My mom recently asked me about meditation. I had three minutes to communicate this practice to her, over the phone, in a way that would both serve AND inspire her to continue a practice on her own. I was nervous and had no plan, but this is what I shared, and it feels right to share it here.
Lightning-fast meditation to balance your head and your heart — an actual, factual balance. Right now, as you read, feel how much energy it’s taking to read and process these words in your brain.
Now bring an equal amount of attention down into your heart. Even though we read and compute first with our minds, play with this for a few seconds. Close your eyes and feel the resonance in your heart as equal to the resonance in your mind.
Why is this so difficult to do?
We all have a much easier time living in our minds than in our hearts. I watched a super smart woman today literally fight herself to stay present to her heart’s voice instead of her mind, and she couldn’t hold that space for more than one moment at a time. Our tendency as humans, simply, is to live in our minds. Recently I had been listening to two of my colleagues, Kris Carr and Nick Ortner, one weekend as we were all co-leading a retreat up at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. We had a room full of accomplished, creative adults who seemed to have it all together, yet when Nick did his work and we began tapping on our emotions, our fears, our blocks, we all had a long-awaited shift into our hearts. Many tears were shed and pain released throughout the room, literally folks who had chronic pain for decades were practically pain-free after a few minutes.
Unravel the pain with repetitive phrases to define and refine awareness. Simultaneously tap on the primary meridian points on the body, and there you’ll find yourself wide open and present to healing again and again — all because you are now speaking to, from and with your heart.
Kris had the group write a letter to themselves to commence the weekend. Yes, you’d write a letter to yourself as though coming from your most supportive best friend. Every letter begins uniformly, “Okay [Elena], this is what’s really going on.” Again, there were tears, because the heart is speaking and the real story begins there every time. Whenever the heart closes because of doubt, judgement, fear, dread or shame, the mind steps in to make sense of it, to deftly shift the conversation to something else. All of our energy ends up there in the brain, draining the rest of our body of energy needed for listening, praying, helping, giving or sharing — all absolute requirements for healing.
So it’s about the mind and heart together, on the same page. Let’s get down to the meditation.
One practice, one minute to even out the resonance [the velocity, the intensity] of both the heart and the mind.
Sense the moment when you’ve arrived at an even energy in the two spaces. That “balanced” feeling lasts only briefly, but with practice, that sensation can be prolonged, and will be healing for your whole being. And everyone close to you.
One minute now. Take a few healing breaths and smile, be still here for just one minute. As you finish reading this sentence, soften your eyes, and make your heart as big, as active, as alive, as open and as receptive as your brain.
Feel how much softer it is in your heart now?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Bring this evenly open, softer state to both mind and heart, no matter what the context, no matter how vexing or crazy it seems in front of you, and watch as the confusion abates, everything gets quieter, because you’re in your heart. Watch how you begin to feel more abundant. I dare you.