A while ago I presented a talk and a meditation in the Brussels’s Quaker’s House (with the Chill-out program), called „Heart Meditation“. I spoke about different aspects of the heart. Some of you might remember. This subject is so “close to my heart” that would like to share some of the aspects with all of you.
There is the biological heart that you all are aware of. It is the organ that pumps blood through the body, as long as we live. Thus it keeps us physically alive. And then there is the heart in its many forms of metaphors and symbols. All religions include the idea of the heart; just look at the Sufi’s flying heart (heart with wings), the sacred heart of Jesus in Catholicism, the heart chakra in Hinduism and Buddhism and many others that I do not mention here. So the heart has a vital (in all senses) place in our lives.
Have you ever wondered why the heart is the symbol for so many ideas, feelings, actions, and has even being exploited by the business world? You can buy cups with hearts, heart-shaped cushions, door matts with hearts on them ….
The heart is understood as compassion, as wisdom, intuition and of course as the seat of LOVE and the seat of the Soul, depending from what spiritual background you come.
“I love you with all my heart.”
“It is only with the heart that we see rightly.” (Saint Exupéry – The Little Prince)
“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.” (Blaise Pascal)
“He has a good heart.”
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” (Helen Keller)
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” (Steve Jobs)
“What does your heart say?”
We learn things “by heart”.
“From the bottom of my heart …”
“He has a broken heart.” “A heart of stone.” …
And it continues. You will definitely have a saying at hand as well.
We tend to be so busy all day long using our brains, thinking and thinking. Yet, the organ that keeps us alive and perceives the world before the brain can process the information, is the heart. How often do you think of your heart? How often do you “see with your heart”? How often during the day, do you put your hand on your heart and say: “Wait a minute, I have to listen to my heart.”?
The heart does not remember what it perceives; the place where we store memories is the brain. But we know in the meantime that the electromagnetic field of the heart takes in all information first, and then sends it to the brain in order to be processed there, in one way or another.
Lets have a look at the embryo in mother’s womb. The heart starts to beat soon after the division of cells after conception. We measure the heartbeat after about 6 weeks in mother’s womb, because it means this little being with the beat is alive. The brain on the other hand needs much more time to develop, and comes much later into the play. This fact means that all of our very first impressions of life, the noises outside of mother’s belly, mother’s emotions, the vibrations of her singing, her sadness, joy, anger, her food. All of that is perceived and understood intuitively in the first place through the heart. Isn’t this phenomenal?
When I read about the heart in the scientific world, I understand that researchers call the heart “the little brain”. They say that there are about 40.000 sensory neurons relaying information from the heart to the brain. This new field of science is called neurocardiology. The way the heart communicates with the brain is through the nervous system, with the help of hormones that are produced by the heart itself, and through biochemical information via the blood pressure waves. And there is the energetic information from the electrical and electromagnetic field that goes to the brain and radiates in an individual radius. It is said that there are more information sent from the heart to the brain than vice versa.
We all know that the electromagnetic field of the heart can be measured using the EKG. But what you might not know is that you can measure the waves of the heartbeat outside the person’s body, even by measuring the brainwaves of another person. Cardiologists can measure the electromagnetic field of one person’s heart in the brain of another person. It can even be guided into the same rhythm. If this subject interests you, there are plenty of books and publications to delve into. (Dr Joel Cahn, The Whole Heart Solution)
Why is this so important? We are so busy with our brains, thinking, analysing, rethinking, analysing again, having our emotions linked to the thinking. We get angry, frustrated, and hateful … and most of the time we do not get the solution we wish to get through the thinking process. Our brain is able to analyse, but not to “know” from a direct understanding of the information. This is what the heart can provide. The heart loves, the brain analyses the love, criticises and judges. The heart feels another heart and knows intuitively if it is right or wrong, good or bad. The brain makes a story about it. If we can come back to connect with our heart we get quiet and calm. We get centred. Try it out right now.
Stop reading in a minute, close your eyes and put your hands on your heart. Feel the heart beat. Concentrate of the heart’s beat. Go with your individual rhythm, in and out, stronger and weaker, in and out. Do it for a while, and you with feel calmer. I assure you.
In the Hindu Chakra system, the heart chakra is the 4th primary chakra and in Sankskrit is called Anahata (अनाहत), which, translated into English, means “un-struck, unhurt, and unbeaten”. It is seen as the wheel (chakra means wheel) that relates the three lower physical chakras to the three higher spiritual chakras. The ideas that go along with this chakra are: deep bonds with other beings, sense of caring and compassion, feelings of self-love, altruism, generosity, kindness, and respect.
In the Hindu and Buddhist tradition “love” (which resides in the heart) is understood as the healing force of all and the connection to all. The “Om” and the “Hrim” in Sanskrit symbolize man’s position between earth and sky, just like in the individual chakra system. Earth is represented in the three lower chakras, and sky represented by the three upper chakras. OM vibrates in our bodies each time the heart beats.
The heart chakra is the most important chakra, it heals the wounds of hurt through love and it represents the heart of the entire Universe. If we follow our hearts we connect with all there is, with your heartbeat and the heartbeat of the Universe.
Try it out. Just for this day: Listen to your heart.
Please fell free to comment on this article, add information about the heart that you did not find here and let me know how you can change by focusing more on your heart than your brain. My heart is open to let all of your comments and thoughts in.