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Gut Feelings and Heart Wisdom

Episode No. 162

What’s the difference between following your gut feelings and following heart wisdom? Shambhavi talks about the primacy of the heart in Trika Shaivism. She unpacks a teaching from Anandamayi Ma about ordinary emotions vs. Mahabhava, the great feeling, and its identity with wisdom. A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi

Podcast First Words

Somebody said something about their gut feeling. I said you should go into your heart. Your gut is not a reliable organ.

The heart isn’t your physical heart. And it isn’t an emotion. If we try to think of the heart in an ordinary way, then it’s just the same as the gut. But in the Trika tradition, there are very specific, special experiences of the cave of the heart, or heart space. The heart’s considered to be the source of the ultimate wisdom. In a human body that space—the cave of the heart or heart of wisdom—is in the center of the chest.

Many of the kriyas we do are kriyas that invoke an experience of that heart space. After many years of practicing, meditating in that heart space, and working with that space, you have a different kind of experience of that. You have a different kind of connection to wisdom through that space. It’s not just some kind of ordinary intuition, ordinary feeling about something, or ordinary impulse. It feels very, very different.

That difference cannot be described in words. There’s absolutely no way I can tell you about the experience of the space of the heart in words. It can only be pointed to.

Part of that experience is an experience of vastness. It’s unlike an experience that we would have with our ordinary physical body. The experience of the heart is entering into some experience of vastness. It’s also getting in contact with a kind of intelligence that’s supra-personal. It’s not our individual intelligence. But it’s not not our individual intelligence. We’re an aspect of it, so it’s not like something divorced from us that we’re getting in touch with. But it has a very different quality than our ordinary intelligence, intellect, or thought process.