First established by the HeartMath Institute, the first method is called “Heart-Mind Harmony.” Creating heart-mind harmony triggers a brain wave state that sends healing chemicals from the brain throughout your body. Health effects include releasing anti-aging hormones, chemicals to heal immune responses, and heightened focus and clarity of thought.
And the second is an awareness cultivation technique that comes from Tantra spiritual tradition. Tantra teaches us lessons we can draw from to cultivate awareness during meditation practice to distract our busy minds.
Together, these two techniques combined give us tools to create stillness in our hearts that we can use at any time throughout the day. You can use these techniques when you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed.
While cultivating heart-mind coherence and conscious awareness, you can use all or just some of these techniques to still your mind and focus your attention. Use what works best for you.
Begin by making yourself comfortable. Whether your sitting, laying down, standing, or even walking, make sure your back, spine, and head are straight and aligned to create a smooth flow for your breath.
Next, when you’re ready, close your eyes and think of someone you love and care about—it can be a loved one, family, or friends. Imagine placing the image of them in your heart center with the feeling of sending them love, compassion, gratitude, and kindness.
To focus your awareness from your mind to your heart, begin by placing your left hand on your heart center and then your right hand over your left hand.
By placing your hands on your heart, the physical sensation of touch automatically focuses your attention from your mind to your heart. You can use a mudra if you like, but it’s not necessary.
Do whatever is most comfortable for you. The most important thing here is to bring awareness into your heart.
Now, begin slowing your breath. Inhaling through your nose, pull in your breath, and then pause for three beats before you exhale. Esoterically, the inhale is the receiving of the breath of life. The inhale is the first breath of life.
After the pause, exhale to release the breath and then pause for three more beats. The exhale is the release or surrender to the Universe. The last breath of life is an exhale. Continue repeating the inhale and exhale of your breath.
While the slower, the better, how long you inhale and exhale does not matter. The most important thing here is the pauses between the breaths. It is in the pauses between the breaths we find stillness to cultivate higher conscious awareness. Again, do what is most comfortable for you.
During this meditation, focus on the space between the top of your head (your crown chakra) and the bottom of your heart center (your heart chakra).
As you breathe in, imagine the breath traveling down a channel from the top of your head, down the spine, and into the bottom of your heart.
Pause for three beats before you exhale.
Then, as you exhale, imagine the breath traveling back up the channel of your spine, up and out the top of your crown chakra. Again, remember to pause after the exhale.
In this meditation, imagine a ball of light traveling on your breath. The ball of light can be any color, but since we’re focusing on the heart, imagine the ball of light is the color green—the symbolic color of your heart chakra.
Whereas “Tantra” is an instrument for conscious awareness, a “Mantra” is an instrument of the mind.
To cultivate heart coherence, for this meditation, we’re going to use a word that comes from the Native American Cherokee language.
While no direct translation in English, “Shante Ishta” quite essentially translates “The Single Eye of the Heart.”
During this heart coherence meditation, as you inhale, silently say the word “Shante.” Again, pause for three beats after the inhale. Then, as you exhale, silently say the word “Ishta.” Again, waiting for the three beats after the exhale.
Like any meditation and yoga practice, cultivating heart-mind coherence, conscious awareness isn’t a competition. You have nothing to prove to anyone. So experiment, play with it and use only the parts that work best for you.
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