Simple Heart-Centered Meditation Technique
Recently, I was at a women’s retreat with Dr. Aviva Romm and Pilar Gerasimo.
One of the takeaways I had from the retreat is the incredible power of regular meditation. I’ve not only studied this now for years, but know the personal power of making quiet times a regular part of your days…but I’m still in awe with the mounting research around just how health-giving this simple practice is.
But here’s the thing…. I believe most people hold strong pre-conceived notions about what meditation is and why it just won’t work for them.
I would love to break through these misconceptions a bit and encourage you to have an open mind and consider giving meditation a try.
Maybe a language change would help?
What if we simply wanted to carve out a very small amount of time every day to still your body, quiet your mind and bring your focus back to yourself – in the present moment.
Does this sound a little less intimidating?
These are the ground-rules I’d offer.
1. Choose an amount of time every day you’ll commit to doing this which feels INCREDIBLY doable. I’m talking like a goal of 3 minutes, say.
2. Choose a time every day that you will fit this 3 minutes in.
3. TIME yourself with an alarm that will let you know when your 3 minutes is up! If you know you will have a “time’s up” alert after 3 minutes, you are MUCH more likely to actually relax into your quiet time than when it feels indefinite when to end.
4. Get clear on the purpose. If your expectation is to sit for 3 minutes with complete thought-less silence in your mind, you’ll feel defeated right from the start. The purpose ultimately is to bring yourself back to your own attention and give yourself a pause from the frenetic pace of your days to feel, in your body, heart, and mind, deep calm, gratitude, love, and joy. To get that “tune” clear so it’s easier to tap back into it during your day.
5. Begin to learn techniques that help you stay focused in a positive way on calming your body and mind during this time.
Don’t know any techniques, you say?
So glad you mention it!
One of my favorite meditation techniques is the Heart Breath tool. I’ve recorded a quick video sharing more about it and showing you how to do it in the video below.
What if you tried it today? Watch the video. Carve out 3 minutes. Set your timer on your phone. And give it a shot!
Scientists at the Institute for Heart Math have found that when subjects focus in the heart area and activate a core-heart feeling such as love, appreciation, or care, this focus immediately shifts their heart rhythms, which can change the pattern of activity in your nervous system as well as reduce the presence of cortisol and increase the presence of the key antibodies of your immune system.
The video above shares how to do a simple heart breath technique to help refocus wandering thoughts during meditation times.
If you combine this tool with imagining your heart expanding with love as every breath comes in and then exhaling all that love into the world with every exhale — the technique gets supercharged.
I just want to pause and just underscore how incredible this really is. By simply activating a core-heart feeling, like love, appreciation, or care and focusing that feeling in your heart area, there are biophysical markers that are directly changed in your biochemistry, in your hormonal chemistry, and in your immune system.
Love this! I can do 3 min. It would be great to get into a routine of doing this as I head back to work/school this week. I definitely need a daily recentering. Thanks Lis!
I’m thinking about anchor practices for this Fall big time lately, too!
Oooh so nice! I’ve never done this one before. Thanks so much!!
Lisabeth- it’s a good one!! 🙂
I really enjoyed this one! I have been toying with incorporating mediation into my day and I love how simple this heart breath is. I would very much love a mini-course on mediation 😉
Tanya… I have that mini-course brewing- stay tuned 🙂
I started with 8 minutes in the morning. I’ve been doing a focus on breath meditation consistently since March & have gradually built it up to 12 minutes a day. I still can’t stop my mind wandering – I can focus on my breath for about 3 breaths then off I go again and it takes me ages to realise I’ve wandered off track and to bring myself back to my breath. Maybe I need to change focus to my heart!
Barb- I’d really give this tool a try 🙂 And the truth is thoughts aren’t “bad”- they’re a normal, natural part of having a healthy brain- I like to think of it more as not “engaging” with my thoughts during meditation, like coming to peace with their presence in the background but not feeling I have to grab them by the shoulders, look them directly in the eyes and have a deep convo with them 😉
Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. But many meditation techniques exist. So how do you learn how to meditate?