When I was a young woman, I worked as an EKG (electro-cardiograph) technician at our local community hospital in Huntington, New York. My Mother was the Associate Director of Nursing, and she got me this job between college semesters. Not fully appreciating what was in store for me, I witnessed many people “dying” as they went into cardiac arrest. As the patients’ heart rythum went from a chaotic display, and surrendering into a flat-line, I observed that some patient’s hearts spontaneously “came back to life,” as the doctors worked on them…and others did not. It appeared completely arbitrary at the time, which hearts would start beating again, as the same general protocols were followed on all of the patients.
Since the early days of being on the front line with heart patients, I’ve worked in the medical device field for decades, specifically, heart monitoring devices. From the early days, I knew that there was more to caring for the heart than simply treating it as a pump. This defining realization ultimately led me to doctoral studies to fully appreciate how Non-Western traditions, including Wisdom Traditions of the world (over millennia), mythological studies, and depth psychology (study of the unconscious mind) could open up new corridors into the heart.
Getting out of my head and into my own heart has been a personal journey as well. As a typical Westerner, my life was super busy and I lived and made decisions from my head–based on intellect alone. In addition to my intellectual understanding of the heart being more than a pump, I realized that I had to experience the wisdom of the heart through my body as well.
Through the practice of Kundalini yoga and meditation, (the yoga of awareness as taught by Yogi Bhajn), I have learned how to open my heart somatically, where I could actually experience the difference between an open and closed heart center.
Because my Western mind still craved evidence-based “proof” that meditations I was practicing were actually working, I added heart rate variability (HRV) feedback to my daily meditation practice. HRV is a Western biomarker that is underutilized in most clinical facilities, yet bridges the practice of meditation to evidence-based Western technology.
Finally, I am here to bear witness to what the Ancient ones knew: the heart is more than a pump, and by tapping into the heart’s wisdom or “lotus of the heart,” one connects with infinite intelligence and the supreme source of all life.
Let the cardiologist fix the pump, and join us at the metaHeartCenter to open up your imaginal heart, the place where the heart’s wisdom emerges.
With an open heart,
Anne Ruitberg Taylor, BS, PhD