We talk about our heart on two levels: the heart as a physical organ, and our metaphysical or ethereal heart. When you say your “heart is broken,” people understand that it isn’t the actual organ that’s broken, but that you’re in great emotional pain.
Did you know that when you work on the “ethereal heart” through meditation or other mind-body techniques, it benefits your physical heart, as well? Scientific studies show that Meditation really works and you can continue to support both of your hearts with a specifically heart-focused meditation.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a recent study found that participants who had meditated twice per day for 20 minutes each over a five-year span had a 47 percent reduction in heart attacks, strokes, and death compared to the control group that did not meditate. So why wouldn’t you give meditation a whirl?
One of the meditations I find valuable is focusing on your heart chakra. Thousands of years ago chakras were identified as part of the body’s subtle energy system. They can be described as energy points aligned along your spine, starting from the tip of your head to the base of your spine. They are energetic openings that collect life energy (also called chi or prana), then focuses and directs this energy to keep your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your being in balance. Each chakra has its own color and each is associated with a different function of the body.
Before we start a visual meditation, it’s helpful to understand what it may look like in your mind’s eye. The word Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning “wheel” or “turning.” The chakras are thought to spin in a wheel-like fashion with the actual chakra itself in the center and the life energy circulating around it. Think of it as a focal point of energy.
The heart chakra, located at the middle of the chest, is known as the joining point of the lower chakras of the body with the upper chakras—joining the body with the mind and governs your circulation. It is thought to be radiating a spring-green color full of healing energy and love. So when you are visualizing your heart chakra, keep these things in mind as you begin.
A Visual Meditation on the Heart Chakra
Imagine or sense yourself gently enclosed in a bubble of light. Take a couple of deep, cleansing breaths. Picture your spinal column and the entry points that run up your spine. Then imagine a cord coming off the base of your spine and grounding into the earth. Tune into the rhythm of your heart and bring your focus to the middle of your chest.
Visualize an energetic opening at the level of your heart. Picture it as a flower whose petals are opening and spinning in the clockwise fashion (you may associate this with “opening up your heart”). As you take in another deep breath, imagine that your breath has the power to make the flower or wheel turn.
It radiates rich vibrant colors, like stained glass on a sunny day, of spring green, rose pink, and bits of gold for universal love. Imagine that gently spinning, beautiful flower, blooming, glowing, and transmitting the colors emanating from your heart. Feel the colors flow through you, healing you and the environment around you. The vibration of love is you and radiates out to those around you. Breathe deeply as you bask in the vibration of love and healing color.
Continue to breathe deeply, focusing on the flower. There is a natural opening and closing of the heart chakra, so use your intuition as to how the petals of your flower unfold, bloom, and close in again. While peacefully floating in this blissful state, you can bring in a mantra or affirmation into the meditation if you’d like. Gently repeating it silently over and over as you allow yourself to simply float on the wavelength of love.
You could use one or more of the following: “I am love, I am loving. I am loving and compassionate with others and myself. I bring golden unconditional love and light with me everywhere I go. As I am healed the world is healed along with me, as I am walking my path and allow others to walk theirs.”
Focus once again on your breath and remember the light that surrounds you. Again, visualize and use your intuition about how open or closed this flower needs to be in order for you close your meditation session. Start coming back to your normal waking consciousness by wiggling your fingers and toes. Feel your feet connecting with the ground. Take a couple of deep breaths and when you are ready open your eyes.
This short little visualization practiced regularly will go a long way toward the health of both of your hearts.
Jill Englund has a Bachelor of Science degree in Metaphysics and for the last ten years has helped organizations and individuals to achieve their goals through guided imagery, creative visualization, and meditation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.