An important part of my own inner life involves continually bringing attention to the heart chakra. When I’m conversing with people, I’ll very often let my attention rest at the heart. This allows me to listen with empathy and be more in touch with the tone of the conversation, rather than just the specific details of what’s being said. For me, this kind of empathic listening is more about understanding a person than simply taking in information.
When I allow my attention to rest at the heart throughout the day, an intuitive sense of discernment is available to me which connects me to life in a way that complements my thinking brain. I’m not sure why this is, but perhaps the heart center gives us direct access to the empathic part of our consciousness. In any case, focusing on the field of sensation at the heart chakra helps to calm the brain by giving it something to attend to other than thought… Abiding in the open heart is a craft. So you’ve got to experiment with it to see how it works. It’s really a major component of Buddhist practice.
This reflection by Ajahn Viradhammo is from the book, The Contemplative’s Craft, p. 151.