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Mūlādhāra : foundations / nourished

Meditations on the Root Chakra

I always assumed my root chakra was a dim and sunken vortex. My feelings of rootlessness come from my TCK experience. It is unusual to possess a pervasive sense of loss for which there is no language.

Significant partners in my life have struggled to understand this deep restless impetus, or in some cases have even mocked it.

I am uncertain if this stems from their own feelings of inadequacy and rejection – as if they believe the cultural identity they cling to is not enough for me, or if the case could be that they are simply dickheads. I have a strong suspicion it is both.

To me, this is not some whimsical wanderlust but a strange necessity to pack up and get moving. Even within countries, I hop around more often than the average human. It has made me adept in social situations, making friends easily. However, I lose them just as easily. Many have perceived this distance as sometimes cold or aloof but it is honestly just the state of fluxing life.

Over the years, I have gotten better at this; it was not always easy to say goodbye to close friends and lovers, wondering if I would ever see them again. In fact, I blame my light phobia / strong aversion of phone calls on early memories of losing touch with people overseas and my father when he would be away for very long periods of time.

I have often associated with minorities or fringe-groups, where we somewhat bond over otherness. Even then, it is peculiar to tease out and meet the barriers with those who are considered to be marginal. But it is also likely to find fellow TCKs in these spaces, who can be magical and reassuring connections, especially when you have been freshly uprooted.

As an artist, my career has faced the challenge of beginning from scratch several times over. As I have watched my non-TCK friends progress, I have spent those hours networking new connections in new cities as opposed to nurturing and building on older ones. (I am still working to organise and wield my global stretch to some use). Much of my resources are also spent on costly international moves and setting up a household in a host country. My troubles with money are directly related to the health of my mūlādhāra, as it has great impact upon my ideas of security and safety – in some ways, the most basic of needs. In such situations, I have applied creativity and learnt resourcefulness, making use of my globalised network to help me get by, and to which I owe my deepest gratitude.

My ability to adapt, to chameleon, to scream, to wallflower has become so quick and natural to me, it only seems normal that I should perhaps have a slight identity crisis every four or so years. I have recently been going through a cycle of laying an old identity to rest. Typically, for the last four or so years, when someone has asked the ever-present question “Where are you from?” – I have told them that I come from New Zealand.

This is partially out of habit, love for the country (and the installation of their strong jingoism), the dominant twang of my accent, but also because I stayed the longest in Aotearoa and as a result, it has made the deepest impression on me. Yet lately, with distance and with time, I have felt this impression of belonging morph.

Tantric Ganapati, Nyingma School, 18 - 19th Century

I have noticed an increased embrace of the rootlessness and have begun to identify with the “floating” entirely. An image of Miyazaki’s Laputa hovers in my mind. It is a feeling that I have touched on in my artwork and my writing in the past. The collective months I have spent in airports – even memories and experiences forged in these bizarre in-between places – have served me as milestones, pivoting points and sanctuaries of reflection. When I meditate on the mūlādhāra, I see the intersection of a tree trunk from above, the rings echoing out and towards the sprawling roots that spread out in all directions.

They say that TCKs possess expansive world views and are generally open minded. These are two traits I am particularly proud of. Personally, I am always seeking authenticity and truth, absorbing everything as an extraction of universal oneness, beyond constructions of topophilia.

Although it comes with its own lonely baggage, I am grateful for my international upbringing. In a way that is truly genuine, I believe the concept of home is wherever I happen to be. The power of mūlādhāra is rooted in the self – home is found within the self. In Tarot Speake, it is very Ten of Pentacles; wealth and value come from the meanings we glean from our lives. Knowing unequivocally that this grounded feeling of inner wealth is accessible and present in every moment lets me stand strongly in the root chakra.

The floating has also seen me assess many of my relationships. Like most people, I probably have less than ten “real” or close friends at any given time. However, instead of gauging this by proximity and the amount of interaction with another, I have become attuned to a depth of feeling that transcends the boundaries of both time and space. There are several people that make me feel at home, like myself. I know I can talk with these few people – out of the blue at any given moment – and they hold space for me without judgement, and vice versa. I honour them through my Yoga practice, cultivating these beautiful and sacred bonds.

Within the esoteric teachings of Yoga and Tantra, working with the deity, Ganapati or Ganeśa can be extremely beneficial for the root chakra. He is known as the remover of obstacles and presides over the mūlādhāra. With the arrival of the Pisces New Moon on my birthday this year, I plan to begin a forty-day yantra practice to the God. I have the mantra and my mālā at the ready. Ganapati is renowned for his lively and generous qualities and Tantric practitioners have stated that he is friendly and welcoming. So much so, that it is best to simply enter a relationship with him rather than come with cravings, if you should decide to work with him. Perhaps he will enlighten me with a new path of creativity whilst I use this yantra-siddhi for such an extended period!

Once the obstacles are removed, there is nothing but open road. And the floating is not a problem at all; it is a possibility. I hope sharing the treasure of my life experience with you offers something of connectivity, safety and abundance as we remain cradled and steadfast in the element of Earth.


Notes & Recommendations

  • Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds by David C. Pollock and Ruth van Reken

  • Tantric Conjure: The Magic of Mantra & Yantra by Vijnananath

  • Sacred Sound: Discovering the Myth & Meaning of Mantra & Kirtan by Alanna Kaivalya, PhD

  • The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga's History, Texts, Philosophy and Practices by Daniel Simpson

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