Chapter 1: The Heart Breath

(jump to the audio illustration meditation below)

In order to be most effective in any intentional act of healing, co-creation, or transformation, all Planetary Healing work starts from and is threaded through the heart center. True wisdom is perceived from the heart. Every process, every meditation, and every act of healing and conscious creation you will encounter in this book starts with the Heart Breath: you get centered and focused in the heart space, and develop and direct your intention from the heart. This process will allow you to quickly and easily bring yourself into alignment with the higher purpose of this work. Initially published in Alchemical Healing, the Heart Breath has been employed by thousands of practitioners around the world. It is efficient and effective, and its value accrues with use.

The Heart Breath practice will help you to establish a direct connection with the intelligent source of our universe. You can use it as part of a daily meditation practice or any time you need to bring yourself back to center; returning to the Heart Breath will allow you to maintain center as you function throughout your day. It can serve as a beacon with which to call forth appropriate guidance to help you meet your needs at any time. We employ the Heart Breath often, and have found that it restores clarity of thought during times of emotional upheaval or crises. Consistent practice of this process, however you use it, will result in a saner, more balanced awareness that you can sustain.

The Heart Breath is the nexus point between the grounded, dense, and solid energy of earth (matter) and the radiant, complex intelligence of the stars and the universe that enfolds and surrounds us (Spirit). In this breathing practice, we connect the powers of Earth and Sky within our heart center while nourishing the sacred, central heart flame. In the space of the Heart Breath, the energy and intelligence of source is transformed into accessible information and power, and fosters our perspective of the wisdom of the heart.

Although you will start out breathing Earth and Sky individually, you will soon find that you can connect with both simultaneously, while continuing to hold your attention and add your love to the equation. Your personal capacity for love grows as you activate feelings of love and direct them into your heart breath. It can help to connect with the love that you feel toward your family, your friends, your allies, and the Earth, or whatever stimulates the love in your heart and the love for your self.

As you become proficient in the Heart Breath Practice, develop it, live with it, play with it. The practice itself will become smoother and easier and will eventually integrate so that it becomes second nature— only a matter of focusing your attention to bring yourself into centered and balanced equilibrium. Still, you need to remain vigilant so that it does not become a rote formula. In order to keep the Heart Breath vital, it is important to stay conscious of the sources of energy, including the love component, that feed this practice and keep it alive. Without your heart-centered presence, it could become devoid of the spirit and intelligence it is meant to invoke, and disconnected from the spontaneous magic that initially inspired it.

The Heart Breath can also be used as a way to direct healing to any part of your body. Simply breathe in the powers of Earth and Sky, mix with the love you are adding to your heart flame, and direct your exhale to any place in your body that is in pain or in need. Likewise, it can be used with other people to develop and foster a strong, heart-centered connection. The Earth Breath, the first part of the Heart Breath, can be used separately, apart from the combined Earth and Sky breaths. There are occasions in this book where we recommend it to give additional grounding as needed.

Here is the Heart Breath meditation from the Making Spirit Medicine CD (6 minutes):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Heart Breath Practice

Relax. Close your eyes, and take a couple of deep, calming breaths. . . . Focus on your heart. Look within and find the eternal flame of your being that dwells in the sanctuary of your heart center. . . . This flame is the spark of your soul that endures throughout time. . . . As you bring your heart flame into focus, access whatever inner senses are available to you—sight, hearing, feeling, knowing, imagination. . . . When you perceive your heart flame in whatever way it presents itself, feed it with love. . . . Activate feelings of love in your heart and use those feelings to feed your heart flame. . . .

Love is the fuel. As you continue to feel love in your heart and pour love upon your flame, it brightens, it intensifies; it spreads warmth and light throughout your being. . . .

As your heart flame brightens within you, breathe as though you are drawing power and vitality from the heart of the Earth up through all the strata of the Earth, drawing from all the elements, minerals, and plants. . . . Pull the energy that comes with your in-breath up through the Earth’s crust and into your body, all the way up to your heart center. . . . Hold your breath for a moment while the power and intelligence of Earth mingles with the love that you continue to pour on your heart flame. . . . As you exhale, the charged energy radiates out from your heart center, igniting every cell of your body with life-force energy and love. . . .

Take several deep, slow, strong Earth Breaths. . . . While you continue to breathe the Earth breath, simultaneously extend your consciousness upward toward the heart of the cosmos. As you inhale the power of Earth, you are also inhaling from the sky, drawing down power, vitality, and intelligence from the billions of stars and all the heavenly bodies, and the intelligence that permeates the universe. As the power of Sky joins the power of Earth in your heart center, see-feel-know-imagine the further nourishment of your heart flame. . . . Hold your breath for a moment as these energies combine with your love. . . . With each out-breath, experience the growing lifeforce energy, intelligence, love, and radiance that extend throughout your body and beyond. Notice how the Heart Breath works like bellows, fanning the fire until you are sitting within the bright glow that radiates from your inner heart flame. . . .

When you feel yourself in that perfect place of equilibrium between Earth and Sky, you are ready to move forward with whatever process or exercise is before you, or simply meditate quietly within this glow until you are ready to open your eyes. . . .