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H h

Greek for "Hell." In meditation, a dangerous energy area of the human energy sphere. See “Kundalini.”


HALO, HALO EFFECT See “Energy Sphere,” “Energy Centers,” and “Soul.”

Halos–a circle, oval, or arc around or above spiritual persons’ heads–have been popular images in the world’s religious drawings and paintings throughout history. Usually they are shown as being white or gold. They are not just paintings, though. They have a physical-energy counterpart and can come in a variety of colors. For more, see “Energy Sphere.”

HANDS See “Posture.”

HATHA YOGA (See also “Breathing,” “Chakras,” “Exercise,” “Health,” “Karma Yoga,” “Martial Arts,” and “Posture.)

Hatha yoga is what most Westerners know as regular “yoga”: physical exercises, stretching, postures (see), breathing (see), and physical health (see). But hatha yoga is not just these individual activities. Rather it also is a pattern, path, or method you can use to attain greater awareness. Many different schools or versions of hatha yoga exist, and hatha yoga centers are available in great numbers in cities throughout Western countries and countries where Hinduism is common.

Hatha yoga is a relative or offshoot of karma yoga (see), which is one of the four classic major Hindu forms of yoga. Karma yoga involves work, physical effort, and improvements in the life of your body and physical patterns. Hatha yoga is a specific version of this that has to do especially with physical exercise in a meditative way.

Western versions of hatha yoga also exist. They involve courses, exercise regimens, and physical therapies that require you to meditatively learn to stretch your body and gently strengthen it. “Hard-core,” “ultimate,” or “high-energy” exercise programs that require rapid, hard actions are not meditative. Often, when they are slowed quite a bit so that each move requires concentration and more emphasis on posture and breath, they, too, can become meditative.

The martial arts (see) are one such exercise program that usually are meditative. Because most of them have Eastern roots, they can be included in the broad sweep of Hindu hatha yoga and of similar Chinese physical meditations. The martial arts are meditative because they require you to learn excellent breathing and posture, and they strongly encourage a healthy lifestyle and diet.

HAVE RELIGION To "have religion" or "get religion." See "Conversion."

HEAD ENERGY CENTER See “Above-the-head Energy Center” or “’Third-eye’ Energy Center.”

HEALING AND MEDITATION (See also “Balance,” “Brain,” “Breathing,” "Gifts," “Health Energy Center,” “Pain,” “Problems,” “Psychology,” and “Stress.”)

You can aid healing using meditation. In fact, many courses and classes in healing use or even feature meditation. Healing circles, health-mindfulness practices, and health recommendations to find calm, peacefulness, and relaxation all relate to or acts of meditation.

Healing meditatively means bringing greater relaxation, relief, warmth, circulation, or release of stress to parts of your body. Meditative healing is neither taking drugs or using hard exercise to heal, nor is it simply sitting in mental meditation. Though either of these can help, meditative healing usually involves concentrating on some focal point that either is a place of pain (see), discomfort, or imbalance (see “balance”), or helps bring healing energy to such a place.

You can use a number of simple or more advanced meditation techniques. One is to calm your entire body (see the “Calming Meditation”). Another is to focus on relaxing specific parts of your body (see the “Relaxation Meditation”). Both of these meditations allow a part of your body in need of healing to release some of its tension and to gain more blood circulation for better oxygenation.

Another type of meditation does much the same. In it, you focus on bringing your heartbeat to the point or place in need of healing. You simply focus on that point and then try to feel your heartbeat there. This meditation may take some time and work over a number of sessions. Even the smallest hint of feeling your heartbeat in or near the focus point is a sign of beginning success.

It is important to note that meditation cannot replace the kind of healing that needs a doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor, or other physical therapist. Meditation also cannot replace good psychological counseling for emotional problems that lead to physical stress.

In addition–especially–meditation cannot be completely healing without a healthy lifestyle. This means that for meditation to work well, you must also learn to eat and drink (see) well, live a life at least somewhat in moderation (see “Middle Path”), and most importantly, exercise (see) regularly.

However, in combination with external help from proper physical health and proper help from medical, mental, or physical therapists of various kinds, meditation also can help you make significant strides in some of your healing needs.  

If you are interested in healing others, see also "Gifts" and "Master/Teacher."

HEALTH ENERGY CENTER (See “Brain, “Breathing,” “Chakras,” “Hatha Yoga,” “Healing,” “Problems,” “Psychology,” and “Stress.”)

The health center is located in the general area of your navel or slightly lower. It has to do with health, healing, and improvements especially in digestion. It also is related closely with sexual and other forms of desire. Even though it sounds like a great energy center on which to concentrate–who doesn’t want to feel more health?–it also can be a very dangerous center.

Meditating upon all three of the lower energy centers–the solar plexus center, the health center, and the base-of-the-trunk center–is not recommended unless you are working with a meditation master on a regular basis. It is better, say most experts, to meditate on the top four centers–the above-the-head, third-eye, throat, and heart centers –and let energies that are more positive, safer, and clearer then descend from those energy centers to lower ones.

The reason for this is that concentrating on any center stirs up both positive and negative energies, mental associations, and emotions. And stirring up the deep negative energies in the lower centers without a master meditator or a psychologist or psychiatrist to help you can be a recipe for self-damage emotionally and physically.

Some of the greatest problems in concentration on the health energy center is the opening of a Pandora’s box of unpleasant memories, dreams, and feelings of great emotional loss, jealousy, unwanted desires, and other very strange and disabling psychological events. It also can open you to new pains, both physical and emotional.

If you would like a list of meditation activities for this energy center, first go to the “Energy Centers” definition in this dictionary. Then, at the end of the definition, see “A Guide to Energy Center Meditation.”  Activities for each energy center are listed there.

If you wish to engage the energies of the health energy center, there are several safe courses you may try. One is to use the “Relaxation Meditation.” Another is to use the meditations suggested for focusing on specific physical or emotional pain (see “Pain”). A third is to exercise much more (See “Breath,” “Exercise,” “Hatha Yoga,” and “Posture”).

A fourth is to make lifestyle changes that relieve you significantly of stress (see). A fifth is to find more balance (see) in your life. A sixth is to try several different forms of meditation that may help you achieve more peace in your life (see “Starting Stage of Meditation.”)

HEARTBEAT (See also “Healing and Meditation" and "Heart Energy Center.")

          If your heart is beating fast and/or hard, you made meditate upon it to bring relaxation and/or a slower beat to it. You can do so by imagining that your heart is relaxing totally, just as you might also make other muscles such as your arm, you leg, or your jaw relax. You can even practice on these other muscles, then imagine the same physical feelings occurring in your heart. Sometimes you may find that relaxing your entire chest, or just the left side of it, works better for relaxing your heart.

          You do not need to worry that you will stop your heart, or fall asleep and never awake, again. Rather, the heart has a default setting: if you fall asleep or otherwise lose consciousness, it will keep beating or start beating again at a healthy, normal, sleeping heartbeat level. This default setting of the heart is just like the default setting in breathing: if you hold your breath until you lose consciousness, your body automatically will start breathing again, once you are unconscious.

          Sometimes, when relaxing their hearts, some people experience slight twinges or pains. These are natural as long as they are very brief and not extreme. However, if you ever experience very extreme pain, or strong pain that is long lasting, seek immediate medical attention.

HEART ENERGY CENTER (See also “Bhakti Yoga,” “Chakras,” “Emotion,” “Energy Centers,” “Pain (Emotional),” “Pleasure,” and the “Starting Stage” of Meditation.”)

Seven meditation centers or focus points are roughly aligned with your spine. In this dictionary they are called “energy centers” (see). They are physical meeting points for groups of nerves, or points that are in or near many nerves. They also are–according to ancient Hindu, Chinese, and other medical and spiritual traditions–excellent points on which to focus in meditation. To read about all of them, see the Guide for “Energy Centers.”

The heart energy center is located in the front of the chest on the same level as your heart, or in your heart itself. You may use either of these as a focus point. This area of the chest is a center of several important functions that are both consciously controlled (emotions such as love, devotion, and caring kindness) and unconsciously controlled (the heartbeat and blood pressure).

The heart center is one of the two most common or popular energy centers of the human body with which people meditate, the other being the above-the-head energy center (see). In Hinduism, it is connected with bhakti yoga (see). However, it long has a tradition of being an important place of meditation on love in a wide number of spiritual traditions.

Love mystics in all major religions–people who have found God regularly through the practice of love and devotion–are using, focusing on, or working through the heart center. In the Sufi “Hadiths” or “Prophetic Sayings,” for example, the poet says, “The heart of the believer is the place of the revelation of God. The heart of the believer is the Throne of God. The heart of the believer is the mirror of God.”

Many people find the heart energy center the safest on which to meditate among all of the seven energy centers. This is because you may find it the easiest and safest. It also may feel good or right to you. In addition, it is the middle center of the seven, and so it represents a kind of balance or centering. It may be especially appropriate for people with strong emotional or psychological needs, problems, or imbalances, whether for a moment, a week, or a year.

The heart center is not just a point for meditation; it also is deeply involved in the human emotions of love, marriage, family relationships, and friendship.

Any one regular human feeling of love is not, in itself, a “meditation” but rather just a feeling. You need to find a feeling of great love or a sense of a higher awareness within the love–and then also focus on it–to call it a meditation. You also can meditate on the heart center and feel virtually nothing; if this is you, you may need more time focusing on the center or, perhaps, you may need to pursue meditation using another center or other ways.

Would you like a list of meditation methods for this energy center? If so, go to the “Energy Centers” definition in this dictionary. Then, at the end of it, see “A Guide to Energy Center Meditation.”  Methods for each energy center are listed there.

In meditation, a very positive energy area of the human energy sphere, whether in this life or after it. See “Awakening,” "Above-the-Head Energy Center," and "Afterlife."

HELL In meditation, a dangerous energy area of the human energy sphere, whether in this life or after it. See “Kundalini” and "Afterlife."

HINDU MEDITATION See "Chakras," "Energy Centers," "Symbols," "God," and "Religions."

HOLY (See “Divine.")

HOLY SPIRIT (See also "Awakening," "Born Again," “Waters of Life," "Above-the-head Energy Center," "Spirit," and “Starting Stage of Meditation.”)

          "Holy Spirit" usually is a Christian term referring to one of the three parts of the Christian trinity, "Father (God), Son (Child), and Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost)." In both spiritual practice and meditation practice, generally the holy spirit descends to or into you from above as an "Awakening" experience" (see) or first experience of something more than just normal material reality.

          In Christian (and general spiritual and meditation) experience, the coming of the Holy Spirit usually is not considered an experience of God, nor of Jesus or any other divine being. Neither is it associated with powers or forces coming from below, within you, or from the material world around you. Examples of experiencing the Holy Spirit include feeling a purifying power coming from above you, seeing white light that has entered you from above your head, or, during a ritual ceremony, being touched or prayed over, the result of which is that a special power, strength, or force descends upon you and lifts you up or heals some part of you.

          In meditation practice (Christian, other religions', or nonreligious practice), this experience can be focused upon, letting the white light or the feeling of awakening fall deeper, more thoroughly, or more intensely into your mind, heart, and body. Since the experience is common to many religions and to those who are not religious, you can seek it and study about it from a number of different perspectives. For further reading, see especially "Above-the-head Energy Center."         

– The bread and wine in the Christian ritual of communion. See  "Symbols."

HUMILITY – As in being humble amidst your meditation experiences. See  "Acceptance."




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Text © 2017-2020 by Richard Jewell

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First edition: 1 Sept. 2018. Second edition: 1 Sept. 2019. Free Use Policy

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