Heart Practice is when we incorporate any of the Heart Meditations into our daily life as a practice - and this can be as simple as using the 1,2,3 steps to connect at the beginning of the day (see below) or whenever we feel dis-connected in our daily life - or listening to the 5 minute meditation below - to perhaps letting the heart itself pray with the Prayer of the Heart. We have many forms of Heart Meditation and together they make up the Heart Practice. When we begin to realise that we need a regular daily Practice to help us integrate mental activity with spiritual yearning - we can begin to use any of the Heart Meditations to strengthen our own inner connection with Oneness, with the Source of All, the Beloved - until that becomes our Home, the place we live - Abiding in the Heart.
Here are a few comments from people who have been integrating Heart Meditations into daily life:
"I can't believe the focus this has brought me and for a pro surfer focus is vital!"
"Thank you. Your heart meditations are saving my life, I am in such a difficult place right now."
"That! I want more of that ... that peace ..."
"Your meditations have been such a help and support during my recovery from illness and I wanted to say thank you."
"The Heart Practice has changed everything in a good way ... the way I interact with people at work, my family, friends, partner, children ... everything has become much more light and peaceful ... and everyone around me is noticing the change."
"What track are we listening to this morning??" - previously resistant partner!
"The heart meditations are now part of my life. They are simply the way I live now. Thank you."
Buddha said, "the way is not in the sky, the way is in the Heart." And Jesus told us, "the Kingdom of Heaven is within." All the great teachers seem to be saying, "Enter that place. Focus. Hold there – without expectations and without attachment. And you will find you are at Home, and you never left."
The Heart Practice is the foundation of Heart Of Living Yoga.
It is the lens through which the divine light shines in this tradition and gently but surely, transforms us and refocuses our false identification with the ego/mind to the infinite consciousness that we are.
As the foundation of all our practices and our way of being, the Heart Practice helps us to shift identification away from, and to transcend the limited mind towards the infinite ocean of being that can be accessed very simply and directly through the spiritual heart centre. The heart centre should not be confused with the physical heart or the mind and its emotions. Through the Heart Practice we come to know and experience a steady state of being, the infinite ocean of consciousness - or God as it is often called. When we make the Heart Practice the foundation of all we do and all we are, the result is inevitable.
By beginning our meditation by focusing in the Heart Centre, when consciousness naturally starts to rise, it is able to rise through the correct channels, the right Nadis which lead it naturally upwards towards the crown chakra and eventually to liberation.
Heart Practice in daily life
There are 3 key elements to help you to use the practice at any time or occasion during the day. It is as simple as 1,2,3.
1 = Relax, 2 = Touch your heart, 3 = Smile.
Step 1 – “Relax” – breathing deeply into the belling and letting the air pour out with a nice sigh breath a few times is a natural way to release tension. You might also enjoy visualising a beautiful light flowing through your body or feeling warmth moving through any areas that are tense.
Step 2 – “Touch your heart” – the heart centre is not the physical heart nor the emotions. The physical heart is a pump situated on the left side of the chest cavity and the emotions are part of the mind and mental functioning (the Chittam). The heart we are talking about is a steady state of being which is always the same. We can connect with it easily when we bring a physical touch to the place in the physical body which connects with the heart centre, which is located at the centre of the chest, in line with the arm pits. We can bring two hands to cover the heart centre, one on top of the other. Or we can bring one hand. Or we can bring a light gentle touch with just a few finger tips. Or we can use the Heart Breath Mudra– drawing the finger tips together in a bunch and holding them at the heart centre as we breathe in, and releasing the whole palm onto the heart centre as we breathe out – and continuing the mudra with the breath, or just leaving the palm on the heart centre.
Step 3 – “Smile” – The smile is a necessary part of the practice. You can be scientific and try it out for yourself!