The spiritual heart is that place within each of us where our spiritual energies are most powerfully focused. In terms of its physical location, the spiritual heart is located in the centre of the chest – the place that we invariably point to when we say 'me' or 'I'. When we are beginning to learn meditation, we start by developing the capacity to concentrate – to harness, focus and simplify our mental and vital energies. Once this is accomplished, even to a small degree, we can then begin to meditate in the spiritual heart where we experience a spontaneous form of meditation that flows naturally from the heart space.
Question: If we want to focus on the heart, where is it?
Sri Chinmoy: Some spiritual Masters are of the opinion that our spiritual heart is in the centre of our chest where the anahata chakra is located. That is the place of utmost joy and safety. I happen to be one of those who subscribe to this belief. [...] Every day you are working in the hustle and bustle of life. Then, when you come home, you get tremendous joy. You enter into your room and there you pray, you meditate or do whatever you want to do. As soon as we say the word 'home', we are filled with such sweet feelings. It is exactly the same for the heart. The heart is the place where we are safe. There we feel that our prayers are being answered. There our meditation becomes very deep, illumining and fulfilling. It is the place that gives us utmost joy. (Source)
The best kind of meditation is that which occurs naturally and spontaneously. We often see this occur in children who, although they may not be meditating consciously, frequently slip into stillness simply because their heart's are prevalent and their minds are not yet developed. In the spiritual heart, everything happens at a spontaneous level and is accompanied by sweetness, vastness, love, compassion, oneness and many other positive qualities. The spiritual heart is predominantly a place of expansion and oneness. The mind also has good qualities but is often bound by limitation and negativity due to our conditioning and the fact that we forget how to access our spiritual heart as we get older.
It is better to meditate in the heart than in the mind. The mind is like Times Square on New Year's Eve; the heart is like a lonely cave in the Himalayas. If you meditate in the mind, you will be able to meditate for perhaps five minutes; and out of that five minutes, for one minute you may meditate powerfully. After that you will feel your whole head getting tense. First you get joy and satisfaction; then you may feel a barren desert. But if you meditate in the heart, you acquire the capacity to identify yourself with the joy and satisfaction that you get, and then it becomes permanently yours. (Source)
We cannot go high [in meditation] by using only the mind, however. We must go beyond the mind and into the realm of the spiritual heart... The domain of the spiritual heart is infinitely higher and vaster than that of the very highest mind. Far beyond the mind is the domain of the heart. The heart is boundless in every direction, so inside the heart is height as well as depth. (Source)
Most people have meditated spontaneously during their lives. Inspiring situations such as when we find ourselves gazing into a fire or contemplating beautiful scenery can bring forward moments of clarity and stillness that we experience when the mind is absorbed in something vaster than itself. This is spontaneous meditation. However, when we practice meditation in a conscious and regular manner, we garner the capacity to make those moments a permanent part of our lives – we learn to dwell all the time in the spiritual heart and have a happy, simple, contented and progressive demeanour as a result. This enhances our individual human nature and adds a spiritual dimension to each and every aspect of our life and, by happy default, to the lives of those around us. In other words, we make the world a better place.
If you meditate in the heart, you are meditating where the soul is. True, the light and consciousness of the soul permeate the whole body, but there is a specific place where the soul resides most of the time, and that is in the heart. If you want illumination, you have to get it from the soul, which is inside the heart. When you know what you want and where to find it, the sensible thing is to go to that place. Otherwise, it is like going to the hardware store to get groceries. (Source)
Through his many years of teaching meditation, Sri Chinmoy constantly encouraged the ideal of living in the spiritual heart as being by far the greatest service that anyone can do for themselves or for humanity. When our own consciousness is improved in any way, the positive force that is released into the world environment as a result of our efforts spreads to other receptive soul's near and far in the form of encouragement, hope and joy – like ripples spreading out over a still pond when a pebble is dropped into it.
If you meditate regularly for five months, six months, or a year or two, then automatically meditation will become spontaneous and natural. After a while, at such and such an hour, you will feel compelled to meditate. You will feel that meditation is your soul's necessity and the inner urge to meditate will never be able to leave you. It will always inspire you and energise you. Early every morning when it is time for your meditation, your inner being will come and knock at your heart's door. (Source)
Do You Want To Be Happy?
Do you want to be happy?
Then do not overestimate
The power of your mind,
And do not underestimate
The light of your heart.
NB: The quotes and poem on this page are all by Sri Chinmoy.