The Mystical Heart
Is there anything more fragile yet strong as the heart? Is there anything that holds as much mystery? It was Carl Jung who said 'Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.' Our heart is the seat of balance in our bodies and when our heart centre is open, that is when we are able to live in a state of ecstasy. There is no longer any concern with attachments to worldly pleasures, honours or humiliations. Here, in our heart, this is where our soul resides.
The heart is able to think. Yes, our heart has a complete nervous system made up of over 40 000 neurons; the same neurons that make up the brain, and the heart beat is totally independent of the brain. We all know that very often our heart and brain have very different ideas. Although the heart receives direction from the brain, that doesn't mean it listen. It makes it own determination whether or not to comply. So, not only are our hearts capable of sensing and feeling, of learning and reminiscing, they can also make choices and communicate.
In Tantra Bliss, written by Bodhi Avinasha, she writes that the human heart has seven recognisable muscle groups, each of these producing a different vibration pattern. The combination of these seven is usually a chaotic symphony, scattered monkey chatter. During an EKG, if someone is experiencing feelings of love, caring, non-judgement or acceptance, all seven waves take on the same pattern.They become clear, lucid, a symphony in beautiful harmony. This song of our heart creates a calm sense of contentment. Ecstasy.
Negative thoughts or emotions set up erratic vibrations in our heart rhythm and create imbalance in the nervous system. The autonomic nervous system has two parts - the sympathetic (stimulating the body to activity) and the parasympathetic (slowing us down and bringing serenity), and when there is chaos in the nervous system, both the sympathetic & parasympathetic, send messages to the body causing more chaos and a lot of stress. Loving thoughts and feelings create balance in the nervous system, reducing activity flares in the sympathetic system and increasing the calming effects of the parasympathetic system; the two parts in synchronicity and harmony. This coherent love vibration helps the brain to not only process information more effectively and make better choices, it gives us better intuition and creativity. A loving heart intervenes when we become emotional and tones down our body's stress response.
Our heart is the centre point of our energy centres and is the point of balance between the lower and higher, heaven and earth, divinity and being human. In Sanskrit the heart is known as Anahata, which means 'unstricken' and it refers to the subtle vibration, the cosmic sound which is present everywhere. This sound begins in the heart as AUM/OM and is the seed of all sounds. AUM is a representation of the three gunas; sattva (goodness, constructive, harmonious, rajas (passion, active, confused) and tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic). All of these three gunas are present in each of us - it is simply the proportion that is different. The Anahata has twelve bright red petals and the Yantra (graphic symbol) is composed of two overlapping, intersecting triangles. One triangle, facing upward symbolises Shiva, the male principle. The other, facing downward, symbolises Shakti, the feminine. It is the balance that is attained when these two forces are joined that brings bliss. While the presiding deity is Ishana Rudra Shiva, who is peaceful and altruistic, with the holy Ganga river flowing from his hair in a stream of self knowledge that 'I am That', it is here that we see Kundalini Shakti for the first time as a beautiful goddess. She is no longer the serpent energy coiled around the lingam at our base chakra, but here she sits on her own, serene and centred within herself and when we connect with her, our energy moves up into higher planes of existence.
Our heart is a beautiful place to explore intolerance. From its centre point, you can watch the ego play out its game plan and connect to the workings of the soul, allowing us to choose which voice is guiding us. Stay more in your heart, and in every aspect of life - whether it's walking, breathing, eating, speaking or making love - let it be from your heart as an act of gratitude.
Art: Ttiffani Gyatso www.tiffanigyatso.com