Hridaya Meditation is a Spiritual Path in Itself. It is a way of revealing our fundamental essence, the Supreme Self, [glossary]atman[/glossary], or the “Spiritual Heart,” as it was called in many traditions.
From a technical point of view, it consists of 3 attitudes:
1) The awareness of the Heart Center (in the chest area)
The Finger that points to the Moon
There is a very beautiful metaphor from the Zen tradition, “The finger that points to the Moon,” which describes the relationship between the technical elements of practice and the Ineffable. It suggests that we should never remain focused on the finger, but always look in the direction it points.
In a similar way, these three attitudes are just like “fingers” that point to the “Moon” of Supreme Consciousness. They are just pointers or doors to the Vastness of our Being. Therefore, these attitudes don’t have a value in themselves, but just in connection with what they might reveal.
For example, we can focus on the chest area and this can definitely, in time, bring an increased level of concentration, mental clarity, and awareness of our emotions. But all these are limited to the domain of our personality.
When we understand that the Heart Center is just a pointer, we open ourselves to a new “domain,” described in the Islamic hadith as “Heaven and Earth do not contain me, but I am contained in the heart of my devotee,” or in Jesus’ affirmation “The Kingdom of God is inside you.”
In this way, Heart Center is not just a “point of concentration,” but brings the taste of Infinity.
In the same way, both of the other two attitudes, the pauses after inhalation and exhalation, and the question “Who am I?” can lead us to that domain which transcends the limits of individuality.
Therefore, Hridaya Meditation, while using these tools, finally goes beyond them, becoming a natural way of celebrating the Freedom and Joy of our Real Being.