even they didn’t know. She was great with knowing which plants were medicinal and which were poisonous. Various animals and endangered species. As a nurse, bodyworker, community healer, naturalist, vocalist and dancer she knew what she was doing!!!
I took over 300 Kodak film photos on that trip. Endearingly, friends would call looking at them “Alvina Torture”, especially Aida after she fell asleep while trying to pay attention for a long time!!! Once another travel friend who was tired of my clicking away all the time reached for my camera saying, “Give it to me!!” :))
She says, “Choosing the Artist’s Path is one of my permanent offerings at Project Write Now, a nonprofit in Red Bank, NJ that transforms organizations, communities, and individuals through writing where I’ve been working for several years teaching tweens and teens Songwriting.
In my Songwriting programs, students learn how to connect with themes that are personal to them, and therefore resonate on a universal level. This is a quality found in all good writing. During this strange and scary time especially, Songwriting is a great outlet, as well as a way to build community and spend time together. A way to explore our stories, and set them to music.
You may remember that the main character of my debut novel BEFORE GOODBYE is a budding songwriter. It’s really through her exploration of songs and lyric writing, that main character Cate Reese begins healing, after a great loss.
I believe that all writing is healing, but Songwriting in particular, since it involves singing. Singing is a wonderful way to focus on our breath and our bodies, similar to the way we do when practicing yoga. It’s a meditative, fun activity that helps us express ourselves, release tension, and relax, and I’m happy to be able to provide one-on-one voice lessons over Zoom during a time when people need to “make some noise” more than ever.”
A student testimonial reads:
I am creative! I am an artist! These were affirmations I could neither feel nor express until I met Mimi Cross.
Mimi Cross, course facilitator of the 12-week workshop, Choosing the Artist’s Path, takes a strategically well-planned book and methodology, author Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, and brings it to life, specifically, to your life, as she guides you through the wonderful journey of getting in touch with the creative force within you.
Mimi fully brings herself and her experiences to every class as she personalizes the course material for each student. Her concepts and insights helped me reach into myself, become aware, connect, and find the core issues keeping me creatively blocked. In her class, I learned to rekindle my creativity, spirituality, and respect my gift.
Building on this wonderful experience, you will find that Mimi’s delightful, meaningful and spiritually connected meditations take you to another place; a place deep within you. She then gently eases you from meditation into a writing or visual art experience.
If you want to get in touch with your creativity and yourself, meet Mimi Cross.
Broadway Rendition of Seasons of Love/Let The Sun Shine January 21, 202. A New Dawn, A New Day and I’m Feelin’ Good!!!! (Actually that is a lyric from Nina Simones Feeling Good but it reflects how I feel when I listen to and watch this video :)) )