Coherence



I don’t know about you but in the healing, yoga, self-actualization world that I’ve been swimming in lately I’ve been hearing the word coherence over and over again.

When I hear that word, I feel that I understand it but I don't know that I understand it.

I finally got to looking it up today on the ‘great seer’ called Google. At first all I found were the usual definitions about creating unity of logic or connection within a system or piece of writing. But just when I was about to close my computer in a gesture of bland conciliation, my eyes blinked, my fingers twitched, my heart jumped. What’s this? Was the great Rishi of Google revealing to me an even more alluring definition? One that may illuminate this poor seeker’s quest for spiritual enlightenment?

(Ooh I love to wax dramatic).

Indeed. Google did provide.

Down at the very bottom of my search page, words in strange combination, like interfere with, able to, and constant, next to difference delightedly scrambled into my eye.

Coherent waves are able to interfere as they have constant phase relation.

Two beams of light are coherent when the phase difference between their waves is constant;

I had found quantum mechanical descriptions of wave properties.

Because I don’t have a scientific foundation from which to assess the information, when I listen to descriptions of quantum physics I receive them from a more meditative or body/mind state - almost as though I am listening to a recitation of a poem.

To summarize thus far:

  1. I had set out on a relatively simple search for a simple answer.

  2. When I got that relatively simple answer I was not satisfied.

  3. Although I had set out to know something not just feel something, the only answer I found satisfaction with was the one that had brought me back, full circle, to a feeling state.

So I realize that although I have a mind hungry for knowledge (for the astrology nerds out there you may be interested to know I have 4 signs in Gemini!), I actually prefer when information comes to me through the portal of my imagination, in paradoxical and dream-like fashion. Or more succinctly, I realize that I prefer concepts when they do not allow me - when I reach for them with my mind - to fully grasp them.

Because this feels like truth to me.

This feels like coherence.

In a later search for 'coherence' on the subject of 'coherence' (note clever word play), I hit the bulls eye, the place where all this scientific and spiritual 'gobbledy- goop" (as my dad used to say) come together — the HeartMath Institute. Founded on 29 years of research into the science of the heart/brain physiology, the HeartMath Institute has researched and developed reliable, scientifically validated tools and technologies that help people around the globe, improve their emotional balance, health and performance.

HeartMath Institute Research Director Dr. Rollin McCraty says, “Coherence is the state when the heart, mind and emotions are in energetic alignment and cooperation.”

In fact, just a few minutes of heart focussed breathing, where you breath deeply (5- 6 secs), as though the breath were moving in and out from your heart, cultivating a feeling state of appreciation, can regulate your heart rhythm, send powerful signals to your brain to unify the electromagnetic frequencies (or waves) throughout your entire body and create a very real, psychophysiological (body/mind) state of... wait for it... coherence.

I write this story of coming full circle, albeit with a deeper understanding, back to my own body-based knowing as a confirmation and reminder that in this crazy time, with so much crisis, stress, uncertainty and imbalance disrupting our sense of security in the world, that all of us have the tools we need within us to self regulate, align with our heart’s intelligence and become more coherent as individuals and as a human race.

Actually, I would go say far as to say that if we want to effect lasting, sustainable change within our lives and in the lives around us, I believe it’s imperative that we to cultivate a regular body based practice of tuning in to our feeling in order to truly know, well — anything at all.









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