II. Practices for the heart centre
1. The Element Purification Breaths: deepening awareness of the nature of Air and its association with the Heart.
2. Breathe the colours gold and green into your heart centre, experiencing the effect on your consciousness of this combination of colours. Experience the effect of the radiating out of these colours.
3. Breathe into your Heart Centre. As each breath softens and relaxes the centre, releasing tensions with each breath, surrender into the wisdom of the Living Heart.
Ya Rahman – Ya Rahim
i. The full zikr
ii. Ishq Allah Mahboud Allah
iii. The Zikr for the Earth:
The movements are those of the zikr given by Murshid without recitation:
First, rotating the head as in the first part of the zikr, spreading the intention of prayerful blessings over the earth. Reach out with one’s being so that one encompasses the earth so that the round sphere of the earth is held in your embrace. When you make the movements you are spreading light, emanating the goodwill of your heart, loving kindness, solidarity, sympathy and hope for healing and happiness.
Second part: the head down to the heart: focus on the place or person or country on which you wish to concentrate that attention.
6. The Practice of the Four Immeasurables:
The four ‘Imeasurables’, the four qualities of the heart, are: unconditional love, compassion, joy, unity.
Take the first quality, unconditional love, and let your heart fill with it, let the quality overflow in the six directions in turn: first, forwards, to all beings close and further, to the ends of the earth and beyond. Then in turn to the five other directions: behind you, to your right, to your left, upwards, downwards.
Then, in turn, repeat the six directions for compassion, then joy, then peace and unity.
The practice may be done with one breath for each direction, though when there is time, one may give several breaths.
7. A Heart Practice in Pairs for attunement and for healing
using the 3 heart lataif (centres) of the Zikr of the Broom
i. The Qalbiya: the heart, in the left breast. Awaken its vibrations, feel it vividly, establish a connection with the other person through that level.
Exhale: extend the field of your qalbiya diagonally to the qalbiya of your partner, thinking ‘Jalil’ (the omnipotent divine power that manifests in each and everything).
Inhale – ‘Jamil’ – receptivity – feel in your heart the condition of the other – it is a dialogue, it deepens with each breath – creates harmonization between the two hearts. The heart of the other becomes tuned to a certain pitch.
ii. The Ruhiya: the Spirit in the right breast. Deeper, more subtle and pure, less individuated, less personal. Establish a diagonal line of breath with the Ruhiya. One may think ‘Ruh’, divine Spirit, on each inhale and exhale.
iii. The Sirriya: the secret, in the centre of the chest. This makes a direct line to the centre of your partner’s chest (whereas the breath from Qalbiya and Ruhiya cross over to your partner’s Qalbiya or Ruhiya)
Sometimes one has to work a long time to establish a dialogue.
Rest there. Don’t move on till you have done what needs to be done.
In the Yogic sound sequence for chakras: chant ‘Yam’ in the heart centre
Murshid gave ‘Ah’ for the heart
Questions and themes
1. Notice how do you ‘remember’ to live in the awareness of your heart centre. How do you open your heart, in what situations and with whom is your heart more ‘living’? Notice the transition in everyday life when you move from your ego consciousness (associated with your Solar Plexus) to the consciousness of your Living Heart.
2. Connect with the experience of your heart being at rest, peaceful.
3. In everyday life, can you feel and perceive from the point of view of another person? First with someone you know and love, second with someone you don’t know, third with someone with whom you have difficulties.
4. When you look out at the world with the eyes of the heart, what do you see, what do you experience?
5. Remember your heart is the altar of God.