Softening Your Heart

Through pain and experience, most of us have learned to guard our hearts. We may not trust or know how to keep our hearts open and loving.  In Buddhism  there are practices that guide you to gently open and cultivate a compassionate heart.  An awakened heart wants good and happiness for all, including oneself.   Often our sense of heartbreak in a relationship is not because we feel too much, but because we do not trust that our hearts can stay open, so we shut down, defend, avoid, cast  judgement & blame, effectively pushing the other away.  How to soften your heart?   Make the choice that you want your heart to stay open.   Then create a mediation or breathing practice that cultivates  an open heart.

A simple beginning, is to bring your awareness to your chest~ your heart chakra area, and breathe.  Feel any physical sensations that arise. Breathe deeply and slowly, asking your heart to soften.  Spend time breathing into the  front and back of your chest, breathing into your neck & shoulder area. Notice that all of these areas are related to your heart being open.  As you breathe  emotions may arise….allow everything.   You may at times have to coax your heart….with phrases like “You are safe to be open”, “It’s safe to love”, “You can release pain”.  These phrases or prompts can help your heart relax more fully.

Being Kind

Many teachers have written books full of wise words and practices around cultivating an open heart.  Pema Chodron, Michael Brown and Tara Brach, are a few of my favorites.  May each of us learn to trust keeping our hearts open, grounded, available, and loving.




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