Three Gates, Three Centers

Steven Barnes
2 min readMay 16, 2020

BREATHE! Every 1–3 hours, deep slow belly breathing for sixty seconds. BREATHE!


Over the last few days, I wondered what would happen if I mapped everything I’m doing onto either the Hero’s journey or the Chakras. And…I really liked the results. Just for an example, the Three Energy Centers (a simplification of the Chakras) maps with the Three Gates (an ancient filter for thought, speech and action) elegantly. From the bottom, this could go:

Is it True? This is the Belly brain. Instinctive grasp of true and false, right and wrong. When you are connected here, you can ask simple yes-no questions, listen/feel for the answer, and learn to find the voice/feeling that is never wrong.

Is it Kind? Heart Center. Love yourself, love another person, understand history with compassion. When you forgive yourself, love, yourself, and then extend yourself to others, you will want to be KIND to them. People are doing the best they can. You just don’t know who is at the edge. While remaining connected to your survival drives (Belly brain) open your heart to compassion. You are safe. You can afford to be magnanimus.

Is it Useful? Head Center. What is your ultimate goal, your ultimate outcome? Everything else is “just” a means to that end. Does it take you closer? Move you further away? All of your strategies and theories connect here. But also…your ultimate spiritual goals. “Core Transformation” suggests that EVERYTHING we do, everything ANYONE does, ever, is an attempt to re-connect with the divine (or, perhaps that sense of utter contentment we once had floating in the womb).

I have to think on this, as the implications, IF TRUE, are colossal. A suggestion to investigate: Start with Heartbeat meditation, to fill y0urself with love then connect to breathing to dial in the survival drive. Or…start with the survival drive, and then go to your heart. But whichever way you do it, get rooted FIRST before you worry about what your head has to say about anything.

More later





Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts.