Help Make the Laughing Heart Guide More Intelligent, Interactive and Personalized

Imagine if you could have your own personal intelligent guide dedicated to helping you, your friends, organization, or community cultivate and apply Laughing Heart whenever it can be most beneficial in the world:

  • A resource to develop steadiness and balance in hard times.
  • A trusted friend to guide you toward wise decisions.
  • A platform to connect you with interesting new friends and colleagues who share your passions.
  • A new way of learning and discovering surprising connections among seemingly unrelated domains of knowledge.
  • An immediate means to cascade acts of kindness and generosity in the world.
  • As many other ways as you can imagine and innovate to bring Laughing Heart into the world.

For Benefactors and Sponsors of the Laughing Heart App Initiative

Initial Donation Goal For This Project is $50,000. Use of Funds: To Build, Test, and Promote the Laughing Heart Intelligent Guide App in 2017. Donations of any amount you can afford are gratefully welcome. Please make your contribution directly to "Alliances for Discovery" via check or Paypal below, or if you prefer, to the The Santa Barbara Foundation earmarked for the Laughing Heart Initiative. All Santa Barbara residents have a lifetime free membership.


Charter Sponsor Packages

Springs of Amethysts - $100

  • Public Recognition as a Laughing Heart Charter Sponsor


Rivulets of Moonstones - $500

  • Amethysts awards plus:
  • Signed copy of Julian Gresser Piloting Through Chaos—The Explorers Mind(2013)
  • 5 free copies of the Intelligent Guide with one year memberships


Sparkles of Opal - $1K

  • All of Amethyst and Moonstone awards plus
  • 10 free copies of the Intelligent Guide with one year memberships
  • Public lecture, webinar, or other program in your honor
  • 3 signed copies of Julian Gresser Piloting Through Chaos—The Explorers Mind(2013)


Fountains of Pearls - $5K

  • All of Amethyst, Moonstone, and Opal awards plus:
  • Designation of favorite cause for Paying Forward in Laughing Heart Launch Celebration
  • Three (3)public lectures on Laughing Heart with attribution to benefactor
  • 5 signed copies of Julian Gresser Piloting Through Chaos—The Explorers Mind(2013)


Jade Eddies of Laughing Hearts - $10K

  • Amethysts, Moonstone, Opal, and Pearl awards, plus:
  • Specially published “smart” book celebrating charter sponsors and their contributions, updated quarterly.
  • Prominent visibility as a Charter Jade Sponsor on the Vital Santa Barbara web site and within the Laughing Heart Network
  • Bi-annual ½ day Laughing Heart Discovery Seminarsat office or transferable as a gift to favorite causes.


Sapphire Brooks of Laughing Hearts - $25K

  • All of Amethyst, Moonstone, Opal, Pearl, and Jade awards plus:
  • Two (2) Bi-annual ½ day Laughing Heart Discovery Seminarsat office or transferable as a gift to your favorite cause.
  • Free advertising as sponsor for Laughing Heart TV SBseries and public acknowledgement at Laughing Heart Community Workshop hosted by the Santa Barbara Center on Lifelong Learning.
  • Promotion and paying forward empowerment for three (3) causes of importance to Charter Sponsor.

Contact Us


Ruby Streams of Laughing Hearts - $35K

  • All of the Amethyst, Moonstone, Opal, Pearl, Jade, and Sapphire awards plus:
  • 10 hours of dedicated free consulting time to community causes of highest priority to sponsor
  • One full day (1) training program with materials for organization of choice to Charter Sponsor.
  • Special prize award to designated cause of choice

Contact Us


Diamond Rivers of Laughing Hearts - $50K

  • All of Amethyst, Moonstone, Opal, Sapphire, Ruby awards plus:
  • Two full day (1) training programs with materials for organizations of choice to Charter Sponsor.
  • Matching grants to designated organizations of choice any time within three years after release of Version 1.0 of the Intelligent, Interactive, Personalized Guide.

Contact Us


The Laughing Heart Fund

The Laughing Heart Initiative is establishing a special Fund in collaboration with visionary philanthropists, corporations, and foundations to direct new sources of funding and other forms of support to causes and organizations that are applying Laughing Heart principles to relieve human suffering in all its manifestations. The goal of the Fund is to create compounding beneficial leverage by encouraging effective collaborative among receipts to maximize Laughing Heart Advantage for the largest number of beneficiaries. Financial and other support will be available through:

  • Special prizes
  • Direct Grants
  • Joint financing
  • Mobilizing volunteers and paying forward initiatives to designated beneficiaries
  • Celebrations
  • Client Co-branding
  • Other contributions in kind
  • Support for local communities

Senior Citizens Can Build Resilience Together

How Santa Barbara’s Senior Citizens Can Build Resilience Together

A Conversation with Julian Gresser, Chairman/ CEO of Big Heart Technologies and Dr. Gary Linker, Director Santa Barbara Center for Successful Aging

Gary: Julian, I am delighted to have this chance to explore the fascinating topic of resilience. Perhaps a good start is to define what you and I mean by resilience.

Julian: Good idea. The first thing that comes to mind for many people is an ability to bounce back from adversity. I like the bounce part, but why go backward to something that wasn’t so great in the first place? I view resilience as the capacity to bounce forward, to turn adversities to advantage.

Gary: I like this definition. It is dynamic and especially well-suited to our readers who face many medical, social, and economic challenges in aging.

Julian:  I would like to suggest this basic proposition for our discussion: resilience is a core life competency that anyone can cultivate and easily apply in diverse ways.

Gary: Right out the gate, I must ask isn’t resilience a young person’s game, something that loses with age?

Julian: Not necessarily. The data from NASA and other studies suggest the opposite which may be counter intuitive. Resilience can hold steady, and in some cases even increase in advanced old age. Another common belief is that a loss of power inevitably comes with aging; but actually, this premise is also not necessarily correct. Even though physical power declines with age, we can still increase our inner power. I have trained with Chinese martial artists in their 80s and 90s who possessed amazing inner energy (qi) power. Resilience and such inner power naturally align.

Gary: I know what you mean. I just went to a Frankie Valle 4 Seasons concert. Frankie performed for 90 minutes. Guess what, he is 84! But, let’s get very basic here. I get up in the morning. What’s the first thing I can do to build my resilience?

Julian: Ok, let’s begin with physical resilience. if you do a Google search on the main diseases commonly associated with aging—diabetes, hypertension, cardiac problems, stroke, neurodegenerative illnesses, and cancer—you will find that all are closely related to a loss of resilience. The process is even intra-cellular. There is good evidence that mitochondria dysfunction correlates closely with an impairment of resilience.

Gary: So, what do I do?

Julian: You start to move. For when we move, we begin to change our relationship to the ground. As we get older, many of us have a great fear of falling. So, practicing getting up and lying down a few times, a brisk walk, dancing, taiji, even tango help to restore this dynamic positive relationship with the earth. I practice horse stance for 1-2 minutes. Horse stance is a half squat where I lower my center of gravity and connect to the earth, while neck and head are straight as if a line of thread is connecting me to the heavens.  I also play with a Reflex Ball, which has taught me a great deal about play and resilience. The ball is attached to your head by a light cord. You strike it and it bounces back. You learn how to move rapidly or slowly in tune with the ball; there are some deep lessons here like “yielding power.” You strike hard, the ball comes back hard; yet, if you don’t react but give way, the ball will lose energy; and then you have your opening. The Bible says, “A soft word turneth away wrath.” The ball teaches us this. It is a mirror of our own developing resilience. Our readers may enjoy this Alliances short video.

Gary: I do agree that the cultivation of physical resilience is in part a personal practice; but as a therapist I am convinced, especially for seniors, the development of resilience is not a solo journey.

Julian: I agree with you. We have ample evidence that restoring a sense of meaning, belonging, and engagement is essential. Years ago, I was friends with a remarkable minister, the Reverend Mitsuo Aoki who was a professor at the Divinity School at the University of Hawaii. He cared for people in advanced stages of illness. He would tell me that when those in his care regained a sense of connection to community, healing began–not only in a spiritual sense, but also in many cases in remission or a complete return to robust health. This renewed sense of connection restored hope which engendered a positive attitude to their circumstances.

Gary: What are some practical ways you have found to build this sense of engagement to community? If I want to connect to others, how can I do that?

Julian: It starts with a specific attitude. Various studies show that “paying forward”—the act of selflessly passing on to others the good things that come our way– not only builds personal resilience but also generates a positive “multiplier effect” throughout communities. I first discovered this principle in my work in negotiation. In negotiation an important behavioral skill that can be developed is to reduce our dependency on others or circumstances (“field independence”), in other words to stay out of “need. Perhaps the most effective way to reduce neediness is to care for others. Charles Dickens wrote “No one is useless who can lighten the burdens of another.” Over the years I have been interested in tracking what happens when we reduce neediness and pay forward. I have discovered that good things tend to come to us in mysterious and often quite wonderful ways. I call it “Creating Your Own Luck.” It is a form of advanced skill that seems to show up as we develop resilience. I describe the process in detail in my online living book, Laughing Heart—A Field Guide to Exuberant Vitality for All Ages—10 Essential Moves.

Gary: What are some other simple things senior citizens can do to build or to restore resilience? For example, in another conversation we had discussed the role of beauty. How does that fit in here?

Julian: Ah, you are touching one of my favorite subjects. In fact, “Discovering Beauty” is number 3 in the 10 Essential Moves. Most people believe the enjoyment of Beauty is a passive process. But actually, discovering Beauty is itself a learned skill. The challenge is to expand our appreciation and enjoyment of what is beautiful. Most people can enjoy Beauty in a baby, a flower, the ocean, or a sunset. But can we also find beauty in ordinary things or difficult circumstances, in even ugly things? There is so much Beauty in the world to be discovered if we will only slow down and observe, rather than continually rushing through life. To me, this is one of the great opportunities of advancing age.

I have a friend who was the primary caregiver for his wife. She was declining rapidly from Alzheimer’s. When I spoke with him, he was despairing and close to burning out. Then his daughter moved back home and everything changed. He cherished the small moments of respite that gave him time and space for himself. He told me he began to discover beauty in little mundane things he had always taken for granted–like mowing the lawn or looking at products in the supermarket. Imagine selecting a detergent as an opportunity to discover Beauty! He was grateful again for his life.

Gary: It seems you are saying Beauty is connected to slowing down, being present to our current life experience; and that all of this helps us to reconnect to the world and to re-create ourselves. This renewed sense of connection is the foundation of resilience. If so, Nature must play a pivotal role in your work.

Julian: Nature is the archetypal teacher of resilience. The Wildling Museum in Solvang has just opened a special exhibit on “Regeneration and Resilience in Nature” featuring how the natural world here in the Coastal Area is gradually recovering from the Thomas Fire and mudslides. There is a famous Chinese poem that expresses well this insistent resilience of Nature from the crazy depredations of humans: “Although the kingdom was destroyed, the castle grasses and mountain flowers are once again in bloom.”

Gary: What about music? As you know, there is substantial work on the regenerative effects of music on memory, especially with people struggling with advanced Alzheimer’s disease.

Julian: As a musician (I play oboe d’amore) I am keenly interested in exploring the potentialities of music in developing resilience. The great masters, Bach, Mozart, Handel, Beethoven and others succeeded in transmuting their life force, or vitality into musical form, and the amazing thing is even today we can learn to “download” this same energetic power to fortify our own resilience. You and our readers can see for yourselves by simply listening to the excerpts under Move # 5.  The performing arts are also marvelous means for communities to build and celebrate resilience. One of the members of our International Advisory Board members, originally a Russian expert at the Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, has studied this interesting phenomenon in depth. In performing arts festivals music, dance, joy, exuberance, play and engagement all come together in some marvelous alchemic process, and the result is resilience.

Dr. Roger Jahnke, a qigong teacher, author, and Chinese medical doctor practicing in Santa Barbara has written a very good book, “The Healing Promise of Qi” in which he describes in some detail how qi, or subtle vital energy, can transmit immediately across whole communities, especially when “heart” is engaged. In Western terms we might call it simply exuberance. The point is that when communities come together to celebrate anything that is imbued with heart and its attributes, joy, hope, love, play, and connection to our fellow voyagers, a deep community-wide and sustainable resilience occurs.

Gary: It seems in your view there are many roads to experiencing an enhanced sense of resilience. One other avenue that comes to mind is flow. Might flow have a role here?

Julian: Resilience as I experience it is also very much related to a sense of flow. Flow is the essence of our being. I believe you pointed out that for river rafters, the safe zone is in the middle is where the river flows easily and smoothly. Similarly, when we are in a harmonious flow, we move effortlessly. In Chinese culture this is referred to as Wu wei. But inevitably we are faced with obstacles and challenges. If we view these experiences as messages that we not in the flow, then we can adjust our perspective, look for the clues that the obstacles provide, and adjust accordingly. Heart, especially love, is a powerful energy field that can to melt obstacles. Thus, flow, Heart, love, and resilience are mutually reinforcing.

Gary: Can you help me connect a bit more directly resilience and Big Heart?

Julian: My colleagues and I have a name for what we have been discussing. We call it “Big Heart Intelligence,” or more simply “Integral Resilience.” When we open ourselves emotionally, the flood of energy surrounding the heart becomes activated. The human heart has an extraordinary ability to gather all the disparate parts, to see the world holistically. The dimensions of resilience we have been discussing—physical, emotional, energetic, cognitive, psychological, and spiritual—are all connected. When we enhance resilience in one domain, naturally it transfers to another, especially when the process is mediated by the Heart. We are currently developing a way to measure improvements in Integral Resilience and its associated Multiplier Effects.

Gary: Before concluding, I want your thoughts on how we can operationalize all of this. How can seniors in Santa Barbara, indeed the entire community, build resilience?

Julian. As you noted in our first meeting, it is all about engagement. We have developed a personalized, interactive, and intelligent online platform called the “CHME” (Community Health Multiplier Exchange) that will support the entire community in exploring, creating, learning, having adventures, challenging ourselves, making new friends, helping and caring for one another. Santa Barbara is blessed in so many ways. And surely one of our greatest treasures is the large number of talented people and dedicated non-profit organizations. But the present ecosystem is fragmented, vertically siloed by specialization, and unfortunately based on competition for limited philanthropic resources. In my opinion this is an outdated 20th century model that is poorly equipped to address so important a challenge as successful aging.

But what if there is a more compassionate 21st century path to motivate Santa Barbara’s diverse organizations to come together, to share ideas, products, and services, and thereby to enlarge the “pie” for everyone? This is not utopia. The technology and human resources required are all locally available; the cost, modest. The first beneficial and measurable outcomes in enhanced community resilience can be delivered within months. The first sign of an awakening resilience is to open ourselves to Seeing the Big Picture. Hopefully this interview will invite new comers to the conversation. I look forward to expanding our dialogue with those who attend one of our upcoming community presentations. The first will take place at Chaucer’s Bookstore on September 11th @ 7:00 pm. The second is a public presentation at Vista Del Monte Senior Community on Tuesday, October 23rd at 2 pm. Please come and invite a friend!

© Copyright Big Heart Technologies and Dr. Gary Linker, August 2018 All Rights Reserved

Resilience and the Reflex Ball

Resilience and the Reflex Ball:

At Play in the Fields of the World

“But I was much older then, I’m younger than that now.” Bob Dylan, Back Pages.

I turned 75 in June and have arrived at a turning point on the road. I have found most magical things happen in life by chance. I was introduced to the Reflex Resilience Ball (RRB) one lovely May day when I saw my friend, Stefan, practicing in the gym in Santa Fe with a ball that seemed to float, untethered. Upon further inspection I saw in fact that it was attached to his head, and he was well grounded as his martial arts training enabled him to be. Fascinated, I resolved to see for myself. Thus, began my journey.

As the video suggests, the practice is simple, uncontrived, and almost childlike: we meet and engage (Stefan calls it “negotiating”) with the ball. We move, it bounces, we respond. That’s it: simple, playful, joyful (bouncing power), and fun. We are not trying to gain anything. Just playing in the Fields of the World.

After a few hours of practice, I began to discover, with Stefan’s help and guidance. The original meaning of discovery from the Latin (discoupire) is to “find” or “uncover”. The RRB decided to reveal itself.

    • The ball has a magical quality. It’s only a ball, of course, but then again…
    • The ball is a mirror. How can it not be? After all, it is attached to our heads, and as Stefan reminds me (!) our heads sit upon our necks. I have come to learn from a new friend (introduced later), this is a non-trivial (re) discovery!
    • The ball can teach us resilience at many levels (neurological, energetic, emotional, cognitive, psychological, even existential!) because it itself embodies resilience. In fact, the RRB is a master of resilience!
    • The RRB can also help us to build “integrity.” In the Chinese and Japanese languages integrity (Chinese “te”; Japanese “toku) is written by the “hand” of action in continuous and dynamic balance with the “eye” of discovery and the “heart” of compassion. (See: www.explorerswheel.com)
    • What does integrity have to do with the RRB and resilience? Well, everything. We are constantly being challenged in the practice to combine hand, eye, and heart. The greater the integrity, the greater the flow with the ball, the more resilience is enhanced.
    • But how is heart involved? Because the more humble and relaxed and loose we are, and the more we quiet the heart, the greater the play, the quicker our reflexes. When we love what we do– here simply to play for the pure joy and sake of it– we naturally return to harmony and balance.
    • RRB practice cultivates other virtues: patience, gravitas, connection to the earth, courage (when you strike the ball hard, it comes back at you very hard—isn’t this the definition of karma?—as you sow, so shall you reap?) when the ball comes at you sometimes very hard and fast, you must decide instantly, or you will get a wake-up call (very benign!) when it hits you. It reminds you, “Hello, I’m here!”
    • Soon the RRB begins to communicate with us and we with it. For me it is in a subtle, non-verbal language.  But wait! Of course it does, the RRB is you and I!
    • As we practice we become freer. One day I had a kinesthetic image of being young again, bold and brash possessed with lightning speed and strength. I have always had the romantic image of myself as a samurai. When I first arrived in Japan at the age of 14, I had this odd sensation on that sultry July evening as the bus was transporting us from the old Haneda airport into downtown Tokyo, and while I was observing out of the window the women coming back from the public baths in yukata and geta that I had been here before. I knew I had.  Years later, when I trained in the Kodokan judo institute and later at the main aikido dojo in Tokyo, I had the extraordinary feeling of the fierceness of a tiger, quite ridiculous and disproportionate to be sure, but I felt so alive then. It was these feelings and memories that flocked back to me suddenly when practicing with the RRB.
    • Angela says she enters a state of “agelessness” which I believe is accurate. Time seems to pause. You are simply in the flow; some people might describe it as “the Zone.” I am free, at last. Because there is no more “I”.
    • There is a close parallel with negotiation:  I move, the other responds: the player who re-reacts often has the advantage. But this is where the analogy stops. No one is seeking advantage here, because both have the advantage—the advantage of play, joy, discovery, and youthful exuberance.
    • We do gain some interesting insights into power: We actually do have some measure of “control” over the energy of the ball.  For example, we can decide to strike hard, and then the RRB comes back hard on us. We then have a choice. We can strike back hard, or respond softly (the Bible says, “A soft word turneth away wrath.”) It’s exactly the same with the RRB. Or we can simply yield. We move aside and let the ball go wherever it chooses; and when its energy flags, we re-engage. I call this process “yielding power.” It’s one of my favorite moves.
    • The RRB teaches acceptance. After all, it is attached to our head. We work with what we have, right in front of us, and the situation reveals itself.
    • When I first began to practice I asked myself whether it might be possible to play with the RRB blind, like the Japanese heroic swordsman, Zatto Ichi.  Immediately a voice intoned, “impossible!” But I have persevered. I can now with reasonable accuracy connect to the RRB about 40% of the time; and better if I will let go and relax even more—qigong Grand Master Li Junfeng calls this state “looseness” “no bones, like a snake!” I “listen” to the “field.” One develops an anticipatory sense of where the RRB is going to be.
    • I can go on reporting my discoveries. But I think I should pause to reflect a moment:

 

Some Reflections

    • If RRB practice teaches resilience and cultivates anticipatory power, how might this capacity translate into a broader ability to anticipate and to respond to dangers and risks in life?
    • What is happening neurologically to us when practicing with the RRB? Dr. Joseph Migliore, a pioneer of brainstem balancing, calls this process “cross-crawling,” for it mimics how babies naturally play and develop brain hemispheric integration. His work focuses on carefully and subtly aligning and balancing two essential bones, the Atlas (named after the Greek hero who held up the world) and the Axis. These two bones like Scylla and Charybdis guard the channel of the brainstem that has an all-important influence on the afferent and efferent communication of nerves running through and beside it that regulate the primary autonomic processes of the body.
    • What might be the influence of RRB on neuroplasticity? One interesting dimension of practicing with the RRB is the feedback is multisensory—sight, sound, touch, timing, emotions, etc. It hardly requires any effort at all to re-call this experience. It is living. In fact, I find I can practice in my mind alone, so powerful is the experience, without even holding the physical ball. When practicing in my mind I believe I am engaging both the brainstem and the cortex, which is interesting, because I am told the great ponderance of neuroplastic activity occurs in the cortex. They combine in my imagination. This brings me to the central dictum from Norman Doidge’s remarkable book, The Brain That Changes Itself (2007): nerve cells that fire together, wire together. Can we simply rewire as we practice with the RRB in our mind’s eye when we go to sleep?
    • Why does the RRB appear to act as a magnet and attract curious and interesting people when I practice in public? Is it possible that when we connect to the RRB with a sense of joy, play, and love, this “good energy” bounces outward into the world and connects itself to others who are predisposed to receive it?
    • What could be the deep offering from the RRB to an over-busy world reaching the heart of most of our present problems? Is it possible that by returning to a state of innocence, we can become a renunciate while also living in a world? Can this be a viable path for survival in this daily theatre of intolerance, violence, and upheaval?
    • I listen to the bard, Bob Dylan around the fire for he tells us, “But I was much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

 

And for me there is another familiar spirit on the journey, Pu’tai. He seems to have answer, pointing us to the moon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budai

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Japanese (1839-1892)

Moon of Enlightenment, A depiction of Hotei, the god of happiness and good fortune.

color woodcut, 1888. From the series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon.

 

Is Power the Devil in Disguise? Reflections in Light and Shadow

Is Power the Devil in Disguise? Reflections in Light and Shadow

I can clearly recall several instances in my life when professional colleagues have recoiled at the mere mention of power as if they beheld the devil incarnate. The first encounter was my partner, a psychologist in Discovery Engineering International, a business venture of professionals from the former Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas. Another was the warning in October 2017 from an experienced French psychiatrist in Paris to disassociate my work from “the subject of power.” It appears that power, perhaps because of its manifold excesses in government and corporate life, has come to be associated in the public’s mind with greed, dominance, abuse, corruption, vanity, narcissism, and other unwholesome qualities. As the saying goes, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Even scientists are now weighing in. In studies spanning two decades, researchers found a strong correlation of power and dementia. According to these researchers, subjects under the influence of power acted as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury—becoming more impulsive, less risk-aware, and less adept at seeing things from other people’s point of view. Professor Dacher Keltner of the University of California states: “My own research has found that people with power tend to behave like patients who have damaged their brain’s orbitofrontal lobes (the region of the frontal lobes right behind the eye sockets), a condition that seems to cause overly impulsive and insensitive behavior. Thus, the experience of power might be thought of as having someone open up your skull and take out that part of your brain so critical to empathy and socially-appropriate behavior.”

There is also strong historical precedent within the world’s wisdom traditions. The Yogic canon, for example, warns against the dangers of seeking certain Siddhic powers prematurely before the adept is fully prepared to advance to the next level of consciousness. The Yogic tradition reaffirms the cautionary words of the psychiatrists that power can be dangerous to your health… at least under some conditions and circumstances. Wikipedia article.

The Laughing Heart or Big Heart Intelligence (BHI) practice begins with the basic relationship every school kid learns in grade school physics: energy and power are expressions of one another: power is units of energy divided by time, comparable to the relationship of distance and velocity. units of power are watts; the units of energy are joules. A watt is one joule divided by one second. There is nothing inherently unwholesome about power from the perspective of physics.

In the context of Laughing Heart/BHI we are working with two special forms of energy and power—qi and love. The relationship of energy and power is value neutral.

It would be a great pity if those who are seeking to aid disempowered communities and the people in these communities themselves—often the poor, minorities, and the elderly– were to disable themselves further because of a mistrust of power. Indeed, here are five practical applications of the immediate and beneficial applications of power.

  • Going behind the mask. Most everyone wears a mask to hide parts of his or her psyche or to protect themselves. When we have a sense of inner power, we are not afraid to face and to explore parts of ourselves, and we are more attuned to picking up the subtle signs and signals revealing the character of others. This capacity to know oneself and to know the other is fundamental in all negotiations in private, business, and public life.
  • Seeing the Big Picture and risk assessment. As explained in this Laughing Heart Field Guide our Heart is a step-down and step-up transformer of energy and power. One of these advanced powers acquired over time is to “See the Big Picture;” in other words, simultaneously to perceive small and large details, connections, and patterns, including the past, present, and future.
  • This capacity has direct applications in risk assessment. We no longer fear to see the world just as it is. This means we can more easily identify limiting or obscuring biases and assumptions that impair our good judgement. The power of the Heart enables us to tolerate pain without catastrophizing, and to find new inner resources to accept the past or to anticipate the future with balance, courage, and resilience. In this sense power of the Heart is intimately connected with wisdom.
  • Discovery and invention. The Prologue of Shakespeare’s Henry V begins,

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend.
The brightest heaven of invention.

Fire is pure energy and Shakespeare of all writers understood the Promethean power that is released when the creative and inventive energies of the Mind and Heart combine.

  • Building strategic trust in collaborative relationships. Trust is the linchpin of all collaborative relationships. It is more easily achieved when all parties can rely upon the reality that their actions—essentially latent energy transformed into power–are motivated and guided by the wisdom, kindness, and compassion.
  • Power as a shared community asset. When power is infused with love, it becomes a collective community asset. There is no longer a need to dominate or control others. In fact, in this spirit the more power is shared, the more powerful it becomes. When the Heart joins with Mind, their combination becomes a force of convergence and integration for entire communities.

Personal Validation: Further Notes on Laughing Heart Move # 2—Finding Your Power.

We need not accept any of the above statements on faith. They are amenable to personal validation, replication, and third-party verification within a days and weeks. We begin with a new actor in this Laughing Heart Guide, the body’s enteric system in the western medical model, and what is called in Japan, “hara” (腹:) or in Chinese language, the “dantian” ( 丹田), the elixir field or sea of qi.

The enteric nervous system (ENS) or intrinsic nervous system is one of the main divisions of the autonomic nervous system and consists of a mesh-like system of neurons that governs the function of the gastrointestinal tract.  It is capable of acting independently of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, although it may be influenced by and in turn influence them. The enteric nervous system in humans consists of some 500 million neurons, one two-hundredth of the number of neurons in the brain, five times as many as the one hundred million neurons in the human spinal cord. Approximately 90% of the human bodys total serotonin is located in the enterochromaffin cells in the GI tract. The ENS has been called the second brain.

The counterpart of the enteric nervous system in Eastern practice is the hara. The hara is conceived as the root or primary reservoir of qi. It is energetically linked with the Triple Burner, (san jiao) which practitioners of acupuncture and other Eastern healing arts deem both a Radiant Circuit and the connecting point to all the meridians.  The Triple Burner is thought to govern the sympathetic nervous system’s “flight-fight-freeze” response. When the Triple Burner is out of balance, we experience various emotional symptoms commonly associated with stress, such as mood instability, anxiety, hypervigilance, difficulties in relaxing and sleeping, chronic muscle tension, difficulty relaxing, and a sense of being overwhelmed. These symptoms are also closely related to burnout, a $ 300 billion global unsolved problem that is especially acute among health care professionals and uncompensated caregivers.

In sum, in both Western and Eastern practice the enteric system and hara/dantian are intimately connected in complex ways with energy and power; and they are significantly mediated in both systems by emotional states that they influence, and also, especially when ungoverned, exert a significant influence upon them.

The Importance of Heart in Balancing, Toning, and Guiding the Power of the Enteric and the Hara/Dantian Systems.

In both Western and Eastern traditions excess or unmanaged stress can imbalance and impair the enteric and hara/dantian systems. When stress activates the “fight or flight” response in the central nervous system, blood flow in the enteric system is impeded, intestinal contractions are impaired, production of digestive enzymes decreases, gastrointestinal inflammation develops, and the esophagus can go into spasm.* Similarly, dantian qi constricts, becomes stagnant and murky, and its flow is impaired.

The Heart holds the secret to countervailing the effects of stress through its re-balancing influence on the emotions. When we practice Quieting the Heart in Move # 1, several things happen simultaneously. The Mind in a matter of seconds quiets down and equilibrates. Perception begins subtly to deepen and to expand. When we open the Heart, our focus also opens and we begin to See the Big Picture. At the same time something interesting starts to happen in the gut. As Chinese tradition suggests the dantian following the shades of the Heart becomes “quiet as the moon, clear like water, and bright like a mirror.” Without impedance qi in the dantian begins to flow naturally. We have a deep sense of connection to our power source and we may begin to experience (for the first time!) our gut as peaceful and “happy.”

This process also provides the key to a solution of the conundrum of power. Power becomes pathological when it is unmediated and unbalanced by the influence of the Heart. If the Heart is small and selfish, while physical, financial, or political power is great, power becomes a self-destructive force that can turn against society. But when we feel deeply connected to ourselves, our community, and the natural world, and when the Heart is great and generous, joy becomes power’s guide for all manner of beneficial works.

This is why “paying forward” in the spirit of love, as described in Moves # 8–# 10 is essential. It prevents blockages and stagnation and moves qi and love outward to benefit all levels of society. When we connect to our community and the natural world in this way, we can experience an increase in synchronicities, in other words, extraordinary, seemingly non-causal encounters of chance, that suggest a dynamic feedback process between ourselves, society, and the greater universe.

Validating the Power of Heart

It is easy to test the proposition of whether power necessarily corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Simply run the following experiment over the course of several weeks using the attached Practice Notes. As described, the Notes enable you to track and to assign a score following your progress in balancing power with the mediated influence of the Heart. There are three situations: 1. Winning—increasing power with balance 2. Falling Off–Seeking out and cultivating power as a goal in itself without any reference to love or wisdom and 3. Recovery—Falling off, but then realizing what is happening, changing course, and returning to the cultivation of Laughing Heart. The last may be the core skill. Everyone, no matter how experienced, falls off at some time. It is natural. The key is to embrace our errors and to be curious about being wrong. This is largely a matter of choice. Our errors are springboards for discovery and new learning. The cultivation of Heart builds such resilience.

Conclusion

There is no reason to shun or to disassociate ourselves from power. Indeed, when the great majority of the world’s populations are increasingly disempowered and being manipulated by financial and other gigantic forces far beyond their control, the need for the wise and compassionate cultivation of power would seem ever more evident and urgent. In this awakening the role of the Heart as the principal mediator between the other major power centers, the Mind and the ENS/hara/dantian, is crucial. The conscious and steady development of this core capability has profound implications for the training of a next generation of leaders in all spheres of governmental, corporate, and civic life.


 

Notes

*There is some evidence that meditative practices such as qigong, especially when enhanced with probiotics, affect tryptophan production, and thereby serotonin production in the gut. Tryptophan is an amino acid that converts into serotonin – the happy neurotransmitter. The vast majority of serotonin (around 90%) is synthesized in the gut and its production is regulated by the gut flora.  Tryptophan is an amino acid that converts into serotonin – the “happy neurotransmitter.”

One commentator notes: “Within mammalian species, central nervous system serotonergic signaling influences both behavioral and physiological determinants of energy balance. Within the gastrointestinal tract, serotonin mediates diverse sensory, motor, and secretory functions. Further examinations of serotonergic influences on peripheral organ systems are likely to uncover novel functions consistent with an apparently pervasive association between serotonergic signaling and physiological substrates of energy balance.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17983581

Obesity, weight gain, and sedentary lifestyles are one of the primary causes of declining energy levels. The beneficial gut microbes help reduce the extra pound of flesh over the belly. Obesity has been associated with an imbalance in the microbial gut flora. In addition, it is observed that individuals with a flabby body have inflammation going on at the microscopic level. Probiotics ameliorate inflammation, restore the disturbed harmony of the gut flora, and accelerate weight loss.


Practice Notes–Move # 2 –Finding Your Power 

Combining Quieting the Heart (Move #1) and Finding Your Power (Move # 2)

  • Moves # 1–# 2 are complementary and are designed to be practiced together. When you Quiet the Heart, your qi naturally returns and settles in the dantian. You can retain this basic state of clarity and equilibrium even as you develop your energetic powers. Li Junfeng’s video “Awakening the Heart.” (at the bottom of Move # 1. http://alliancesfordiscovery.org/guide/laughing-heart/move-1-quieting-the-heart/) is a useful guide if you want to go deeper.

Recommended Sequence in practicing Move # 2

  • Imaginative Power: Please read the story of O-Nami; then watch the Great Waves of Kanagawa video, opening your heart to listen and truly hear the drum (heart) beats of the waves.
  • Now practice the horse stance. In the beginning try for one minute, then scale when you feel you are ready up to 5 minutes over the course of the next 10 sessions. Focus on gathering (sensing and feeling) your power, as illustrated. This is a wonderful practice to learn how to think of nothing. In Japanese martial arts, this state of “no mind” is called mushin (無心)You can practice this state of no-mind in any situation that requires your power of concentration.
  • Next, imagine you are the Happy Buddha (Hotei) and practice cupping qi in the palms of your hands from the universe, just as he is, for 1-5 minutes. You are gathering raindrops of pure qi and there is the faint scent of apricot blossoms in the air (or any flower you like).
  • Finally, try this. Send your qi and love from your heart energy field outward…outward… connecting your heart energy field to the farthest reaches of the universe. Whoosh! Just relax, and watch what happens. See if you can detect a distinctive flavor of connecting to the universe, with your heart. No expectations. Nothing special! Just explore.

BIG HEART ™ (博爱养心)–FIELD NOTES

Player:

Practice Move/Big Heart Intelligence™: Combining Moves # 1- # 2

Date:

Goal/Metric: Open the Heart: Find and Balance Your Power (~10% improvement in one week!) with Joy; Explore and Translate Your Power into Beneficial Action


Winning

Case:

3 times this week I discovered how to combine power, balance, wisdom, and other attributes of BHI, and the result.

1……2…….3………4………5….

Comments and Discoveries:

3 times this week I discovered how to combine power, balance, wisdom, and other attributes of BHI, and the result.

1……2….3…..4………5…….

Comments and Discoveries:

3 times this week I discovered how to combine power, balance, wisdom, and other attributes of BHI, and the result.

1……2……3………4………5…….

Comments and Discoveries:

 


Falling off

3 times this week I focused only on power and the result.

1……2……3………4………5…

Comments and Discoveries:

3 times this week I focused only on power and the result.

1……2….3………4………5…

Comments and Discoveries:

3 times this week I focused only on power and the result.

1……2……3………4………5…

Comments and Discoveries:

 


Recovery

3 times this week I retreated into small heart, became conscious and recovered Big Heart, and the result.

1……2….3………4………5……

Comments and Discoveries:

3 times this week I retreated into small heart, became conscious and recovered Big Heart, and the result.

1……2….3……4………5…….

Comments and Discoveries:

3 times this week I retreated into small heart, became conscious and recovered Big Heart, and the result.

1……2……3………4………5……

Comments and Discoveries:

 


© Copyright Julian Gresser/Big Heart Technologies, December 2017, All Rights Reserved

 

 

Presentation at the WHIS Talks Meeting Gorton Monastery, Manchester UK

Annotated Summary of a Presentation at the WHIS Talks Meeting Gorton Monastery, Manchester UK

November 3, 2017

 Julian Gresser, Chairman Alliances for Discovery/ International Counsel– WHIS (www.alliancesfordiscovery.net)

 

Albert Einstein famously observed:

“We can’t solve today’s problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

How might we creatively apply Einstein’s axiom to community problems of burnout, drug addiction, mental illness, despair, homelessness, and hopelessness that are today crippling lives here in Manchester and also in many other cities in the UK and around the world?

I wish to offer a new way of tackling such seemingly unsolvable (so called “wicked”) community challenges. My presentation is organized around these basic questions:

  • Why?
  • What?
  • How?
  • When?

Why?

Many communities in the UK like Manchester and around the world are confronting a systems challenge—a constellation of problems that are closely linked or coupled. For this reason, piecemeal approaches to these challenges will not succeed. They must be part of an integrated strategy. Of course, we can find leverage in specific advances and will build from there. I am a great believer in “base hits,” to use an American sports metaphor. I will focus my presentation on one immediate step—a first action– in breaking the impasse: restoring vitality from burnout. Once we cultivate the power of vitality—in the meaning of harnessing deep creative life force—we will be able to cope with many other of life’s challenges. In this sense vitality is strategic. (* See Julian Gresser, “Inventing for Humanity—A Collaborative Strategy for Global Survival )

What?

The hero of my story is the Heart. The Heart offers a powerful largely unrecognized capability that when combined with the power of the Brain and Mind offers, in my view, the best practical pathway through the chaos and troubles of life. My non-profit organization, Alliances for Discovery  is developing a body of empirical practice we call “Big Heart Intelligence (BHI)” that enables individuals, teams, organizations, and entire communities to deliver measurable, replicable, and verifiable beneficial results in extremely short time periods. 

    • When I refer to “Heart” I mean not only the heart as a physical pump, but rather as an energy field centered in the chest which transfuses, transmits, and transforms two distinct forms of subtle energy in addition to conventional electro-mechanical energy. * (See Stephen Harrod Buhner’s The Secret Teachings of Plants 2004 for a remarkably clear statement of the unique dimensions of the physical heart.) These subtle energy forms are qi in the Chinese language (ki in Japanese, prana in Sanskrit) and love. We will have more to say about the unusual economic properties of love in a moment.
    • BHI can be immediately and directly experienced simultaneously as: a heighted sense of vitality, relaxation, empowerment, connection, joy, compassion, balance, flow, and love; when we open the heart to love, it is natural to feel a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of life. (See Julian Gresser, Laughing Heart—A Field Guide to Exuberant Vitality for All Ages—10 Essential Moves/www.alliancesfordiscovery.org)
    • The communication between the Heart, Brain, and Mind represents an exciting new scientific frontier examined in a recent BBC broadcast (See Heart versus Mind)
    • There is a considerable body of research on psychoneuroimmunology, psychoneuroendocrinonology, and neurocardiology that is advancing our understanding of the heart/brain/mind connection.
    • One fascinating example is the work of Professor David Paterson of Oxford University’s Merton College. Professor Peterson’s experiments indicate that there is a detailed neural network in the heart which is independent of the brain’s descending sympathetic and parasympathetic control.  (cited by Arthur G. O’Malley in his The Art of the Bart 2015; Mr. O’Malley was in the audience and kindly introduced me after my presentation to his important.)
    • The Heart lives at the core of the wisdom traditions of virtually all indigenous peoples. Egyptian embalmers retained the heart while discarding the brain and other parts of the deceased. The Heart was thought to assist the Soul in its transition to the next world. (See O/Malley, above.)
    • BHI’s Unique Value Proposition and Algorithm. There is an increasing body of practice seeking to integrate Easter meditative practices with new fields of exploration in the West, including mindfulness, positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and other emerging disciplines—all focused on enhancing personal health and wellness through caring and compassion for oneself.  In parallel there is a body of practice based on the principle of “paying forward” including volunteerism.  But the two bodies of exploration and knowledge are generally not in close dialogue. BHI’s algorithm integrates these two practices—caring for oneself and caring for others– with a third, the universe caring for us. Using our algorithm and process we are able to explore the discovery that the universe under some circumstances “listens” and is disposed to care for us, especially when we dedicate some of our creative energies to caring for others, and if we can attune our sensibilities to detecting the signal. We can learn to read and interpret these “patterns” of communication from the universe. The signal often arrives as a powerful image, a dream, or in as a synchronicity, in other words an apparently chance event that appears to be deeply meaningful. Enhanced pattern recognition modulated through the heart and mind has broad and practical applications in every sphere of business, especially in corporate leadership, wise decision making, strategy, and risk assessment.
    • Collaborative Innovation. WHIS’ community asset building model offers a marvelous application for BHI principles especially in building strategic trust within Collaborative Innovation Networks (Heart-COINS). In the last section I will explain how BHI and the WHIS model in combination can deliver an effective antidote to the challenges of burnout in local communities such as Manchester.

How?

In our busy and impatient world where the attention span of most people is extremely limited, the benefits of new ideas and practices must be immediately palpable and delivered and experienced instantly.

    • So, let’s try. How about 15 seconds? Please explore Move # 1–“Quieting the Heart”.  I am attaching the first Practice Note so you can track and measure your progress.
    • What about two (2) minutes? One of the most poignant and powerful BHI practices has been developed by my friend, Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk living in Austria. It is called “Stop, Look, Go!
    • To enjoy this wonderful practice, you needn’t do anything special except to savor this unique fleeting moment and to allow space for gratefulness: you are actually here and ALIVE! In the concluding lines of Henry V Shakespeare writes: “Small time but in this small most greatly lived.” Now is our vital moment, whatever its form, shape, or color.
    • It is perhaps easy to love your child, your spouse, or dog. But what could happen if we expand the ambit of love? The practice of cultivating love becomes even more interesting when we challenge ourselves, not from any moral or religious imperative, but rather, in the spirit of adventure, recognizing that love is the most powerful source of energy.
    • Here is a 5-10 minute exercise: 1. Simply notice the portals of the senses through which you experience love—sight, touch, taste, smell, hearing, or some creative mix of these. If you primarily experience love through one dominant sense—sight or touch, for example, ask yourself how might love be experienced by sound? There is a famous Chinese poem, “Little Jade, Little Jade” he called to her, not because he wanted anything, but simply to hear the sound of his lover’s voice.”
    • There is so much rattle in the world today that our senses are becoming dulled and our emotions are atrophying. This exercise opens us to the subtly and richness of our feelings and emotions which is closely tied with enhancing vitality and life force.
    • A next step is to expand the field of love to people we might ordinarily not associate with love—for example, a business partner, a customer, or perhaps a perfect stranger. Can we connect at the level of heart with them? Again, we needn’t label this a “spiritual” or “religious” practice. It is simply an opportunity to explore and to discover.
    • Paying Forward and the Multiplier Effects of Love. The most powerful way to interrupt patterns of negativity or the downward spirals of life is to hasten to pay forward the bounty of the world, however and whenever it appears in our life, without asking anything in return.  And the most powerful means of enhancing paying forward is to imbue it with the consciousness of love.
    • Love has five interesting qualities in economic terms. 1. Love is a “free good.” Similar to qi, universal love is omnipresent and inexhaustible 2. The smallest tincture of love conveyed in a singular moment can change a person’s life forever. 3. Love is undiminished and increases by giving. 4. Love immediately changes the value of money. When embodied in tangible actions that alleviate pain or enhance the quotient of joy of others, love can produce powerful Heart/Mind effects across within distant communities.

When?—An Immediate Antidote for Burnout

Burnout is a complex $ 300 billion global problem affecting many professions, trades, and industries, and millions of people. It is multifaceted. A major cause of burnout is massive relentless stress in life-depriving environments. Burnout’s symptoms include a profound loss of energy and life force, a spectrum of neurodegenerative and other physical illnesses*, a loss of joy (anhedonia), purpose, direction, and meaning in life, and in some countries like Japan, it causes sudden death (karoshi). Professor Christina Maslach and other scholars have pioneered a Burnout Inventory to detect, assess, and measure burnout. Yet an effective remedy for this complex syndrome has not to date been available. (*A correlation has been observed of burnout and “compassion fatigue” among caregivers with dementia of both patients and caregivers).

    • If devitalization lies at the core of burnout, the logic of my presentation is Big Heart Intelligence, perhaps in combination with other protocols, may provide an antidote for early detection, prevention, and restoration from burnout.
    • One immediately available program, presented by three allied organizations, Adventures in Caring (AIC), WHIS, and Alliances for Discovery is Oxygen for Caregivers: A Toolkit to Guard Against Burnout, Build Resilience, and Sustain Compassion,is available online for rent or purchase.  Four other titles in the library will be available by November 15. It is now possible for instructors and team leaders of health professionals and first responders in the U.K. and around the world to have immediate access to high quality instructional tools for teaching compassion and reducing the risk of burnout. This early app can immediately be useful to instructors and leaders in hospitals, hospices, nursing schools, medical schools, emergency services, chaplaincy programs and schools/associations/groups of all other allied health professionals.
    • WHIS and Alliances for Discovery are pioneering a unique multi-city pilot collaborative to introduce a twin app package based on the combined AIC Oxygen for Caregivers and BHI methodologies. The twin apps will be supported by Visual Matching Engine that will connect all members of a community by degrees of interest and affinity. The apps will be made freely available to several thousand initial users in these pilot cities. The analytics and data produced in the pilots will be shared freely among the participating cities.
    • This project well illustrates and advances the new field of “high impact investing,” drawing upon BHI principles. It promises to deliver simultaneously two measurable benefit streams: 1. a superior financial return and 2. a specific and measurable social return (SROI) at an extremely modest financial investment. We hope this initiative will appeal to “venture philanthropists”, CEOs and board members of visionary foundations, and the leadership of corporations who recognize that creating shared societal value is a key to competitive advantage. See, also, “Beyond Shared Value—Character as Corporate Destiny.
    • Celebrating BHI (Laughing Heart) Advantage. When individuals, teams, organizations, and entire communities embody BHI principles, a Heart/Mind field effect is produced –we call this “BHI (or Laughing Heart) Advantage”– that creates community social capital and abundance. BHI is a skill that can be acquired by entire communities. At the end of this Summary I am attaching a Technical Note that shows how this phenomenon can be expressed mathematically.
    • What might be a practical way for the Gorton Monastery to test this proposition in a specific sector of greater Manchester? We welcome Gorton Monastery to join the WHIS confederation of cities committed to delivering an immediate antidote for burnout. When is the most auspicious time to begin this collaboration? Now is our noble chance.
    • Nobel Laureate Albert Camus expressed beautifully the power of such a single decision. He wrote:

“Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar of empires and nations, a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope. Some will say that this hope lies in a nation; others in a man. I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished, by millions of solitary individuals whose and works every day negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history.”

Thank you for your consideration.


Technical Note: Laughing Heart (Big Heart Intelligence) Advantage in Organizations and Local Communities–A First Mathematical Expression


In light of the blog, “Reflections on the Multiplier Effects of Love in Enhancing the Health and Wellness of Local Communities

I believe the mathematical expression in the above link should be refined to include love as one of its essential elements:

Compounding BHI Effects in a Smart Collaborative Innovation Network (S-COIN) (Initial 90 day trial) leading to Community Wide BHI Advantage.

∑=(f) (BHI_p1(Δ+) x BHI-p_2(Δ+)…… x BHI p_50(Δ+) X (OSE Δ) X PFM (Pay Forward Multiplier) BHI Platform Effect X S (Synchronicity) X L (Love) where (t)=90…. n.

In this formula:
∑ = sum
(t) = 90 refers to the initial period of the experiment, i.e. 90 days
BHI Δ = each explorer’s BHI which is continuously increasing.

Open System Energy Increase = (OSE Δ) = where positive energy, in particular the subtle energy source of qi within the Explorers Community is continuously increasing.

PFM (Pay Forward Multiplier)–where each explorer passes on a part of the benefits he or she is receiving without seeking reward or recompense.

BHI Platform Effect—where the Platform itself becomes increasingly intelligent and interacts with and supports the individual and collective explorers journey(s) in many ways. (See Section V.)

Synchronicity—an increase in seemingly chance but meaningful events. It is not certain whether Synchronicity is simply an expression or a contributing cause of the Laughing Heart/BHI Effect or both.

Love—where the multiplying effects of love are dynamically at play, including its influence on how a community’s money and other assets are valued and used.

Further notes:

  • The concept of a BHI Collaborative Innovation Network (COIN) delivering community-wide advantage based on the multiple of the above elements builds upon the core principle of Metcalfe’s law which states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2).
  • BHI COINS are ripe for monetizing volunteering through the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency. It is estimated that the yearly value of volunteering in the UK and the US alone is in the $ billions.

Attachment: Basic Course Move 1

© Copyright Julian Gresser and Big Heart Technologies, November 2017. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections on Love in Enhancing the Health and Wellness of Local Communities

Reflections on the Multiplier Effects of Love in Enhancing the Health and Wellness of Local Communities

A New Science of Love.

There is an interesting body of scientific research on the biochemistry of love and its effect on the immune system. Also this research.

There are also numerous studies of the adverse effects on immunity of loneliness and disaffection from community, including the article by a former U. Surgeon General; see also, the influence of impaired immunity on cardiac disease:

The importance of heart in its expanded sense underlies many of these studies. What are the implications of these findings for enhancing the health and wellness of local communities such as Haughton Green?

Love as a Cultivatable Skill.

We are discovering that love is a uniquely powerful source of energy that can be systematically cultivated by first learning how to quiet, then open the energy field of the heart. Please see the attached Practice Notes for Move # 7—Enhancing Immunity by Love.  The skill is developed by first learning more subtly to differentiate the ways love is experienced through the senses; then to expand the ambit of people and situations with which we can (unexpectedly)experience love. By spotlighting the energetic dimensions of love, we have found a path for exploration that is open to everyone.

One of the unique aspects of this practice is the opportunity available to us in each moment in life. The Austrian Benedictine monk, Brother David Steindl-Rast, demonstrates this in his wonderful practice, Stop, Look, Go!  Mother Teresa captures it in her advice, “Do small acts with great love.” Shakespeare expresses this same idea in the last lines of Henry V, “Small time, but in this small most greatly lived.” Every moment in other words brings a noble chance.

A direct practical application for Haughton Green and the health care sector generally is the relationship of love to burnout. In some local communities in the U.S. administrators of hospitals are sending a clear signal to their physicians and nurses that in order meet the administration’s revenue projections, they must “leave your hearts at home.” I could scarcely believe this dictum when I heard it first from a colleague practitioner in the burnout field. By divorcing the daily work of these professionals from heart, these benighted administrators are depriving them and their patients of love, the primary source of self-nourishing and vitalizing energy.

In sum, we believe the intelligent and systematic cultivation of love can be a powerful antidote against isolation, alienation, and loneliness, which are all essential elements of burnout. Conversely, we can document that love, and happiness which closely attends love, are together powerfully immuno-supportive.

The Economics of Love.

Love as suggested in my last email has some interesting economic qualities. The first is love’s extraordinary leverage. There is ample evidence that even the smallest tincture of loving kindness can change the course of a person’s entire life. This is the main point of the scene in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables where his hero Jean Valjean has pilfered a candelabrum from the kindly Bishop of Digne. The Bishop had welcomed him as a guest into his home, notwithstanding Valjean’s desperate appearance as an escaped convict. When Valjean is soon after arrested and brought back by the police, the Bishop embraces him with open, arms chiding him for forgetting to take other “gifts” on his journey. This singular act of kindness saves Valjean from the certain fate of a being sent back to the Toulouse galleys. The memory of the Bishop’s kindness becomes for him a beacon of charity and love for the remainder of his life.

The second unique feature of love is that its power is not diminished, but rather increases, when it is passed on and shared. Viewed in this light the existing stock of love can be seen as a community treasure that can transform everything, including the value of money. Moreover, the wider love is shared, the greater its velocity. This is a central theme in Dicken’s Christmas Carol, * and is also expressed beautifully in Portia’s famous dicta on the qualities of mercy in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. **

The Role of Information Communications Technologies (ICT).

ICT, including mobile apps, advanced search, AI, voice recognition, and collaborative discovery/innovation engines are ideally suited to disseminate and to accelerate the cultivation of love and other of essential survival skills. Alliances for Discovery in cooperation with WHIS is developing an intelligent platform to support this learning, based on a “long tail” integration and enhancement of best available technologies. (For a note on how the integration of these technologies in combination with Big Heart Intelligence can help to generate local jobs and stimulate economic growth, please see: http://alliancesfordiscovery.net/the-trigger-method-3/)

Measuring Enhanced Community Happiness and Love as a Basis for High Impact Philanthropic Investment.

We already possess new tools to measure the added value that love and happiness bring to communities. Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index may offer the leading precedent for the application of these tools at a national level.  The portfolio of apps AFD is developing with WHIS will enable us to track, measure, and forecast the impact of new skill development among teams, organizations, and entire communities, expressed as an algorithm we call “Big Heart Advantage.”

The opportunity to measure social returns in this way may be of interest to CEOs of foundations and venture philanthropists who are increasingly dissatisfied with the low financial returns from their hedge fund portfolios and the poor social returns from conventional grants. Apps such as those we are developing that are focused on practical and measurable applications such as preventing burnout and dementia can open a new frontier for investors seeking high social returns by enhancing the health and wellbeing of local communities.

“Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”   Charles Dickens

**Shakespeare–The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene I

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings,
But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings.
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.

Big Heart Intelligence in Healthy Workplaces and Sustainable Communities

Big Heart Intelligence in Healthy Workplaces and Sustainable Communities

 

Following recent advances linking green design and a Well Building Standard™ that are reported to enhance cognitive function, the author passionately advocates a bold new concept of “Big Heart Intelligence (BHI). BHI will transform how we design, build, and engage in healthier, more sustainable workplaces and living environments, and catch the wave of the next super-cycle of 21st century innovations.

Read More

Big Heart Advantage in Sports

A Conversation with Master Li Junfeng and Master Li Jing Conducted in the Summer and Fall of 2015, as updated in May 2017

© Copyright Julian Gresser, Li Junfeng, and Li Jing


  

 


Abstract

Qigong Grand Masters Li Junfeng and Li Jing explain that winning at the level of Olympic sports is not just a matter of extraordinary skill. At this level every player is superbly qualified. The extra critical ingredient is Big Heart Intelligence. In Master Li Junfeng’s experience in coaching China’s women’s wuxu teams to over 100 gold medals BHI principles become interwoven as a way of life in the network of sport’s culture—in interactions with players, coaches, fans, sponsors, team owners, financiers, and the community at large. Ultimately, as Li Jing points out, victory depends on flow, which is the very essence of BHI.


JG: Master Li, along with your friend Wu Bin you spent fifteen years coaching and guiding China’s wuxu teams to an unprecedented record of gold medals and other laurels that brought great honor to your country. What are some of the secrets to your success? How does Big Heart Intelligence create advantage in sports?

As we were driving to San Francisco you said something in the car that I thought was quite an interesting observation. You said if you enjoy the sport and you enjoy the competition, you immediately have an advantage.

LJF: Big Heart, of course, good for anything. For sports, number one, “What’s the purpose of sports? If we understand the main purpose, already we have an advantage. Sports afford an opportunity for exercise and to enhance our health; second, it involves competition; but not only for competition; sports is also for happiness. But now competition has come to dominate. But here, also, Big Heart helps us to understand: what is the purpose of competition?” Competition is actually a game. Competition makes people more interested and engaged. Because people are more interested, they can become happier. Big Heart helps you understand what is the purpose; how can I enjoy the practice; how can I enjoy the competition. For example, take tennis or basketball. Tennis is played one on one; basketball is a team sport. However, the principle is the same. If you have Big Heart, you can enjoy the practice, enjoy the competition. If the other side skill not so good, you may win but you really don’t enjoy the competition very much. If the other side’s skill is very strong, very high, actually you enjoy the competition much more and you learn more. You play harder; you must be more alert, so you enjoy more. The competition provides the stimulus and incentive to train your skill to a higher level. This is the purpose. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. Even if the other side wins and you lose, you still can enjoy the practice very much. When the competition is intense, you say to yourself, “I really enjoyed this!” Actually, you also win, because you learned so much!”

JG: That’s really interesting.

LJF: We don’t care so much about the result. We pay attention to the development of our skill. The more you think and train this way, the more rapidly you go to a higher level. If you always win, actually it’s not so good; your skill can’t grow up. Even if you win for a long term, you are not winning in the way I am trying to tell you.

JG: I understand what you are saying. There is a famous movie Chariots of Fire which won many Oscars. It is about the Olympic running competition just after WWI. The British team was headed by two star athletes, Eric Liddel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Liddell) and Harold Abrahams.( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Abrahams) At least as portrayed in the movie, Abrahams was a truly great runner. He became the elder statesman of British sports. But Liddel was even greater. Although he was a fierce competitor he seemed to be guided and driven by a higher destiny, even higher than winning. It was his devotion to the sport itself, and also to his God; he was a devout Christian missionary, and actually later died in China. On the day of the competition Eric Liddel went over a welcomed the American Team which itself was headed by two star athletes, Jackson Sholz(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Scholz) and Charles Paddock (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charley_Paddock). He wished them success. He understood the competition would drive the British team to even greater levels of performance. In the movie Jackson Scholz passes him back a note in which he wrote, quoting from the New Testament “He that honors me, I shall honor.” Eric Liddel and Harold Abrahams went on to both winning gold medals.

LJF: If you say, “I must have the gold medal.” you limit yourself. Only one person can receive the gold medal; what about everyone else? Does that mean the happiness of thousands of other people does not matter? If you cannot receive the gold medal, then you can no longer be happy? This makes no sense.  One thousand people watching but only one person can enjoy?  This is not sports; this is opposite from the main purpose of sports. If you have Big Heart you understand the purpose of sports and of competition. Through sports you can make your body healthier. Through sports you can enjoy the process. You practice two hours and you’re very happy. But if you have small heart and practice very hard, you don’t really enjoy the practice; then what if you lose?, you suffer very much. This is not good for the emotions, and, of course, not good for your health.

This is why when we speak of “competition” one key word, “friendship competition.”

JG: You mean friendly competition?

LJF Yes, friendly competition. When you have Big Heart competition is always friendly. If small heart, it becomes like war. We say in the Chinese Army, “You die, I live.” (Ni sy, woo huoh/你死我活着),; sports becomes like war. So this is about Big Heart and small heart. If I have Big Heart I want to win, but if you win, I learn from you. Congratulations! If I have small heart and you hurt your body, I am happy because you can no longer compete. But in fact you are not truly happy. You become a smaller person.

JG: I have an American example of what you are saying. A few weeks ago the great Hall of Fame All Star basketball player Magic Johnson came to Santa Barbara and led a marvelous evening “together” with about 1,000 fans. I was in the audience. He shared his philosophy on the “Magic of Winning” in sports and business. There can be no doubt that Magic Johnson is a determined winner. “Winning is a mindset” he said, “You must have the powerful will to win. In basketball it starts in practice…I was the hardest worker on every team that I played on, but it started in practice.” Magic told the audience that he carefully,  ever so carefully, evaluated what it would take to win; what are his weaknesses, and the strengths of his opponents, and he would plan out precisely what it would take to win; and then he dedicated himself, body, mind, and soul to this single purpose. There seems a deep honesty in evaluating oneself accurately and modestly. . “Self-evaluation is the hardest thing when you have to really examine yourself and be honest with yourself,” Johnson told us. “What are you strong at, what are you weak at, what do you need to work on. So I wasn’t afraid to say I needed to work on some things to get better.” Despite his fierce competitive passion, there can be no doubt that Magic loved the sport, he loved the competition, and he loved the challenge to continue to enhance his performance. Larry Bird, his great rival on the Celtics, pressed Magic into even higher levels of performance, just as you are describing from your experience with China’s wuxu teams.

JG: It seems that Big Heart applies not only to the players but also to the coach, and his or her relationship to the players. And perhaps there are subtle differences, although I believe you are correct in observing the basics are the same.

LJF: When the coach has Big Heart he knows how to train the players. Makes the players enjoy the practice and enjoy the competition.

JG: How does the coach do that?

LJF: Do not give undue pressure. This is very important. Actually, when I was the coach I never told the players, “You must win a gold medal.” From very early in my life I already understood this. For example, when I train my players in practicing with the regular sword and the broad sword, I help them catch the distinctive flavor. When you know the flavor, you know the reason you enjoy the practice. I tell them, during competition do not think that you are performing or presenting to the judges. If you do this, you will become nervous. I tell my athletes during the competition, show your form to me; I am the coach. During practice my players always present to me. It is no different in competition. I tell you how to do it correctly. You can make sure. You tell me how you do it. Don’t think you are presenting to the judge. In this way you are less nervous and you can enjoy more.

JG: Yes, that makes sense. You have established a relationship of love and trust with your players. They love you, and you love them.

LJF: Yes, if my player receives a gold medal. Very good. And if she obtains a silver medal, also very good. Oh, you already are at high level! Congratulations. Now we can take your skill to the next level. Another situation. Even if a player wins a gold medal, her skill during that competition may not be so good. You may be #1, but you are much lower than normal. Still not good. For example, in the past she jumps 2 meters. But today, only 1.95; even if she wins the gold medal, still not so good, because you are not realizing your true potential; you can do even better. So, don’t always think #1 or #2; you ask yourself, “Am I doing my best?

JG: A guess another way of putting the key question is how do you define Big Heart success? It sounds to me you are suggesting there are different ways to define success in sports. The conventional way is simple: you win. But it seems there is another way…..

LJF: Yes, when we are training you, you already do your best. That is success.

JG: Yes, that seems to be the point. Suppose for example you set a goal in jumping at 2.0 meters. Does that mean if you do 1.9 it is a failure?

LJF: Even if # 1 still not good because you might do even better. Actually, you lost.

JG: This seems a different, certainly unconventional way of defining success. You are defining success to mean you do your best…..

LJF: Yes,

JG: And not only that you are enjoying your practice. Do you care about the other side, or is that not a part of our success?

LJF: Let’s take football. If the other side gets injured and you win, this is not good, because it is not the purpose of the game, which is to enhance your enjoyment of the sport and to enjoy your life.

JG: Another interesting aspect of what you are saying is that sports– I suppose increasingly like everything else in this world– is becoming a business. Sports, particularly professional sports, but even collegiate sports are increasingly supported by people who have money. They want the team to win, so they can make money; better advertising and so forth. You see this everywhere. In my profession, the legal profession, in the old days lawyers would join partnerships and they would build up the business in a spirit of collaboration. Now all this is changing. The legal profession is changing rapidly. Partners who have served their firms faithfully for 40-50 years are being thrown out because they are not bringing in the same level of business as the younger partners. In the old days, if you bring in new business, “Oh, congratulations, how wonderful” is the reception you might receive in the old time law firms. In today’s firms the first question on everyone’s mind, I suppose because of the compensation structure, is how can I find a way to cut into your business or even steal your client. If I can steal your client, I can make more money for myself and be promoted.

LFD: Yes, everything for business, for making money; this becomes small heart. Small picture, only think yourself. What you describe is not only small heart, but poisonous and dirty heart.

JG: Coming back to the most basic question—how do you define success? What is the role of the team, and what is the role of the player? The really interesting question, it seems to me, is can we show that if you are a Big Heart player you can be even more successful, as the term is conventionally defined? So far you appear to be saying that even if you win but you have a small heart, in a fundamental sense you will lose. But what of the opposite condition? Can we say that thanks to Big Heart you will have a winning advantage in the conventional sense of winning?

LJF: Yes, this I also has been my experience. If you simply enjoy the competition and always do your best, you will be less nervous; then thanks to competition you will exceed the normal. (insert Chinese). So when you have small heart, I must be #1 I cannot be #2, usually you are nervous, have pressure, easy to have a big miss.

JG: This is very fascinating. Because what we want to show is that these principles of Big Heart apply in many situations. It makes sense when you consider what we have been discussing from the perspective of energetics, which is another way of describing the flow of qi that is closely tied to flow and power. Of course your performance will improve. And, if you couple your Big Heart to the mission, to an intelligent intention, your power and performance will increase by even greater degrees. And the more you’re relaxed and powerful, of course the chances that you will do better are greater.

LJF: I will tell you a story. When our team was making strong progress, our group political leader always wanted to address the team and commend them for their performance. He wanted to give a speech to encourage the team. “You are doing very well. All of Beijing City is proud of you. You cannot afford to lose.” If my team players heard these words, immediately they would become nervous, and then it was easy for them to make mistakes. So this is why I would not listen to the leader. The leader said, “I want to give a speech.” I said “No.” “Today, you simply relax; you enjoy a movie; we just do normal. You cannot give a speech. By giving a speech you will press your team, telling them they must win; that is small heart. Small heart, usually very selfish; small heart with selfish, always nervous, the Mind becomes narrow.

LJF: So far we have discussed the player and the coach. Big Heart also applies to the fans, to the audience. If Americans are watching the Olympics, of course they want their national team to win. But they also want to enjoy the competition. If the American side wins, everyone says, “Oh, very good! You played very well.” But they also want to say this about the opposite side as well.

JG: There is another famous movie, The Natural about a baseball pitcher with unusual talent. In that movie a fan was so filled with competition and hatred, he actually injured the hero of the movie (played by Robert Redford) so that his team would win.

LJF: You will find many such examples in all walks of life.

JG: I have a personal story to tell you. My mother was nine times U.S. Women’s Chess Champion. During the competition her chief opponent also a women’s champion used to sit at the other side of the table beaming hatred at her in order to unsettle her Mind. It was actually the opposite of what you are saying. How can I destroy the other woman? That is all they would think about. This is actually how women’s chess was practiced in those intense competitions. Perhaps international chess championships have changed. I believe the present world women’s champion is from China.

JG: Let’s discuss for a few moments the link between Big Heart, health, and sports. For example, what do you think about the use of steroids?
LJF: Steroids are about unfair competition; they are not sports. They are not good for health or sports or really true competition.

I would like to repeat what is the meaning of Big Heart. Big Heart means to see the Big Picture and the Long Term. If you want to see the long term benefit, Big Heart also means to purify the Heart.

JG: OK, so here’s an interesting question. You have Big Heart, you see the Big Picture. Now you have a sports event. It is very easy with this view to see how the proceeds of this event might be recycled back to society.

LJF: Now we go to the main point.  Most sports today already head in the wrong way; only for business. This is why the role of the coach is central, because he or she knows how to train the players–so they are healthy, enjoy the practice, and enjoy the competition. It is easy to win under these circumstances.

JG: In our conversation today we have mentioned three distinct participants—the player, the coach, and the fans; but there is also the producers, the financiers, and the community, society. I think today very few people who are engaged in sports say to themselves the purpose of sports is to enrich the community or society at large. Few people, it seems today, think in these terms at all. But if you have the Big Picture you will be concerned about enriching the health and happiness of the players and the fans; and of course this will naturally have positive ripple effects and become a force of convergence of Big Heart for the community as a whole. If the people who finance sports understand that sports are at least, potentially, a wonderful vehicle to create value for society, then the players and coaches will have this sense as well. Naturally, it might follow that a significant part of the proceeds under this model might be returned or reinvested in communities themselves.

It seems that once people begin to think about the Big Picture all sorts of new possibilities come to mind. For example, think of how this Big Heart model might be applied in the context of U.S.-China relations. One might envision Big Heart sports event where all parties hold the Big Heart Big Picture. One might even conceive multinational teams including both Chinese and other international players. Once the perspective changes, the unimaginable becomes possible.

JG: Yet in reality in most competitions there are elements of Big and small heart combined. The Big Heart player can see the field better, understands the situation better, is more intelligent because she or he understands and feel from the heart and therefore is more adaptive; such a player for this reason will often have a decisive advantage. Because if you know what is happening in the field; you know who is strong, who is weak, where there is leverage; you can see stereoscopically; you see the whole picture with a Big Heart.

LJF: The coach wants you to see everything; but many players cannot. We train players and their coaches to open their hearts so that naturally they are able to see the Big Picture.

Li Jing: From our point of view when we get to the professional level, we don’t really speak that much about or train at the level of skill. Rather, we train at the level of a state of flow.

JG: Let me write down precisely what you just said, because it is very interesting. What you are saying is at the highest level, it is no longer just a matter of skill; it is a competition over a state of consciousness.

Li Jing: Yes, in other words, it not only about psychology but really the state of flow.

JG: I would like you to watch this video for a few moments of Magic Johnson when he was at his prime. He is in what appears in a perfect flow state for his team but also with the competition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8Qbo0WqvOI

LJF: Wait a moment. This is very difficult to explain. In Sheng Zhen Big Heart practice we speak of returning to the origin, this is a state of joining: you join practice, you join the competition.

JG: What you are saying, as I understand it, is that once you reach a very high level of skill, victory is decided by the flow state. Of course, you must of high skill. But there is something else. It is clear in Chariots of Fire that Eric Liddel understood this. He was a natural. And we are not surprised that he trained close to nature, by running in the Scottish Highlands, breathing in the healing balm and bounty of the nature.

There is a professor at the University of Chicago Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and he has written a bestselling book Flow—The Psychology of Optimal Experience. But even he assumes this flow is the product of the Brain and the Mind. He seems to ignore the primary role of Heart.

The key insight which you have provided to me today is that Big Heart and Flow are very closely related. Is that correct?

Li Jing: Yes, that is so.

JG: So, finally, what is the secret of how we can get into a state of flow, from the perspective of Big Heart? Can you express it in the fewest words?

LJF: First, you know how to synchronize your movements, how to help each other. When you know how to synchronize, you understand that you cannot focus your Mind on one point, and forget other points. This is the main point. If you focus only on one point, you cannot flow, because your Mind stops at that point. For example, if you are focusing on point # 1 and then bounce to # 3, how can you connect these points and also with # 2?

JG: It seems to me this process of “knowing” is not only with the Head?

LJF: If only from Mind, your Mind will demand proof–proof by numbers. But with Heart you can know without proof. Your Heart can feel. Maybe there is no proof but you can understand instantly, because you can feel. The Mind will insist on numbers. But the Heart knows by feeling without numerical proof.

JG: So it seems you are saying that the process of true “knowing” is not in the Head, but in the Heart. And that the Heart can feel and know. It is the consciousness of the Heart.

LJF: Yes.

JG: There is a very famous essay, The Unfettered Mind, by the Zen Master Takuan Soho on his Advice to the Swordman, Miyamoto Musashi, who was not only one of Japan’s greatest sword masters but also a distinguished artist, painting under the name Niten. The main question he addressed in this essay is: Where should the Mind be in combat?

He wrote: “When the Mind biased in one place and lacking in another, it is called “one sided Mind”…Not allowing the Mind to stop in one place is the discipline. Not stopping the Mind is object and essence. Put nowhere, it will be everywhere. Even when moving the Mind outside the body, if it is sent in one direction, it will be lacking in nine others. If the Mind is not restricted to just one direction, it will be in all ten. It is like a ball riding a swift current; we respect the Mind that flows on like this and does not stop for an instant in any place.”

In martial arts when a warrior’s Mind focuses only on one thing, he or she is dead.

LJF: Actually, martial arts reflect a basic principle of Mind. It is the same in sports and many other applications.

JG: A closely related question which has a direct bearing on flow is the place of fear. In combat, martial arts or sports, how do we deal with fear or anger? Where is the Mind at the critical point(s)?

LJF: If your Mind is at peace, it is easy to win. When you are in a state of peace, this means you are relaxed. Your Mind is clear. When you are angry the Mind is not clear, the qi already murky. You will make the wrong decision. In the Chinese Army, if the leader is angry, we know that it s easy to make big mistakes, to do the wrong thing. Thus the peaceful Mind is also brave Mind (勇敢) Yǒnggǎn). The Chinese Army is always training this fundamental quality of character.

JG: So the last question is how do you deal with fear, which can be the main disruptive influence of flow?

LJF: In Chinese culture we say, “If your skill is high, you will not be afraid.”  This is why training the student is fundamental. When you have this skill, you know all is not lost.

JG: In Japan there was another famous dialogue between the warrior/shogun (chief general) and the Zen teacher Bukko.

Tokimune: “Of all the ills of life, fear is the worst. How can I be free of it?”

Bukko: “You must shut off the place where fear comes from?”

Tokimune: “Where does fear come from?”

Bukko: “It comes from Tokimune.”

Tokimune: “How do I abandon Tokiumne?”

Bukko: “You must cut off all thinking.”

Tokimune: “How do I cut off all thinking?”

Bukko: “You must plunge yourself into meditation and forget yourself.”*

LJF: In Chinese culture also many teachers tell their students to “cut off the fear.” But for me, this is not that helpful. Everyone believes this teaching is useful. Students, grandfathers, grandmothers; they all seek to cut off the fear. But the problem is how to cut off fear?

JG: The answer in some schools of Zen is you simply acknowledge and are present with the fear, and it will eventually subside and dissolve. Personally, I have not found this instruction that helpful, especially in situations where you must take immediate and effective action. Your answer seems to be you open your heart. In Japanese culture……

LJF: Not only Japanese culture; in China as also. Even the coaches tell their players in this way. “Don’t have fear! Cut off the fear! Don’t be nervous! And what happens? The player becomes more nervous and more fearful. It easy to lose your balance. So we say, “open your heart” and naturally the fear dissolves.

JG: In sum, it would appear the state of flow is also a state of no fear. When you Open Your Heart, you dissolve your small self; and when your small self dissolves, your fear that feeds on a limited view of the world, subsides. When you Open Your Heart, you connect to your original source of power. You are going to the root– the essence–at the emotional level, the energetic level, and the spiritual level. Things then naturally come into balance.  It appears this is what you are calling “flow.”*

References:

Preliminary Questions for Laughing Heart Explorers and Entrepreneurs

 


Experiencing

  • How to experience Laughing Heart consciousness in 15 seconds?
  • Why does Laughing Heart instantly change our powers of perception?
  • How to think like a genius at 94?
  • Why is BHI a key to exuberant vitality in our older (50+) years?
  • How is it possible for a 78 year old qigong master to get off a 15 hour plane ride from Tokyo to New York and dive into conducting a two day training program without even being tired?
  • Why is Beauty as source of exuberant vitality?
  • How to open the gates of experiencing Nature to receive and to comprehend the “signals” from all living things?
  • What is the connection of Laughing Heart to creative life force and vital power?

Exploring

  • Why will Laughing Heart temper grandiosity and provide a balance to the excesses of a soaring sense of vitality and exuberance?
  • What are some exciting new scientific frontiers and domains of exploration involving BHI, neuroscience, and neurocardiology? And quantum physics? What are some immediate practical applications of these insights?
  • How does BHI enable us to “feel” the Future?
  • How does BHI enable us to “change” the past?
  • Why are music, qi, love, and healing intimately related?
  • In what specific ways does Big Heart IQ extend and enhance the body of work on emotional intelligence?
  • What are some exciting parallels between BHI and quantum physics?
  • Why is Scrooge’s transformation a model of increased Big Heart IQ? What caused it?
  • Might it be possible to “download” the creative energies of history’s great musical geniuses into our living cells and enhance their metabolism and vitality?
  • What is “intertidal” thinking; why is it useful and how can you cultivate it most enjoyably?
  • How are Big Heart IQ, sustainability, and the management of the contagion of stress and acute busyness inter-tidally connected?
  • What are some of the most interesting intersections between BHI and the creative arts? What new and interesting forms might a new genre of “emergent” art take?

Applying

  • How to Create Your Own Luck? Why do we become more powerful and alive the more we give away the bounty of our good fortune?
  • Why is “Seeing the Big Picture” enabled by BHI intimately related to risk assessment? How can BHI enable us to spot the deeper patterns and trends that are usually filtered out by our brain-centric tools and analytic intelligence?
  • Why is BHI the foundation for “strategic trust” in all major long term collaborations; how practically can you build strategic trust?
  • How to measure Laughing Heart Advantage?
  • How to go behind the mask in negotiations?
  • How to negotiate artfully with the “shadow” players?
  • How to predict the Great Florence Earthquake and prevent western civilization’s greatest art treasures from collapsing in rubble?
  • How to turn our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh in dealing with the most serious challenges facing the world today?
  • What is the relationship of Big Heart IQ and IP portfolio development?
  • How can Big Heart IQ help financial portfolio or wealth managers?
  • What are some of the most practical intersections of Big Heart IQ and commercial, social, and public innovation?
  • How might Big Heart IQ measurably enhance the effectiveness of mediators and others involved in conflict management?
  • What is the most urgent decision you face right now requiring wisdom and good judgment, and how might even a modest increase in Big Heart IQ help you?
  • What is the most practical way to integrate Big Heart IQ into the Global Reporting Initiative sustainability accounting procedures?
  • How can you best measure Big Heart Advantage? How can the proposed mathematical equation for BHA be refined?
  • What is the smartest way to gamify Big Heart IQ by analogy to Lumosity?
  • How can Big Heart IQ be most effectively presented to the captains of the 100 most imaginative and far sighted companies and non-profit organizations in the world?
  • What profession is in greatest need of a Big Heart IQ uplift?
  • What are implications of Big Heart IQ in enhancing our political discourse?

Expanding

  • How can BHI principles and Big Heart IQ become part of the DNA of sustainable cities of the future? How might BHI enrich our definition of “sustainability”?
  • How will linking the systematic development of Big Heart IQ with economically “strategic” technologies and industries create massive new jobs and stimulate economic growth?
  • How can Big Heart IQ provide fresh insights in dealing with poverty, cruelty, ignorance, fanaticism, illiteracy, peace keeping, climate turbulence, loss of biodiversity, fear, loneliness, loss of meaning, and all the other forces in the world today that divide us?
  • What is required to reach a BHI inflection point to stimulate a cascade of self-reinforcing virtuous circles?
  • What are other exciting questions that we must add to the list?
  • What must we do to inspire every person with a generous heart and noble idea to join forces with us?
  • What might our world look like in five years if BHI becomes part of a global meme? If we were to “backlight” this alternative future, starting from the year 2022, what are the critical milestones that have enabled this sea change?

Preparing to Create Your Own Luck

How important is Heart in community affairs, science, technology, business, law, the arts, and even—no, wait! we urge especially today–in contemporary politics? The workshop on March 25 sponsored by the Santa Barbara Center on Lifelong Learning introduces a new field of scientific and other inquiry—Laughing Heart or Big Heart Intelligence. It will feature one of ten essential moves to experience, explore, and apply Laughing Heart. It is called “Creating Your Own Luck” (Move # 5).

The ½ day workshop will begin with a brief introduction to some of the modern tributaries to Laughing Heart in neuroscience, neuro-cardiology, positive psychology, Jungian psychology, and also its roots in East Asian and indigenous healing traditions and martial arts. Since prehistory around their supper fires our ancestors wondered about the extraordinary capabilities of the heart. Our goal here is to draw upon this ancient wisdom and experience in creating a framework for modern exploration and discovery that is easily understood and can be enjoyably practiced by anyone, anywhere in meeting the exigencies of daily life.

“Creating Your Own Luck” draws upon a fertile corpus of writing that explores Synchronicity, a subject that fascinates millions. Is Synchronicity “mere” chance, or is something more interesting going on? Are we mortals mere playthings of the gods, or do we have surprisingly greater dominion over our fortunes?

We have something new to add to this inquiry. It is a simple method to attract, follow, and measure, and thereby to influence this “a-causal” process. Creating Your Own Luck applies not only to good events but also to what appear negative ones; and, as we suggest, we can work creatively with the darker colors and wave forms in our lives and learn to harvest their potential. The secret—herein freely revealed—is not to hold on to the fruits of our labors and other good that comes our way. Rather hasten to pay this bounty forward, as Emerson wrote “line for line, cent for cent for cent, deed for deed.” In this way you create circles of virtuosity that enhance your own powers. There are striking parallels between frontier observations in quantum physics and Laughing Heart that we will explore in the program and in our next blog.

The Laughing Heart Initiative may be among the first of its kind to seek and apply these principles on the scale of an entire community. We call this “Celebrating Laughing Heart Advantage” (Move # 10), and we invite you by this simple workshop to begin a community wide narrative expressed in a new genre of “emergent art”. Santa Barbara is the first pilot city to light the flame of Laughing Heart for communities around the world.

References:

AlliancesforDiscovery.org 

Julian Gresser Piloting Through Chaos—The Explorers Mind (2013)

G. Jung, Synchroncity—An Acausal Connecting Principle

Ralph Waldo Emerson, On Compensation (1841)

Swami Vivekananda, Karma Yoga (1955)