The 5 Hindrances of the Heart


Here is a technique that can be a meditation all by itself. It was designed as an opener to our QiGong and Tai Chi, more specifically, the San Cai practice, but I don’t see why it can’t be used in Reiki or Yoga or any other type of practice for that matter.

Without being too wordy I wanted to put together a brief description.

Start by closing the eyes. Turn off eyes to the outside world and turn them inward. Basically get rid of distraction. Then do the same with the ears. From here we are in the body. Move into the heart. Meaning move your actual position into the heart itself. Not looking down from the brain. But from the physical location looking out (If this doesn’t make sense or seems impossible, then just take the time to become more familiar with the organ before moving into this practice). Once in the heart, settle and get comfortable. Pay attention to what you notice both physically and emotionally, and do your best to accept whatever it is you find. Once this happens you are ready to begin the five phases.

– Desire: Remove any desire that resides in the heart. For your moment, specific to what you have going on, release desirous intent from the heart. Pay attention to what is left over as the emotion leaves.

– Ill will: Towards any person, place or thing – practice letting go of the resentment. You will know that you are ready to move on when you can be with the person, place or thing of concern without the toxic emotion associated.

– Restlessness: Get calm, become comfortable in the heart space. No more need for fidgety tendencies. No need to be anywhere other than seated in the heart.

– Doubt/fear: Eradicate the doubt and fear. Let it go. Reinforce courage and confidence. Pay attention to what happens as the self-doubt leaves.

– Laziness: Lastly, remove any lazy tendencies. No more bullshitting. Just get in there and do it. Whether it’s your dishes or your taxes or your morning practice. Strengthen your technique. Pay particular attention to what happens as this sluggish tone leaves the heart.

1-5 minutes in total. This is enough. That being said, initially you may want to take more time with it. Especially if the heart is a new arena for you (in the Happy Hour class we sometimes take up to 20 min). Overtime you will be able to get in there quicker and do the work.

Once these five hindrances have left, the beauty of the heart is allowed to express itself. The idea is learning how to get under the emotion, under the flavor (meaning habits, tendencies, history, personality). Once this simplicity is experienced, the only thing left to do is maintain it. Protect it. Gentle and subtle, like a warm soft glow. The heart is most powerful when it’s calm. Meaning, that when this simplicity is achieved, the rest of the body is empowered to do what it is designed to do.

This is what the Chinese refer to as the Buddhist giving birth to the Daoist – Emperors Fire (Heart Fire) empowering the Ministerial Fire (Fire of Life/Ming Men located in the lower spine at L2). Once we begin talking about Ming Men and lower Dan Tian everything gets more complex. And if you are keen to learn more on this justĀ  give me a bell. To explain more, at this point, would be a lot of work. So for now we just stick with the heart. For those of you new to the practice it is enough.