Heart-mind is not two things and never was. Heart-mind is a range of Awareness. An individual might not have less capacity with one or the other but that simply indicates where growth is possible as well as he type of limitations that the person will experience and live from.
Heart awareness is empathic and wholistic in its inquiry and view. Heart thinking or heart awareness functions from both the cognitive and sympathetic forms of reasoning that hold things in relation, always part of something more. What is commonly called mind is the cognitive or analytical function of thinking. This function is usually at the behest of reaction, fear, worry, and self-orientation.
This combination of cognitive and sympathetic is as common as noticing a person approaching a door that you are also approaching or leaving. Heart-mind is expressed in the choice to hold the door for the other person and to smile or speak kindly to that person. The function of analysis is all the exterior components of the moment, the sympathetic or empathic function is comprised of all the interior components. The result is goodness and ease, in contradistinction to selfishness, apathy, and isolation.
In the training of meditation, long periods of practice and instruction are needed to retrain the common analytical thinking processes such that they are increasingly re-integrated with this sympathetic, empathic, wholistic way of thinking and being. Modernity has temporarily effected an ethos of separatism and selfishness – but that is not normal. 50-somethings or older generations did not live with that ethos most of their lives. Emphasis on the little self, convenience, and gratification has fostered a temporary cultural insanity. Evidence of that expresses as depression, apathy, violence, and a general distracted stated in a person. It also expresses through how children, elders, and animals are treated: often with little or no patience or kindness.
The good news is that, being not normal and actually against human biochemistry, subtle anatomy, and the foundation of the interdependence of all life, this temporary insanity will not last. Meditators have chosen to address this imbalance head-on, and the step Heart-Mind brings both the excellence and the insanity into focus through one’s practice. That’s pretty powerful!
Downloadable podcast: One whole awareness