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Heart-Centered Practices

Heart-centered practices intentionally evoke healing and positive emotions which have been shown to broaden and build:

  • Compassion – the recognition of suffering and the desire to relieve it
  • Forgiveness
  • Gratitude
  • Lovingkindness – extending good will for safety, health, peace and happiness

The Center for Integrative Health and Wellness offers the following heart-centered resources at no cost.
(To download these MP3 files, right click and select “Save Link As.”)

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Being Peace

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
This is a useful practice for clinicians and caregivers to promote a sense of peace, drawing from nature, filling the self, and expanding outward.


Compassion Meditation

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
This is a useful practice for caregivers–family, friends, and professionals who care for those who are suffering. Deepening this capacity through practice can help prevent burnout.


Forgiveness

Patrice Rancour, MS, RN, PMHCNS-BC
Cultivating forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. Releasing anger does not condone hurtful actions or behaviors. It can help liberate us to manifest our inner purpose. Before embarking on a forgiveness practice, it may be helpful to gain confidence with practicing gratitude, compassion, and lovingkindness.


Forgiveness: Lovingkindness for Those Who Are Difficult

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
This guided experience helps build the ability to extend lovingkindness toward others toward whom we have negative feelings such as anger, hurt, fear, betrayal, or disgust. This is generally the practiced after mastering the ability to sustain lovingkindness toward someone else who is easy to love and others who are neutral. This is an advanced practice.


Gratitude

Patrice Rancour, MS, RN, PMHCNS-BC
Counting our blessings reminds us that while life is sometimes difficult, it is a gift to be alive. Focusing on gratitude is empowering and helps us feel more accepting of the present and hopeful toward the future.


Gratitude

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
Gratitude practice is an easy way to boost mood, enhance focus, and create happiness. As we build positive emotions, we build resilience through an expanded emotional reserve, broadening our awareness, enhancing creativity, and making us more effective in our daily lives.


Gratitude for the Body

Patrice Rancour, MS, RN, PMHCNS-BC
Our bodies are a great gift, deserving of our care and attention. This practice helps build a positive attitude toward the physical body, promoting relaxation, relieving stress, and enhancing our ability to provide effective self-care.


Lovingkindness – Preparation

Lisa Thornton, PhD
This introduction to lovingkindness practice helps you to locate the feeling of loving kindness within yourself and then nurture it to help it grow stronger.


Lovingkindness – Practice

Lisa Thornton, PhD
This guided meditation on lovingkindness begins with finding the feeling of lovingkindness within yourself, and then sending these good wishes to others.


Lovingkindness for Loved Ones – Practice

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
This guided experience helps build the ability to extend lovingkindness toward loved ones, whether they be people, pets, plants, places, or experiences. This is generally the first practice before extending lovingkindness toward oneself, neutral people, or forgiveness toward those who have hurt us in some way.


Lovingkindness for Self – Practice

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
This guided experience helps build the ability to extend lovingkindness toward ourselves. This is generally the practiced after mastering the ability to sustain lovingkindness toward someone else who is easy to love.


Lovingkindness for Others – Practice

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
This guided experience helps build the ability to extend lovingkindness toward others toward whom we feel neutral, such as acquaintances or people we just happen to see in our daily lives. This is generally the practiced after mastering the ability to sustain lovingkindness toward someone else who is easy to love.


Sacred Sound or Word – Practice

Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH
This recording will help you practice the ancient art of invoking the sacred by repeating a sacred word or sound with each breath. Although this practice has a close relationship with the Relaxation Response, it adds to that practice the benefits of building a sense of awe and connection with something greater than one’s individual self. People of any religion or no religion can benefit from this practice.​​​​​​