The Heart Center

Discussion in 'Reincarnation Questions' started by Ailish, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    California Girl By Heart
    I’ve had a few discussions recently with Deborah regarding the seat of the soul in relation to reincarnation and remembering past lives.

    Something that I realized – was that several members on the forum have spoken of “going into the heart center” when meditating. For me personally – it was something I just did intuitively, not something I was taught. I also understood from my discussions – that not very many people were familiar with the concept of the heart center – and had no clue what I was talking about.

    Heart is called Hridaya in Indian languages. It is derived from the Sanskrit word Hridayam (hrit + ayam), which simply means "this is the center.”

    Naturally, I am curious how “going into the heart center” affects the way people experience and remember past lives.

    Brian Weiss says that we are born with certain values and ideals: “They get ingrained, not at the level of the brain, but of the heart, the soul. That's where real learning takes place."

    Over the centuries, the heart has been spoken of as a source of wisdom and feeling in almost all cultures. Among the ancients, the seat of the soul was always in the body, usually in the heart. I firmly believe, as did the ancients, that the seat of the soul – is in the heart center. I believe that when I am looking within – going deep into the heart center, I am in a place of profound understanding. There is a balance between thought, feeling and emotion.

    The Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Babylonians and Greeks, maintained that "the primary organ capable of influencing and directing our emotions, our morality and our decision-making ability was the heart; and they attached enormous emotional and moral significance to the heart."

    In the Kabbalah, “The heart is the Central Sphere, the only one of ten to touch all the others, and it’s reputed to hold the key to the mysteries of radiant health, joy and well-being."

    In traditional Chinese medicine, “The heart is seen as the seat of connection between the mind and the body and it forms a bridge between the two. It’s said that the heart-blood houses the shen, which can be translated as both 'mind' and 'spirit'. Thus the mind or spirit is housed in the heart."

    Interestingly enough, I read that the Chinese characters for ‘thinking’, ‘thought’, ‘intent’, ‘listen’, ‘virtue’, and ‘love’, all include the character for “heart”. An ancient Chinese dictionary describes “'silk threads' that connect the brain and the heart." In the Japanese language "there are two distinct words to describe the heart; shinzu denotes the physical organ while kokoro refers to the mind of the heart."

    The Charaka Samhita, a classic Ayurvedic text, states "...the center of the five senses, the mind is located in the heart. In it also are the seat of excellent ojas and the reservoir of consciousness."

    In my experience – when I go into the heart center – the deeper I go, the more detailed and accurate the memories are. I am experiencing everything again – all the senses are heightened. I have never had a problem separating past from present, nor understanding the lesson behind each life memory – even the “emotional” ones. I seem to be able to view everything that happened, from a place of love, acceptance and compassion.

    I read that “Heart intelligence is the flow of awareness and insight that we experience once the mind and emotions are brought into balance and coherence through a self-initiated process. This form of intelligence is experienced as direct, intuitive knowing that manifests in thoughts and emotions that are beneficial for ourselves and others.”

    That led me to wonder – if individuals process things more easily, when they view them from the heart center?

    The Heart means essence, core, center, and the divinity within. Ramana Maharshi said "Call it by any name: God, Self, the Heart, or Seat of Consciousness. It is all the same. The point to be grasped is this, that Heart means the very core of one's being."

    What are your thoughts on the heart center?

    Does anyone else go into their heart center when meditating? What is your experience when doing so? Do you feel that in going there – you are more balanced, better able to process and release the memories and emotions held within?

    Ailish :)
     
  2. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cheviot, Ohio
    What a wonderful topic Aili. I've always focused on what I call my soul/heart when I meditate. I did this right from the start about 55 years ago, although I didn't have any terms for it then. I focus there even when I'm not meditating, as a way to promote my inner peace. In fact, I try to experience life through my heart/soul, because I feel that is where the real me is, rather than the voice I hear in my mind. I see myself as a spiritual being who simply has a physical body wrapped around him.

    John
     
  3. MoonDansyr

    MoonDansyr Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Kentuckiana, USA
    I never thought about where I "focus" when I meditate, other than the topic-at-hand. Can you explain how you do it?

    Interestingly enough, there was a time when I was obsessed with the Kabbalistic tree of life.
     
  4. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    California Girl By Heart
    Hi John,

    Absolutely! :) I find it interesting that you also just automatically focused on the heart center without ever being taught.


    Hi Kat,

    It’s not something I can explain easily in words – other than to say it is about focusing and moving your consciousness into the heart center and entering into it.

    Emotions are felt in the solar plexus – the heart center is above that.

    Allow yourself to be within that space, not a physical space per se, but a spiritual space that exists within.

    It have heard it said that expansion of the heart expands the mind. ;)

    Try it next time you meditate -- and see if you notice a difference in the experience. I'm curious :)
     
  5. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    266
    Location:
    Australia
    Frequently, particularly if I am feeling very upset or very happy I will 'imagine' my heart 'opening' in meditation and love pouring out into the cosmos in a great flood of light. I find this very soothing.

    This would not be how I would do a past life type meditation though. I tend to do that up in my head - viewing the movie so to speak - with the mind's eye or third eye perhaps is how you describe it? Just like trying to recall a present life memory, I usually start with a question for example, who was so-and-so? or what is this all about? or is there some connection to all this? (depending on the situation) and then just relax and watch the movie unfold bit by bit.

    Sometimes it comes, sometimes not. Sometimes something will 'pop into my head' a few days later just like an obscure present life factoid that you could not remember, but you suddenly think of out of the blue - Helsinki!

    However, I might give it a whirl, particularly in relation to emotional/relationship issues and see how that goes.
     
  6. pineal

    pineal The witness

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    India
    Hi Ailish,

    You brought forth an excellant topic.

    As per Pathanjali, the father of yoga sastra, Yoga is controlling of the activities of miond stuff (yoga chittha vrutthi nirodhaha). When the activity of the mind is controlled what remains is pure consciousness. In meditation we are in that state.

    Concentrating in a perticular place is to achieve the stillness of mind. It is to avoid the mind activity. In that process you are withdrawing yourself from senses, sense objects, mind, will and ego. That yourself is real you, that is soul and whatever name you give it. When you can achieve the stillness, you are beyond the linear time and you will be seeing everything as a witness.

    The soul rests in the heart in the size of a thumb as per Hindu scriptures ( what you have said is correct to the best of my knowledge)

    -pineal
     
  7. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    California Girl By Heart
    Hi pineal :)

    Nice to see you!

    Very well said. We cannot begin to focus inwards when we are bombarded by all of the things you've mentioned above.

    Do you know of any other references to the heart center and the soul within the Hindu scriptures you could share?

    I have always loved the quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”. I think it sums things up nicely ;)

    Aili
     
  8. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cheviot, Ohio
    The way I do it, after focusing on any idea I want to explore, and then clearing my mind, is this. I visualize holding a single flower with my hands resting on my chest at my heart. As I begin my controlled breathing, I visualize the petals of the flower closing inward, and as it closes completely, I become one with my soul/heart.

    Aili, I think the reason I knew about the heart/soul connection is that when I began mentally creating my stories as a toddler, my soul was where I went to receive them. Again, I didn't think of it as my soul, but I do know that I felt it was sacred in some way. I began improving upon the stories my parents read to be as soon as I could speak in sentences, probably around the time I was two. I wrote my first story, or printed it I should say, the first time I was able to hold a pencil in my hand by myself. Granted, it was a very simple story, but it was from within me, no one prompted me or helped me write it. I was probably 3 or 3 1/2 when I first started doing what would evolve into meditation for me. I did this on my own, since my mother was quite stern, and I was a bit put off by her.

    John
     
  9. pineal

    pineal The witness

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    India
    Hi Ailish,

    There are many references in Hindu Scriptures on soul. Here i am giving a few from Bhagavad Geetha.

    Translated from Sanskrit for you.

    Will try to pull out and traslate things relate to soul and reincarnation, when time permits.

    -pineal
     
  10. Chansa

    Chansa Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    I apologize in advance if this post gets too rambly but a lot of ideas popped into my mind at once and I'm a bit tired, so please, bear with me. :eek: : angel

    Ailish, :) I love that in addition to posing a thought-provoking series of questions, you provided such wonderful cross-cultural references as a foundation. I also enjoyed your contribution regarding Hindu scriptures, pineal. While it's important to note that each philosophy and culture is distinct unto themselves, I find the threads ("silk threads") weaving between all of them fascinating, beautiful, and significant.


    I find it interesting that you weren't "taught" to go to your heart center, Ailish. :)

    It's funny that, though I was never taught either, reading advice in the forum to "go inward - into the heart center" without much other description was all I needed to leap into my own experiences, to heal emotional wounds stemming from another lifetime.

    Intellectually understanding it is one thing, but it was as if that combination of words was all my soul needed to "know" what to do - to my complete surprise, I didn't find I needed to consciously work toward it. And, for someone who still seems a bit "visually" underdeveloped during meditations, I do find that, among other elements, the images and visual experiences I have when I go INTO the heart center are the most vivid and rich in detail.

    Emotions are one thing and - my understanding has been - feeling those emotions is related but another thing - feeling the emotion is processing, analagous to spiritual digestion, maybe. :) Actually, come to think of it, this particular distinction between emotion and feeling is what Gregg Braden emphasizes in The Isaiah Effect. He also indicates the importance of thought in a sort of trinity for maximum impact.

    I think that when an emotion just "sits there" without being felt and/or addressed/digested, it creates blockage, disruption. I feel that a lot of unresolved issues from past lives or rather, in general, would settle and be accessible within the heart center - "seat of the soul".

    What you say about being able to perceive everything you have experienced from a point of "love, acceptance and compassion" really feels familiar to me - it was obvious to me that my past self was terribly wounded from the loss of her/our daughter. During a state of meditation, I was able to embrace that self with all of my heart - be the mother TO the mother who felt such loss BEING lost in anguish and despair, the worst psychological/spiritual state I'd ever witnessed/felt.

    I came away from that particular experience feeling a sense of.....not completeness necessarily, but healing that enabled me to move on in this life toward experiences I would have hesitated to participate in beforehand due to fear emanating from the echoes created by that trauma.

    In all honesty, I do not think I would have found the transition I'm going through right now as fluid as it has been had I not delved into my heart to address a source so old, I could not trace it by simply and linearly following the echoes. For me, entering the heart center encompasses ALL and ALL at once so that following a thread backward is rendered sort of, well, rudimentary. :rolleyes:

    My mother used to say that to "feel the emotion, you can DO the motion of the emotion first - then it becomes real" and you forget you were only "doing the motion" to begin with. Perhaps imagining you are feeling or seeing these sensations will help? I'd be curious to know what it's like if you decide to try it. :) Please let us know if you do!
     
  11. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    California Girl By Heart
    Thank you for the translations, pineal. They're absolutely beautiful! :)

    John -- you write from the heart, that's apparent in the stories and poems I've read. Always a joy.

    Chansa -- a wonderful post, as always. There are a few things I'd like to reflect on, so I will comment further when I get home from work tonight. :)

    tanguerra & Kat -- I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences.

    Have a great day/night everyone,

    Aili
     
  12. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    California Girl By Heart
    Hi Chansa,

    I think that we already have the knowledge within us -- sometimes we just need a little “reminder” and once we become aware there is more – and it’s found within – we are better able to connect on a deeper level to our true essence. ;)

    Absolutely. :D

    Gregg Braden says: "Feeling is the power of emotion merged with the guidance of human thought. It is this language of feeling that Creation responds to. As it says in the Essene manuscripts, "when these three become one then you say to the mountain, move, and the mountain moves."

    I definitely agree. Dr. Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion has unequivocally discovered that "whenever we have an intense, powerful emotion that we repress or shut down, specific chemical changes take place in our bodies. These changes can affect certain cell receptors, blocking those cells from communicating with the other cells in our bodies. If these affected cell receptors remain blocked over a long period of time, there is an increased likelihood that if disease occurs, it will occur in the part of the body where the cell receptors are blocked. When we feel and express our emotions healthily, fully and wholesomely, our cell receptors remain open."

    Coherent emotion happens when what we are thinking, feeling, and expressing are all aligned. Incoherent emotion is what we experience when we are feeling one way, thinking another way, and expressing something different from either our thoughts or our feelings.

    How many times have we had just the worst day ever – and one of our loved ones has asked us “How was your day?” -- and we responded, "Oh, it was fine," rather than getting into it and dredging it all up? Because we don't want to talk about it, we end up blocking ourselves from having a coherent feeling and a coherent emotion. We're not being honest, so we do not have our emotions aligned with our thoughts, feelings, and expression.

    The heart center – is a place where everything is in alignment, all is balanced and we are seeing/sensing/feeling from truthfulness. Thoughts have a tendency to get in the way – as do emotions – that’s why it’s so important to be in alignment, so we are balanced.

    It’s obvious that you learned a lot from the experience, as distressing as it initially was. I’m glad for you – that you are also able to view these memories from a place of compassion, love and understanding. I think doing so quickens the process of healing.

    In the book The Heart of the Soul, Gary Zukav states “Emotions are signposts that point to parts of yourself that require healing. As you become aware of everything you are feeling all the time, you embark upon the path of spiritual growth.”

    With past lives – I think that when an overwhelming emotion comes up for us we need to allow ourselves to be completely present in the moment. Feel it. Welcome it. Don’t try to distract ourselves from it – just allow ourselves to be fully present. By moving our consciousness into the heart center -- we are viewing from a different place. ;) At the very core of feeling is where we find healing.

    Okay, I rambled, too...lolol.

    Aili :)
     
  13. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 1997
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    570
    Location:
    CA - USA
    Hi Aili,

    Nice posts! Boy what a lot of research you have shared! I am going to go back to your original question -
    I do, intuitively and instantaneously, as if I have always known how. But I have to stop and think about your question in order to explain what happens for me. Moving consciousness into the heart center is not a matter of thinking of my heart. I must feel it and be present in mind, body and spirit.

    For those who are having trouble understanding what Aili and others are talking about; try the following exercise:

    • close your eyes
    • be present IN your body
    • move your hand over your heart center -about 5 inches
      above it
    • FEEL the vibration in your heart center when you do
    • notice consciousness - expands
    Past life memories for me often come when I merge my third eye center (which is different than the mind) and heart center - the two become one. At that point I am not trying to remember, I am not imagining the past, I am in it. It is more than a feeling, more than a flash - it becomes my NOW. Every sensation is as if I am there, sights, sounds, smells, touch.

    I think the importance of this thread and your points - which you made so well Aili, is to remind people that past life experiences are not something you can go after, or obtain from a psychic, they are not something outside of the self. For some, past lives become a game of WHO am I. To me, it is about learning to know Thyself.

    The ancient Greeks considered all learning to be remembering. To them, life was but the act of recollecting knowledge the soul had forgotten at the moment of birth into the physical body. Reincarnation and the idea of past lives were an integral part of their worldview.

    Perhaps this explains why the word education originally meant ‘to draw from that which was already known.’ Past life work is more than an exploration about past lives, and who we are. The heart of the matter is not - who am I. But, why am I.

    I am interested in anyones experiences with the above exercise. Maybe its just me, but its a simply yet powerful thing to do. ;)
     
  14. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    California Girl By Heart
    Hiya Deborah!

    Thank you for your thoughtful reflections. They are -- much appreciated, as always. ;)

    Absolutely! I think your exercise will help people to understand the difference in the feeling. There really is a vibration – an inner expansion of consciousness that is palpable the moment you enter within.

    I have also heard – that if people are having a difficult time gauging where the heart center is located – that they should say “MYSELF” very loudly several times over and over – and pay attention to the vibration the sound creates within. It sounds kind of silly -- but it works. : angel

    Beautifully said -- and absolutely spot on, imo. :)

    Has anyone tried the exercise yet? I am curious to hear the results!

    Aili
     
  15. MoonDansyr

    MoonDansyr Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Kentuckiana, USA
    Well, last night, I wasn't very "sleepy" when I first laid down, so I just tried to focus on "anything" from past life. While I had a vivid dream, I think it was from reading I've done.

    I just read Deborah's post and will work on it more from her guiding.

    You know, I have absolutely *no* problems with feeling/seeing with my third eye - - but I don't think I could ever explain to someone else how to do it. But my heart center ... while I know it's got to be the same deal: easy, once you know how, I haven't "gotten" it yet. Actually, I'm sure I have, just not consciously. That's how it was with my third eye. I'd been "seeing" with it all along and just never realized it, as it was "always there." (not sure that made any sense.)

    I just got the kids in bed, so I will get myself together and work on this.
     
  16. tiltjlp

    tiltjlp A Recycled Soul

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cheviot, Ohio
    What's intriguing to me is that we all have different ways of accessing our inner selves and past life memories. While I knew the heart/soul centering need instinctively from boyhood, I have never had any success with my third eye region. Reminds me of the Buddhist concept of each drop of rain that falls in all the mountain streams eventually joining at the sea. Many paths but only one goal.

    John
     
  17. Chansa

    Chansa Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, California
    The Second Awareness Exercise

    Alberto Villoldo says in his book, Shaman, Healer, Sage: How to Heal Yourself and Others ~

    Here is the basic gist of the exercise ~


    1. With fingertips of both hands, tap center of chest at the level of heart.

    2. Tap outline of imaginary necklace of light going from your heart chakra to back of skull (where visual cortex lies). Villoldo recommends 3 to 4 times, "slowly and mindfully".

    3. Tap center of forehead, third eye chakra.

    4. Pat imaginary band around head to back of skull at the base, following line crossing right above ears. Repeat slowly and mindfully.

    5. Tap center of forehead again, third eye, only pat a line tracing directly back over skull to its base (like between right/left hemispheres)

    6. Imagine you are putting on a crown - feel/notice/see energy running.
     
  18. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    266
    Location:
    Australia
    I had a go at the 'heart centre' thing last night in relation to an issue which has eluded me for many years - a very strong emotion of great sadness and tragedy (serious 'love gone wrong' issue involving a death and a suicide I think). The results were a little garbled - very strong on the emotional response, but short on detail! However, I will have another go shortly and try the method described by Chansa and see if I can get both the heart and the visuals going at the same time. When I have something a bit more coherent to share I will do so.
     
  19. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    413
    Likes Received:
    266
    Location:
    Australia
    My homework

    I have always known there was something going on with me and tragic love stories but could never really put my finger on it. The death of the one true love always makes a mess of me - quite disproportionate with the reactions of 'normal' people to sad movies for instance. First time I saw 'Ghost' I sobbed so inconsolably my partner at the time thought I had gone insane!

    I also tend to become quite panic stricken when I feel that really 'in love' feeling that something might happen to the other person, specifically they might die suddenly. However, I have usually just dismissed all this melodrama as just that, melodrama, attention seeking and an overactive imagination that I really should grow out of one day and never really taken it too seriously - until last night....

    So by coordinating the 'heart' and the 'mind' as per Chansa's directions I got several very useful insights. I did not actually do the 'tapping' thing, being already lying down and nice and relaxed before I remembered I was going to do that, but I did imagine the 'necklace' linking the heart and mind centres as described.

    1. Life immediately prior to this one WWII prostitute in the Blitz did not die of pneumonia as I had assumed from the coughing, but cut her wrists, in the bath when pregnant - just could not bear the thought of another abortion. I could see the rather sordid scene, the chipped pink enamel bath, the half empty gin bottle, the overflowing ash tray, the chubby pink body as I floated above and away from it all. Doing the heart centre meditation I felt her absolute despair - luckily I was able to find a 'volume control' and turn it down a bit. Her father had died during WWI when she was only little (red poppies in people's button holes on November 11 will unfailingly make me teary - always have). Her pilot boyfriend - only guy who was ever decent to her that short, difficult life had been killed in the war some years prior and life, basically, was just not worth living.

    2. Another life somewhat earlier - Germany (?) probably late 19th Century, youngish woman - maybe 16 or so, boyfriend got killed in an accident at a mill. I did not see the accident, but I had a very vivid mental image of what I imagined had happened to him - his head got caved in by getting caught in the big mill wheel. A very gruesome image, although probably not really how it happened. I think everyone wanted to spare me the details, but I just made up my own anyway. This was my first and only love affair that life. I absolutely went to pieces as a result of this sudden death. I remembered very vividly rather dramatically trying to dig up his grave with my bare hands (I think I wanted to climb into the coffin and be buried too), tearing my nails, hair falling everywhere, hysterical sobbing, collapsing all covered in dirt. I must have 'gone mad' as they would have said back then, had a breakdown, locked myself away in my room, refused to eat became ill and died before long (quite deliberately). I really did not want to live without him.

    It is little wonder that even in this life intense romantic relationships will make me a little 'squirrely'.
     
  20. Crissy2

    Crissy2 Senior Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I read this method everywhere. Imagine this and imagine that. I have a problem being able to imagine anything. I can't imagine holding a flower or walking through the woods (as I've often been told to do) It's impossible for me which is odd seeing as I have quite a good imagination and go off on my little daydreams all day long sitting at my work desk but when I try to calm it down and meditate, I cannot imagine anything.

    I'm not quite sure why this is. As I still have a hard time meditating for the most part. I do have a lot of odd meditations though that jump out of nowhere and they simply come from me relaxing and steady breathing.

    I'm Wrambling. What is the purpose of imagining things? Couldn't this lead the information you receive within your meditation?

    I'd also like some more info than whats been already provided and direction on entering your heart center if anyone has anything to add. I have heard it spoke of, I've read about it but most will tell you that you must imagine the center of yourself, focus on the heart and a light projecting from the middle of it. My question to that is; IF you are imagining something happening, how can you be possitive that what you experience is not that of your own creation and making?

    Personally I've been depending on that of my guides and God to lead me toward what I see. Sometimes I get pictures, sometimes I don't. I feel as though I could be missing out on quite a lot though if this imagining process is actually a good thing but the last thing I'd want to do is lead what I'm being shown.



    Sorry. This post was supposed to be short. :D
     

Share This Page