One universal truth in most shamanic traditions is that the human mind is made up of two parts: the inner and the outer mind, or the “headmind” and the “heartmind”. The inner mind/heartmind is the spiritual self, the higher consciousness connected to the soul’s truth. The outer-mind/brain-mind processes information and is analytical and rational. Interestingly this also includes ego and emotions. The heart is seen as the seat of intuition and guidance, not of emotional disturbance.
The pueblo people from the North American southwest say that there are two kinds of people: one-heart and two-heart. Two-hearts feel with their brain and were thought to be the bringers of illness to the world.
Our culture is logic-based and we have mostly lost the heartmind connection that is so important. The headmind has us trapped in telling stories to ourselves and we lose the ability to see clearly. We live in the past, clouded by our own thoughts and dramas. In this way we are all two-hearts. Of course the headmind is important, we need it to survive in the world, but a balance between the head and the heart is crucial if we are to find and live our truth.
We need to learn to build a bridge from the headmind to the heartmind. This is a at times a difficult process–the headmind is used to running the show! But through techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, visualisation, connecting with nature and shamanic healing and journeying we can start to bring ourselves back to the state of heartmind-centredness.
Shamanism as I practice it is about healing the disconnect between headmind and heartland and being fully in your body and your power.