Cold hearted, warm hearted, black hearted, heavy hearted, light hearted, broken hearted, open hearted, a heart of stone, a heart of gold…we have long used symbolic images of the heart to describe someone. We instinctively know that the qualities held at the heart affect the whole person.
The heart chakra is the balance point between the lower, more physical, chakras and the higher spiritual chakras. As the central point of balance in your body the heart and heart chakra deserve special attention. Opening the heart and achieving harmony and peace here will have a therapeutic affect on your whole system.
The heart is often seen as the seat of the soul. It is the traditionally place we feel our emotions, but to feel higher emotions of unconditional love and compassion the centre needs to be clear, open and whole.
As a therapist I will often advise my clients to, “Listen to your heart.” Spiritually the heart, not the brain, has long been recognised as the place of wisdom. Now science is catching up with the mystics. According to scientific data drawn together in Cindi Dale’s The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy the heart is the electromagnetic centre of the body with an EMF 5000 times stronger than the brain and an electrical field 6o times greater than the brain. It is even made up of at least 60% neural cells. The concept of a heart that ‘knows best’ is not a fanciful notion!
To become ’heart centred’ you need to shift the focus of your consciousness from the brain to the heart. There are many ways we can do this. I like to use crystals, visualisations, essences and oils and invoke beings of compassion such as Kuan Yin, The Christ and Archangel Chamuel.
Try this simple visualisation:
Sit quietly in a peaceful space. Breath slowly and deeply and visualise a tightly furled red rosebud sitting in your heart centre. As you breath in the petals begin to open, first the outer petals and then the inner ones. The scent of the rose is enchanting. Eventually the central petals open and a shining gold centre is revealed. See the glow of the golden centre expand and shine brightly across your chest and then out across your whole body and into your aura. Imagine the golden light forms a seal around your whole aura so you are bathed in golden light and fully protected by it.
The symbol of the heart is the hexagram, two interlocking triangles, one point up the other point down, also known as the Seal of Solomon or Star of David. This ancient symbol is of perfect balance, between the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water, male and female, light and dark, yin and yang, Creator and Created. This six pointed star is a useful tool in coming to centre and into balance.
Imagine yourself sitting in the centre of the star whenever you need to calm and centre yourself. It can help to use quartz crystals to mark the points of the star and then draw the lines with either a wand or by imagining light streaming from your forefinger. This symbol is also highly protective.
There are a number of mudras associated with the heart. The Apan Vayu Mudra is a hand position for healing and strengthening the heart and is fully described in Gertrud Hirsch’s Mudras: Mudras: Yoga in Your Hands. She recommends it for those with heart conditions in which case it should be used for 15 minutes three times a day. Start with your palms facing up.
Bend your index finger and let its tip touch the ball of your thumb. At the same time the tips of the middle and ring fingers touch the tip of your thumb. Extend your little finger. Do this with each hand.
If you would like to use crystals you can lay them directly onto your heart centre. Rose quartz is the obvious choice, but many other stones can be used so go with your intuition. Four quartz points arranged around the central stone with the points facing outwards will help release tension and heartache, points inwards will invigorate.
Monitor your reactions and move the stones when you feel they have completed their work. Sometimes the shifts are subtle, sometimes dramatic, so if they feel too uncomfortable take them off and allow yourself to settle. You can try them again another day if you like. Don’t be surprised if you release some tears, just let them flow. Make sure you cleanse the crystals well between each session. Give yourself time to ‘come back to earth’ before going on with your day.
A crystal net to bring heart centred compassion for yourself and all beings is The Christ Net, described in Sue and Simon Lilly’s Crystal Doorways. Use a white cloth to lie on, twelve clear quartz and a ruby. Place the quartz points outwards, one above the head, one below the feet and the rest evenly spaced either side of you. Place the ruby on your heart centre. For more guidance and ideas on using crystal nets read my article onlineor get hold of Crystal Doorways.