HJ: In our modern culture, we have become heavily focused on the mind as the supreme source of intelligence and inspiration. We have come to rely on rationale and logic as our primary tools for navigating the river of life, however, the mind, in all its glory, is only half the equation. The heart, while often seen as the realm of the emotions and therefore irrational, is needed in equal parts to balance, complement and ultimately complete the function of the mind. Life is about balance and denying such a significant part of ourselves, or even simply over reliance on certain faculties can become problematic if not brought back into alignment. Furthermore, emotions are not irrational, and like thoughts, provide us with essential information about ourselves and the world around us. Therefore, it is imperative that you develop your heat consciousness in order to have a more balanced — and complete — expression of your unique being. The process of doing so will bring grater joy, peace and awareness into your life.
We present below a simple yet extremely powerful seven step heart focused meditation that will help you tap into this often suppressed and ignored aspect of yourself and unleash the beauty and power contained therein.
Heartfulness Meditation: The Seven Steps
Step One: Nurturing Joy
We increase awareness of the joy within our heart in step with increasing the joy we experience in daily life. Nurturing ourselves with joy is an inner and outer path. An important step in exploring the seat of our joy, the depths of our heart is nurturing ourselves every day. Joy is in the little things. The simple joys make for a life strong in heartfulness where everyday stress doesn’t pierce the sunshine of who we really are. Saying yes to joy in daily life calms the mind and opens our heart.
Step Two: Present Moment Heartful Awareness
Learning to be present in meditation begins with being present in daily life. Heartful awareness is more than being in the moment, it is being in the moment with awareness of our heart. We can learn to see, hear, touch, feel the world about us through and with our heart. There is heart intelligence. This is being in the moment with acceptance, compassion, understanding, gratitude and qualities of our heart. Heartful awareness is a key to unlocking the treasure within us and enjoying more golden moments everyday.
Step Three: Offering
Begin meditation by letting go of our attachments, worries, desires, our thoughts about our daily life. We want to learn instead of taking our daily world into our meditation, to empty the world the best we can from our awareness. A calm mind is the beginning to an open heart. As we offer everything we are busy with in our thoughts, we begin to be free to meditate. We are emptying our mind by offering, letting go, surrendering our thoughts, feelings, the details of life that keep us busy. We are preparing for meditation by freeing ourselves of everything occupying our awareness. Life’s details that are pushing and pulling our awareness in every direction are being put aside as we bring our attention inside, in direction of our heart.
Step Four: Being in our heart.
As we slow down to the nakedness of the moment, letting go of the various things occupying our awareness, we are in our heart. We breathe into the gentleness. Meditation is receiving the heart inside our heart… the peace, calm, lightness we find. In our “out breath” we are letting go of the worldly things as they unfasten from our attention. With our “in breath” we are feeling the presence in our heart. Meditation is a practice of experiencing and receiving. As we enter our heart more deeply, our thinking self is becoming less. As we enter our heart we are being more simply present. Instead of an active mind, our awareness is enjoying the activity of the heart, our heart essence, our love.
Step Five: Awareness Expanding In The Heart
We practice receiving the soft openness of our heart. Our awareness is filling itself with the inner peace and love that is present. As our meditation unfolds in our heart, we experience our awareness expanding. There is an inner vastness. Without the weight of our thoughts and feelings holding our attention, heartfulness is allowing our awareness to expand in heart essence. Here it spreads finding more and more space inside to simply be. There is an emptiness, an inner vastness giving us a whole new perspective on who we are, our life, the choices we make, and what is important. There is a great presence, a whole universe in our heart waiting for our discovery.
Step Six: Receiving the beauty, innocence
In the vastness found in our heart, we want to concentrate and receive the most pure place inside we find. We want to focus on receiving deeply our pure being, our innocence, our light. Meditation is absorbing like a sponge everything that is good that we find in our heart. Meditation is teaching us about receiving instead of compulsively thinking and doing. There is so much inner beauty unveiling to enjoy. As we discover and appreciate this place within us, we begin to see these same qualities of heart in one another and in life everywhere.
Step Seven: Discovering Our Ground of Being
The inner resources found in the heart are our ground of being. Here our awareness comes to be and experience its true home. Instead of struggling to make a true life and home in the world, meditation cuts through the activity bringing us home within ourselves, our heart. We want to anchor our awareness in the inner peace and beauty we find within. As our meditation practice deepens, we come to know our ground of being. Our ground of being is a wholeness, trust, an inner joy independent of the world around us. Our ground of being is giving us our source of creative wisdom, fun and spiritual fulfillment.
Each one of these steps could warrant a book-length description and take years to develop yet as with every journey in life, each step is complete and begins one at a time. Heartfulness is not something we understand intellectually but is in the experience of being in and exploring our heart. Taking the time for our meditation practice,making space for retreat is taking time for our heart essence to unfold. In our overly intellectualized culture, heartfulness meditation is the next step for all of us if we want to recapture the canvas of life, if we want to be the painter, if we want to be the joy! Heartfulness is fresh water, lots of fresh water, washing us clean at our source. Heartfulness meditation is restoring the environment of our soul where our awareness is sacred and life is precious, free to laugh, cry and simply be.
We invite you to open the gifts of heartfulness with us at Silent Stay Retreat Home & Hermitage near Napa, California and Assisi, Italy.