Sunday, April 4, 2010
Living From the Heart
I wrote some time back in a post called Heart-Focused Breathing about some amazing software I bought for my computer, called Em-wave, made by the Institute of HeartMath. The idea of heart-focused living is very interesting to me, and I've really enjoyed working with the software in my spiritual practice. I'm finding that, as with most things, it's easy to forget to stop and take advantage of this tool, but when I do, it creates alot of peace and grounding in my life.
The idea of it is that the normal changes in our heart rate as we inhale and exhale become more irregular when we are in stress. The Em-wave software uses biofeedback techniques to help people learn to focus their attention on the heart and quiet thoughts, thereby producing regular patterns of heart rate change - a state they call coherence.
It is accomplished by focusing on breathing through the heart, and then holding in mind a positive emotion, such as gratitude or caring. With practice, it gets easier and easier to maintain coherence, and the software lets you know how you're doing. It's an amazing product, really.
I recently became aware of another group doing research into heart-focused living, called the Institute of Noetic Sciences. The word noetic is derived from the Greek nous, for which, according to the institute's website, there is no exact equivalent in English. It refers to "inner knowing," a kind of intuitive consciousness—direct and immediate access to knowledge beyond what is available to our normal senses and the power of reason.
What fascinates me about the work they're doing is the idea that our thoughts and emotions affect the heart's electromagnetic field. The electromagnetic field produced by the heart is the largest in our bodies. This very powerful field can affect not only us but also those around us, and the entire world! I am excited and encouraged by this emerging field of study. Think of it, that as people learn more and more how to manage their thoughts and consciously choose what they hold to be truth, the electromagnetic field that they project into the world affects others! We have known this intuitively and clairvoyantly, that our energy affects people around us. But I really love the idea that science is learning ways to quantify the affect that each individual can have on the world by choosing to hold a positive belief or emotion.
What I'll take away from this new information is to more often place my attention on breathing into and out of my heart, from a place of gratitude, as explained in my earlier post on heart-focused breathing. From my practice on the Em-wave software, I know that this very quickly changes my heart rate pattern, as my focus turns from worry to one of peace and gratitude. And it's exciting to know that as I create peace in my heart, I help create peace in the world.
Click on the video clip above to watch a short video from the Noetic Sciences Institute.
May this tool be a blessing!