"The time has come to understand that we are the same human beings on this planet. Whether we want to or not, we must coexist." HH Dalai Lama
Scientific research reveals that the human heart is thousands of times more powerful and influential than the brain in sending signals and information to the rest of the human body. The human heart communicates with the brain and body using hormones, the nervous system, and an electromagnetic field generated by the heart. The brain also generates an electromagnetic field, but it is much smaller and much less powerful than the heart field. The heart field envelopes the entire body and extends fifteen feet or more out into the surrounding environment. It has been proven that our emotional state has a direct and powerful impact upon the heart, and this impact influences the quality of information sent by the heart to the brain. When our emotional state is one of inner peace, gratitude, contentment, or other positive feelings, the brain receives signals that promote the ability to focus, solve problems, perform physical and mental feats, and that enhance creativity, intuition, and even spiritual awareness.
"To reduce hatred and other destructive emotions, we must develop their opposites – compassion and kindness." His Holiness the Dalai Lama
So what does all of this mean for those of us seeking to enhance our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well being and performance? Perhaps it is time to shift our attention away from the brain, or "Head Mind", to the heart, or "Heart Mind" for a little while and start integrating new knowledge into our awareness of who we really are!
When we connect to the Heart with feelings of love, appreciation, gratitude and other positive emotions, this field is able to communicate more effectively with the brain and body, and has a positive influence on other people and our environment.
"We must learn that humanity is one big family. We are all brothers and sisters: physically, mentally and emotionally. But we are still focusing far too much on our differences instead of our commonalities. After all, every one of us is born the same way and dies the same way."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Heart & Mind
The doorways to existence.
But what is mind? Let us consider. What is the world? It is objects spread out in space. Who comprehends it? The mind. Is not the mind which comprehends space itself space? The space is physical ether.The mind is mental ether which is contained in transcendental ether. The mind is thus the ether principle Being the principle of knowledge, it is identified with ether (akasha) by metaphysics.
"Atma is the Heart itself. Its manifestation is in the brain. The passage from the Heart to the brain might be considered to be through the sushumna, or nerve (nadi) with some other name. Heart is the Alpha and Omega".
"The jiva is said to remain in the Heart in deep sleep, and in the brain in the waking state. Heart is not the muscular cavity which propels blood. It denotes in the Vedas and the scriptures the centre whence the notion 'I' springs. Does it spring from the ball of flesh? It does not, but from somewhere within us, from the centre of our being. The 'I' has no location. Everything is the Self. There is nothing but the Self. So the Heart must be said to be the entire body as well as the universe, conceived as 'I'. So this Heart is pointed out as the seat of the Self. But in truth we are everywhere; we are all that is, and there is nothing else".
"Verily as space is boundless, so is the ether within the Heart. Both heaven and earth, fire and air, the sun and the moon, also the lightning and the stars, and whatever is, as well as whatever is not in the universe, all are within the vacuity (Heart)". Chandogya Upanishad
Ramana Maharshi taught that the heart, not the head, is the true seat of Consciousness.
When a room is dark you need a lamp to light it, but when the sun rises there is no need for a lamp; objects are seen without one. And to see the sun itself no lamp is needed because it is self-luminous. Similarly with the mind. The reflected light of the mind is necessary to perceive objects, but to see the heart it is enough for the mind to be turned towards it. Then the mind loses itself and the Heart shines forth.
From the Heart the body sprouts. The energy, life and consciousness, the only prime elements of the body and likewise of the universe, stream out of the Heart by the first channel, or nadi, straight to the head from which they run down to all parts of the body through various nadis.
The entire universe is condensed in the body and the entire body in the Heart. Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the whole universe. This world is not other than the mind, the mind is not other than the Heart; that is the whole truth.
The source is a point without any dimensions. It expands as the cosmos on the one hand and as Infinite bliss on the other.
To Rama who questioned Vasishta: `Which is that big mirror in which all these are mere reflections? What is the heart of all souls or creatures in this universe?' Vasishta replied: `All creatures in this universe have two kinds of hearts — one to be taken note of and the other ignored. Hear their respective traits: The one to be ignored is the physical organ called the heart which is situated in the chest as a part of the perishable body. The one to be taken note of is the Heart which is of the nature of consciousness. It is both inside and outside (us) and has neither an inside nor an outside.'
This is the really important Heart. It is the mirror which holds all reflections. It is the basis and source of all objects and all kinds of wealth. Therefore, it is only that Consciousness, which is the Heart of all, not that organ - a small part of the body, which is insentient like a stone, and perishable. So one can achieve the eradication of all desires and control of breath, by the practice of merging the mind in the Heart, which is Pure Consciousness.
The Self is the Heart. The Heart is Self-luminous. Light arises from the Heart and reaches the brain which is the seat of the mind. The world is seen with the mind, that is by the reflected light of the Self. It is perceived with the aid of the mind. When the mind is illumined it is aware of the world. When it is not itself so illumined, it is not aware of the world. If the mind is turned inward towards the source of light, objective knowledge ceases and the Self alone shines forth as the Heart.
The moon shines by the reflected light of the sun. When the sun has set, the moon is useful for revealing objects. When the sun has risen, no one needs the moon, although the pale disc of the moon is still visible in the sky. So it is with the mind and the Heart.
In Buddhist psychology, mind and heart are often described by one word- “citta.” This heart-mind has many dimensions. It contains and includes all our thoughts, our feelings and emotions, responses, intuition, temperament, and consciousness itself. When we speak of mind in the West, we usually refer only to the rational thought process. Observing this aspect of mind, we see an endless stream of thoughts, ideas, and stories. While this discriminating mind has a practical value, it can also separate us from the world; our ideas easily create “us” and “them,” good and bad, past and future. Our thoughts also like to create imaginary problems. As Mark Twain put it, “My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes… most of which never happened.” Or, in the words of one of my teachers, Sri Nisargadatta, “The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.”
Life is a journey, make the most out of it.
“Sometimes the heart knows things the mind could never explain.” Ranjeet Singh
Five Domains of Heart-mind Well-Being
The Index measures Heart-Mind well-being according to five positive human qualities, which are anchored in evidence-based research related to the social and emotional development of children.
GETS ALONG WITH OTHERS -
the ability to form positive and healthy relationships with peers and adults.
COMPASSIONATE AND KIND -
the ability to be aware of other people's emotions and a desire to help when a person is in need.
SOLVES PROBLEMS PEACEFULLY -
the ability to behave in a peaceful and respectful way in a variety of situations and relationships.
SECURE AND CALM -
the ability to take part in daily activities and approach new situations without being overwhelmed with worries, sadness or anxiety.
ALERT AND ENGAGED -
the ability to stay calm, focused and alert; to demonstrate self-control and to slow down and think before acting.