TEDxSantaCruz: Howard Martin – Engaging The Intelligence of the Heart


Translator: Mile Živković
Reviewer: Ellen Maloney Thank you very much for the warm welcome. It’s an honor and a privilege
to be here in my home community, talking about the thing that means
the most to me which is my heart. And this journey goes back
a long way for me now, over 40 years. I started when I was three. (Laughter) But a long time now. And it started with a couple
of realizations when I was a young man, I realized that life, for me,
had to be about continuous growth. That was what was most important. That seemed to be what life was about, what everything around me
was trying to do, whether they were conscious of it or not. And I also realized that life
had to be about service to others. So whatever you gained,
you needed to find a way to give it. It was an incomplete feeling
or incomplete circuit, if you didn’t give back something
from what you gained in your life. And that process led me
to a discovery of heart, an exploration of heart
which has been my life’s work. But enough about me,
except one more thing I should tell you, and that is, is that I’ve lived here
proudly in Boulder Creek now for 21 years, but I’m originally from the south. (Laughter) So I think it’s an important
time to be alive. We’ve reached the critical juncture
where humanity is making choices, where there’s a revolution unfolding
socially, spiritually, consciously; all kinds of different
ways it’s happening. And this year, this very year
we’re in right now is a very important choice point year. We’re making decisions today
that are going to affect our future for a very long time. Those choices will affect
our individual lives, our own fulfillment, and then the future
of many, many things in the world, and I think that’s what
a conference like today is all about. It’s people coming together
to share new ideas, to help us all make the choices
that we need to make. In the context of these changing times,
we face challenges, but we also are finding solutions. And one of the things that’s emerging
in the middle of all this, is an intelligence
we’ve had for a long time, that we access with some consistency
but usually not with regularity, something we’ve all heard about, something we all revere
when we really make contact with it: and it is the intelligence
of the heart itself. And HeartMath is a lot of things, but if I look at it simplistically,
and say, “What are we really doing there?” We’re really exploring
and discovering new things and then passing on information
about the intelligence of the heart. When I speak about
the intelligence of the heart, I’m talking about this aspect
of us we have inside that goes down to the physical heart
where we know new things about our physical heart
we never knew before. I’ll share some of those things
in just a minute. But beyond the physical heart,
we have a lot more going on in regards to what heart really is. It is a source of wisdom
and intelligence within us, it’s high speed, it’s intuitive, it’s discriminating. It’s the place where our authentic self,
our really core of our self emerges from. It’s the birthplace of emotions
that we revere the most in our lives: love, care, compassion, appreciation, those kind of emotions long, long ago
associated with this word “heart.” As I said earlier, when we access
this part of ourselves, it gives us greater
discrimination over things; a new ability to see into ourselves,
our world, and to others. It is that place we access when
we are able to do what we usually can’t. It’s really our own source
of self-security; the place we go to when
we need to find answers to things. It’s where the hero within is born from. And what I like to think about heart, as I’ve gone through my life
trying to discover more about it, is it really is my own best friend, and my most reliable guide
to making decisions, big and small. To this point, I’ve been talking,
I guess you could call it, philosophically inspirational about heart. And you’ve heard these things before. At Heartmath we’ve done
lots of scientific research to look at heart in a different way, and to unfold a new understanding of heart
that gives us more respect in it, and to do that, we’ve used science. We’ve discovered
a lot of things about heart. The heart is, in fact,
a lot more than a blood pump. It sends powerful commands to the brain
and to the rest of the body. It does it in four ways: There’s a neurological communication
which Doug mentioned. The heart has its own
very complex nervous system, sending information
to the brain in the head. The brain sends information
down to the heart; the heart sends information
back to the brain; conversation happening all the time. When researchers map out
the neurological traffic in our bodies, they clearly see that the heart is sending
a lot more information to the brain than it ever gets. If you placed your finger on your wrist,
you would feel your pulse; that’s a wave of energy created
by the squeezing of the heart pushing blood through
veins and arteries, it’s called “the blood pressure wave”,
travels through the whole body, it influences everything,
including brain function. In 1983, something most people don’t know, the heart was actually reclassified
as part of our hormonal system because it produces several
very important hormones. One is called “atrial peptide.” One of its jobs is to reduce the release
of a stress hormone called cortisol. I found that fascinating. The heart’s producing a hormone
to back off a stress hormone. I find this interesting. Lastly, where it gets
most interesting to me, is the electrical heart. The heart is an electrical organ; it produces, by far, the strongest source
of bio-electricity in our bodies, up to 40-60 times stronger
than the second most powerful source, which is our brain. This electrical energy permeates
every single cell in our bodies and is so strong it radiates
beyond the skin out into space. It surrounds us in 360 degrees, and can be measured three
to four feet outside the body. This electromagnetic energy
in this field changes depending upon our emotional state. This is where it gets intriguing. If we’re experiencing strong negative
emotions like anger, frustration, resentment, all those things
we can often feel, it produces an incoherent spectra
in this electromagnetic field. Conversely, if we begin
to experience emotions, the same ones I mentioned before,
long metaphorically associated with heart: love, care compassion, kindness,
appreciation, tolerance, patience, non-judgment, those kind of things, it produces a coherent
spectra in the field. And we are broadcasting
this electromagnetic energy to every single cell in our own bodies, and then communicating it
outwards into space. So there is an electromagnetic,
or communication, always going on, so now we move in understanding heart
beyond biology into physics. How does my field relate to your field? How do your collective fields
together relate? How does the field in this room right now
from the accumulation of association with each other
and all the great speakers, how does that field relate
to the fields of the earth itself? And these are the new things
that we’re exploring at HeartMath today. We can measure some of this by looking
at what’s called our heart rhythms. The medical term
is” heart rate variability analysis”. Didn’t I say that good? I’m almost turning into a Californian. “Heart rate variability analysis.” (Laughter) What that means is our heart rhythms;
it’s different than heart rate. Timing between heart beats changes
between every single heart beat. And as you map this out,
very complex patterns emerge. It shows you a lot about
what’s going on in the body, about our physical health, and about
the quality of heart-brain communication. In both of these, you see 200 seconds
of data across the horizontal axis, you see beats per minute
on the vertical axis. In the top view we have someone
at HeartMath’s research lab experiencing the feeling of frustration. What happens is their
heart rhythm patterns become very jagged and irregular,
all over the place. It’s not good for our physical health
and it sends signals to the brain that begin to shut down the higher
perceptual centers in our brain, called “cortical inhibition.” The bottom view’s the same person,
a few minutes later. What have they done? They’ve shifted from feeling frustration
to feeling a heart-related emotion: appreciation. Now you see the smooth
sine wave-like pattern. This is what high performance looks like. This is what high-quality communication
between heart and brain looks like, is when you see
that sine wave-like pattern. This is really good for our health and it send a signal to the brain
that opens the brain up. It activates higher perceptual
centers in the brain. It’s called “cortico-facilitation.” We have access to our higher
thinking capacity, and that’s where we solve
our problems, isn’t it? All this relates to changes
going on in heart, not just in brain. The old term that we’ve all heard,
“a change of heart changes everything,” takes on new understanding. Now, once we discovered all this,
we developed technology, software that can measure
changes in our heart rhythms, display those changes,
and then determine the quality of them by using what’s called
a measurement of coherence divided into low, medium, and high. And right now I’m going
to demonstrate that for you in real time and show you how powerful this really is. So I have a willing volunteer that I met
backstage just a few minutes ago, a brave young woman named Allie
who’s agreed to come out here. Allie, if would you join me on stage. (Applause) There she is. (Applause) You knew I’d have to pick
a pretty one, didn’t you? Have a seat, dear. I will attach this sensor to Allie’s ear. It’s just a sensor
that’s going to plug into you. Would you please take your earring off? I have a collection of these. (Laughter) Attach this to your ear please. To your earlobe. This is just plugging into
the USB port of the computer. If you guys could make sure we’re switched
over now to the computer on stage. What I’m going to do is start this, and it’s going to first of all make sure
that Allie’s got a good pulse. And you’ll see that come up
at the bottom pretty soon. In a few seconds, you’ll see
Allie’s heart rhythms happening at the top of the screen in real time. This is what her heart rhythms
look like right now. Now she’s up here on stage
in front of a whole lot of people. I’ve already let you know that these heart
rhythms reflect internal emotional states so I’m sure there’s no reason
for her to be nervous. (Laughter) And you can see there are changes
occurring in real time as we do this. Now, one thing that I’d like
to know from you, Allie, it’s the only real question
I’m going to ask you, is: Are you good at singing? Can you sing? Allie: No. HM: Really. Why not? Allie: Umm, I don’t have good pitch. HM: Okay, well I’m not going
to make you sing then. Here’s what I would like you to do. I’m going to make sure
I’ve got this adjusted right. Now what I want you to do
is I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to focus your attention
right in the center of your chest, right in the area of the heart. And now I want you to breathe
naturally and normally. You’re okay; I’ll let you
know what’s going on. Breathe naturally and normally, but just a little bit deeper
than you normally would. Nice deep breaths. And as you do, I want you to pretend
as if the breath is flowing in and out right through the center of your chest. This is called “heart-focused breathing.” And by the way,
you’re doing just fine, dear. Now I want you to stay
with that heart-focused breathing. And now I want you
to feel a positive emotion. Maybe it’s the love or care you have
for someone or something in your life. Don’t try too hard, just make it
an easy-does-it process, and make sure you’ve got
the breathing going on at the same time. And feel a positive emotion; love or care you have
for someone or something in your life. I’m going to stop this now. First of all, we all owe Allie
a round of applause. (Applause) (Cheers) Allie: I did okay? HM: Yeah, you did great. (Applause) Now what we see here, if you see where
she started on the left-hand side, that’s her heart rhythm,
she’s up here, she’s a bit nervous, and then right in here somewhere is where
I started picking on her about singing. You can see that pattern. Remember the pattern
I showed you in the other slide where the person
was in a state of frustration, which you were not,
but this was a hard thing to do. Then she began to do a simple technique where she began to access
the intelligence of her heart: heart focus, heart-focused
breathing, and heart feeling. You can see the smooth sine wave-like
pattern beginning to emerge. She did a great job being up here for
the first time in front of all you folks. And that shows you the power
that you all have inside, that I have inside, to make these changes, and then create different
effect in the brain by changing what you do in your heart. Thank you so much. (Applause) We took it to another level and now what we’re doing at HeartMath
through the Global Coherence Initiative is we are trying to engender
and then measure global coherence. What we found is that
there is evidence of a global effect when a large number of people
create similar outgoing emotional waves, whether stressful and incoherent,
or positive and coherent. There’s a global effect
when a large number of people are experiencing
something similar emotionally. When there’s a natural
disaster of some kind, or very bad news, don’t you
kind of feel that in the air? Don’t you sense a ripple of energy
that’s going around the world as people begin to pick up on it
through the news, and that sort of thing? Well that, we’re finding, is true. There’s a global effect depending upon
what humanity is feeling emotionally. And we have a hypothesis
that strong collective emotional intention has a measurable impact
on the earth’s geomagnetic field – geomagnetic field and ionosphere. These are protective layers
around the earth, they’re part of the earth
as a living system. They protect us from incoming
solar radiation, cosmic rays, solar flares, and things like that,
and they are part of the earth. What we believe is that mass human emotion
interacts with these fields. There’s a lot of research
that’s already been done showing that these fields affect us. Changes in health,
changes in social behavior, a lot of things are being tracked now to changes in the earth’s
energetic fields. If they’re affecting us, our belief is,
we’re affecting them. And to begin to look at this
and to see if this is true, and see if this hypothesis is real, we’ve started the Global
Coherence Initiative, and part of that is we are installing
sensor sites around the world, very sophisticated sensors that measure subtle changes
in the earth’s energetic fields. We have a sensor
in the Santa Cruz Mountains, we have one in Saudi Arabia,
we have one in the United Kingdom, we will have one
in New York state this month, and next fall we have one
going in in New Zealand. Ultimately, we will need 12. And what we are doing is experimentation around looking at changes
that go on in these fields and trying to correlate those with changes
that are occurring in society; changes that are occurring in the overall
emotional state of humanity itself. If this works, we will have proved
that all of our thoughts, our feelings, our prayers,
our intentions, all of that, is more real than we ever believed before. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause) We’re kind of listening in
for the first time to the brain waves
and the heart rhythms of our planet. What we want to do is not just to prove
scientifically that these things exist, but to bring people together,
to use the power of our hearts, the power of our love,
our care, our appreciation, and our energetic intention,
to create positive changes in our world, and facilitate this new wave
of revolutionary thinking and revolutionary living
that we’re on the threshold of. Thank you so much and take care. (Applause) (Cheers) Thank you. Thank you very much. (Applause) Appreciate it.

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