In the west, we equate intelligence with the brain and the mind, with thinking. Consequently, we spend much of our time stuck in our heads. Indigenous cultures value the intelligence that comes from the heart as more important than intellect. We could call this the heart-mind. Research is beginning to reveal that the heart has its own intelligence. The brain receives important information from the heart and responds to it. In the past we have considered the heart just a hard working muscle that pumps blood. Actually it is a sensitive organ that gathers and processes vital information in 4 important ways.
Biochemically– The heart produces a hormone called, ANF. That helps to keep the body in balance. ANF regulates blood pressure, edema and the electrolytes and affects the blood vessels, kidneys, adrenal glands and other regulatory parts of the brain. ANF also modulates stress hormones and supports the reproductive and immune system.
Biophysically– As it beats the heart creates a powerful blood pressure wave that travels rapidly throughout the body, much faster than the actual flow of blood. This is what we feel as out pulse.
Energetically– The heart emanates an electromagnetic field that is approximately five thousand times more powerful than the field produced by the brain. This field affects every part of our body and is broadcasted beyond our physical body.
Neurologically– Every time the heart beats, neural activity is sent to the brain. The heart has the ability to monitor hormonal, rate and pressure information, and translates it into neurological impulses, processes it and sends information back to the brain through the Vagus nerve and spinal cord.
The heart has its own intelligence and effects how we think and feel. Our heart is more than a pump it is a center of awareness that sends information to the brain and the body. It is important that we keep an open heart and listen to our heart’s wisdom. When we live from the heart instead of from the mind we are able to be more present, centered and connected to life.
Heart Wisdom Meditation
Lie down in a quiet place and take some deep breaths into your belly. Let everything go outside of this moment. Place your hands over your heart and begin to focus your awareness on the center of your chest, this is your heart center. Notice what arises. Is your heart open, closed or somewhere in between. If your heart feels tight breathe into it and allow it to begin to relax and open. Then begin to generate a feeling of love and compassion. You can do this by thinking of someone or something you love deeply. Allow this feeling of love to fill your heart center and gradually spread throughout your entire body. Once you are aware of being full of love, allow love to heal and harmonize your body, mind, and emotions. When you feel ready, send this love out to others- those you love, the Earth, or to someone in need. End by offering gratitude for your life and for the opportunity to connect with your heart. Please share this practice with a friend.