At their core, the winter holidays are all about celebrating love! Sharing meals, giving gifts, and participating in festivities are all ways in which we seek to express our generosity and connect with those we care about.
Although the manifestation of love has many forms, they all stem from an internal experience that is deeply powerful. Before a gift is made or a meal is prepared, there’s something inside us that drives us to create and share.
In Qi Gong, we seek to work with our fundamental energies that determine our experiences of the world. One of these energies is love, and its importance to us is immeasurable. While it’s natural to direct our attention to the expression of love, it’s also a great idea to pay attention to the inner experience of love also.
For this important holiday, we decided to share a special guided meditation for peace and love. This a relatively brief meditation and is a great practice to turn to whenever you want to give your heart energy a little boost. We recommend that you read through the meditation guidelines once on your own before closing your eyes and starting.
Position yourself in a comfortable seated position. Pay attention to your heart center and take slow, deep breaths into that area of your body. If your mind starts to wander just try to notice it, and then bring your awareness back to your deep breathing.
After a minute or two, try to imagine your heart as a small fire. Feel the warmth of your heart fire, and imagine rays of light shining outward. Feel appreciation and gratitude for your heart center.
As you continue to breathe, feel your breaths fanning the fire in your heart. With each breath, your heart fire grows a little stronger and brighter.
After another minute or two, imagine the fire in your heart expanding even more and shining light to those around you. Think of your loved ones, and imagine warm, loving, peaceful energy radiating outward to those you care about. If it feels natural, allow yourself to smile as you notice the loving energy in your heart build and grow.
You can also imagine your loved ones receiving your love and the joy that it brings them.
Continue this practice for as long as you like. With each breath you fan the fire in your heart, strengthening the love and appreciation you feel for yourself and others. As your practice continues, feel free to think of more friends or family members you’d like to include in your meditation. There are no limits about who you choose to send an extra bit of love and appreciation to.
When you feel ready to close your meditation, thank your heart-fire. Realize that it’s a powerful part of who you are and is there to provide love and joy for yourself and others. As you open your eyes you can allow your heart-fire to continue burning. Take your positive intentions and love with you for the rest of your day.
Here’s a little summary of the meditation we just shared:
Start by taking slow, deep breaths into your heart as you center your mind.After a minute or two, imagine a fire burning in your heart. With each breath you fan the fire, bringing more warmth and light into your being.Continue breathing and fanning your heart-fire. As you do so, imagine loving and peaceful energy pouring out into the world, like light escaping from a campfire and illuminating the trees around you. Think of friends or family members who you’d like to share some love and peace with, and imagine them receiving the rays of light that your heart is shining outward.Continue to stoke your heart-fire with your breath, and allow the loving rays of warmth to reach whomever you wish.When you’re ready to close your meditation, thank your heart and take the positive intentions and feelings with you into the rest of your day.
This is a wonderful meditation to include in your daily routine. It’s also a great practice to share with others if you feel comfortable guiding a meditation. It’s sure to be appreciated! Just remember, all acts of love start with an inner intention and feeling, so taking the time to cultivate your heart-fire is a wonderful way to help you show up as your most positive and authentic self in all your relationships.