Experience the sublime nature of this ancient Heart practice that cultivates self-compassion, empathy and kindness. To begin your Sunday with a peaceful heart, we shall meet live on Skype for Inez to lead us in this divine meditation. Be calmed and soothed by Inez's gentle voice as we journey together through the Heart practice in the comfort of your own home.
A beautiful way for your rational mind to meet the tenderness of your heart.
“Our task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against it.” Rumi (Persian poet and scholar)
If you've never meditated before or you've tried it and found it difficult, the Heart meditation is a wonderful practice for beginners. While Mindfulness meditation can sometimes feel stressful if the inexperienced meditator expects a quiet mind but encounters the opposite; in the Heart meditation we don't worry about trying to calm our thoughts (thoughts are a natural phenomenon of the mind and will happen anyway). Instead we gently turn our attention to our heart and to cultivating feelings of tenderness and kindness for ourselves and others. Gradually we come to know how lovely it feels to reside in our own compassionate nature, which is not surprising since the Heart meditation releases the feel-good chemicals serotonin and dopamine. Emma Seppala, PhD, Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, lists several scientific studies on her website that have concluded that the benefits of Heart meditation (also known as Loving Kindness meditation) range from increasing one's sense of "wellbeing, to giving relief from illness and improving emotional intelligence".
Cognitive research is now widely established that meditation helps relieve anxiety, depression, PTSD and personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder. The Heart meditation, in particular, which focuses on cultivating positive emotions, creates neural pathways between the pre-frontal cortex (the area which regulates human happiness and wellbeing) and the limbic brain - the fright, flight or fight brain. These pathways help to decrease our reactivity and increase our ability to regulate our emotions without the need for food, drugs or alcohol. The Heart meditation also elicits a relaxation response (the opposite of the stress response) which, when practised regularly, leads to improved sleep.
Children are welcome to participate - to sit quietly beside you or, if they are older, to join in the Heart practice with you. If they cry or make a noise that is not a problem. Through meditation we learn to become more accepting of what is happening in the present moment (both inside and outside our bodies). Slowly we start to let go of our painful struggle to control our environment. In time our nervous system relaxes and we are able to fall into a vast ocean of spaciousness. We discover that noise is only a disturbance if we allow it to be so. For many meditators noise can actually be a helpful reminder to bring us back to presence when we are distracted.
The guided Heart meditation will begin promptly at 10.15am and end at 10.45am. There will be 15 minutes at the end for comments and questions about your experience during the meditation. Please log on at 10.00am so we are ready to begin the meditation at 10.15am. No Skype calls will be accepted once the meditation begins.
When: Sunday 26 February. 10.15am-11am live on Skype. FREE.
Booking is essential to get you linked up to A Happy Heart's Skype address prior to Sunday's meditation. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Inez on 03 9824 6963 / 0468 369 824.
Inez de Vega is the founder of A Happy Heart. She has extensive experience as a group facilitator and is a sought-after meditation instructor.