A heart awareness visualization meditation is one of the best practices you can do to get really present with the intelligence and awareness of your heart. Studies show that the heart’s intelligence is way more attuned to the truth of your inner and outer life than is the intelligence of the mind. The thoughts in our minds are constantly changing, whereas the heart’s knowing is more rooted in a deeper kind of intelligence – a more intuitive one.
Benefits on Heart Versus Head Intelligence
In a culture that’s so head-oriented, this can be a bit hard to swallow. However, as science increases its studies on the heart’s intelligence, we may become a humanity that eventually finds its awareness in the space of the heart. By practicing a heart-centered visualization meditation practice on a regular basis, you can be a pioneer of this heart-centered awareness. You can be one of the yogis leading the way in the transformation of mankind.
Getting centered in our hearts also releases tension that so often comes from a busy mind. It relaxes our entire body and also helps us progress in the practice of self-inquiry, which is so central to the practice of yoga.
Preparing for Heart-Opening Visualization Meditation
What we want to do is create a sacred space for our heart-centered meditation practice. We need a place we can go – one that feels secure and full of love, so that we can give our hearts the attention they so deeply desire and deserve. (Learn how to create an ashram vibe in your home here.)
One of the reasons this is so important is that, whether we realize it or not, we actually experience life not just through the lens of our minds, but also through the lens of our feelings. Emotions often reside in the heart center and our emotions lead us through our lives in a truly profound way.
If our hearts are clouded by the many distractions of modern life, it can be difficult to get in touch with the clarity that comes from being present in this heart-centered awareness and, in turn, we might make wrong decisions and wrong actions – the kind we wouldn’t make if we were leading from our hearts. (Learn six techniques to staying present here.)
Our hearts also hold onto the energy of past traumas. So, we build walls to protect it. But we don’t want our hearts to be numb in this sort of way. Luckily, through the meditation practice, we can actually work to drop those walls and clean the dusty lens of the heart, so that it guides our lives in a way that’s deeply in touch with our intuition and with our soul. With a clean and open heart we can love everything and everyone around us more deeply. We can also receive love in a more natural and profound way – one with less fear and anxiety.
So, let’s get still, and give our hearts the attention they want and need.
How to Do Heart-Opening Visualization Meditation
Go to your sacred spot for meditation and sit comfortably. Soften your eyes and allow your mind to relax. Make sure your spine is long, your neck is long and your shoulders are relaxed downward. (Learn more about how to take a seated meditation pose here.) Close your eyes and begin to place your attention on your breath. With each breath, allow any tension that your body is holding on to be released. Scan your entire body and notice where there’s tension. Breathe into that space and just let those places of tension dissolve with each inhale and exhale.
Consciously let go and allow yourself to feel deeply relaxed. Now place your attention on the anahata (heart chakra), or heart center. How does this space feel? Is there tension, gripping, contraction or holding of any kind? If so, let the breath move through your heart center, beckoning it to feel safe, secure and deeply relaxed.
Simply notice the sensations in your ahahata chakra. It might feel open and free of stress. It might feel as if there’s a blockage of energy. It could feel light or perhaps heavy. Whatever the sensation, allow it to just be. Simply be with it. Send it loving thoughts as you would to a small child you adore.
Now imagine that with each nurturing and nourishing breath, you’re wiping away any dirt or dust that’s covering your heart. Imagine that your breath is actually inhaling into the heart and exhaling out of the heart. Be here, with this breath for several moments.
Can you feel your heart softening and opening a bit? If not, take more time to deeply breathe in and out of the heart center. If you’d like, ask your heart a question or two and see what comes up. Notice how different the answer or answers are, as opposed to when you’re answering with your head. Continue to breathe and sit with this new awareness.
When you’re ready, open your eyes and bring your hands into prayer position at your heart center. Bow to your heart and tell it you’ll be with it again soon. Thank it for its loving wisdom and guidance.
Be sure to practice this meditation often – even if only for five minutes at a time. With time, your heart connection will grow stronger and, with time, see how this changes you, little by little. The momentum will build.