He quietly closed the door, sprawled face down on his bed, and then rolled over, staring straight up at the ceiling. Then he closed his eyes and began picturing wheels of light, a rainbow of energy centers in his body, each wheel a vortex which sometimes resembled in his imagination a cyclone and other times resembled a turning margarita glass. He began to imagine removing impurities from the wheels with his fingers and cleansing each one with water and a white cloth. The first one, in the groin area, was red and contained no defects or impurities that he could envision; he had imagined cleaning off all of the brown ooze the day before, and the wheel had remained clean. The second, in the stomach area, was primarily orange but, in his mind's eye, was covered with a light blue film. The juxtoposition of complementary colors seemed odd, so he rubbed the blue off with his white cloth.
   When he had first visualized his heart chakra, to his dismay it had been black, with only a hint of green. He had spent hours in meditation eliminating the negative energies from his body and mind, imagining the blackness draining from a hole in his back down into the earth. Occasionally he visualized the bodies of people who had harmed him slipping through the hole in his back and turning into dolls when they hit the ground beneath. After what seemed like hours of draining all the negative energy from his body, the heart chakra finally appeared green in his mind's eye.
   When he felt satisfied that he had sufficiently cleansed the second chakra, the center of emotion, he began cleansing the third. Because it was always bright yellow, he left it alone for the most part, feeling just a tad uncomfortable because it was so very bright. He went to the heart chakra and again cleansed it in his mind as thoroughly as possible, again finding a little streak of black and wiping it out.
   Impurities had never appeared in his throat chakra, either, for some reason. It was the color of the baby blue eye flower, soft and intense and sweet all at the same time. The third eye chakra was a different story. He had read that it was indigo, but he could only imagine it as violet. Once, when he was cleansing it, he had pulled many black blindfolds from the center of the vortex of the third-eye chakra. He had just kept pulling them out, one after another. The last blindfolds were white. After he had pulled them all out, he expected to see something important in his third eye, but nothing happened until he went to the crown chakra. For two days he had been imagining during meditation that he was dumping trash from his crown chakra, so much that he almost gave up believing there was anything but trash in his head. But when he went to his crown chakra after pulling out all of the blindfolds from his third-eye chakra, he saw an odd flower with only four skinny white petals; the flower appeared at first to have been plucked. Suddenly, innumerable white petals were packed together. The flower suddenly resembled a rose, but the word "lotus" kept popping into his head, and a bright white light appeared from above as though a lamp had been switched on, but he couldn't see the source. A voice in his head told him it was the light of God, which he at first doubted because he had never considered himself a spiritual person. He allowed the light to bathe the lotus, and the light grew in intensity, and the lotus kept growing bigger. Then suddenly, after cleansing all of the chakras, he imagined a small lotus flower hovering just above each wheel, and each chakra bathed in white light.
   After only two weeks of regular meditation, critical voices in his head had disappeared. The images of people whom he had hated also vanished, usually after he imagined the people slipping out of the hole in his back and turning into dolls. He felt at first that "shitting" them out of his back was mean, but they were all now, thanks to that act, in his mind, people completely separate from him. He had asked out loud during meditation how to keep the people in his past from bothering him. The white light had revealed almost immediately to him that he had to forgive them all. He tried to think of his enemies with love from then on, to bathe them in his mind with white light, realizing that each one had helped him to grow in some way, and they did stop bothering him almost completely. In fact, at times he began to visualize a place of perfect understanding and love where everyone would be together, loving each other no matter how terrible they had once been to each other, perhaps even loving each other more because they had, with or without intending it, helped each other to grow in some way.
   He began to read more about the wheels of light. He found out that the third-eye chakra was actually violet and the crown chakra was white, uniting all of the colors of the chakras, as he had visualized. He also discovered that his second, orange chakra was covered in blue because the throat chakra was dominating the emotional chakra; in other words, the chakras of complementary colors regulated each other. Since he was in a society that encouraged the suppression of emotion, and since he did not want to consider himself an "irrational" person, he had injected blue energy into his orange chakra as a way to dampen emotion, which caused him, of course, to feel "blue." Also, he discovered that his third chakra, or the mental body, related to the intellect, was indeed way too bright. The auras of the vast majority of people in the West are predominantly yellow instead of containing the rainbow colors that would exist if the chakras were in balance.
   He began to suspect that each chakra is the center of an energy body corresponding to a different vibrational state of being or awareness. In other words, through meditation, he came to believe that the self is multi-dimensional and that each "body," or vibrational state of being flowing from each chakra, corresponds to a specific spiritual plane. He began to imagine that the energy bodies of the higher chakras could actually separate and visit other planes of being. In other words, astral projection was, he began to believe, the "separation" of one energy body from the others. During a successful projection, the energy body, fully conscious, would be able to travel to the plane corresponding to its vibrational frequency and return with awareness of the reality of that spiritual realm.

Hear a song about spiritual bodies.

   Perhaps most amazing was his discovery that the crown chakra was often referred to as the "thousand-petaled lotus." Several days after visualizing the white flower with innumerable petals and hearing his inner voice strongly refer to the flower as a lotus, he found a description of the crown chakra and learned that a popular mantra meant, translated, "Hail to the jewel in the lotus." From that point on, he visualized a jewel with many facets in the flower. At first, he thought the jewel had a thousand facets to correspond to the thousand petals of the lotus, but then he realized that the facets appeared to keep changing as he visualized the jewel, that in fact the facets were countless--the jewel was not static but ever changing. Not only did he visualize the jewel as a diamond, without knowing that the diamond was traditionally associated with the crown chakra, he quickly understood that the jewel symbolized his soul, or what he began to believe was the part of his spiritual being that he might consider God, or "the divine spark." After awhile, he could gaze into the jewel or from the jewel.
   He discovered that the first chakra contained an energy force associated with the "kundalini," the life-force that thrills through every level of being, if allowed. If the kundalini awakens, two snakes of energy, one masculine and one feminine, rise upward around the wheels of light and reach the third eye, and powerful energy also rises through the central channel associated with the spine. (He discovered that the caduceus, symbol of the healer, symbolizes the kundalini energy.) The snake represents the male and female nature of being, a symbol of both the phallus and the vagina (the swallower). As a creature in the habit of shedding its skin, it is also a symbol of rebirth and regeneration. If a person awakens the kundalini energy properly, he is fully awake spiritually, capable of many activities commonly associated with psychics and saints. In other words, that person would be operating on many channels instead of only one. The kundalini, he discovered, is the life force that grounds us in the physical world and opens the higher spiritual planes if the energy is channeled properly. He had, in fact, periodically throughout his life experienced what he thought of as a "ballooning" of consciousness. At those times he had felt inexplicable joy, and his mind had seemed a hundred times "larger" than it normally was. One time, a simple moment, which had been boring and filled with anxiety when he had originally experienced it, came back to him clearly, in what almost seemed like 3D, accompanied by a feeling of intense joy, the memory totally eclipsing everything else. Another time, his mind ballooned at two A.M. while he was working at night, and he looked down at the top of his head; he was so startled that his consciousness had immediately returned to "normal." Memories of those moments of "ballooning" consciousness, of course, were soon lost in the daily grind.

Hear a song about one of those moments.

   He imagined his kundalini energy intertwining around his chakras and his spine and reaching the lotus. He sensed that someone was still sending him negative thoughts, so he visualized looking out from the jewel and then merging with the jewel of his enemy, feeling a sense of oneness and connectedness and love. Afterwards he did not sense as many hateful or angry vibrations from his enemy. He tried it several more times with people he wanted to help and felt the same sense of communion, but afterwards felt that they were confused and perhaps didn't know what to do with that unexpected experience, which they probably only sensed on a subconscious level.
   He genuinely felt reborn after cleansing his chakras and experiencing the thousand petaled lotus in the light and feeling the kundalini energy rising. He realized that his spiritual life was extremely visual; his insights were almost certainly coming from the astral plane, the realm of imagination and spiritual insight, and he wanted to experience all dimensions of the self, but after awhile he realized that healing himself was perhaps all he could hope for in his current circumstances.

Follow an ancient trail.
Follow a quiet trail.
Follow a long path.
Meet a fellow sitting under a tree.