Energize Your Heart!

Nov 10 17:08 2007 Puran Bair Print This Article

This introduction to Heart Rhythm Meditation will help you strengthen both your physical and emotional heart.

Heart Rhythm Meditation is a powerful form of meditation that centers on the heart. It strengthens the physical heart while it opens the emotional and energetic heart. In our new book,Guest Posting Energize Your Heart, we speak of the heart having four dimensions: the vertical dimension, including both height and depth, the horizontal dimension, the forward dimension, and the inner dimension. Each dimension of the heart is different, and our heart longs to develop in all dimensions. The height of the heart gives a sense of hope, optimism, idealism, and the courage to dream, to hold impossibly high standards. When this is lacking, the heart is crushed with disappointment and regret. The depth of the heart is where all emotions are felt, connecting each of us to all other beings and allowing us to feel love, joy, sorrow, and all other emotions. Without this the heart is shallow, unable to connect or empathize with others, and unaware of the richness of feeling. The width of the heart gives one tolerance, the ability to be with all people in harmony, to bring together disparate views and influences into a coherent whole. Without the 'broadhearted' quality, one becomes narrow and isolated. The forward dimension of the heart gives us the courage to move toward our goals, the desires of our hearts. Without this, the heart becomes blocked with frustration, the dreams of the heart only dimly remembered. Finally, the inner dimension holds all other dimensions in their potential, representing the capacity for change and the ability to hold emotion. The inner dimension gives the sense of peace and inner stillness. Without it one becomes exhausted by life's demands. This article shows that this understanding of the heart is not just metaphorical; the dimensions can be measured by an instrument and seen in the beat of your physical heart. The heart organ is connected through the nervous system directly to other major organs and is able to sense their need. The heart also responds to adrenaline in the blood flowing through it. With these inputs the heart is able to adjust its rate to accommodate the needs of the whole body. By its heartbeat, it is able to broadcast a common signal to every cell. The heart coordinates the entire organism and thus also gives us a model for heart-centered leadership: listen to everyone, and whatever you say, say it to everyone. The heart has no secrets; it includes others and loves to be self-revealing. It's the mind that calculates, "What can I say to whom, for what effect?" The heart absorbs the emotions of many and its own emotions are continually broadcast to all, so secrecy is futile. Because the heart is continually adjusting its heart rate, the heartbeat is not a constant signal. Internal and external stimuli, including thoughts, emotional reactions, and changes in your environment trigger immediate changes in heart rate so that a beat will come slightly early or late; this creates heart rate variability (HRV), a part of normal cardiac function. In a non-meditative state, there is no discernible pattern to the heart rate variability. If charted on a graph, the pattern of the heart rate would appear chaotic, with several jagged peaks (find more detailed information at appliedmeditation.org). In Heart Rhythm Meditation, the pattern becomes a smooth sinusoidal curve. The heart rate enters into a state of harmony with the breath rate called entrainment. During entrainment the peak of each inhalation occurs precisely at the lowest point in heart rate - the bottom of the heart rate curve. This is the opposite of the pattern that typically exists, which is taught in medical schools, which is that the inhalation tends to be correlated to some extent with a faster heart rate (though obviously other factors normally intrude to make the HRV pattern chaotic). As far as we know, this effect hasn't yet been studied; it's certainly not commonly known, even in cardiology. The effects of conscious breath are not much recognized medically at this time. Your heart rate pattern is determined entirely by the breath pattern. You cannot control your heart rate directly, but by controlling your breath, which you can do, you cause your heart rate to follow the pattern of your breath. This ability to indirectly control your heart rate is essential to energizing your heart and applying the power of your heart to your life. This effect is so strong, that we've observed that heart arrhythmia disappears during Heart Rhythm Meditation.

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About Article Author

Puran Bair
Puran Bair

Puran and Susanna Bair are the co-authors of Energize Your Heart in 4 Dimensions (2007, Living Heart Media), from which this article is excerpted. Puran and Susanna are the co-founders of the Institute for Applied Meditation; they have taught meditation throughout the world to tens of thousands of people over the last 35 years.

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