The Scary Root Chakra

In a spiritual environment just about the last thing we want to discuss is the root center/chakra. We are willing to talk about anything above the belt and not, not, not dirty associations we have with the “lower energies”. So, let’s think about root center dynamics.

Many negative root center-stimulating factors exist in other plexes stimulation also. However, they come alive most strongly in the root. Fear is felt in the root plexus or inner/outer nerve bundle as an attack that arises survival instinct. Now a days there is so little actual danger in comparison to danger of war, or wild animal attack that this can be trained to respond to attacks on reputation or disrespect as survival fear.

Negativity stimulates root chakra activity in an unhealthy way. As that energy increases, it interacts with existing energy and begins to “talk to itself” in the root center. Fear further adds juice to that. Bad news on television might stimulate it. Judging others negatively and assigning negative attributes to others might happen from any of the chakras and could definitely happen from root.

Trauma is also harmful because it shocks the survival instinct and increases in the root chakra with almost any kind of stimulation. Because these energies in the root are not intelligent or thinking they easily become trained or entrained. Practicing anger and improper judgment will further confuse that energy like gossip. On the other hand clear, clean and aligned energies are “speaking the same language”.

There is a healthy root function that is trained also. Walking and exercise stimulate the root chakra. Many people exercise to stimulate that great feeling of being grounded. What about sex? Do you think sex would stimulate the root chakra? I think many would think that's probably an important area to consider.

Now that we know that there is activity there, we can extrapolate because you're alive all over your body. You could stick yourself with a pin anywhere on your body and you're going to shout, isn't that so? A rush of energy moves to that pinpoint immediately. Since you can prove that you are alive all over your body, (perhaps by sticking a pin in various locations) there must be some kind of energy that can move to a certain area. (Interesting to think how body piercing might stimulate activity in various locations deliberately).

Since you are literally made out of energy, there is a relationship between the reconfiguration of your energy and yogic transformation in the actual practice, the inner yogas of higher development. These energies need to be reconfigured and the root chakra might be one of your most stimulated and in need of help chakras in your body.

Low sounds also stimulate. I used to live in the Sonoma Valley, Northern California, and the land of wine grapes. There are many Hispanics living there, partly because there are a lot of Mexicans who come to work on grapes. I happen to think it's marvelous living in a multicultural area. However, many young Hispanic men are fond of these special kinds of cars that bounce up and down. The car becomes a giant boom box.

I would roll up my windows and even press the little button to lock the door, because I hopelessly thought if it would keep the sound out even more. My whole car vibrated with subsonic resonance. These young fellows in their car must be just having a root chakra party. This stimulation very likely makes them feel alive.

These off balance dynamics can become the normal way you feel. When you have so much energy balled into that root chakra your mind begins to identify with that energy configuration, it feels right and it pulls your mind or awareness further into that energy knot. You hear and respond to inner and outer stimuli differently when your energy – and I'm going to say your consciousness – is primarily in the root center.

Buddhist practice stimulates activity in the heart center and holds it there to override the feelings of normal, (off balance but normal), in the root plexus. We practice forms of stimulating happiness by admiring the Buddha, the awakened state and our own potential for altruism. Eventually that becomes our normal set point.

Then we can return to a careful healthy root chakra balance. Eating, digestion, walking and other life functions that are important to human life become the basis for a strong yogic transformation of energies. First healing and heart balance, then we can do real yoga.


  1. It really helps to look at it matter-of-factly like this, just seeing objectively the qualities that are associated with the root chakra and how it is possible to train and untrain our energetics. This makes our own energetics manageable - to be aware of what is happening and why. There is no blame here. If certain activites have been stimulating in the past, and one is aware that this may be related to root chakra activity, it is possible to step back and look at it simply as retraining by doing things which stimulate, for example, the heart center and avoiding overstimulating the root center. Anyone who is practicing for some time knows how stimulating, energetic, and exhilarating compassion energy can be. Don't deprive yourself, just find pleasure in healthier things. Thank you, Rinpoche


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