If you have followed the basic meditation steps so far, you are breathing slowly and rhythmically and deeply.
Pulse and Heartbeat
The first intervention in our normal breathing was to extend our exhale, making it longer and deeper than normal.
The second intervention was to extend our inhale to make it longer than usual.
Now the third intervention in our breathing is to hold the breath at the top of the next inhale. Hold for at least 3 seconds if you comfortably can. Hold longer if you are able. While you are holding, try to feel your heartbeat in your chest. The longer you hold your breath the louder your heartbeat will get.
Using these important techniques of meditation, you want to hold the breath at the top of the inhale and listen and feel inside for the sensation of your physical heartbeat. Try to feel your heart beating in the middle of your chest. In addition, you can place your palm or fingertips over your heart or find a pulse point on your wrist or throat with your fingertips to feel for your pulse.
You might feel your pulse in your face, neck or somewhere else besides your chest. But keep looking for the source of the beat in your physical heart.
Pulse-Heartbeat Guided Meditation 6 1/2 minutes
Once you have regular contact with the pulse/heartbeat, drop the “hold” after your inhale. Use the rhythm of your heartbeat/pulse to make your inhales and exhales the same length, about 6-8 beats each.
Now your inhales and exhales are the same length as measured by your heartbeat or pulse. This is Basic Heart Rhythm Meditation: full, rhythmic breathing with awareness of pulse/heartbeat. Enjoy the synchronicity of breath and heart!
Continue now this practice for 5-10 minutes and congratulations if you feel your heartbeat. This is considered to be a milestone in your inner awareness. If you didn’t feel your heartbeat, don’t worry. Just use your pulse and work with that. Eventually you will be able to feel your heartbeat.
In Heart Rhythm Meditation we call the pulse the echo of the heartbeat. This is because the heartbeat is actually a double beat (lub dub). The pulse is a single beat, the echo. And the pulse can be felt anywhere in the body. Another neat way to contact your pulse point is this. Hold your palms out, facing upward. Take your left fingers and wrap them under your right wrist until you are feeling the pulse point there. Then bring your hands up to your chest together. See the images below. You end up with a good pulse contact point and the feeling is like cradling your heart. It’s a very comforting way to be with your heart and maintain contact with a pulse point while you practice these techniques how to meditate.