(This article originally appeared in The Asian Leader Newspaper Nov 2018)
What is it about the heart which attracts so much study and interest? From the traditions of the old to the science of the modern day, the heart has been a topic about which many have spoken, written and researched.
Medically, the heart is known as a multi-chambered muscular organ pumping blood at high speed throughout the body. This definition is a far contrast from the emotional or spiritual context in which we use it in everyday life. When “in-love” we say our heart begins to skip a beat, or leap for joy; if we are rejected or hurt by others we say we are “heartbroken.” We call one another “heartless” or “coldhearted” when we show little care or concern for others. We are known as “big-hearted” when we show generosity or compassion towards another. We “take things to heart” when an experience or situation affects us on an emotional level, and we “talk heart-to-heart” about deeply personal issues. We love someone “from the bottom of our heart,” but are only “half-hearted” about something when we are not fully emotionally attached.
A notion that is not entirely accepted by the medical profession, the spiritual or the energetic heart comes from the age-old understanding and wisdom that a human being is made up of mind, body, spirit and emotion. What is the spiritual heart? Does it have any value or significance in today’s modern-era and, how can a greater understanding of it improve or benefit our lives– personally, socially and globally?
The spiritual heart is the term used for the energetic system within us which cannot be seen or touched by the senses, and yet has such a great impact on how we govern our everyday lives.
The HeartMath® Institute in America has been presenting research for over twenty-five years now, demonstrating scientifically the impact the energetic/spiritual heart has in our lives. The institute’s work has shown that the spiritual heart plays a much greater role in our lives than we think. This energetic/heart allows us access to a higher intuitive intelligence, (most commonly known as the inner voice), which has been found to elevate our communication, decisions, and choices to a much higher level of effectiveness. It can also pave the way towards social and global coherence and harmony within others as well as act as a healing energy to the Earth.
In the seventeenth century, Christian Huygens, a European inventor of the pendulum clock experienced a phenomenon in his studio, which housed a collection of his finest clocks. To his surprise, he noticed that all the pendulums were swinging in unison. Knowing that they had not started off like this, he broke the synchronicity of the clocks several times, only to find that not long after they fell back into alignment. It was many years later that scientists were able to shed light on this mystery. The largest pendulum which had the strongest rhythm was able to pull all the smaller clocks into alignment with it. This is known as entrainment and is prevalent within nature.
In a similar way, in its most coherent state the organ of the heart, like the strongest pendulum, is able to pull the brain and subsequently all the other organs and biological systems in the body into alignment and synergy. If we can create coherence within the heart we can create coherence in our entire body and thus use the energy within our body most efficiently, creating an enhanced state of health and wellness.
It is interesting to note that the coherence of the physical heart is based upon our ability to tap into and feel elevated emotions of what one might call “the spiritual heart;” feelings such as deep love, joy and deep appreciation of each moment. The spiritual heart can also be referred to as “the energetic heart.” It is an extremely powerful tool, allowing access to an intuitive intelligence. This in turn, opens us to higher perception centres in the brain, which enhances our thought processes and decision making.
When one practices heart-focused breathing as taught by the HeartMath Institute the rhythms of the heart become highly coherent, or aligned. This then brings the brain and the rest of the body into coherence. Our bodies were designed to function at an optimum level when both the head and heart are attuned and working together like one strong team.
Our spiritual heart is constantly sending a stream of intuitive information to the brain. Unfortunately, due the modern fast-paced and frenzied life-styles we usually lead, we tend to shut off this communication. Our lives, governed as they so frequently are by “time, or the lack thereof,” often knock our body out of this natural rhythm and flow, so vital for our healthy functioning. As we learn in meditation to slow down our mind and attune to our deeper heart feelings, our natural intuitive connection can be re-established. Being able to refine our ability to access the intelligence of the heart opens a wealth of wisdom– a wealth of heart information that, (if we are not very careful), our egoic-minds can often override or miss altogether.
We may believe that what we think and feel has no influence on those around us. But, how are we to explain that intuitive understanding we seem to effortlessly grasp about how another person is feeling, simply by being in their presence?
Again, studies conducted by the HeartMath Institute demonstrate how heart coherence coincides with their heart radiating a more coherent electromagnetic energy field. This field can then be picked up by others and found to influence in a variety of positive or negative ways. Through our own personal coherence, our mere presence can benefit, influence and support our families, co-workers, friends and pets. This research forces us to consider how we are contributing to our own well-being, as well as that of the world around us.
Many organisations and initiatives around the world are aligned in support of a global-field/environment connecting the consciousness of all living systems. Furthermore, it appears that a connection also exists between human beings’ energetic systems and that of the Earth itself. Our collective thoughts, emotions, intentions and behaviours all appear to share an influence with the Earth’s magnetic field. This research gives weight to the understanding that we must become more responsible as individuals for the energy that we are contributing to the global field at large, since each person’s thoughts, emotions and intentions seem to affect it.
This brings to mind a verse of The Holy Quran which says, “Verily, God will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state [Chapter Ar-Ra’d 13:11].” Therefore, by becoming more conscious of the thoughts feelings and attitudes we are feeding the global field each day, we can change not only our own condition, but the condition of others and even the world around us!
Humanity is at a critical juncture. We are at a new stage of social, spiritual and cultural evolution. We cannot solve today’s challenges from the same level of understanding with which we created them. We must access a higher level of understanding, a transcendent awareness and an elevated consciousness; one which allows us to connect to our own open hearts, listening carefully to its messages with a reverent trust.
Alexander Lowen, in his book, “Bioenergetics,” beautifully uses the analogy of the heart as being like that of a king, with the mind as his advisor. The advisor goes out into the world, sees what is happening and reports back to the King on the state of his kingdom. It is ultimately the King who makes his own decisions on which action to take. The actions may appear illogical or irrational to the mind but, they make perfect heart-felt sense.
It is critical that humanity shifts into this new paradigm of the energetic heart. With an increasing number of cultures and nations aligning with this new understanding, we can function more effectively as humanity seeks to live from this heart-based state. Only with such global coherence can we hope to achieve a world of increased harmony and sustainable peace.
HeartMath Add Heart Facilitator
As part of my own personal development, and to gain greater insight into the power of heart coherence, I did a personal 40-day heart coherence challenge and journaled my findings. For further information on this, check out my blog post here: http://sayyidabano.com/2018/10/29/heart-based-living-how-are-you-contributing/
As an approved Add Heart Facilitator with Heart Math Institute I am able to tell my clients about how to add-heart into their lives using the scientifically proven techniques demonstrated by Heart Math. To work with me, simply send me a message on firstname.lastname@example.org
To track your heart coherence you can use the Inner Balance Sensor from HeartMath which I use to get the most out of my daily spiritual practice and to help to better manage my emotional state.
Read up on this research at www.HeartMath.org
Technology for coherence building www.heartmath.com
I am an affiliate with the Heart Math Institute as I believe that their work and products are doing an amazing job in helping to bring coherence in the world around us. I only promote products that I have benefitted from personally.