The heart as the physical base of the mind?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:53 am

Hanzze wrote:Maybe that help on the question:

Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chakra
Thanks, but I don't subscribe to the idea of Chakras and don't regard them as part of Buddhist teaching.

Spiny

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Hanzze
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by Hanzze » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:12 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Hanzze
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by Hanzze » Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:31 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

pt1
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by pt1 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:05 pm

rowyourboat wrote:I remember seeing a documentary in the BBC saying that those who have had heart transplants remembering the previous person's memories! Several cases in fact..! It was saying that the heart has nerve tissue much like that of the brain. So far it is known that the heart can generate its own impulses using this nerve tissue, even when it is not connected to the brain. So I think it is not yet established in science but there are some indicators that we maybe heading in that direction...
I remember seeing the same documentary. I think there were several cases shown where the recipient of the heart after the operation suddenly starts engaging in some completely new habits - I think there was a case of a person suddenly starting to write poetry, and later he found out that his heart donor was actually a poet. Or one that I remember as funny - I think there was a lady who suddenly started having a lot of fast food and beer after the operation, and she found out later on that her heart donor was a biker :)
Stefan wrote:
A Discourse on Dependent Origination, p. 92, Mahāsī Sayādaw wrote:According to the commentaries, the heart forms the physical basis of all mental events.
Is this only the commentators' opinion or does this come from the Buddha himself?
As I remember, there are two notes in Visuddhimagga (Nanamoli translation, 1991 edition) that summarise the issue well - a long note 26 in chapter XIV (page 809) and a small note 5 in chapter XIII (page 802) - as I remember both of these are basically a translation of the commentary to Visuddhimagga.

Best wishes

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:10 am

Hanzze wrote: I don't know much about chakras and there is for sure a lot of esoteric, but I could not reject it when I observe my self.
Yes, I take your point about self-observation. I seem to mostly experience stuff in my head. I think this is mostly because of biology, the fact that 4 of the 5 sense organs are physically located in the head. Alternatively it could mean I am over-intellectual. ;)

Spiny

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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:24 pm

Hanzze wrote:there is so much stress between my eyes :-)
Image

:jumping:

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O'seeker
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by O'seeker » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:51 am

Nice.

This isn't specific to the Buddha, either. It seems to be found in the New Testament;

Mark 7:21-23 (New International Version)
" For it is from within, out of a person’s HEART, that evil THOUGHTS come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

:heart:

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:01 am

O'seeker wrote:Nice.
Mark 7:21-23 (New International Version)
" For it is from within, out of a person’s HEART, that evil THOUGHTS come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

:heart:
Interesting, though I take references like this to be metaphorical. You know when somebody says they're thinking with their heart, not their head? So "heart" stands for emotion / feelings, "head" stands for rational thought. But it's all mental activity.

Spiny

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O'seeker
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by O'seeker » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:28 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Interesting, though I take references like this to be metaphorical. You know when somebody says they're thinking with their heart, not their head? So "heart" stands for emotion / feelings, "head" stands for rational thought. But it's all mental activity.

Spiny
Well I can tell you this for sure. I had quit smoking cigs for a week and that clinging emotion that was is my heart area and solar plexus caused thoughts and images of attaining smokes to run through the mind almost continuously and vice versa.

I think it works that way with many things.

I ask you to pay attention to what happens the next time you feel anxiety in a certain situation. Next time you are startled by something, too... from where do you feel it?

Rational thought is also connected with emotion, too. Be it wanting to be correct, wanting to seem intelligent (Arrogance/Ego/Pride)

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Nibbida
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by Nibbida » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:29 pm

Individual wrote:
Nibbida wrote:Sure. Certain findings seem pretty consistent, whether from Heartmath or other people. Negative states of mind are associated with low heart rate variability, meaning that the heart does not have the normal responsiveness to situations and demands, changing as needed.
Oh, I see now. I didn't know at first what you meant by "heart rate variability". As I see it, this is nothing special; that is, it says nothing about how thoughts or consciousness are somehow governed by the heart, only that certain emotional or psychological problems can affect cardiovascular health. For instance, this article:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/ ... _heart.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Unhealthy emotions create an unnecessary trigger of the fight-or-flight response, which could conceivably reduce the body's capacity to respond to stress appropriately (which includes heart rate variability, it also includes things like cortisol, but would you equate the adrenal glands with "mind"?).

Also, I still don't see the credibility or relevance of Heartmath. This website (assuming this is them) definitely looks misleading:
http://www.heartmathstore.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Even if it were true that consciously monitoring heart-rate and comparing it with emotions could work to extend life (a self-diagnosis made by a completely unqualified person with no medical or educational background??)... Even if this were true, with right mindfulness one can be aware of the heartbeat and emotions without paying for a machine. :)


I think it means more than that. It means scientists are increasingly looking at the brain and heart as an interdependent system where both play essential parts, in concert, in cognition and emotion. I'm not saying that our thoughts emnate from the heart. Clearly the effect of a heart attack and a stroke show different roles for the heart and brain in thinking and emotions. But it also doesn't seem accurate to say that the heart is just a pump and the brain thinks, given their highly interconnected and interactive relationship. Antonio Damasio in Descarte's Error, made a strong case that the brain "thinks" but it does so in the context of the whole body, and as a result, emotion and reason are not as separate as philosophers once thought, but inextricably intertwined.

Research like Damasio' and others' falls under the heading of "embodied cognition." Maybe ancient people didn't have the anatomical knowledge and the technical tools to tease apart the relationship between body, mind, brain, and emotions, but the did produce keen subjective observations. I may not understand something like chakras in a literal sense, but I won't dismiss it entirely either. Keep in mind that our entire experience of our body is not literally our body but our mental representation of our body. What seems like my body right now is a mental construct. I know very little about chakras, but from the perspective that our body (and entire sense of reality) is a mental construct, chakras and citta may at least have metaphorical value.

Or maybe I'm just flapping my gums. :-)

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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:33 am

O'seeker wrote:
I ask you to pay attention to what happens the next time you feel anxiety in a certain situation. Next time you are startled by something, too... from where do you feel it?
Yes, there are physiological aspects to emotions, and we experience bodily sensations in conjunction with mental states due to hormone release etc. But that's not the same as saying that bodily organs are somehow conscious. I find that the scientific model of human biology makes sense to me, and feel no need to look for alternative explanations.

Spiny

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Ben
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by Ben » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:51 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote:and we experience bodily sensations in conjunction with mental states due to hormone release etc.
Not just hormone release. Vedana arise dependent on past kamma, physical nutriment, climate, and lastly, but not least, phassa (contact). The scientific model of human biology is fine, but its not complete.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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m0rl0ck
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:01 pm

Personally i think the True Self is located in the big toe. The left one.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

David2
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by David2 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:35 pm

This video may also be of interest (half entertainment - half science):


SarathW
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Re: The heart as the physical base of the mind?

Post by SarathW » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:47 am

It is impossible me to imagine that Buddha said that the base of consciousness is the heart. For example fine material bodies do not have a heart. Consciousness is arising based on any gross or fine matter. Say even in an atom.



Please read Page 330 and 331 of attached link:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddha-" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


In this connection it should be remarked that the Buddha
did not definitely assign a specific seat for consciousness as
He has done with the other senses. It was the cardiac theory
(the view that the heart is the seat of consciousness) that prevailedin His time, and this was evidently supported by theUpanishads.
The Buddha could have accepted the popular theory, but
He did not commit Himself. In the Patthāna, the Book of Relations,
the Buddha refers to the seat of consciousness, in
such indirect terms as “yam rūpam nissāya – depending on
that material thing”, without positively asserting whether that
rūpa was either the heart (hadaya) or the brain. But, according
to the view of commentators like Venerable Buddhaghosa and
Anuruddha, the seat of consciousness is definitely the heart. It
should be understood that the Buddha neither accepted nor
rejected the popular cardiac theory.
:heart: :|
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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