Heart Rhythm Meditation is a very powerful way of using our own heartbeat as a stimulus for us to anchor our attention on.
We have discussed earlier that meditation is all about developing our awareness and anchoring it on to the present moment. Our mind. like a ship tends to drift here and there as per the thought waves that touch it. One way of keeping it steady is to anchor it to the ocean bed which never moves.
In order to achieve this anchoring, we need to identify something what is always in the present moment and no where else. One such thing is our body. However, being aware of our body is a bit tricky since we tend to lose awareness quickly. Better than the body is breath since it is continuously happening …Best is the Heartbeat since this pulse is available to us continuously and once we become aware of our heart beat, it is easy to achieve full body awareness since the pulse is something that is felt all over our body. Apart from the Heart region i.e. Chest, we can strongly feel our pulse at following places :
- Neck i.e. Carotid Artery Pulse
- Inner arm i.e. Below the bicep muscle: Called Brachial artery
- Wrist : Radial Artery
- Groin : Femoral Artery
- Behind our Knee : Popliteal Artery
- Behind our Ankle: Tibial Artery
- Dorsum of our foot : Dorsal Pedis Artery.
Apart from these there are many other places where we can feel the heart pulse. In fact, if you strongly press two of your fingers together, after a minute or so, you will start feeling pulsations there.
In Heart Rhythm Meditation, we become fully aware of our heart beat and maintain this awareness on the entire body along with the breath. In a short while, we start becoming aware of the pulsations happening all over the body and soon the feeling becomes fairly intense. My personal experience is that at this stage my body start feeling as if it is weightless and floating. There’s a deep sense of peace, calmness and stillness, despite being with the continuous pulsations of the heart. The mind feels completely silent – almost absent.
For catching the pulse, one could use the point at the wrist where it is easy to use fingers of one hand and hold the pulse of the other hand. I had once also purchased a very basic stethoscope to listen to the heart beat. Listening to the heart beat using a stethoscope is an amazing experience.
With Heart Rhythm Meditation, I suggest that you breathe normally and calmly instead of following any particular breath count Such as Breathe In-Hold in-Breathe Our – Hold Out. This often distracts me from the Heart Rhythm count, so I avoid it.
I recommend doing the Heart Rhythm meditation daily for 5-10 minutes or till the time you are comfortable. This has great benefits both at a physical level as well as an emotional level.