The Heart Meditation
By Dhara Lemos
Healing your world, one community at a time. Healing your community,
one person at a time. Start with yourself!
The world looks upside down. So many catastrophes—hurricanes, earthquakes, and so on. What is going on with our planet Earth? I like to believe that what is happening is something that is supposed to be. I believe that we are in a process of transformation, in the same way a pregnancy and a birth are a transformation. It is a good thing, but as in any transformation it can be very painful and bring up lots of fear. And although I trust that everything is as it is supposed to be and that everything will be taken care of, the question that comes to my mind is, “What can I do to help? What can we do together to help?”
So many people are suffering and in need, and there are so many others who are helping them. We must think of them, too. They are heroes and they need help to help the others. They may not have directly lost everything they own but they have lost their day-to-day lives. They have put their lives on the line and they directly experience the suffering of those whom they are helping—they take that suffering into themselves; they are showing us that we are one.
And so those who want to help, but who cannot help physically, can help with prayer and meditation. Together we can raise the vibration of positive energy to heal the sorrow, pain, and despair, to transform this negative energy to one of hope, love, and compassion, to help them heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. To hold the energy up, with compassion, not pity, we want to invite those who feel the call to share this powerful meditation. The heart meditation is a method that I love and that I have used for many years. Now I want to share it with you.
“Heart Meditation I” for Yourself Being Responsible for Yourself First This meditation is the love and compassion method. The heart is a very powerful transformer, a powerful force in our being that can work miracles. Once you have experienced this method for yourself, you will want to do it over and over again.
You may have heard about breathing meditations in which you breathe in positive feelings and breathe out all the negative energies. But what we are doing here is exactly the opposite because we are using the “heart force” to transform energy. This meditation can help you transform all those toxic feelings, such as guilt, remorse, resentment, and the list goes on, into something positive.
You can be a blessing to others only if you are a blessing to yourself. That’s why I say, “Remember, the most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself.” We often go out into the world prematurely without taking care of ourselves first. So now, let’s take care of our hearts. Instructions It’s very important to be alone; you don’t want to pick up negative energy from others. You need to master this phase of the Heart Meditation for yourself first, because you cannot do anything for others that you haven’t first done for yourself.
I strongly recommend that you practice this meditation for several days before you go on to the “Heart Meditation II.” First Stage: Center yourself in whatever way works best for you. Second Stage: Breathe in all your negative feelings (suffering, guilt, etc.) into your heart, and hold for a moment or two. In this moment imagine all the negative feelings and emotions being transformed. Now, slowly breathe out all the new, transformed emotions of love and joy. Do this for at least 20 minutes. Breathe very, very slowly, and at a pace that is comfortable for you.
“Heart Meditation II” for Family and Close Friends Only after you heal yourself and have mastered the Heart Meditation I are you ready to do it for the people who are closest to you. These people are your husbands, wives, close relatives, and dear friends. Instructions First Stage: Center yourself. Second Stage: While thinking of the person you want to help, feel his or her suffering (anger, frustration, etc.) and breathe into your heart that emotion; hold it for a moment or two. Then, when you breathe out, the emotion is transformed into peace, love, and/or forgiveness. Doing this meditation for each person for 20 minutes will help heal the energy connection between you. This is also a good meditation for disentangling yourself from those who might be sending you negative energy. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of not letting the simplicity of these meditations make you underestimate their power and effectiveness. Most Westerners have a tendency to place value on something according to its complexity and difficulty, but we need to get past this.
“Heart Meditation III” for The World (Our Extended Family) Again, only after you master this meditation for yourself, family, and close friends are you ready to do it for the world. Think of the people whom you’ve harmed and those who have harmed you, and, if you wish, you can do this meditation for the suffering of the whole world, which is at a very high level right now. Instructions First Stage: Center yourself. Second Stage: Breathe in all the suffering of the world, and hold it in your heart for a few seconds. Now, when you breathe out, it’s transformed into joy, love, and peace. Do this for 20 minutes.
“This is the method of compassion: Drink in all the suffering and pour out all the blessings.” Osho