Tuesday, October 3, 2017

There will be no blog next week.

 “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.” 
Blaise Pascal

Broken heart syndrome, also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy or Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, can strike even if you’re healthy. (Tako tsubo, are octopus traps that resemble the pot-like shape of the stricken heart.)
Women are more likely than men to experience the sudden, intense chest pain— the reaction to a surge of stress hormones — that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event. It could be the death of a loved one or even a divorce, breakup or physical separation, betrayal or romantic rejection. It could even happen after a good shock (like winning the lottery.)
Broken heart syndrome may be misdiagnosed as a heart attack because the symptoms are similar. In fact, tests show dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances that are typical of a heart attack. But unlike a heart attack, there is no evidence of blocked heart arteries.
In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart (the ventricle) temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of your heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions.
 Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure. Broken heart syndrome is usually treatable. Most people who experience it make a full recovery within weeks, and are at low risk for it happening again (although in rare cases in can be fatal). The most common signs and symptoms of broken heart syndrome are chest pain and shortness of breath which can be experienced even if you have no history of heart disease.
Tests show ballooning and unusual movement of the lower left heart chamber (left ventricle) but no other signs of a heart attack. Recovery time is quick, usually within days or weeks.

"The deliciousness of milk and honey is the reflection of the pure heart:
from that heart the sweetness of every sweet thing is derived.
The heart is the substance, and the world the accident:
how should the heart’s shadow be the object of the heart’s desire?
Is that pure heart the heart that is enamored of riches or power,
or is submissive to this black earth and water of the body,
or to vain fancies it worships in the darkness for the sake of fame?
The heart is nothing but the Sea of Light:
is the heart the place of vision of God–and then blind?"
~ Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi
When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain. Mark Twain
Most of this information below has been taken from research done by the HeartMath institute. I have added some insights of my own (in bold) and those from ancient wisdom. 
Contrary to opinion the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than vice versa influencing emotional processing as well as higher cognitive faculties. The heart respond to the brain, but the brain also continuously responds to the heart.
During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive functions. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. The heart’s input to the brain during stressful or negative emotions also has a profound effect on the brain’s emotional processes reinforcing the emotional experience of stress.
In contrast a more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect—it facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability. 
Hence the emphasis on the heart in ancient wisdom.
The Ancestors

The heart at rest was once thought to operate much like a metronome, faithfully beating out a regular, steady rhythm. Scientists and physicians now know that this is far from the case. Rather than being regular, the rhythm of a healthy heart—even under resting conditions is actually surprisingly irregular, with the time interval between consecutive heartbeats constantly changing. This naturally occurring beat-to-beat variation in heart rate is called heart rate variability (HRV). Heart rate variability is a measure of the beat-to-beat changes in heart rate. 
The normal variability in heart rate is due to the synergistic action of the two branches of the autonomic nervous system (ANS)—the part of the nervous system that regulates most of the body’s internal automatic functions. The sympathetic nerves act to accelerate heart rate, while the parasympathetic (vagus nerve) slow it down. 
Sympathetic override invokes a stress response and even a full blown flight or fight reaction. 
The sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the ANS are continually interacting to maintain cardiovascular activity in its optimal range and to permit appropriate reactions to changing external and internal conditions. The analysis of HRV therefore serves as a dynamic window into the function and balance of the autonomic nervous system.
The moment-to-moment variations in heart rate are generally overlooked when heart rate is measured. 
Spiritual practice invokes a parasympathetic relaxation response which is heart and brain healthy. This accounts for the popularity in the West for Eastern techniques of meditation and yoga. Most, however, are using these methods for stress busting and not for spiritual transformation or health.
 HRV may be an important indicator of health and fitness. As a marker of physiological resilience and behavioral flexibility, it reflects our ability to adapt effectively to stress and environmental demands. HRV is also a marker of biological aging which is another reason it seems to be catching on. Meditative practices are known also to lengthen the telomeres in our genes which control longevity. 
 Having an abnormally low HRV for one’s age group is associated with increased risk of future health problems and premature mortality. Low HRV is also observed in individuals with a wide range of diseases and disorders. By reducing stress-induced wear and tear on the nervous system and facilitating the body’s natural regenerative processes, HeartMath claim that regular practice of coherence-building techniques can help restore low HRV to healthy values.

The Ancestors

Emotional stress—including emotions such as anger, frustration, and anxiety give rise to heart rhythm patterns that appear irregular and erratic or incoherent. Physiologically, this pattern will indicate that the signals produced by the two branches of the ANS are out of sync with each other. 
In contrast, positive emotions send a very different signal throughout our body. When we experience uplifting emotions such as appreciation, joy, care, and love; our heart rhythm pattern becomes coherent. When we are generating a coherent heart rhythm, the activity in the two branches of the ANS is synchronized and the body’s systems operate with increased efficiency and harmony. It’s no wonder that positive emotions feel so good. They also help our body’s systems synchronize and work better.
Spiritual practice can induce positive emotions.
The Maharishi university did research on a more global type of coherence some time ago  and showed that if a critical number of meditators in a city meditated the crime rate actually dropped.
Neuroscience is also showing that joy, "meaning" and gratitude are  heartfelt and healthful and also spiritually transforming.
"Joy is not incidental to ones spiritual practice it is vital."
Rev Nachman

The Ancestors

The Ancestors

Another important distinction involves understanding the role of breathing in the generation of coherence and its relationship to the techniques of the HeartMath System. Because breathing patterns modulate the heart’s rhythm, it is possible to generate a coherent heart rhythm simply by breathing slowly and regularly at a 10-second rhythm. 
This speaks again to the power of pranayama or the yoga science of breath in spiritual transformation.

Kabir says; What is God - the breath within the breath." 
 Historically, in almost every culture of the world, the heart was ascribed a far more multifaceted role in the human system, being regarded as a source of wisdom, spiritual insight, thought, and emotion. Intriguingly, scientific research over the past several decades has begun to provide evidence that many of these long-surviving associations may well be more than simply metaphorical. The heart appears to play a key role in intuition. Although there is much yet to be understood, it appears that the age-old associations of the heart with thought, feeling, and insight may indeed have a basis in science. 
Ancient wisdom and science are coming together.
HeartMath are essentially talking about the physiology of the heart but there is hardly any mention of the word "love." We know there are basically only two emotions love and fear. Love causes coherence and fear, incoherence. The most effective way to attain coherence, heart or other, is with some form of regular, enjoyable spiritual practice. The heart chakra, yoga concedes, is one of the most vital energy centers to open before the prana, (life force, chi, reach or moya) can flow to the higher chakras above and ultimately to the seventh chakra. Once this happens for brief moments we can all experience unity consciousness and oneness - the ultimate coherence with each other and the cosmos. The heart and love which cannot be separated from joy, meaning and gratitude is key to this and we have known this for eons. The Ancestors remind us of love; 

"There is only one real truth."

Ultimately we are all heading toward spiritual perfection and getting off the relentless wheel of samsara. When we cross over to the other side we will also be accountable for how much we loved and for whether we had joy. Good health and coherence helps us get there but are not the ultimate priority.

Click on the link to highlight and then play to your heart

Be in Joy

Be Holy

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