How to Start Thinking With the Heart
For far too long, but particularly in the modern, Western world we have thought of the heart as simply a pumping mechanism responsible for bringing blood to our organs.
The heart’s physical importance is not to be underestimated, it supports life, sending the blood of life to the tree-like limbs of our vascular system–but this is an overly simplistic view of what the heart is capable of.
Gregg Braden’s latest research elaborates on the ancient technique of using the heart as an intelligent organ.
The heart’s intelligence has been ignored for far too long. What we’ve learned about the heart’s wisdom, however, in the past several years through the Heart Math Institute and through the research of psychologists, neurobiologists, and resurfaced wisdom teachings from our ancient past, should inspire everyone to look at the heart in a completely new way.
For those who are not used to using their innate intelligence–that is their intuition—tuning into the heart for answers to the most profound and difficult questions they could possibly drum up might seem ridiculous. Why ask the heart whether to stay in a relationship that is challenging, or even if you should go through with a medical procedure?
It might seem ignorant or even haphazard to ask the heart questions like these, but it has wisdom that the intellect cannot match. Here’s why:
The heart does not send information through an egoic filter.
The heart knows your past, your present, and your future. Its intelligence does not care about your egoic constructs. The heart simply speaks from a completely neutral place.
What lessons will you learn if you follow your heart?
You can think of it like a close friend who has your best interest at heart, and who does not care about making themselves look good in your eyes.
There is an ancient term that does not have a direct English translation that describes this intelligence of the heart. Hridaya, is the energy which is contained within the heart chakra. This is not just the physical heart, but the spiritual heart. It contains the intelligence of God, or the transcendental mind.
The word comes from the Sanskrit language, and the closest meaning to English would be something like this:
Hrid = center
Ayam = this
Thus, the spiritual heart always brings you to your center. It will not veer away from your highest self, always taking in a 360-degree (and beyond) view of any situation you could possibly face.
The yogi Bhagavan wrote once to explain this spiritual heart in more detail:
Conversely the mind-brain thinks of our past experiences, our past erroneous beliefs assigned to those experiences, and takes all sorts of twists and turns through a conceptual landscape that we’ve created to give us a ‘right’ answer to life’s deep questions.
A Zen Buddhist can also describe what happens when we think with the head (brain) instead of the heart.
We place a fog–a type of perceptual overlay on top of a situation and then add an emotional investment. We call this ‘real,’ but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yet, we think we have to obtain a siddhi (great accomplishment or miracle) in order to obtain supernormal wisdom or intelligence. So, we go on trusting the false perceptions of the mind-brain.
The Neurobiology of the Heart
Moreover, if we were to look at the simple neurobiology of the heart–there are many more fibers leading from the heart to the brain than from the brain to the heart. This means–as Gregg Braden recently pointed out in a Gaia talk–that there is much more communication being sent to the brain then being received from it.
As the HeartMath Institute explains, the heart also begins beating in the unborn fetus before the brain has even been formed, a process scientists call autorhythmic.
We humans also form an emotional brain long before a rational one, and the heart has its own independent complex nervous system known as ‘the brain in the heart.’
The heart can also create a level of coherence in the body just through its rhythm, which regulates all its systems, and corrects even diseased cells.
And finally, the electromagnetic field of the heart is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain, and permeates every cell in the body. The magnetic component is approximately 5,000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body with sensitive magnetometers.
How to Think with the Heart’s Wisdom
Here’s what Braden suggests to help us learn to tap into the heart’s massive wisdom:
Johanna Bassols is the creator of the Soul Reprogramming Method and founder of the Healers of the Light Academy.