Mind over heart or heart over mind? What is the importance of dialogue between the two?
Friedrich August Kekulé, famous for discovering the structure of the atom, received a vision of the elusive model during a moment of reverie. Robert Louis Stevenson based his masterwork Treasure Island on a sequential series of dreams. Tesla, Einstein, and many other great pioneers of modern scientific thought have admitted that moments of profound insight came during periods of calmness and relaxation, rather than during stressful times.
In Transforming the Nature of Health, Marcey Shapiro argues that epiphanies could arrive only when guided by the heart, and not while toiling away with the mind and neglecting the inner voice. Science, she predicts, will evolve in the coming era as “we embark on exploration of real wisdom rather than continued accumulation of a conglomeration of disjointed ‘facts’.” This science will be centered on love and the heart, which is the center of our being, the beginning and end of everything.
The following excerpt from Transforming the Nature of Health offers three tools for transformation, to help you listen to the “still, small voice” within. Enjoy!
Tools for Transformation
1. Since the heart is the metaphorical and spiritual center of our physical existence, you might enjoy doing some exercises to center you in the heart as you read and ponder the ideas in this book. There are many ways to strengthen our connection with divine intelligence.
Your heart sends out electromagnetic waves in all directions, beaming EM energy like the sun beams light. Our individual electromagnetic heart waves can be measured from a distance of about fifteen feet in any direction. One easy technique for centering in the heart is merely to listen to your heartbeat. Sit or lie in relaxation and feel for the quiet rhythm of your heart. You may want to put your hand on your heart or let a few fingers rest on the carotid artery in the front of your neck.
2. Then, while focusing on the beating of your heart, let yourself experience the waves emanating from it. You could enhance this experience by imagining your heart beaming out love, peace, or the best of what you have to offer. You might also play with tracking individual rays like following the twinkling of a star. Remember to just stay in the present- you do not need to judge or analyze this experience while you are engaged in it.
3. Breathing techniques are some of the best tools for centering in the heart. They have been used in spiritual practice throughout human history, with good reason. Breathing techniques assist us in centering our consciousness in the here and now, allowing us to engage in exploration of the life force nourishing us in the present moment. They also help us connect with the rhythms and tides of the physical and spiritual realms.
At any time, but especially when you are agitated, you can visualize your breath flowing to and from your heart. Breathe in to the heart and out from it. Most people find this quite calming. You can also breathe a soothing word such as peace, calm, ease, freedom, or love into and out from your heart. Ease in, ease out, love in, love out, calm in, calm out, etc. Notice how this steadies and slows your heart rhythm when you are anxious, and how this strengthens your feelings of well-being when you are happy.
Featured Image by Kashirin Nickolai on Flickr Courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing