Feeling inner calm takes your life to extraordinary places.
I love to start meditation beginners with this beautiful practice, the Meditation for a Calm Heart. This meditation has held a different meaning for me through the recent changes in my life. This protocol was created by Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini yoga to the US in 1968 with a mission to elevate consciousness and help heal the world. This deeply spiritual branch of yoga is very transformative and effective when practiced with devotion and discipline.
With all of my clients, I recommend creating a sacred space and committing to a 40-day practice, meditating for three minutes once a day for 40 days in a row. The important part is consecutive fulfillment: meditating for 40 days, one after another, trains the brain to change old habits and paves the way for making new habits. In Kundalini Technology, consistency is vital, so if you miss a day, you start over at Day 1.
I recommend starting with three minutes, once a day. You will see that the directions invite advanced practitioners to go longer, but three minutes is the perfect interval for a beginner. You will never need to skip it because life is too hectic. Who doesn’t have three minutes to spare? Three minutes will not overwhelm you.
Resist the temptation to ‘challenge’ yourself and meditate for longer intervals. Three minutes might not seem like much, but this investment in mindfulness will change your life. This is one of my most treasured meditation practices because it is both doable and transformational.
Meditation For The Calm Heart
Sit in an Easy Pose, with a light Jalandhar bandh.
EYES: Either close the eyes or look straight ahead with the eyes 1/10th open.
MUDRA: Place the left hand on the center of the chest at the Heart Center. The palm is flat against the chest, and the fingers are parallel to the ground, pointing to the right. Make Gyan Mudra with the right hand (touch the tip of the index (Jupiter) finger with the tip of the thumb). Raise the right hand up to the right side as if giving a pledge. The palm faces forward, the three fingers not in Gyan Mudra point up. The elbow is relaxed near the side with the forearm perpendicular to the ground.
BREATH: Concentrate on the flow of the breath. Regulate each bit of the breath consciously. Inhale slowly and deeply through both nostrils. Then suspend the breath in and raise the chest. Retain it as long as possible. Then exhale smoothly, gradually, and completely. When the breath is totally out, lock the breath out for as long as possible.
TIME: Continue this pattern of long, deep breathing for 3 to 31 minutes.
TO END: Inhale and exhale strongly 3 times. Relax.
COMMENTS: The proper home of the subtle force, prana, is in the lungs and heart. The left palm is placed at the natural home of prana, creating a deep stillness at that point. The right hand that throws you into action and analysis is placed in a receptive, relaxed mudra and put in the position of peace. The entire posture induces the feeling of calmness. It technically creates a still point for the prana at the Heart Center. 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 15 minutes before deciding how to act. Then act with your full heart. Physically, this meditation strengthens the lungs and heart. This meditation is perfect for beginners. It opens awareness of the breath, and it conditions the lungs. When you hold the breath in or out for “as long as possible,” you should not gasp or be under strain when you let the breath move again.
– In a 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.
– For an advanced practice of concentration and rejuvenation, build the meditation up to 31 minutes.
This meditation is particularly soothing. It brings a beautiful awareness to the breath, another part of our life experience that is tremendously familiar when we take time to listen. Meditation for a Calm Heart is a simple but extremely potent practice that will shift your energy and your perspective.
It’s occurred to me that in the midst of huge life change we always have choices, and ways of making ourselves feel safe, we’ve just got to train ourselves to access our healing tools.