The crown chakra, also known as the “highest chakra,” represents spirituality, higher consciousness, presence, and connection. Those may seem like lofty, abstract ideas, but tapping into the crown chakra—located slightly above the head—can be easier than we think. For a healthy, open crown chakra, practice mindfulness and awareness, and nurture your own unique idea of spirituality.
This opportunity can arise in a variety of ways, whether it’s setting aside time for yoga, prayer, or journaling. While these activities stand out as methods of accessing the crown chakra, it can also be threatened or blocked by cynicism and disconnection. For me, poetry offers a path for looking beyond daily life and toward the transcendent. These poems can help us all activate our sacred seventh chakra.
1. “You who want . . .” by Hadewijch II
A female poet from the 13th century, Hadewijch II, and her work showcase how poetry maintains relevance and resonance across distinct time periods. As a testament to this, celebrated modern-day poet Jane Hirschfield more recently included numerous works by Hadewijch II in her anthology Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women. As part of that ambitious project, Hirschfield translated this poem. The poem’s simplicity reveals its innate, subdued complexity, which speaks of an in-tune, omnipresent self.
“You who want / knowledge, / seek the Oneness / within,” Hadewijch writes. “There you / will find / the clear mirror / already waiting.”
2. “Where Sky Meets Earth” by W. Todd Kaneko
Pushcart Prize nominee Kaneko began writing poems every day while grieving his father’s death. These poems, which explore heavy topics and nuanced feelings, convey a core understanding of the crown chakra: that there is more than just daily, earthly life. Kaneko tries to commune with both realities at once, creating a lush parallel between the world and the otherworldly.
In “Where Sky Meets Earth,” Kaneko writes of his father—and of humans in general: “His body is the sky / and understands the language of birds. His body says the earth is made of everything / that has fallen from Heaven / while no one was looking.”
3. “On the Pulse of Morning” by Maya Angelou
In “On the Pulse of Morning,” iconic poet Angelou approaches observing the day beginning around her as an empowering, spiritual task. She opens the poem with a description of the rocks, rivers, and trees that make up her natural landscape, using this as a jumping-off point to illustrate the hugeness of the world and all its unified species. Through this meditative exercise, Angelou discovers her own interconnectedness with the universe, as well as a powerful message about her purpose and self-worth.
“You, created only a little lower than / The angels, have crouched too long in / The bruising darkness,” the poem declares. “The Rock cries out to us today, / You may stand upon me, / But do not hide your face.”
4. “Different Ways to Pray” by Naomi Shihab Nye
Prayer comes in many forms. Whether you see it as a direct conversation with a higher power or simply a mode of releasing intentions into the world, the act of praying for others conveys sincerity and thoughtfulness. In “Different Ways to Pray,” Guggenheim recipient Shihab Nye—who has been noted as a spiritual poet—depicts a revolutionary view of prayer, inviting it to intersect with the loving actions of our daily routines. In doing so, Shihab Nye charts a roadmap for opening the crown chakra through endowing our actions and encounters with holiness.
“They would bend down to kiss the earth, / and return, their faces housing mystery,” Shihab Nye says of the enlightened figures in her poem. “For certain cousins and grandmothers / the pilgrimage occurred daily, / lugging water from the spring / or balancing the baskets of grapes. They were the ones present at births, / humming quietly to perspiring mothers.”
“The old man Fowzi . . . insisted he spoke with God as he spoke with goats, / and was famous for his laugh.”
If you want to take another step in connecting with your crown chakra, try this relaxing yoga sequence. Learn more about the other chakras, like the solar plexus chakra, the root chakra, and more on the blog, for a holistic, full-body approach.