The Biggest Meditation Practice You've Never Heard Of—And 5 Steps To Try It Today

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At this point, we’re all familiar with the wide-ranging health benefits of meditation. It can help you handle adversity, eradicate stress, lose weight, and even become a better parent.

There are a variety of popular meditation practices to choose from these days—from Transcendental Meditation to mindfulness-based stress reduction—but all of these techniques lack a focus on the heart.

Enter the Heartfulness Institute.

Its Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation technique is the most widespread meditation practice you’ve probably never heard of.

What is Heartfulness Meditation?

Heartfulness is a simple, modern, methodical approach to meditation. Rather than homing in on your breath or repeating a mantra, all you have to do to practice it is focus inward, on your heart, to cultivate inner strength and serenity.

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This form of meditation “gives many people the opportunity to master their lives [simply] by listening to their hearts,” shares Kamlesh D. Patel, global guide of Heartfulness Meditation.

Need to find balance? Focus on the heart. Looking for guidance? Focus on the heart. Seeking relaxation? Just focus on the heart!

Who practices it?

Heartfulness is a super-inclusive form of meditation that’s been around for more than 100 years. Over a million people (across 100 countries!) currently practice Heartfulness, and the method is growing around the world every day.

Rooted in the Raja Yoga tradition, Heartfulness can be done alone or in a group. And the practice is offered free so there’s no need to shell out thousands of dollars for training or dedicate weeks to lengthy workshops and teaching sessions.

The practice is secular, straightforward, informal, and—oh, yeah—you can start right now.

5 tips to help you get started

Intrigued? Let’s get down to it. Here are five tips on how to practice Heartfulness Meditation today:

1. Set aside 20 minutes for your “heart time.” If possible, always meditate at the same time, in the same place, to keep your practice consistent and create a calm space that you can return to each day.

2. Sit comfortably with your hands and legs drawn in and relaxed. No need to hold your hands or limbs in an awkward position—just focus on feeling peaceful and loose. Let your arms rest and land wherever is most comfortable.

3. Take a moment to tune into your heart. Imagine that there is a light filling it and expanding to capture your attention. As you focus on the subtle idea of lightness in your heart, you will begin to feel a vibration and energy descending into you.

4. As your mind wanders, gently return to this focus of light in the heart. Thoughts that arise will naturally fall away and not trouble you after some time of practice.

5. Upon completion of your meditation, take some time to reflect on the practice. Write a short journal entry, even just one sentence on your experience. As you move through your day (and continued practice), you will find yourself returning to your heart.

How to expand your practice

If you’re seeking some community-based relaxation, the Heartfulness Institute offers tons of free classes and workshops across the world. Alternatively, if you’re more of a homebody, the Institute provides plenty of online resources like self-guided videos, free of charge. They even have guided meditations available via the Heartfulness App on IOS and Android if you need to chill out on the go.

Living in the U.S. and interested in practicing Heartfulness in an inspiring, high-vibe group setting? The Heartfulness Institute will be offering three large-scale meditation conferences this summer in Detroit (June 4), Los Angeles (June 12), and New Jersey (June 25)—all purely donation-based.

Each city’s event will feature guided meditation and conversation with Kamlesh D. Patel and special guest speakers. Gopi Kallayil, chief evangelist for Google and proponent of workplace mindfulness, will take the stage in both Detroit and Los Angeles. Comedian Kyle Cease of “Evolving Out Loud” will share his transformative and inspiring message in Los Angeles, and motivational speaker and New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein (May Cause Miracles) will be speaking in New Jersey.

Registration is required to attend the Heartful Conferences—please visit www.heartfulconference.org.