MEDITATION FOR A CALM HEART

(Meditation as Medicine, Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, p. 218

Posture: Sit in easy pose or in a chair with your spine straight.

Focus: Either close your eyes and focus at the third eye point or look straight ahead with your eyes half open.

Breath: Concentrate on the flow of breath. Regulate each bit of the breath consciously. Inhale slowly and deeply through both nostrils. Then hold your breath in by suspending your chest. Retain as long as possible. Exhale through the nose smoothly, gradually and completely. When your breath is totally out, lock the breath out for as long as possible.

Mantra: This meditation is done without a mantra.

Mudra: Place your left hand on the center of your chest at your heart level. The palm is flat against your chest and your fingers are horizontal and pointing to the right. The right hand is in Gyan Mudra with the pad of the index finger touching the pad of the thumb. The other fingers of the right hand are straight. Raise your right hand to your right side as if giving a pledge. Your palm faces forward. Your elbow is relaxed near your side with your forearm perpendicular to the ground.

Time: 3-5 minutes.

End: Inhale and exhale strongly three times.

Benefits: The entire posture induces a feeling of calmness. The left hand is for receiving. In this meditation the left palm is placed at the natural home of the prana (pure energy from God). Create a deep stillness at that point. The right hand is for giving, for projecting, for throwing you into action and analysis. It is placed in a receptive, relaxed mudra and put in the position of peace.

Emotionally, this meditation adds clear perception to your relationships with yourself and others. If you are upset at work or in a personal relationship, sit in this meditation for 3 to 5 minutes before deciding how to act. Then act with your full heart.

In class, try it for 3 minutes. If you have more time, try it for three periods of 3 minutes each, with one minute rest between them, for a total of 11 minutes.

In addition, this meditation opens your awareness of breath and conditions the heart and lungs.