A Note from Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, BeInkandescent Health & Wellness magazine — What a pleasure it is to bring you this magnificent meditation by North Carolina-based Cynthia Sageleaf. A mandala and meditation teacher, Cynthia is also an artist, author, and spiritual blogger.
“I first encountered meditation in 2002 and started my practice regularly in 2008 as part of my spiritual journey,” Cynthia says, noting that she discovered that meditation helped to alleviate the stress and anxiety she felt while living the challenges of modern life. “It allowed me to experience peace in the midst of it all.”
Of course, Cynthia has always been an artist. And after becoming a certified meditation teacher, she merged her two loves: the creation of mandalas through meditation. “I am so happy to be creating mandalas that people can buy to use for contemplation for decoration or to inspire them to create their own.”
Cynthia explains: Life has taught me over and over again that after every triumph or every obstacle every moment and every experience I come out on the other side a little wiser and a little older. Life has made me understand that everything adds up to this moment in time right now. I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. All these experiences have helped me become a better version of myself. Meditation has helped me with the idea of trust because I am learning to tap into – really tap into – my inner knowing as I navigate life’s clear skies and menacing storms.
Here’s why mediation works: That still point creates a haven of bliss that constantly reminds me to settle in on my path and lets me know that I can trust the unfolding events of my journey. Trust in the wonder. Let Go.
Through my practice of meditation: I have a deeper understanding that life is ephemeral. Everything is fleeting. Why then hold on to anything? The theory is easier than practice but I am constantly reminded through my inner journey to let go. Thoughts stuck in my head? Let them go. Worries afflicting my heart? Let them go. Do I need to follow the status quo? Let it go. Thoughts about work? Let them go. Wondering if I’m good enough? Let it go. I just let it all go become present and know that it is enough.
Scroll down to learn about your heart chakra, and go on a guided mediation with Cynthia!
Love your Heart Chakra
By Cynthia Sageleaf,
I am excited to share this wonderful meditation with you, and also teach you about the power of your heart chakra. Below you’ll find a primer that will give you some insight into what you are playing with. I’ve also shared a guided meditation that you can read, or watch. Either way, I invite you to find the love inside yourself. Namaste.
What is the Heart Chakra? This energy center sits in the middle of the chest right behind the breastbone. The heart chakra is not your physical heart, but the energy center located very near your heart. It serves as the bridge between the lower chakras (which are more “physical” in nature) and the upper chakras (which are more spiritual). It is also the energy center of love. This is where we feel unconditional as well as romantic love. The heart chakra is called “Anahata” in Sanskrit. Due to its location, it affects the physical heart lungs and thymus gland.
Here’s how you can find balance: A balanced heart center means you feel connected to everything around you. You have a sense of empathy and compassion for others. Others around you feel acceptance from you without reservation. You have a great capacity to appreciate the beauty in the world. You love freely with no strings attached. You truly love yourself. An unbalanced chakra can arise at any time. Traumatic events from past or present can also hinder this energy center in your body. Lack of caring for your body (through being sedentary, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, eating bad foods) can also contribute to a blocked heart chakra.
Are you experiencing these physical issues? You may experience heart problems relating to the lungs, and high or low blood pressure. Poor blood circulation is often another symptom.
How about these emotional issues? If you’re feeling disconnected from others misunderstood, have a lack of caring for others, or a lack of compassion there is a good chance your heart chakra isn’t balanced. Still, you may avoid socializing with others. In fact, you might have social anxiety. Perhaps you hold grudges and tend to not trust others. An overactive heart chakra is still unbalanced and tends to exaggerate physical and emotional issues. An underactive heart chakra creates a “diminishing” effect. For example, physically, an underactive heart chakra might present as too-low blood pressure and an overactive one might be high blood pressure. Emotionally an overactive heart chakra might mean you become overly dependent on others in relationships, but an underactive one could mean that you are emotionally withdrawn.
8 Ways to balance your Heart Chakra:
- Meditate. As a meditation teacher, this is my number one tool to help balance all the energy centers of the body. I created a guided meditation. You can also do a loving-kindness meditation. (I will also create a guided loving-kindness meditation after I complete this chakra meditation series.)The color green.
- Wear it. Envision it periodically throughout your day.
- Get outside: Stand near trees or walk in the forest. Make an effort to go where it is green.
- Connect: Give hugs. Hold someone’s hand. Give kisses to loved ones. These activities release oxytocin into your system. It’s also known as the “love hormone.”Practice deep breathing. Breathing into your belly helps slow you down and alkalizes the blood – a good thing!
- Practice gratitude: Write down things you are grateful for each day. Thank others regularly.Practice non-judgment.This can be a little harder to do especially because we tend to be the hardest and most critical of ourselves and even those closest to us. When you have a judgmental thought take a breath and let it go. Just let yourself and others be. You get better at this through meditation.
- Try yoga: Do any pose that really opens the chest: cobra cat/cow camel pose bow pose and sphynx pose are some good ones to try.
- Try essential oils, gems and stones, and heart-centered food. Carry or wear jade rose quartz malachite and emerald among others. You can use rose essential oil ylang-ylang or geranium in a diffuser. Consume more green foods such as kiwi spinach avocado broccoli and peas just to name a few.
- Chant: The seed chant that helps to open the heart is “YAM.”
Heart Chakra Guided Meditation: 30 steps to inner bliss
- As you begin this practice make sure you won’t be disturbed.
- You may sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor or on a cushion – wherever you may be comfortable. Just be sure the position you find is one that you can maintain long enough for this meditation.
- Be kind to yourself. If you find that you need to shift do so with mindfulness and calm.
- When you meditate it’s okay to have thoughts – they will come! Welcome them. Meditation shouldn’t be a strain. Don’t try too hard. Just bring your gentle nonjudgmental attention back to this meditation when you find your thoughts have taken you somewhere else.
- Let go of expectations. You have come to your chair or cushion. Let yourself settle into this practice to benefit from this time of calm and silence. Once you begin this meditation stick with it until the end.
- Breathe: Close your eyes or cap them halfway with a soft unfocused gaze.
- Bring your awareness to the breath. Notice the rise and fall of the chest the natural rhythm of breathing. Sit with the breath for a few moments.
- If you find your thoughts wandering gently come back to this heart chakra meditation. Thoughts are okay. Let them come. Welcome them. Gently let them go by coming back to this meditation. Be kind to yourself.
- Now take two or three deep yawns. You can “fake yawn” until one comes on.
- Bring your attention back to the breath. Notice the natural rhythm of your breathing. Breathe in deeply first into your belly and then into your chest. Inhale as much as you can. Slowly begin to release the air starting with your chest then your belly. Do this for two more breaths.
- Visualize: Bring your attention to the root of your being the base of the spine. A tiny ball of red energy spins there. See this energy center as a red pin of light. Allow this light to grow and surround your body.
- Move up a few inches to just below the navel. Your creative center. An orange light spins there. It is the size of a pin. As you inhale allow this orange light to grow to the size of a marble and then even bigger to surround your body.
- Moving above the belly button a tiny yellow light spins. It is the light of your own self-motivation and destiny. As you inhale grow this yellow light to surround your chest head and entire body.
- The Heart + Green Light: Now bring your attention to the heart – the area in the center of your chest. A tiny green light spins there. This light is unconditional love.
- On your next inhale grow this light to the size of your heart. This green light fills your heart.
- On your next exhale breathe out this light into the space around you. This light grows to surround your whole body.
- Inhale again this light of love. It fills your heart and chest. It infuses your whole being with the light of compassion empathy & connection.
- Continue to breathe in and out with this green light in and all around you for several breaths.
- Your self-love increases. Your love for others begins to increase. Your appreciation for all that is good infuses you with more loving energy.
- Through this green light, you see the world as a beautiful place and you see the beauty in yourself. ChantingAs you breathe bring the air into your belly to get ready to chant.
- Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
- Now inhale to chant.Yammmmmmmmmmmm. Inhale to chant. Yammmmmmmmmmmm.Inhale to chant. Yammmmmmmmmmmm. Yammmmmmmmmmmm. Yammmmmmmmmmmm.(Continues for 2 minutes)
- Let your breathing return to normal. The green light still surrounds you. All the areas in and around the heart are full of this beautiful light. Each breath you take is love. Repeat each of the following affirmations silently or aloud after it is spoken.
- I am connected to others and to the earth.
- I am love. I give love and receive love.
- My heart is open.
- I feel grateful.
- I love myself and others.
- I see the beauty in all people and all around me.
- I am compassionate.
- I feel profound joy in my life.
- I accept myself just as I am.
- I am surrounded by love.
- Breathe: Spend a couple of minutes in silence as you continue to keep this healing light energized. As you breathe streams of this beautiful light weave in and around your heart in the space around you and grows to surround your dwelling your neighborhood your town or city your state or province your country.
- Keep your eyes closed or capped as you near the end of this meditation. It’s important to come out of meditation slowly.
- Bring your awareness back to the breath. Allow yourself to feel the in and out a rhythm of the rise and fall of the breath.
- On your next inhale allow the fingers and toes to wiggle if you wish. Gently shift your arms or legs as needed.
- When you’re ready open your eyes with a soft downward gaze. Keep your focus inward.
- Open your eyes fully as you’re ready. You may return to your day.