Thinking with the Heart

By Johanna Bassols on Wednesday April 10th, 2019

Image: James Graham

Tap into the Innate Intelligence of the Heart

For far too long, but particularly in the modern Western world, we have thought of the heart as simply a pumping mechanism responsible for bringing blood to our organs.

The heart’s physical importance is not to be underestimated, it supports life, sending the blood of life to the tree-like limbs of our vascular system–but this is an overly simplistic view of what the heart is capable of.

Gregg Braden’s latest research elaborates on the ancient technique of using the heart as an intelligent organ.

The heart’s intelligence has been ignored for far too long. What we’ve learned about the heart’s wisdom, however, in the past several years through the Heart Math Institute and through the research of psychologists, neurobiologists, and resurfaced wisdom teachings from our ancient past, should inspire everyone to look at the heart in a completely new way.

For those who are not used to using their innate intelligence–that is their intuition—tuning into the heart for answers to the most profound and difficult questions they could possibly drum up might seem ridiculous. Why ask the heart whether to stay in a relationship that is challenging, or even if you should go through with a medical procedure?

It might seem ignorant or even haphazard to ask the heart questions like these, but it has wisdom that the intellect cannot match. Here’s why:

The heart does not send information through an egoic filter.

The heart knows your past, your present, and your future. Its intelligence does not care about your egoic constructs. The heart simply speaks from a completely neutral place.

Follow your heartWhat lessons will you learn if you follow your heart? Image: Farid Askerov

You can think of it like a close friend who has your best interest at heart, and who does not care about making themselves look good in your eyes.


There is an ancient term that does not have a direct English translation that describes this intelligence of the heart. Hridaya, is the energy which is contained within the heart chakra. This is not just the physical heart, but the spiritual heart. It contains the intelligence of God or the transcendental mind.

The word comes from the Sanskrit language, and the closest meaning to English would be something like this:

Hrid = center

Ayam = this

Thus, the spiritual heart always brings you to your center. It will not veer away from your highest self, always taking in a 360-degree (and beyond) view of any situation you could possibly face.

The yogi Bhagavan wrote once to explain this spiritual heart in more detail:

Just as there is a cosmic center from which the whole universe arises and has its being and functions with the power or the directing energy emanating therefrom, so also is there a center within the frame of the physical body wherein we have our being. This center in the human body is in no way different from the cosmic center. It is this center in us that is called the Hridaya, the seat of Pure Consciousness, realized as Existence, Knowledge and Bliss. This is really what we call the seat of God in us.

Conversely, the mind-brain thinks of our past experiences, our past erroneous beliefs assigned to those experiences, and takes all sorts of twists and turns through a conceptual landscape that we’ve created to give us a ‘right’ answer to life’s deep questions.

Mind or heartThe mind-brain creates false perceptions where the heart is true. Image: Meo

A Zen Buddhist can also describe what happens when we think with the head (brain) instead of the heart.

We place a fog–a type of perceptual overlay on top of a situation and then add an emotional investment. We call this ‘real,’ but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yet, we think we have to obtain a siddhi (great accomplishment or miracle) in order to obtain supernormal wisdom or intelligence. So, we go on trusting the false perceptions of the mind-brain.

The Neurobiology of the Heart

Moreover, if we were to look at the simple neurobiology of the heart–there are many more fibers leading from the heart to the brain than from the brain to the heart. This means–as Gregg Braden recently pointed out in a Gaia talk–that there is much more communication being sent to the brain then being received from it.

As the HeartMath Institute explains, the heart also begins beating in the unborn fetus before the brain has even been formed, a process scientists call autorhythmic.

We humans also form an emotional brain long before a rational one, and the heart has its own independent complex nervous system known as ‘the brain in the heart.’

The heart can also create a level of coherence in the body just through its rhythm, which regulates all its systems, and corrects even diseased cells.

And finally, the electromagnetic field of the heart is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain, and permeates every cell in the body. The magnetic component is approximately 5,000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body with sensitive magnetometers.

The heart is full of wisdomTapping into the heart’s intelligence is tapping into your innate wisdom. Image: Katarzyna Grabowska

Thinking with the Heart’s Wisdom

Braden suggests these tips to help you tap into your heart’s massive wisdom:

  • Focus on the heart (and heart chakra). This sends a signal to the heart that you seek its intelligence.
  • Slow your breathing. This sends another signal to your body that you seek higher intelligence, and not that of the normally stressed, and freaked out ego. Deep breathing calms the nervous system and quiets the brain.
  • Conjure a sense of gratitude, compassion, or love. These are the feelings that trigger an activation of the heart’s energy.
  • Ask your heart a question. The question should be brief and to the point.
  • Everyone will experience the heart’s intelligence a bit differently. You may feel butterflies in your gut, a warm sensation growing around your body, or tingling in your fingertips. You may not feel any bodily sensations but have a clear, short answer that comes through your mind. Know that it likely won’t need a long-drawn-out story to ‘justify’ its wisdom. The heart speaks directly and clearly. If it isn’t, try this process again to let your body know that you seek the intelligence of the heart and not the ego.
  • Practice makes perfect. The more often you do this, the easier it will be to tap into the seat of pure consciousness–the hridaya.

Johanna Bassols is the creator of the Soul Reprogramming Method and founder of the Healers of the Light Academy.

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

Words By Johanna Bassols

Originally posted on The Mind Unleashed, Uncover Your True Potential




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38 Responses to Thinking with the Heart

  1. I would be interested, unfortunately at 65, retired veteran on a fixed income one needs to be prudent and a good steward of the limit monies available. Tipping my hat to the creators of the phone app which my sister recommended.

  2. A thoughtful comprehension from the perspective of science. And there’s also chinese mythology which suggests that heart is epicentre for cultivation of dao (probably finding peace with nature and oneself?). Well even ancient-science also depicts as such.

    • It’s exciting that we are (re)discovering the connections, isn’t it? Thanks for reading and sharing 🙂

      Team UPLIFT

  3. It’s great to hear that a others now beginning to affirm what our ancient ancestors have known Practices for enon. I am grateful for the growing number of people who are now awakening the power and spirit of the healing heart energy. With the gifts and powerful energy of the heart we are able heal ourselves and our planet.
    Thanks for sharing this platform and perhaps we will find ourselves witnessing the certain shifts of our collective consciousness of family and community.

  4. It is wonderful to read the article, and the comments of those who have experienced the heart’s intelligence directly. I have recently also begun to experience the heart’s mind in my conscious awareness after years of meditation practice. “The heart knows things the brain doesn’t understand” is the phrase I use to invite the heart’s wisdom to inform my intuition and inner voice/guidance. I have began to have experiences of expansiveness in the heart area, and the sensation of a gentle, yet very powerful sensation of kindness flooding through me. It is transforming my sense of who I am and how I connect and relate with others in my work and personal relationships. It feels like a voyage and I feel very blessed to be experiencing this spiritual wisdom manifesting in my energy field and in my life. I would be interested to read more articles such as this one.

  5. In the Heart resides Antakaran Chtushtey,four layers oManna, Buddhi, Chitta &Ahankar
    Covering Attman.Unless Kundlini becomes awakens, we can not reach Hritchakra,
    Spiritual seat. Then we can talk to Heart. The Heart starts beating in 16 weeks of intrauterine
    Life,much earlier than development of Brain. The Attman enters the fetus during that time
    & the Heart of foetus starts beatin at that time The foetus becomes Viable at 28 weeks
    of pregnancy.
    At the time of Death all the power from limbs & Brain concentrate in Heart.The Attman
    Leaves Physical Body with an Etheral body. The Physical body becomes unresponsive.
    I have no spiritual experience.Ihave read them Spiriual Books.

  6. Yes, a great article. I READ grasp apply experience and find it is beneficial.

    With great regards, and gratitude, together with heart felt wishes
    for a happy new year,


  7. Heartfulness Meditation has allowed me to experience this “heart wisdom” and to relate to these ideas from personal experience. In this meditation you focus on “the source of light in your heart.” It’s wonderful!

  8. Dear all I would like to introduce you to Hridaya Yoga Meditation school teaching how to reach your spiritual heart.
    For me the 10 days silent retreat was heart opening and now I am a volunteer (karma yogi) in France. We will open a center in France this summer.
    For this I Invite you to look into our crowdfunding and our projects. If you enjoy what you see feel free to donate.
    For every donation for the permaculture team we will do an additional hour of picking up trash.
    Or even better come by and enjoy a retreat or become a karma yogi.
    Thank you, love Sarah <3


  9. The heart can be deceitful above all else that is beautiful and true love in every sense of the word and I received my response yesterday when plans didn’t go through with this one.

  10. Despite citing various scientific sources proving the heart’s “intelligence”, those sources are also questionable in the scientific community, and an undisputed quantifiable justification for this “intelligence” is still too vague to be reliable.
    A lot of the claims here are based on faith and belief and any reference to science seem to be addressing those who follow scientific method. Although science does not hold the answer for all questions, a true scientist will simply admit that they haven’t observed and recorded enough phenomena to do so.
    If people choose to believe that the heart has “intelligence” (which should be clearly defined) or that e.g. chakras exist and they benefit by these beliefs: let them do so. Do not use bad science to justify it. Chalk it up to placebo: its effect has been proven to be beneficial in numerous studies.

    • Not that I’m trying, or think I will change your mind, but there are legitimate scientists delving into the studies of the energetic fields of the human body (eg…Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Joe Dispenza) and this way of thinking and providing data to back up their findings. True scientists will see that phenomena is happening which has not been been explained or identified and delve deeper if they are truly interested in explanation. Much of what we call faith is just science yet to be understood.

    • From the perspective of academic science – I hear your question. There is truth in your interpretation. Yet, I have personally experienced the truths in this article through my meditation practice. In my meditation practice, I’ve been encouraged to become the scientist and discover for myself, through my own reflective experience the effects. My experience has shown what this article is summarizing about the heart to be very true.

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