The heart meditation can be summed up in the following words: “Focus in your heart, relax, and receive”. That’s the whole technique. But of course, that’s much too simple for most of us to relate to, so I’ll explain it. Once I explain it, you’ll probably say, “Oh, in other words, focus in your heart, relax and receive”.
The heart I refer to can be thought of as the heart chakra, or energy center in the middle of the chest. Another way of thinking about it, is the doorway to higher consciousness. And the higher consciousness I’m referring to encompasses ones own soul, what 12 step people call the higher power, God, Spirit, guides, masters, saints, angels, and anything you might consider more intelligent or powerful than our normal conscious mind, not including google. The heart is the access point to all of that.
The Heart Meditation Keeps Us Out Of Our Head
One of the things that makes the heart an effective access point to higher consciousness, is that it’s located, geographically speaking, away from the head, where we keep our intellect. The intellect is that part of us that does the normal day to day thinking. Our intellect is good for playing back ideas we’ve picked up from other intellects, and even from higher consciousness. But it’s not especially creative, and doesn’t come up with much of anything new on its own. It’s a bit like a computer database, and can only express what’s been programmed into it. The intellect is very good at recognizing and holding patterns of understanding. It’s not so good at creating new ones.
So, when we focus in the heart, or spiritual heart, or higher heart as it’s also called, we’re taking time off from our intellect, where we usually hang out. Time in the heart is a lot like a vacation from our intellect.
But it takes time and effort to focus in the heart and meditate, and it often takes practice for the benefits to show up. So why bother? Well, I can tell you why I bother. When I meditate,
- I feel connected to love
- I feel a sense of general wellbeing and calm
- I experience emotional healing
- I receive higher input and insight about my life specifically, and the world in general
- And I feel more balanced and happy all day, from investing in this short meditation time.
All those things mean a lot to me, so every morning I spend time doing nothing but focusing in my heart, and usually some at night as well. I’m not saying it makes my life perfect, but it definitely makes it better, and after living with the benefits for some time, I’d never want to be without it.
Most people say that when they try to focus in the heart, or do any kind of meditation for that matter, they get easily distracted, and thoughts get in the way. Some people prefer to chant a mantra or word internally, or focus on their breathing, or listen to music, or do some form of guided meditation, in order to help stay focused. And all those things are fine and have their place, and you can even incorporate them into the heart meditation I’ll be describing.
It can take a lot of practice to learn to drop into the heart and stay there for a while, without the intellect kicking in all the time to distract us. But as I said, in my experience, it’s worth practicing.
When we begin to focus in our spiritual heart to receive all the good stuff I talked about, what we often encounter is a lot of emotional stuff in the way. In a way, our emotional heart is in front of our spiritual heart, and that’s another issue that comes up during meditation. So in the next podcast I’ll talk about the difference between the emotional heart and the spiritual heart, and how to respond to emotions that come up when you’re meditating.
In the mean time, I created a guided meditation program called Heart Meditations that I suggest to many of my clients. If this is a subject that interests you, you might want to check it out.