“The physical heart is our strongest muscle; it also functions as the core of our feeling dimension. Like any muscle, the heart grows stronger with use. By creating a feeling connection between our heart and our voice, thought, touch, sight and hearing, we instantly access the safest, most accessible method for opening the heart. We create this feeling connection by allowing awareness to penetrate the heart. The moment this connection occurs we contact the love of our Higher Self; we transcend fear, sorrow, and anger; and we heal ourselves and others.”
– Dan Millman, No Ordinary Moments, 1992, p. 261
“The only thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
– Harper Lee…To Kill a Mockingbird –
“The Way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”
Body Areas Ruled by the heart Chakra – heart, circulatory system, blood, lungs, rib cage, diaphragm, thymus, breasts, esophagus, shoulders, arms, hands
Crystals and Gemstones – malachite, emerald, rose-quartz
Flower Essences – holly, poppy, wild rose, (Ali here- all the rose family flower essences affect the heart in different ways. They can address and heal grief, joy, loss, longing, heartache, love in one way or another. All emotions pertaining to the heart and the heart center. Some of the members of the rose family include rose hip, apple, hawthorn, crab apple, raspberry, loquat, etc. An interesting fact is that all of them share a common trait- 5 leaf flowers!!!!)
The Heart Chakra (in Sanskrit – anahata) is located at the chest center and is represented by the color green. This is the area of the body which governs emotion in the forms of forgiveness, unconditional love, letting go, trust, and compassion. Theses are the emotions of all things happy, all things content, all things safe, all things that build relationships, either personal or interpersonal. Without these emotions we are not functional as individuals, nor as societies. Life without emotion is a solely a machine that acts by directive… with no conscience or without concern for outcome.
When a body is living a life dominated by action and without adequate “anahata” it become more susceptible to physical ailments in the form of heart ailments, lung disorders, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, lung cancer, breast cancer, thoracic spine, back and shoulder problems.
The psychological disorders connected associated with a lack of “anahata” is, in my opinion, becoming more and more prevalent in a society which is beginning to disconnect emotionally. As we become more and more “machine” oriented” we begin to lose empathy for others and sadly, for ourselves as well. Some of the psychological symptom are seems in emotional issues, mental confusions and dissociation, difficulty in finding and maintaining (love) emotional relationships, lack of confidence, lack of inspiration and creativity, hopelessness, despair, hate, envy, fear, jealousy, anger, and selfishness.
What do we do with this information? How do we heal ?
First, lets look at some of the areas we need to understand in order to heal the heart “anahata” ; 1) Do I have difficulty forming, and then maintaining relationships with others?,
2) Do I have old emotional scars that I have difficulty letting go of?
3) Do I find it difficult to forgive?… even small issues?
4) Do my emotional difficulties control my life?
5) Do I need to control situations and the people around me to the degree that I am allienating people who care for me?
6) Do I allow, even encourage, the dysfunctional behavior of others?
To have this fourth chakra energy touch our daily life requires making a deliberate choice to do so. You must recognize need and commit to healing yourself first. You must, in order to love and forgive others, forgive and love yourself first. This begins within because without the ability to love ourselves we cannot truly experience love for another or give it truly to another. In loving ourselves we allow ourselves to learn what these emotions really mean and how they really feel. We are then, and only then, able to transfer these Heart emotions to others.
In the Buddhist tradition there is a practice called Metta Practice. This is a form of meditation used to open the heart chakra. This meditation embodies unconditional love…The definition of Metta is living kindness. When you practice Metta you will become more aware of your heart center and find a place of well being and loving kindness for yourself…and then, out in the world to others…
Starting Your Journey – Basic Instructions for Metta Practice
1. Sit comfortably in a quiet and solitary place where you will not be disturbed for 15 minutes or so.
2. Close your eyes and relax, breathe easily in and out until you feel your body calming.
3. Rest your hands gently at your heart area…begin to bring your awareness inward…let your breathing come from the heart. Think about what brought you to this Metta place and focus on that…allow words that represent your feelings, things that you want most for yourself, come to the surface. For example, “I would like to enjoy love in my life and give love in return.” You can even focus on small specifics such as I wish to saw positive things about myself. Continue meditating on your positive hopes and desires until you feel a sense of well being. (You may need to try this several times before you are able to quietly and focus for longer and longer periods of time…Keep at it!…It’s worth it!)
4. Visualize radiating outward in a series of concentric circles this well being for others. Continue radiating outward this well being for those in your circle until you feel you completed the meditation. Now, move this circle to those you know, and then those you do not know, and move the circle outward to your town, state, country and the entire world. Bring the practice to a conclusion when you feel complete with it. Again, start with yourself, then to your love ones, next to people you are acquainted with, and finally to the outer population and world as the Heart Chakra holds connection emotionally to all.
You will find many Metta Practices on YOU TUBE. One good one is entitled Metta Meditation To the Sound Of Alchemy Singing Bowls – Kimberly Moore
(Ali here again 🙂 I have to add a link to my Heart Meditation practice here. I will be adding some more meditations and yoga classes on the heart this year)
Learn to support yourself by doing things you love; and make it a point to give without any expectation of reciprocation. Know that you are wonderful and miraculous as you are…that you do not need things, nor other people, to complete you. Relationships are a gift you can receive…but another person is not required to make you feel whole. You must give that to yourself.
Healing the heart chakra involves the ability to love yourself unconditionally. You can only love others unconditionally if you love yourself the same way. Do things that make you happy…things that give you pleasure. See yourself as an unique individual with a deep capacity for great love.
Paint a new picture of yourself each day as you grow into the ever evolving person that you are.