The word for mindfulness and heartfulness in many Asian languages is the same word. When practicing mindfulness people are also aiming to practice heartfulness. This idea of heart-centred awareness is therefore central to the practice.
To know heart is to hear and experience the presence of wisdom within the body. Within the soft space of inner silence, heart whispers truth.
Be patient with your heart. You cannot ask a flower to open by shouting at it. You can only wait.
To open your heart, try this activity:
Begin by finding a comfortable posture and by bringing your attention to the
breath. Take a few moments to let yourself arrive and allow the breath to draw you gently into internal awareness. Allow the gaze to soften, the eyes to close.
- Inhale and visualise the breath being drawn directly into the heart. As you exhale see the breath moving back out into the space around you. As you do so, let the breath draw awareness into the heart-space.
- Observe any sensations, images, feelings and thoughts that arise. Take five breaths here.
- As awareness grows in the heart, notice how this feels and silently choose three words to describe this experience.
- As you inhabit the heart fully and listening deepens, imagine what wisdom is available here. Silently say: ‘I ask for the teachings of heart.’
- Listen and be present to whatever comes.
- Now focus on a loving relationship in your life and allow the feelings of love to fill your heart. Notice the vibration of love itself. Feel it. Embrace it. Enrich it. Be with it fully. Take 5 breaths.
- Notice the feelings of gratitude and appreciation that arise as you contemplate the love already present in your life. Take five breaths here.
- Allow the heart to show you the love that you already are. Take five breaths here.
- Return to wakefulness in your own way. Record your experience in your Mindfulness Journal noting the sensations, images, feelings and thoughts that arose from your heart. At your first attempt, you may only record one or two things, however keep revisiting this Practice because your awareness will develop. If practicing with others, take turns sharing your discoveries.
Taken from 100 Mindfulness Meditations by Neil Seligman.