I can feel my heart chakra? Now what??
February 5, 2020 10:41 AM   Subscribe

I just realized that can feel my heart chakra!?? It feels very very very real and visceral in my body. Now what? I’m looking for deep, thoughtful, real ruminations and thoughts on it.

I never thought I’d ask a question like this. I can feel something in the center of my body so viscerally. It’s quite connected to my emotions. I’ve been doing a lot of deep work in therapy and psychedelic meditation starting from the fall, and during a conversation with my partner last night, realized that those bodily feelings must be what people call the ‘heart chakra’.

I’m looking for resources and thoughtful guides on thinking about it. Much of the stuff I find online feels, very surface-level, as if people are talking about the conceptual/mental idea of it, not the deep bodily feeling I’m feeling in the center of my chest. Would you have any books, lectures, papers, deep work on it that’s not a quick simplistic read?

(Oh and please don’t say “the heart chakra isn’t anatomically/scientifically real”! It’s like: heartbreak, or “having a broken heart” is a very real feeling, and of course it doesn’t mean that the heart is anatomically cleaved into two. I believe we should believe in science and chakras at the same time, the ways we can believe in anatomy and “broken hearts” at the same time. Or: anatomical responses to heartbreak is a category error. We navigate heartbreak with our thoughts and feelings. How do I navigate the heart chakra with my thoughts and feelings?)

Thank you!!!
posted by many more sunsets to Human Relations (11 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure Metafilter will help you very much. Metafilter tends to eschew woo. Try this, this, this, or this.
posted by crunchy potato at 11:38 AM on February 5, 2020 [24 favorites]

Ahhh, that's wonderful! Very excited for you to have the opportunity to learn to live from heart openness. Look up Loch Kelly's teachings on Openhearted Awareness, he's very heart centered in my experience. Pema Chodron too, of course! https://www.lionsroar.com/bodhichitta-the-excellence-of-awakened-heart/

Crunch potato, I would love to gently request for you not to dismiss an experience of true openheartedness as "woo." There's so much actual science to support the deeper state of limbic resonance described here.
posted by namesarehard at 2:26 PM on February 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

Crunch potato, I would love to gently request for you not to dismiss an experience of true openheartedness as "woo."

How do we know if the questioner's heart chakra is open or closed? I say this in jest but I don't think anyone would dismiss "true openheartedness" whatever "true" openheartedness means.

There is a real broken heart syndrome. It's called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

I don't have any deep thoughts on the heart chakra. I practice yoga and believe wholeheartedly in the mind-body connection. Chakras are difficult for me because I don't think a portion of my body dictates certain emotions or feelings. My brain does that. Of course there are emotions and psychic pain that can manifest physically and maybe the chakras are fun and useful to label these feelings.

I’m looking for resources and thoughtful guides on thinking about it. Much of the stuff I find online feels, very surface-level, as if people are talking about the conceptual/mental idea of it, not the deep bodily feeling I’m feeling in the center of my chest. Would you have any books, lectures, papers, deep work on it that’s not a quick simplistic read?

I don't know anything offhand that delves deeply into a bodily feeling.

Since an "open" heart chakra means connection, love, empathy, and an appreciation of beauty there are plenty of thoughtful explorations on these subjects in Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, (and a slew of other religions and spiritual practices) nonfiction, literature, the natural world, philosophy, poetry, and art. A "blocked" heart chakra can mean mean jealousy and relationship problems. Also see all of the world religions, history since the dawn of man, art, literature, mythology, the Bible, politics.

The breath is a bodily function and sensation. You can feel the inhale and the exhale. Because you meditate you already know that the breath can be used to bring yourself back to the present moment. Maybe you can notice the feeling that you are having at the center of your chest (the "heart chakra") and meditate on love, compassion, and acceptance? What is your desire to navigate the feeling? What if you noticed it without labeling?
posted by loveandhappiness at 3:00 PM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

I will be following this with interest as like you I would like to know more about chakras but find online resources disappointing.

I know you asked for something to read but maybe some heart chakra yoga from yoga with adriene? Her paid channel (there's a free trial I think) has more chakra videos, including a chakra series as well as a 'generosity' practice that is strongly based around heart chakra yoga. It might stimulate your own ruminations.
posted by roolya_boolya at 3:29 PM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Haha, I did wonder if I would get a response like this! I too was someone who was highly skeptical of “woo woo new age stuff”, the same way that I thought that heartbreak was a metaphor. And then I did have my heart broken in my early 20s, and realized that the term is (like all language) a shared social construction of a connection between a part of my body and a specific set of emotions, that is much more than a purely conceptual mental metaphor.

When I say that I feel like my heart chakra is open — it’s not a relative judgment about the degree to which I might be openminded to new mental concepts. It’s more like a feeling in my body, the way that my leg might fall asleep and be on pins and needles, or the way that I might get a lump in my throat when I’m feeling particularly sad or am about to cry. It’s connected to a sense of resonance - that I can really read others’ emotions and feel how it resonates with mine. I now feel a particular feeling in my chest lately, and am thinking “ohhhh this is what some people might be talking about when they say ‘heart chakra’! I bet it has different names and terms in different cultures and different practices.”

I could mobilize my “rational”/engineer/software/philosophy/academia brain, and am sure I could use logic and rhetoric to persuade. But I think.. that might be besides the point.

Perhaps my real reworded question is:

I feel something in my chest that feels like a mix between a muscle, a fire, a purring engine. It’s connected to my deep emotions. I think this is what some people call “heart chakra”. I imagine that other people have felt this before and call it by other names, in other practices - in somatics, psychotherapy, family therapy, other cultural practices, traditions, etc. What are those other names? What are the practices with which people have lived with this, worked with it, cared for it, listened to it?

Thank you roolya_booklya and namesarehard - I’d love to know if other people have any connections, as tenuous or far-reaching they might be.
posted by many more sunsets at 3:51 PM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I use the term "woo" loosely. I am into lots of woo things myself, and have regular visceral experiences of emotions associated with certain areas of the body, perception of "cords," and so forth. So there was no judgment in my original comment, in case that was unclear. Just a reference to the overarching material reductionist and skeptical crowd here.

Kundalini awakening literature is likely to be informative. Ram Das and Yogananda, read with attention to the body, may also be a useful experience for you.
posted by crunchy potato at 4:14 PM on February 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Metafilter has a large, historical issue with commenters being gigantic jerks about spiritual matters and calling it 'woo' so this is a pretty hostile place, honestly, and it's severely alienating to people who have greater connections to their spirituality and ancestors.

My main answer to you, OP, is to meditate and feel that energy and pay attention to how it guides you, it's one of the most useful sources of knowledge and understanding you'll have, so it's quite lovely that you'll want to share. I'll look into some of the resources I have and come back later if I have anything worth sharing.
posted by yueliang at 6:03 PM on February 5, 2020 [8 favorites]

Read your question and googled "Reddit chakras". Some interesting links came up, including stories from people who had similar experiences to yours. Posting your question in one of those subreddits might get you to the resources you're looking for.
posted by foxjacket at 9:52 PM on February 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Maybe consider reaching out to Devany Amber Wolfe aka the creator of Serpentfire tarot and she if she can recommend something. She had a kundalini awakening she experienced with physical symptom manifestations, so while not a chakra expert, I think she would be receptive to this question.
posted by WeekendJen at 5:14 AM on February 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

I don't have any ideas but whatever anyone calls it, it sounds really cool and like it must feel amazing, so yayy for that!
posted by elgee at 7:50 AM on February 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Belatedly, (and realizing that for those who are skeptical, this will fall well within the "woo" but was also a real experience for me), I went to a Reiki training just kind of on a whim and felt pretty skeptical the entire first day. (It was like 2-3 hours on each of two days.) But as part of the end of Day 1, the teacher performed Reiki on everyone one-on-one afterwards. And at the risk of sounding unhinged, it felt like a giant hole had opened up in the center of my chest. It was so visceral that I walked home with my hand over it because it felt like it needed comfort, warmth, and shielding. Anyway. It was interesting to read this and remember that.
posted by salvia at 10:53 PM on February 8, 2020

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