Sit comfortably in a quiet room by yourself, choosing a time when you feel settled and unhurried. Early morning is best, since your mind will be alert and fresh. Close your eyes and focus your attention on the middle of your chest, where your heart is. (The fact that the physical heart is off to the left is irrelevant here – the spiritual heart center lies directly behind your breastbone.)
Be aware of your heart as a space. Don’t try to hear your heartbeat or any other sound you think a heart makes as it pumps blood. The heart center you want to find is a point of awareness where feelings enter. In its pure form it is empty, pervaded by weightlessness, absence of care, peace, and a subtle light.
This light may appear as white, gold, pale pink, or blue. Don’t strain to find a light of any kind. You are not trying to sense the purity of the heart center right now; all you need to feel is whatever is there.
Letting your attention rest easily there, breathe gently and sense your breath going into your heart center. Here you may want to visualize a soft pastel light, or a coolness pervading the chest. Let the breath go in and out, and as it does, ask your heart to speak to you.
For the next five or ten minutes, sit and listen. Your heart will begin to release emotions, memories, wishes, fears, and dreams long stored there, and as it does, you will find yourself paying attention.
Let the experience be what it will be. If you daydream or drift off into sleep, just bring your attention back to your heart center. You will notice as you continue this exercise that three things are naturally coming together: meditation, purification, and attention.
You are learning to be with your heart in order to heed its spiritual meaning – this is meditation. You are letting repressed material come up to be released – this is purification. You are listening to your heart without judgment or manipulation – this is attention.
Adapted from The Path to Love, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 1997).