January 2014 By Shivi Verma The time has come for humanity to free itself from the divisive and competitive world of the mind, and step into the inclusive and all-embracing world of heart consciousness, says Shivi Verma I often become acutely aware of a certain sensation around my heart region. It is a warm, expanded feeling, making me conscious of its heightened presence. I enjoy it, and have often wondered if it is okay to be so aware of its presence. I wondered if it was an egoic space which excluded others from my range of feelings and emotions. But while sitting in a workshop, I decide to drop judging this feeling and accept it the way it was. It was then I realised that my heart field had expanded, making me more loving and more accepting of people and situations. I also increasingly realise that I do not live in my mind anymore. I have a clear memory of functioning from the mind. It made me nervous, doubtful, judgmental and completely out of sync with myself and my surroundings. This space was wobbly, unstable, and had me labelled as confused by my peers. For how long can one stay in such a shaky situation? My feet searched for a strong ground to plant themselves upon. And the more I advanced in my search for self-discovery, the more I found my consciousness shifting, and finding itself at home in my heart. My awareness had packed its bags and taken permanent residence in my heart. It no longer found the upper story of my mind a natural, habitable place. As a consequence, minor ups and downs do not throw me. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the world and its varied people, I can now find my centre even when I am in an apparently unstable and challenging situation. My heart took over the reins from my mind, and made it a willing, compliant follower. Apart from making me believe in myself, it has also gifted me with other gifts such as intuitively knowing what is best for me, what path I must traverse, and also not worrying too much about other people’s reactions. It no longer mattered how the other behaved as long as my heart was filled with love. Once while travelling onboard a local train, a lady obstinately refused to give me space to stand despite my repeated humble requests, even though she had room enough to accommodate two people. Left with no other option, I was compelled to push her gently. And even though she retaliated with aggression, I was able to stand my ground, with peace and a smile upon my face. She could not dislodge me from my place, nor my inner composure. I was able to smile at her and others too who had joined her in opposing me. Subsequently, everybody settled down and before getting down at my stop I managed to say bye, as well as, ‘Hope to see you soon,’ to my adversary without any malice in my heart. It has also eased the job of my mind. It now has to worry more about minor detailing, than pondering about the big questions of life. I have also found that the more I listen to this unavoidable force, the happier I am. Which means that it is a call emanating from a higher place, far beyond my cognitive mind. While attending workshops too I came across several healers increasingly referring to the heart possessing a unique and much more powerful intelligence than the brain. My own state, combined with the talk going on in healing circles, compelled me to find out more about the subject. How to get there Sanjiv Ranjan suggests watching one’s breath slowly to get connected to the rhythm of the heart. He provides a simple mechanism. “Sit down in one place. Focus on your breath. Watch it come and go. Keep counting the number of cycles of breath you inhale and exhale. Doing it for 10 minutes regularly will connect you with your subconscious mind. When you free your mind of thoughts, through regular practise, it gradually enters the heart consciousness which is in sync with the natural rhythm of the universe.” The Heartmath technique created by the Heartmath Institute also offers a surefire way of connecting with your heart intelligence. 1. Recognise the stressor – the problem that bothers you. 2. Shift your focus to the heart. Put a hand on your heart, and breathe deeply into your heart. 3. Activate a heart feeling. Recall a positive memory, a beautiful, blissful moment of your life when you felt wonderful (we all have such memories, just search a little if it doesn’t come easily). 4. Ask the heart, ‘Tell me a better way to deal with the situation/the problem’. 5. Listen to the message from your heart. Pay attention to the first words, pictures, or sounds that come to you. The rhythm of the heart However, let me clarify that we are not discussing emotions here, although they too seem to emerge from the heart. Says Irma Battig, coach, healer and seminar facilitator (Emotional Intelligence), who is also a certified Heartmath practitioner, “Most emotions aren’t heart-based, but fear-based. They tend to originate from our ego. Being emotional usually means not being in control over one’s emotions and actions which makes us prone to reacting irrationally. It also means that different systems in our body are out of alignment and we are under stress. It is that which is normally called emotional,” The heart-based approach is a far deeper reality, which is accessed when we have purged and cleansed ourselves of most emotional debris. It is when the mind is no longer the slave of turbulent and compulsive thoughts, that a person enters the new era, the era of the heart. Says healer, writer and psychotherapist, Sanjiv Ranjan, who is the founder of the All India Institute of Body-Mind Medicine, “The universe vibrates at a certain rhythm. And the rhythm of the human heart is in consonance with the cosmic rhythm. But since our breathing is out of sync with our natural harmonic rhythm, we feel alienated from our surroundings. When our breathing becomes aligned with the rhythm of the natural cosmic order, we enter heart consciousness. There, the slower and deeper we breathe, the more we are attuned to our natural universal rhythm.” Throwing more light on this phenomenon, he says, “The heart being a bigger and more organised brain is not a new concept. It is a truth which was intimately known to all the civilisations. Ancient India, the spiritual as well as intuitive capital of the world, has always given tremendous importance to the intelligence which resides within the heart. The earliest mention of the Wisdom of the Heart finds its existence in the Nasadiya Sukta also known as the Hymn of Creation, the 129th hymn of the tenth mandala of the Rig Veda. “It says clearly that the relationship between that which is manifest, and that which is not, can only be known to those who think with the heart. And this is one of the deepest mysteries of the universe. Decoding these mysteries requires profound intelligence. Therefore, this hymn gives us very vital clues to the depth that heart intelligence can touch if allowed to. “All poets think with their heart, which is why a poet is always more intimate with the truth while a scientist can only approach it awkwardly. God also thought with His heart which is why Creation named itself the Universe . . . an integrated, unified verse, seeking expression existentially. The Bible too testifies to this eternal truth when it says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Scientific endorsement On a more scientific and analytical basis, studies are being conducted to actually measure and quantify the influence of the heart on the thoughts of people. The Institute of HeartMath in California has been doing a lot of research on the topic for almost two decades. They seem to be the forerunners in the Western world. “The heart is an additional brain that has always been there. It has about 40,000 neurons, and has the capacity to feel, and has memory. It is a sensory organ, and acts as a sophisticated information encoding, and processing centre that enables it to learn, remember, and make independent functional decisions,” says Rollin McCraty, Director of the Research Institute of HeartMath. Irma Battig: Believing profoundly in the power of the heart To simplify such a cryptic definition, Irma says, “According to the research, the heart sends more messages to the brain than the other way around, and in many areas it controls brain functions. The heart is the most powerful rhythmic field produced by the body. It envelops every cell and extends out in all directions. This cardiac field can be measured several feet away from the body. As measured by an electrocardiogram (ECG), it is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain waves recorded by an EEG.” Adds Irma, “We don’t just think with the brain in our head. Much more is involved. Scientists are still researching this topic.” In a free online global seminar on, Keys To Awaken Your Heart Intelligence, held on October 9, 2013, on Tedtalk, the panellist Aja Bogdanoff said, “There is increasing evidence suggesting that the cardio-electromagenetic field of the heart can actually affect human beings in close proximity. These signals are detectable up to several feet away from the source. Through these interactions, the heart transfers energies between human beings…These extraordinary results illustrate that the heart is not only responsible for blood regulations, but is also a very powerful intelligence system. This made me wonder, could intelligence be distributed through the body in ways we might not expect?” According to a paper published by Kentucky University called Heart Intelligence, the heart has at least a basic ability to learn, remember, sense, and feel with its own complex network of neurons and neuro-transmitters. Far more than most of us realise, the heart and bra
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