Sunday, May 08, 2011

heart and mind

3.34 "Samyama on the heart will definitely reveal the qualities of the mind." (Desikachar translation+counting)
Heart is considered the seat of the mind.
If the mind's quality is unsteady, shifting and nervous - well my experience is that my heart beat is affected as well. If there is pain on my mind I can actually feel it in my heart region. Medically they have found that there are cells in that heart that we also have in the brain. You can read about it here:

"The idea that we can think with our hearts is no longer just a metaphor, but is, in fact, a very real phenomenon. We now know this because the combined research of two or three fields is proving that the heart is the major center of intelligence in human beings. Molecular biologists have discovered that the heart is the body's most important endocrine gland. In response to our experience of the world, it produces and releases a major hormone, ANF - which stands for Atriol Neuriatic Factor - that profoundly effects every operation in the limbic structure, or what we refer to as the "emotional brain." This includes the hippocampal area where memory and learning take place, and also the control centers for the entire hormonal system. And neurocardiologist have found that 60 to 65% of the cells of the heart are actually neural cells, not muscle cells as was previously believed. They are identical to the neural cells in the brain, operating through the same connecting links called ganglia, with the same axonal anddendritic connections that take place in the brain, as well as through the very same kinds of neurotransmitters found in the brain."

I had a slight problem to find the (french, I think) researcher who made the discovery... But I read his book 6 years ago, and this reference is describing the same thing.

Iyengar uses the word consciousness in this sutra- which is different.
I'm still not sure about what the mind is and what the consciousness is, in your beautiful language, but I will get there, I'm getting more and more close.
Iyengar writes that the yogi can tap the source of her being and identify herself with the supreme - by samyama on the heart.
If reality or authenticity is the supreme, and already the hearts movements so easily reveals to us where we're really at, I'm all open to the suggestion that samyama (meditation and integration) on the heart should lead me to my essence, and to the great reality within.

In class and practice; let the heart lead, connect to heart in practice and asana. Maybe make the connection more tangible by doing some chest-openers and some pranayama that make the area sensitive and aware.

Jenni Saunte

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