Thursday, January 25, 2007

Beating Heart Meditation

Say Thank You To Your Beating Heart

For years I've been inviting people to Come Home to their Hearts. From my own healing experience, I know that the wealth of the ages is there - the love, peace, joy, gratitude, passion, courage - all the aspects of life that make it delicious abide in an infinite well-spring within us.

Though my current "knowing" is rooted in richly metaphysical concepts, which, by the way, are now the bedrock of scientific thought, there is a simple path to accessing the marvels of the heart. Acknowledge it! Say hello to it! Say thank you to your beating heart!

The physical heart is housed in the chest cavity, which is metaphysically referred to as the heart center. But, metaphysics aside, I simply invite people to become aware of their beating hearts. Read the rest of the article and then try this. Feel it as you read it. Pretend you're doing it.

Sit or lie down in a very comfortable position - and gently close your eyes, sighing out your breath as if you were sinking into a fragrant warm bath after a long, tiring day. Let stillness embrace you. Feel as though you're listening to silence. Despite the relentless stimulation of our lives, peace and serenity are always present and they are an overwhelmingly sumptuous place in which to relax. Just breathe as easefully and comfortably as possible allowing your sighing exhale to release your tensions and relax you more and more deeply.

Now just notice your beating heart. Listen to it. Acknowledge that you¹e not consciously beating your heart anymore than you¹e consciously breathing all day long. We are ever-pulsing energy systems - ever alive with the same Energy that¹ moving the tides in the oceans and blooming the flowers in Spring. Say thank you to the Source of your breathing; thank you to the Source of your beating heart. Allow yourself to feel the pulsations all through your body as the result of your beating heart. Awake or asleep this Energy is flowing unceasingly. Feel It.

Decide to name this energy God or Love (God is Love). And decide that this divine Love energy is bathing and soothing and healing every cell, every atom of you. Feel It. Allow It. Allow all resistance to It to melt away.

Feel loved and cared for. You are! Feel your Oneness with the very Spirit of Life. Say thank you to your beating heart for being your ever-constant reminder of this Spirit connection.. Say thank you to the loving Source of your life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
by Elizabeth Hepburn

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Heart Is Where Home Is

The Heart Is Where Home Is

In all of my work, I encourage, invite, and cajole people to come home to their hearts -- to the love in their hearts. Ultimately, I feel it's the most valuable journey one will ever take.
It's no accident to me that in the romance languages the word for heart is cor, core, coeur, and that Webster's definitions of the English word "core" include:
1) the inmost part of something and
2) the most important part.

In the framework of my orientation, this leads me to conclude that the very core of us is our heart, the inmost -- the most important part. So as a paradigm shift from the adage "Home is where the heart is," I hereby offer, "The heart is where home is." It seems to me that until our life is aligned with our heart, we're a house divided against itself.

Strictly from a physical point of view, the incessant beating of our heart plays an inestimable role in the overall well-being of the body. And clearly, it's where we feel the experience of love -- romantic love, mother love, the bond we feel for a beloved pet. Now, to my great delight, research scientists at The Institute of Heart Math in Boulder Creek, CA, are telling us that the heart generates the strongest electromagnetic field produced by the body. Moreover, this field becomes even more coherent as the individual shifts to a loving or caring state. This data corroborates what metaphysicians have been telling us for millenia.

The physical heart is housed in an energy center referred to as the heart center. This center is considered our gateway to spirit and to the most powerful and creative energy in the Universe: Love . It's here that we connect with our Source. This is home.

Several years ago at a Dr. Brugh Joy lecture I received an exquisite gift. His theme that evening had been expanding our awareness of the heart energy. At one point, he had us sitting with our right hand on our heart center (the very center of the chest cavity), feeling the subtle variances in the energies of love there. Slowly, one at a time, he had us tune into Compassion. Tenderness. Gratitude. Joy. Each elicited a slightly different feeling. The next morning I was recapturing this glorious meditation process, and prompted, I'm sure, by this familiar "pledge" pose, these words came to me: "I pledge allegiance to the love in my heart -- to the wonder of wonders within me -- and to the divinity in all life -- One God, One Truth, One Love -- Now and forevermore."* I was so moved by the simplicity of this statement, I repeated it to myself several times and, before I entered into my daily routine, wrote it down.

It's my contention that this pledge is what we're up to now. What could possibly be more worthy of our allegiance than love and the deep caring and compassion that love engenders? It will enhance our lives; it will heal our planet. It's time we make a covenant with that intrinsic part of ourselves.

The Indian master, Sri Nisargardatta Maharaj says: "If we are serious about the sufferings of mankind, we must perfect the only means of help we have, ourselves." In this tiny village of a world we inhabit, all of creation is beckoning us to be a blessing to each other and to our earthly home each day -- to pledge our allegiance first and foremost to Love, the Love in our own hearts. Love is the power. Love is the healer. Love is the answer. Come Home to your Heart.

The pledge entitled "A Pledge to Love" is now a beautiful Post Card available at Elizabeth's website -

Love is the power. Love is the healer. Love is the answer. Come Home to your Heart.
Elizabeth Hepburn

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Be Here Now

Be Here Now

As a veteran of six surgeries in four years during a challenging tussle with cancer many years ago, I know from whence I speak when I recently proffered the concept of Surgery as a Rite of Passage. The ritualistic aspects of surgery- being plucked out of our familiar environment, being coerced into ingesting, or being injected with, mind and body-altering substances and not being in control of our current circumstances - are obvious similarities of both 'rites' and the surgery process. And it occurred to me that holding what is otherwise a very difficult and often painful experience in this light could be an extremely useful perspective. Rites of Passage take us through an uncomfortable period with the built-in outcome being transformation and the expansion of our consciousness into a better, wiser, stronger place. It seems to me a very worthwhile viewpoint from which to prepare for surgery.

Now I suddenly have a deeper understanding of why this is such a meaningful insight for me. In the past week, I've rescued 2 spiders from the bathtub as I was about to shower. This rescue mode is the result of a harmlessness attitude that I've been incorporating into my life - a respect for the life of all living things. Being a New Yorker I'm still wrestling with the roach population in this regard, but the spiders got my attention and I assisted them up and out to nearby plants. What I noticed when they 'saw' me coming was that they would roll themselves up in a tight little ball - like they really weren't there and if they made themselves tiny enough, I wouldn't notice them and I'd leave them alone.

This is often our very natural and instinctive MO when we're faced with a fearful prospect like surgery. There are few things more traumatizing than the anticipation of this ordeal, and our fear often takes us into such denial that we roll up into a tiny ball, figuratively speaking. Our bodies get tight and contracted and the body/mind system is being flooded by the anxiety producing chemicals that are so valuable when the fight or flight mode needs to kick in. However, in this situation, there's no dinasour chasing us. We're face to face with a date for surgery and, short of divine intervention, we're going to be a major player in this drama.

Here's where the Rite of Passage idea comes in to play. We let go and own the moment. OK here I am - I don't understand why this is here or what I've done to deserve this onerous ordeal in my life, but here I am. And really getting "here I am" is the start of being-here-now. When we're physically or emotionally running rapidly in the other direction from the hand life is dealing us we're totally disempowered. When we stand our ground and surrender to the situation and subsequent process, we open ourselves to the invisible energies that are an intrinsic part of every breath we breathe. A section of this very famous Goethe quote seems appropriate here:
"…….the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way…….." Obvioiusly this quote is all about commitment - embracing the here and now. I say, as challenging as this situation might seem, commit to the surgery experience. Be bold and honor it for exactly what it is - the next your life.

Clearly, it's human nature to be terrified in certain circumstances. Not being fearful when presented with the prospect of impending surgery would border on the aberrant. Being heroic and brave is not about being fearless, it's about moving through the process, regardless of the fear, trusting, perhaps for the very first time in our lives, the essence of ourselves. We are body, mind and most importantly, spirit. Think Lance Armstrong. As I write this I see him so clearly winning the Tour de France over and over again, when he had been so desperately ill that his very life was in question to say nothing of his ever participating in a race again. Be very still for a few moments. Listen and feel the energy within you which is beating your heart, breathing within your lungs, digesting your latest meal, to mention just a few of its never-ceasing tasks. The spirit - the energy that championed Lance is available to all of us - at all times. And the more quiet we become, the more subtle and delicious is our experience of this ever-present energy.

Regardless of the challenges before you, be-here-now in the present and trust in this spirit, this energy that sustains us from the very first beat of our hearts throughout our entire lives. You are now acknowledging your connection to the Life Force of the Universe - God, The Source, The Force - however you chose to identify It. We are all intrinsically connected to It. Embrace that connection. Let It empower you. Be-here-now.