With angst, I wait for Saturdays to be able to write. My acute need to write makes me uncomfortable in my skin as I search throughout the week for a moment, any moment, to write. Thoughts churn, learning moments come and go, important lines surface, but time prohibits me from capturing them on the page so that I can see. The desire to write pushes me like a bodily need for existence, as essential as eating or drinking water.
Mid-way into last Saturday, I walked out of the kitchen onto the screened-in porch heading to the shed. Four pairs of adult shoes, five pairs of child’s size 6 shoes—two clogs, a pair of gold sandals, navy blue slip-ons with daisies—lined the side of the porch. They were a distracting blur as I walked passed.
For weeks, I’ve been wanting to write about the heart being the locus of consciousness. The conventional belief is that consciousness and emotions are generated from the mind.
However, the heart being our true intelligence is a major theme throughout ancient cultures—the Greeks and Egyptians, and the traditions Judaism, Christian, Chinese, Islamic, and Hindu.
All the ancient Vedas are emphatic: consciousness is the symptom of the soul (not the mind), and the heart is the seat of individual consciousness. We perceive from the heart, not from the mind, though the mind gives input to the individual conscious Self.
The sensory experience and input from our eyes, ears, nose, and mouth pull our attention to our head. The mind, which is the default screen of our inner vision, is in the head. Thus the configuration of our physical apparatus in the head makes it appear as if our head is the center of our being.
Heart is the Seat of Consciousness
I have often experienced the screen of inner vision on my heart, just as easily and regularly as I have experienced a screen on my mind. The two screens offer different perspectives. Just like the two computer screens on my desk. One screen is a wide HD screen. The colors are crisp, the resolution clean and sharp. The other, older, screen has a yellow hue making everything I see on it slightly cloudy. Two screens, two different viewing experiences.
To experience the heart perspective requires that we consciously draw the locus of our attention to the heart and look from that position. There we can also hear. Hear important messages that, should we choose, direct our life choices in a more amiable experience. Drawing our attention from the mind down to the heart takes practice, but it can become second nature. It also requires that we gain a perspective about who we are as spiritual Beings.
We are Heart-Generated Life
Our biological heart beats before our brains are formed, before we even have a central nervous system. The heart’s beat is self-initiated. After the beat begins, the brain develops the amygdala, our emotional center. We come into being in this body in this order: heart, emotional brain center, and only then the thinking brain, or the mind, develops.
Our heart and our emotional brain center are respectively, the seat and feedback center of our Being. Mastering emotions are exercises from life’s workbook of learing spiritual maturity and making spiritual progress.
What I Learned from the Porch
Returning from the shed,I stepped passed the line-up of shoes on the porch. My thinking brain was playing a tape I’ve been hearing over the past three weeks: “Meena is with her Mom on the weekends. Her mom gets to be the grandma. I want to be grandma! Instead, I get to discipline, clothe, educate, teach, hold, feed, and think ahead of all Meena’s steps—to keep her safe, healthy, whole, and developing. If I could be the grandmother I am, I could write, read, contemplate, and rest—activities congurent with my age and inclination.”
As I contemplate what could be, resistance rises. My thoughts are rational, from my thinking mind. With regret, I muse, “Writing the details about heart as the locus of consciousness is put off for yet another day.”
Yet before I can wallow and build on where that thought is headed, I notice something. As the shoes come into the periphery of my vision, my heart leaps, and melts, a dozen images of me laughing and talking to Meena explode on the screen of my heart—all before there was enough time to form a single thought. I felt Meena’s shoes!
Communication from the Heart
The messages we receive before thoughts are formed are communications from our heart. So often they float by unnoticed as we navigate the raging white waters of the mind. But it is the beacon of the conscious heart–well connected with the intelligent universe–that is our true Self’s trying to get our attention. Conscious heart can help us navigate the mind’s fickle choices. Accepting and embracing the heart’s direction can introduce us to our true Self, and keep us in alignment with our true life course and purpose.
I smiled at myself. I’m living from the locus of the heart by putting Meena’s care first and my writing second.
When we have two heart directions, the practical reality, after examining it with heart, will be the final guide. I have a primary and secondary heart direction. When we have more than one, balancing becomes part of our learning exercise.
Our house is richer with the small shoes, put on and taken off, in a line-up at two entrances. The adult shoes don’t have daisies.