Practitioners and medical researchers alike know that meditation is good for the body. Meditation reduces blood pressure, calms anxieties, and teaches the mind to focus. It is said that heart meditation isn’t only good for the person doing the meditation, but it sends waves of profound acceptance and love out into the world. Heart meditation, or heart chakra meditation, focuses and develops energy that brims with compassion and heightens the ability to not only feel love for others but for oneself.
The heart chakra is the fourth of seven chakras. According to believers, chakras are spinning spirals of energy. The seven chakras are located along the human body, beginning with the root chakra at the base of the spine, with the slowest rotation of energy, and ending with the crown chakra at the top of the head, which spins the fastest. Each chakra is associated with certain emotional and psychic needs. Blocked heart chakra energy manifests as self-pity, an inability to trust, or fear of intimacy.
Some heart meditation styles involve visualizing a ball of light that begins in the fourth chakra. Practitioners believe that meditative focus and following the breath allows the ball of light to grow in size and brilliance. The meditating inner eye can direct the ball of spinning light around the body to heal physical and psychic pain and can release it into the world as a positive force.
Through daily practice, heart meditation invites greater and greater compassion for the self and others and, at the same time, allows sorrow and fearfulness to evaporate. There are a few postures heart meditation moves through, beginning with a seated position. The practitioner presses the palms together, with the thumbs pressed into the middle of the chest, and breathes deeply.
By following inhalations and exhalations, thoughts begin to dissolve, distractions fade, and focus sharpens. Next, the practitioner creates a warmth in the palms by rubbing them together, visualizing a light in the warmth. The right palm covers the heart with the left atop it, while the practitioner feels energy from the hands radiating into the chest and warmth from the heart radiating into the hands.
Next, the open palms are turned outward into the world. Many practitioners continue to visualize, seeing compassionate, loving energy released as waves of light. Others prefer to focus on the rhythms of their own beating hearts.
Through heart meditation, practitioners work to heal blocked heart energy. Many new practitioners report a surge of old heartache coming to the fore. Blocked heart energy can also manifest physically — believers point to heart attacks, asthma, and sleep disturbances. In fact, the heart chakra’s body parts include not only the heart but the circulatory system and lungs as well.