The heart is both physical and spiritual, the center of our being which connects us to everything. Our spiritual self longs to connect with divine love. That longing for connection creates a vacuum and if we are not careful, we will attempt to fill it with things that don’t belong in the heart. This is toxic and causes our hearts to become seemingly blind and deaf to everything around us while attaching to worldly distractions.
Instead of finding joy and love in helping a stranger in need, some find that to be a burden and would rather seek joy in spending money or career. Nothing wrong with being successful or wealthy, but that is not the root of happiness and it can distract us from what really matters.
God is the ultimate love and ultimate light, that light is in everything all at once. The trees, the wind, the difficult and the easy; one can find The Light in everything if their hearts are listening. Love can act as your compass in life if you allow it. This doesn’t mean blindly go after other humans you are attracted to. While companionship love is important and will be used down below in the meditation exercise, it is not the ultimate love which I am referring to.
No matter what name you assign to God, no matter if you are agnostic or unsure about faith, most can at least agree something deeper and larger than ourselves puts a spark in your heart sometimes and you feel it. THAT, that something, is The Light, The Fashioner of Forms, The Forgiver, The Protector, The Most Loving, The All-Encompassing. Call it whatever you like, I call it God.
Mental Health Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is used by a variety of belief systems and often advocated for in the use of mental health. It is a universal concept that connecting to your internal self and becoming more mindful is beneficial.
Here are a few benefits of meditation, but please understand many more exist.
- Stress reduction
- Lessen anxiety and depression
- Increased attention span and focus
- Greater bond with one’s heart leading to a greater understanding of the self
- Develop deeper trust in your own abilities
- Less internal chaos promotes order
Meditate Upon the Heart
Often people talk about quieting your thoughts during meditation/prayer or focusing on your breath as a way to quiet your mind. The simple fact so many talk about quieting your mind should raise the question of what are you listening for if not thoughts? Is it the tranquil and serene feeling that comes from silence? That is not nothingness, that is your heart listening and connecting to divine love. That communication is not with words, often words cannot give this experience full justice.
Meditating upon the heart means to focus on love. We were created out of love, we were designed to love and we will be unfulfilled and searching for more when we deny ourselves a connection to divine love. In the simplest explanation, God is love and love is from God. God/Love encompasses all and can be a force of healing.
Steps for Meditating on Love
- Find a comfortable position and location. Indoors or outdoors, whatever feels most inviting.
- Take 3-5 deep, slow breaths with your eyes closed. Feel yourself expand as you inhale then gently push the air out.
- Visualize someone or something you love. Not a casual love, a deep love such as the connection between child and parent or love for a spouse. It is easier to begin this using a very close family member.
- While visualizing them, allow yourself to feel your love for them. If it helps, remember a favorite memory with them such as your wedding day. That light you feel within you when remembering these moments, that love, focus on it. Feel it and gently embrace it internally.
- Hold onto that love within your heart while you maintain regular breathing.
- As you focus on that feeling of love and silence everything else, you can think “light” every time you breathe in and “love” when you breathe out. Some will think or say “Allah” as they inhale and “hu” as they breathe out, which translates to “God is” and they are referring to “God is Love”.
- Stay in this state of being for as long as you like. It can be 5 minutes or an hour, whatever feels right for you.
Love and Light is Everywhere
If you are like me, you love nature. Some of us find peace and serenity in the woods or near a waterfall. The beauty captivates us, the sounds are relaxing and feeling the earth against your skin can be calming. When you have these moments, don’t rush them. Listen carefully, with your heart. Allow your heart to hear and feel the divine love. Appreciate the beauty. It is okay to smile internally and externally. Even if someone walks past you wondering why you are randomly smiling at the flowers, smile at them genuinely and allow that love/light to transfer from your heart to theirs. We are all connected, we are all one.
Say thank you for that dose of love and hold onto it as long as you can. The more you do this the easier it becomes to hold onto these positive feelings. This can, in turn, make your day to day life more enjoyable with a heart full of light.
I know some of you are thinking “she sounds like a hippie” or “what is this new age mumbo jumbo”. None of this is new, actually, it is ancient. While it is only recently that the idea of mindfulness became a hot topic, humans have practiced these type of exercises long before the word hippie or new age even existed.
I encourage you to try it for a week and let us know in the comments below how it impacted you.