Power Tools: Supplemental Material
MEDITATION FOR HEART-BRAIN COHERENCE
Why the heart and not the head?
The heart has its own central nervous system and a highly sophisticated system for transmitting electrical signals. Information going up from the heart affects key brain centers such as the amygdala, the hypothalamus and the thalamus. These make up the limbic system structures involved in many of our emotions and motivations. Information sent from the heart to the brain specifically affects the frontal cortex, strategic thinking, reaction times and self-regulation. The heart also plays a role in intuition.
Why coherence between the two?
Coherence is when there is optimal stability within a system. Coherence implies order, structure, harmony, and connection within a system and its ability to interact with other systems. Coherence is possible from atoms to organs, to people, to societies to the entire planet.
The California-based HeartMath Institute studies the effects of harmonizing the heart and brain into coherence. Their research shows that when we feel positive emotions like gratitude, love, and appreciation, our heart beats out a different message and sends a more synchronized signal to the brain. Harmonizing the cells of the heart and brain reduces cortisol levels enough to signal our bodies that it is safe to heal and regenerate.
Heart and brain coherence is quite possibly the best thing you can do for your body. It increases intuition and access to your subconscious. Synchronizing the three- blood pressure, breathing and pulse- allows your thalamus to harmonize electrical activity across your entire brain. This increases foresight, abstract thinking, and goal-setting abilities. Coherence between your heart cells and brain cells means faster reaction times, better coordination, decision making, learning capacity, and improved long and short-term memory.
As your heart and brain harmonize, biochemical reactions jump start your immune system for beneficial hormone production. Coherence improves nervous system functions which results in reducing inflammation, the risk of heart failure and arrhythmias, diabetes, hypertension, weight gain, asthma, pain, ADHD, PTSD, and metabolism imbalances. New brain neurons are able to form. This stands in the face of science that previously said humans stop forming new neurons after a certain age.
It takes about 3 days to grow a new neural network, which means if you can harmonize your heart and brain you can change your entire life that quickly! The best way synch the heart and brain so the heart can speak to and influence the brain is by putting the two in a coherent state. Coherence is when the heart and brain are sharing the same stable sine wave patterns in their rhythms. When there is harmonizing between the two, the body and brain become open to instant benefits such as greater mental clarity and better decision making.
How does it work?
Every atom has its own electrical field. When two fields get close enough, they interact. How they interact depends on the electrical vibration of each. Sometimes the atoms can harmonize and coexist in ways that use the least energy. When this happens, they form a bond. However, if the vibrations of the two are discordant and cannot form a bond, the atoms separate, and energy is not optimized.
Some vibrations in our body’s various systems benefit us while others are detrimental. When the cells and atoms in our bodies are all vibrating discordantly, it is chaotic. The more our DNA conducts synchronized electrical impulses, the faster it is able to heal itself at all levels; quantum, molecular and structural. We change our body’s chemistry by changing our vibration. The fastest and most effective way to do this is through meditation. Visualizing the change we want to manifest in the physical plane and putting passion behind it directly aligns our energy systems.
Normally, your blood pressure, breathing and pulse are varying from one another at any given moment. When breathing for coherence, these three synchronize into a highly efficient union that activates a cascade of effects in the body and supports openness to spontaneous intuition. The HeartMath Institute has developed a specific breathing technique to usher in this coherent state. It involves shifting your attention. This method has been popularized by self-help author Joe Dispenza, among others. First, evoke feelings of love, gratitude and compassion for all the wonderful things you currently have in your life and for those things you are creating through your evolving self-beliefs. These elevated vibrations of gratitude and love send signals from your heart to your brain.
Now take a few deep breaths and focus on your heart. By placing your attention on it, it helps focus your energy on it. Touch a hand to your heart if it helps aid this shift in your awareness. As your breathing slows, it activates coherence and signals your nervous system that you are safe and it is ok to release stressful chaotic beta brain waves. This shift in energy then radiates to every cell in your body. That’s really all there is to it. Evoke, breathe, activate, radiate.
When I do this at night, following my practice of expressing my daily gratitude out loud, my body and sleep quality benefit greatly. Every night our brains recycle space. Specialized cells go through and prune away unused synapses to make room for new ones based on our newly forming beliefs, thoughts and feelings. What better way to fall asleep than with feelings of love and gratitude knowing that the alignment created by this coherence will jump-start healing and rewiring the brain overnight? Give it a try and see if you find the same to be true.
The HeartMath Institute is currently investigating the effects of social and global coherence. The largest electromagnetic field in the individual body is the heart. The largest electromagnetic field available for unifying all our hearts is that of the Earth itself. All plants, trees, animals, and humans are plugged into it.
Studies are showing that when the heart is in a coherent state, it resonates at the same frequency as that of the Earth’s magnetic field. This means we are all able to connect with it and positively influence that energy to benefit humanity and all other species on the planet. Couples and communities can practice heart and brain coherence and enjoy more balance, communication and collective purpose. Group coherence has resulted in decreased violence in high crime areas. This shows how collective meditation can transform our physical world. A powerful step toward reducing societal stress is for each of us to take personal responsibility for our own coherence and serve as an example to others of its power to change things.
MEDITATION FOR PINEAL GLAND ACTIVATION
What is it?
There is a vertical column that runs the length of your spine. At the top of this column is the pineal gland. The pineal is a pea-sized gland located in the brain between its two halves, roughly centered from the top of the ears just behind the upper pallet. The pineal gland is part of the endocrine system which regulates growth, metabolism, sexual development, sleep patterns and the activation of other hormones in the body. It influences cardiovascular health, reproduction and brain neuroplasticity. It is the regulator of regulators.
The pineal gland is it isolated from the body by what is known as the blood-brain barrier. This means the pineal gets a tremendous amount of blood flow, second only to the kidneys. Its position in the brain atop the spinal column makes it sensitive to pressure from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and allows it to directly secrete to the CSF via that vertical column.
Melatonin is the main hormone produced by the pineal gland and is a powerful antioxidant that repairs neuronal damage while you sleep. Melatonin can also be transformed into a chemical that combats cancer and aging. Melatonin levels are linked to type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cancer. Recent studies are demonstrating melatonin’s effect on learning, and memory. Melatonin dysfunction has been linked to autism.
Detoxing your Pineal:
You want to decalcify the pineal so you can better activate it. Calcium supplements and fluoride from water and pesticides causes pineal gland calcification which reduces the production of melatonin. This leads to impairment of the sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythm and the interruption of reproductive and other functions. Calcification of the pineal also contributes to migraines, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. It is possible to decalcify your pineal gland by eliminating certain foods and environmental factors. You can use a water filter to minimize fluoride intake and switch to fluoride-free toothpaste. If you need calcium in your diet, rather than take supplements, you can consume more organic whole foods like spinach, kale, broccoli, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and quinoa, which do not contribute to calcification. If you must use a supplement, choose one that is food-derived instead of synthetic and remember to pair it with magnesium.
Your spinal fluid is made of proteins and other elements that carry an electrical charge. When you align your separate energy frequencies into one coherent symphony, the pineal secretes hormones to heal your body and bring about a gamma brain wave experience. When you activate it, you also disconnect the hard wiring between your brain and body that binds you to repeating the past. You become open to new possibilities. The pineal gland can activate on its own, given the right conditions, but these rarely spontaneously occur. Most deliberate activation methods show only limited success. Here are a few approaches:
The pineal is contains retinal tissue, so it is sensitive to light and dark. Sun gazing within the first hour of the morning or the last hour of the evening will work to activate it. This is not a path I’m willing to try, given the risks, however I am willing to make the most of meditating or getting outside during this peak time.
Taking synthetic psychedelic drugs (DMT) will also work, since the pineal gland itself produces small amounts of DMT. Due to the dangers involved, I do not recommend you go down this rabbit hole without an expert experienced in the process.
There is also brainwave entrainment, typically through a combination of binaural beats and isochronic tones. There is not enough research behind this method to prove lasting effectiveness on its own, however, listening to a combination of theta, gamma and delta frequencies in conjunction with meditation does aid in inducing higher energy vibrations.
The best way:
The best approach for activating the pineal is to align all your smaller electromagnetic fields and release their stored energy. That energy then moves up the vertical column and triggers the pineal gland. The most common method for releasing this bioelectric energy is through a union of meditation and specialized breathing. This is the safest way but it is also the most challenging due to the amount of concentration and practice it demands. I can attest that this combination is successful. It involves purposefully building up pressure in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
How can I do it?
This breathing technique involves darkening the room you are in (to stimulate the pineal gland’s melatonin production). Sit up straight (to put your cerebrospinal fluid in a straight line through your spinal column). As with heart-brain coherence, you will want to evoke elevated feelings of love, gratitude, joy and compassion. Begin your meditation as you normally would. Once you are in a relaxed theta brain wave state, begin the following breathing exercise:
Start with a full exhale. Next, slowly inhale while contracting the muscles of your pelvic floor and those for elimination (anus, perineum). Continue to contract upwards to add your lower abdomen (as though touching your belly button to your spine).
Move upward to inhale and fill your upper abdomen. Be mindful to keep your shoulders relaxed. Doing so will cause you to feel like you’re leaning back a bit when you reach this point. Keep your head looking forward, not up or down. Imagine your breath continuing up through your throat and finally reaching your pineal gland.
Contract these regions from bottom to top and then briefly hold your breath while contracting. It is only necessary to suspend your breath for a few seconds. If you are hyperventilating, you’re getting the copy and not the real deal.
Exhale, relaxing the same muscles in reverse order. Repeat this breathing pattern a few times, then return to your normal meditative breathing. It takes concentration to get used to the routine.
Some people like to speed through a series of full belly inhales and exhales before contracting and holding the muscle sequence. This is fine so long as you are oxygenating the blood in your system and still getting enough air and blood flow to your brain. I prefer a slow steady inhale breath with the muscle contraction process, then exhalingand taking a few regular breaths in between contraction cycles.
You may not feel any different for having done this, but the benefits are happening internally, nonetheless. Ideally, this process will elicit a gamma wave state in your brain where you will become super conscious and super aware. You may experience physical and mental sensations of euphoria or lightness, not caused by hyperventilation.
Life Repair Toolkit Chapter Topics
BREAKING THE CYCLE OF EMOTIONAL DEJA VU
This chapter acts as the cornerstone for the rest. It will help you get to the root of why you behave the way you do and why you struggle with the same emotional recurrances year after year. You'll get real tools to help you repair those old ways of thinking and behaving so you can live a more joyful life!
This chapter is about your primary intimate relationships and how they differ in emotional dynamic and communication styles from your other interactions. You will be given a tool to help you face communication, avoidance, trust, and other intimacy issues, and get in touch with the obstacles you've placed in your own path so you can have more successful primary relationships.
This chapter explores relationships in general and how you can use every daily interaction, human or inanimate, to show you your own thoughts, emotions, and experiences. You will learn where your upsets and habits really come from, and explore tools to show you how to use each interaction to speed your own healing process.
STRESS REDUCTION & GOAL MANAGEMENT
In this chapter you'll change how you define stress. You'll learn where your overload comes from and discover tools to help undo some of it. You'll learn how to manage your overall plans into smaller, manageable daily goals, which will allow you to see results without all the stress, and maybe even come to regard stress as a good thing.
CAUSE & EFFECT: CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
Why don't you get what you ask for? This chapter will show you how you might be blocking your own creativity and dreams. It will go beyond the Law of Attraction and give you tools to help you clear those obstacles and start seeing more satisfying results.
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