An Introduction to NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) and the Chakras
You Think Therefore You Are, Do, and Become?
Begin to Grasp the Link Between Patterned Psychological Thought Techniques and Physical Healing to Align Your Mind and Body in Empowering Your Growth, Success, and Self-Care
In the 1970s a linguist and a mathematician were trying to model the brain’s patterns and thoughts into successful replications. And when their research took shape, NLP became an approach of conditioning the brain for a desired outcome through the use of language. The techniques of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) are one of the few derivations of psychology which have maintained to go mainstream and become a part of people’s lives directly.
This is how the term neuro linguistic programming got its name.
Neuro – brain
Linguistic – language
Programming – techniques of rewiring the brain
The brain has fixed ways of operating especially when it comes to recall. Think of a time in your past when you were very happy. Do not think of a time when you were peaceful in general. Think of a time when you were ecstatic. You had achieved something. Perhaps you were at a stage getting an award. Go to that moment and remember in detail. Do you remember the praise? The applause? When you snap out and come to the present moment, you will realize that your brain has carried forward the enthusiasm that you felt then, into the present moment. You are happy and excited right now. This is the basic phenomenon that NLP uses in different ways.
Take another example, when you listen to a song that you were personally attached to at a period of time in the past, you feel like you are transported to that time back and you feel the same emotion that you felt then. It is the same reason I do not listen to the songs I used to listen when I had a breakup. I am immediately transported back into those days and my state becomes sad, and broken. It is almost as if my past consciousness travels through time and becomes my present.
Understanding the Concept
Bandler and Grinder, the founders of NLP, through their research created a set of techniques which utilized this power of your brain to achieve optimal performance states. The concepts can be equally applied to induce an optimal state of mind into a disturbed state. NLP’s efficacy and its ability to show results almost immediately has given it a huge audience and fan following all over the world. If there was a first principle that NLP had to be brought down to, then it would be – The Brain is a very powerful thing and with the right techniques it can be made to do things which seem impossible to the practitioner. Since NLP works in the mind-body domain, many similarities can be found between the concepts of NLP and yogic practices.
A foundational principle of NLP is what its theorists define as ‘The Map is not the Territory’. This is a mental model which means that a map is a representation of the territory but it is not the territory itself. It’s key details are missing. If we were to add details to the maps to make it as accurate as the territory, in scale, topography and description – then it would not remain a map, it would become the territory itself.
Simply put, it means that our understanding of things is based on how we perceive them, not as other’s see them and definitely not as it absolutely is. Try and apply this to life. You think that you have a good jawline and it makes you look masculine. This gives you the confidence to approach people. However, according to people you may not have a good jawline. Since you perceive yourself as a man with masculine jawline, you feel confident. And that is what matters. Isn’t it?
NLP practitioners use this as a formula to create various techniques to establish new frames in your mind. Not surprisingly though the practices of chakra awakening also establish that the brain can be conditioned to create empowered situations. The yogic practices do not rely to change the world in an absolute state, but to bring about a change in our minds and body, to alter our states.
NLP and Chakra Techniques
Chakra techniques being ancient and more philosophical, are often linked to spirituality but they can easily be seen in almost every modern psychological practice including NLP. One of the techniques in NLP believes that our perceptions are formed and strongly linked with our Visual, Audio and Kinesthetic faculties. Thought and behavior changes can be brought about by changing these modalities.
Most of us say negative things to ourselves from time to time. We have these internalized negative dialogs (the limiting beliefs) that we have with ourselves. The simplest one is “I cannot do this.” Or “I am not a good this.” This self doubt is basically perpetuated in you through the auditory modality. This is what you hear yourself say.
The visual modality is the most explored in the form of visualizations. This technique has been used by motivational speakers like Tony Robbins to psychoanalysts themselves like Sigmund Freud. There are many people who claim that they are just not visual. This is not true. Visualization may be inadvertent with them or may show up as dreams. But visualization is a key part of how the brain functions.
The kinesthetic approach is similar and combines visual & auditory modalities with feelings to add a third dimension.
The use of these 3 faculties of the brain have been established in the yogic texts thousands of years ago. In the process of chakra awakening and many other yogic practices, the use of the “VAK” has been clearly defined.
Chakra awakening is based on stabilizing the mind and envisioning a chakra at a specific place inside the body. The Kundalini texts on chakra awakening literally say to visualize the chakras as flower-shaped energy balls and place them at specific points in our body. Each chakra is linked with body’s parts, glands, elements, and psychological traits. Thus with meditation, the yogi visualizes his way to chakra awakening and well-being.
The auditory element can be unanimously found in all eastern practices – in the form of mantra chanting. As the world progressed, Sanskrit as a language was replaced by Hindi and was left only in the sacred texts, just like Latin. This is why in today’s world, we are left with the belief that mantras are enchantments which had magical effects. But when translated to English, mantras are simply positive statements written as affirmations. Just as NLP would use VAK and affirm to the brain that “I can do it. In fact, I am good at it.”, mantra chanting primarily alters the belief system of an individual.
NLP or Chakras – the smart may be to make their choice but to the wise, the two can go together. As you will tread on the path of discovery, you will realize the astuteness of the proverb ‘All roads lead to Rome.’, or in this case all of them converge at one point – A Belief in the Self.