There are many different approaches to meditation but the aim of each meditation is to enable the practitioner to develop a calm and quiet mind. One of the safest and most effective ways to meditate is through meditation on the spiritual heart. The spiritual heart is an energy centre called the anaharta charka; it is here where we can experience the qualities of love, sympathy, purity and oneness. Because of these qualities it makes it an ideal place to meditate. Many spiritual and religious traditions have also taught that it is in the heart where we can experience our own soul.
Ancient and modern yoga teaching systems describe 7 main Chakras or energy centres. These charkas have a particular quality and have a certain location in the body, when we meditate we can become aware of these different energy centres. In some forms of meditation people may meditate on the third eye (Ajna charka). When meditating on the path of the heart we focus all our meditation on the heart centre or anahata charka. The heart centre can be felt in the middle of the chest in close proximity to the physical heart.
There are many benefits to meditating on the heart.
- When we try to meditate in the mind it is difficult to distance ourselves from our thoughts. It is the nature of the mind to welcome thoughts, either good or bad thoughts. It is these thoughts that make meditation difficult and unproductive.
- By meditating on our heart centre we feel our sense of awareness is leaving the mind and entering into the heart. When we become fully immersed in the consciousness of the heart, thoughts lose their power over us; it becomes much easier to meditate free of thought.
- The qualities of the heart embody oneness, identification and a sense of vastness. Real meditation invokes inner freedom; in meditation we feel that there are no limits, but a sense of infinity. This experience we can get most easily in the heart.
- By contrast the nature of the mind is limited; the mind is apt to judge and deal in finite qualities. It is much more difficult to experience a sense of expansion when meditating in the mind. If we can shift our consciousness into our heart then we will not confined by the limitations of the intellectual mind.
- The heart Chakra embodies purity. If we meditate on other charkas then problems, the heart charka is said to be the safest place to meditate because it embodies purity. Sri Chinmoy says of the heart centre.
‘If you want to grow into something infinite, divine, eternal and immortal, then the heart chakra is by far the best. There you are always safe.’ (1)
- Sri Chinmoy, Excerpt from Fifty Freedom-Boats To One Golden Shore, Part 2 by Sri Chinmoy. web link