The following is a dictation of the practice of a heart chakra meditation taught by Swami Sivajnanananda. This practice is designed to help open the heart chakra, stimulated emotional release and sensitizing the practitioner to the traits of love, compassion, and joy. This practice can be used by anyone, however Sivajnanananda recommends that one is component in Kaya Sthairyam (or mind body stillness) before approaching this technique.
The audio version of this practice from which the dictation was created can be found here:
Heart Chakra Meditation Practice (Audio)
“This lesson we will be covering a practice and technique that is designed to help awaken the heart chakra known as Anahata Chakra. While there are many benefits to this practice, the more substantial advantages received from this practice include greater emotional receptivity, release of emotional blocks, and an opening of the metaphorical heart leads to compassion.
The process of meditation upon the chakras is as follows: first we want to locate the chakra centers within the body. This helps us to sensitize our awareness to the movement and activity of the chakras. Next, we use the breath to help develop a psychic passage between the trigger point of the chakra and the chakra itself. The trigger point is known as the chakra kshetram and is responsible for activating the chakra. Finally the chakra is purified and opened through the use of Japa or mantra repetition. Japa is a very important component of chakra meditation as it is responsible for developing the psychic center and awakening the energy within the chakra.
Start the practice by finding a comfortable seated position, choosing any variation of the seated asanas so that you may be firmly established in your seated posture. Before we move into the meditation technique, establish the state of stillness known as as Kaya Sthariyam. It is best to have a strong comprehension of this practice before moving into the more advanced meditation techniques. Focus on finding complete stillness and calmness within the body, allowing the mind, the body, and the breath to become very still and silent. Allow the body to rest firmly on the ground without any movement or sensations as you begin to withdraw your senses from the external environment.
We will now begin the focus of the meditation practice by bringing our awareness to the chest and the area contained within the thoracic region. Concentrate your awareness upon the front of the heart near to the breastbone. Try to focus and concentrate all of your awareness on this point sensing and observing the sensation of the pulsating heart within the chest. See if you can notice the rhythm and ingenuity of the heartbeat, allowing your awareness to become absorbed within the activity of the heart.
This point of awareness just behind the sternum and in front of the heart is the trigger point for the heart chakra. All of the chakras rest along the spinal column, while the trigger points will be located in different areas near to the chakra, in this instance close to the chest. We will now begin to move our awareness in a straight line back to the chakra at the spine. Try to focus all of your awareness and concentration at the chakra point along the spinal column just behind the heart. The movement of energy in the heart chakra directly correlates to the rhythm and beat of the heart. See if you can sense this connection, allowing all of your awareness to become absorbed in the movement and activity of the heart chakra.
Begin to draw your awareness to the natural rhythm and cycle of the breath. Try to isolate the breath within the thoracic region as you concentrate on the expansion and contraction of the rib cage. Try to visualize by you or breathing through the chest itself as if there were an air passage in front of the heart through which the air moved into the lungs. Try to visualize the breath as it moves through this air passage on the inhalation and the exhalation.
Next, began to expand your concentration on the breath as you visualize the breath moving in to the body through the chakra trigger point in front of the heart as it makes its way towards the heart chakra along the spine. Then on exhalation, try to visualize the air leaving from the chakra points along the spine and exiting through the visualized space in front of the hearts near the sternum. Try the also bring your awareness into the expansion and contraction of the rib cage, following the full movement of the breath as you develop your visualization of the air passage between the trigger point and the heart chakra.
Now, begin to visualize the psychic passage that is connecting the heart chakra with the trigger point in front of the heart. Try to intensify all of your concentration to merge this psychic passage between the two points. Allow the breath become very subtle and refined, giving the breath the opportunity to connect these two centers within the chest region. Try to examine and observe both the chakra center and the trigger point with all of your awareness and attention. See if you can be aware of both of these centers simultaneously within your concentrated mind. Now begin to introduce the mantra OM as it moves with the cycle of the breath. On the inhalation, mentally repeat OM as you move the breath from the trigger point to the chakra center. Then on exhalation, mentally repeat the mantra OM as you concentrate on moving the breath from the chakra towards the trigger point in the sternum. Try to focus all of your awareness and concentration on the movement of the mantra in correlation to the breath and the psychic passages. Feel that the breath and the mantra are helping to cure if I and open the heart chakra. Continue with this practice for another 5 to 10 minutes as you concentrate upon the movement of energy and the breath between the two points.
Finally, begin to allow your mind to relax, returning your awareness and attention to the natural breath. Try not to modify the breath in any way, simply watch the rhythmical flow of the inhalation and exhalation as the air enters and exits the body. Allow both the mind and the body to become completely relaxed as you absolve yourself with them the breath.
Now, keeping the eyes closed and the body still, begin to bring your sensory awareness to the external environment, noticing the sounds and room, feeling the temperature of the air, and noticing any sensations within the body. Finally, begin to bring movement back into the body by rocking the head from side to side, rolling the shoulders, shaking the legs, and when you’re ready open the eyes.”