The Heart: The Master Command Center for Love

Awake, my dear. Be kind to your sleeping heart. Take it
out into the vast field of light and let it breathe.

— Hafiz

"Physically, the heart is the most important organ in our body. It's the first organ to develop in the fetus and the last to shut down when we die. Many would argue that the brain is more important, but the truth is that the brain and heart significantly influence each other's functioning. What most people don't know, however, is that the heart affects the brain more than the other way around.

"Research shows that the heart sends more neurological information to the brain than the brain does to the heart. In addition, the Institute of HeartMath found that the magnetic field generated by the heart — what's measured on a magnetometer — is five thousand times stronger than that of the brain. Even more surprising is the discovery that the heart is a major player in the process of manufacturing and releasing hormones and neurotransmitters, some of which affect important brain processes. In fact, based on research by J. Andrew Armour, MD, PhD, one of the pioneers in the field of neurocardiology, many scientists, researchers, and neurocardiologists now understand that the heart has its own independent nervous system, a complex system of neural cells called the 'brain in the heart.' All these factors help explain why the heart is so crucial for our well-being.

"When it comes to love, our energetic heart or heart center has a similar status. It's the CEO, the top dog, the chieftain — the master command center leading and being supported by all the other centers. To experience and live in Love for No Reason, our heart center has to be open and balanced.

"In fact, unconditional love has been connected to the heart in every tradition throughout history. The Vedic literature speaks of the lotus in the heart, and the Sufis of the diamond in the heart. In Islam, the heart is considered 'the Throne of the Infinitely Good and Compassionate.' In Christianity, God's love for humanity is symbolized by the Sacred Heart. Judaism's Kabbalah considers the human heart the true location of the Ark of the Covenant, the sacred container which contains the Torah or the word of God. Many scriptures call the heart 'the seat of the soul.'

"Though modern society places more importance on the logic and analytical skills of the brain, it's actually the heart that's central to our fulfillment. Just making this paradigm shift is a significant step to experiencing more unconditional love in life."