Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.
November 30, 2006
The Intuitive-Connections Network

The Wireless, Heart-to-Heart Connection

A Personal Wisdom-Memory Approach to Intuition

A Book Digest by Clayton Montez

Do you wonder whether you are making the right decisions in your life? Perhaps you depend upon others more than you would like when it comes time to choose life-forging goals or dealing with difficult decisions. Now research psychologist Dr. Henry Reed demonstrates a unique path with heart warming stories to show us how we can use our own intuitive abilities to help ourselves.

In his new book The Intuitive Heart (ARE Press), Reed combines his research with dreams and with professional psychics to forge a discovery that people have a natural intuition within their moments of compassionate empathy. A major block to intuition is getting in your own way. Helping others helps you to overcome that block by shifting the focus.

Helping also involves empathy and compassion, which invokes a natural "feeling into" to the other person, an intuitive act of having one's "heart go out" to the other person. Reed shows, in fact, that our use of the word heart as a metaphor for feeling, empathy, wisdom, reveals our own intuitive understanding of such common human experiences of intuition: "To know in one's heart." "Heart speaks to heart." "Speaking from the heart." "To search the heart for wisdom."

(courtesy: www.creativespirit.net/henryreed/artgallery/)

Reed credits his research on dream telepathy, shaped by a dream of his own and an inspiration from Edgar Cayce, for his discovery of the intuitive nature of empathy. In earlier dream work, Dr. Reed observed that participants would report dreams that seemed to offer insights into other people. He writes, "My dream is 'about' me, but it is "for" you, not just about what I have learned, or need to learn, about a personal situation, but a personal situation that also relates to the concern with which you are wrestling."

The results consistently demonstrated that dreams often have messages that can be as meaningful for others as they are for the dreamer. These observations were the beginnings of his idea that an intuition into an outer reality may be expressed in the form of a personal, subjective truth.

In an attempt to verify that this appearance of "inter-subjective" dreams could be produced intentionally, Reed, in collaboration with Robert Van de Castle, of the University of Virginia, developed what they called "The Dream Helper Ceremony." In this experiment dressed up as a group healing ceremony, group members area invited to volunteer to be the "target" of the rest of the group members' dreams. The only requirement is that volunteer should be facing some personal dilemma for which help is desired.

The "target" person does not reveal the nature of the problem, so that it remains a secret, undisclosed focus for the group's dreams. The next day, the group shares their dreams. Still without knowing the target person's problem, the group searches for common patterns in the dreams and on this basis offers tentative insights into the target person's situation. Afterwards, the target person reads aloud a personal statement prepared the night before, describing the problem and why help with it is needed.

The target person then responds to the dreams, noting points of accuracy. As a final step, the group members are led to interpret their dreams for personal meaning. Sharing these interpretations reveals that group members are finding personal insights in their dreams that also have relevance for the target person's problem. Thus, it appeared to Reed that when someone dreams on behalf of a targeted person and strives to intuitively resolve a personal problem, the subjective truths of the dreamer enable the recipient to arrive at his or her own meaningful conclusions.

There have been statistical studies of the Dream Helper Ceremony, Reed notes, showing that the dreams do hit the target. Over the years, however, Reed found that the true value of the process was not so much for demonstrating "telepathy," but for helping people discover their ability to make intuitive connections with each other.

To further understand how people do form intuitive perceptions of others, Reed drew upon his research with professional psychics. The structure of that work was similar to that of the Dream Helper Ceremony, but rather than use dreams, Reed used the "readings" provided by professional psychics. In many studies, Reed volunteered himself to be the "target" of a group of readings from psychics responding to undisclosed and disclosed questions.

He found that these professionals could indeed provide useful insights into his personal questions. He also found that the was quite a bit of variability among the psychics in the answers they provided to these questions. Reed concluded that each psychic was "viewing" the question from a personal perspective that reflected somewhat upon the psychic's own personal history. In this research Reed was again confronted with the fact that external, objective reality, could be meaningfully portrayed via subjectively oriented, personal expression.

He likened this finding to the "post modern" philosophical perspective. In art history, this idea was expressed in the shift from realistic, photographic like portraits, to more abstract, impressionistic renderings. In science, this idea came into being through developments in atomic physics that revealed that experiences with external reality are necessarily conditioned by the perspective of the observer and, even, that reality itself may have a subjective component created by the consciousness of the observer. In academia, this idea found expression in the notion that there may not be absolute truths, but rather "stories" or "narratives" about reality.

Reed used this "post modern" perspective then to fashion a vision of intuition. When we take something "into our heart," it is an act of intuition, whereby our empathy for that something is created through our imaginative "becoming" of that thing. Reed notes that many creative, expert intuitives refer to becoming "one with" the object of their intuition. In the act of imagination, novel uses of past experience may repattern themselves into a uniquely creative personal vision of the object of intuition.

From these ideas, Reed developed what he called the "Intuitive Heart Discovery Process." Starting with the assumption that caring for someone creates an empathic bridge of intuitive understanding, he then focused the results of this attempt at understanding through personal history. The result was a unique technique in the evocation of intuition, yet resembling a process that is quite familiar to human experience.

Take something into your heart, Reed would say, and ask that a personal memory spontaneously come to mind, and use that memory as a metaphor to form a wisdom story. Like dreaming, connecting with others through a memory couches intuitive understanding in subjective terms, personal to the observer, yet possibly creatively insightful about the objective, external reality.

In this formulation, our intuition does not see things exactly as they are, but sees things in a way that reflects our own perspective. It is like a person saying, "Your situtation reminds me of a time when I ...." and the other person responding by saying, "Funny you should say that, because I..."

One story in the book, for example, tells of a young man who was trying to use the Intuitive Heart Discovery Method to help a friend. Without knowing the friend's question, the young man recalled a memory of a time when he preoccupied himself with creative projects in the absence of his father. When his father returned home, he applauded his son's efforts.

The yound man reflected upon that memory that it shows him that he could initiate projects on his own and later be rewarded for maximizing his abilities. The young man's friend, it turns out, had been wrestling with the idea of starting a business but had been waiting for a "sign from God" that had so far not appeared. The young man's story showed the friend that he too should not wait until someone gives a blessing, but rather that the blessing would come in the form of success once he initiated some effort.

The Intuitive Heart Discovery Process is both a metaphor for a theory of intuition and an applied methodology for invoking intuition. While we may understand the heart's ability to empathize, we seldom realize how to harness its capacity. The simple step-by-step techniques developed by Dr. Reed provide a specific methodology that is within everyone's skill range.

Reed suggests we learn the process first by helping others with it. In this way, working with blind targets prevents "thinking" too much about the question, while trying to help someone else with a genuine need invokes the compassionate heart, which is intuitively empathic. Once confidence is gained through positive feedback, the person can begin to use the method for oneself. The disovery process begins, then, by asking a friend to focus on a question while the person practices his or her intuitive story telling skills.

To begin the Intuitive Heart Discovery Process, the first step is to experience "trusting inspiration" by focusing on the natural flow of our breath. To watch the breath without controlling it is a meditation similar in nature as the Zen meditation of watching oneself behave spontaneously. It is also a way to overcome the natural doubt about intentional intuition expressed as a fear of "getting in one's own way."

The exhalations teach relaxation and that profound, but equally elusive, experience of surrender and letting go. Allowing the incoming breath to arise naturally is equivalent to the experience of receiving "inspiration," and teaches that things can happen without our having to make them happen. The idea of this part of the process is to teach that the intuitive inspiration comes as naturally as the breath inspiration.

The next step is to engage the heart by the invoking the feeling of gratitude. Appreciating the breath as the gift of life is a "no brainer" invitation to the experience of gratitude. Research has shown that invoking that attitude has a beneficial effect upon the heart. The subjective experience of the heart's response to gratitude is that of the heart softening, warming and expanding.

The expanded consciousness of the grateful heart leads naturally to being able to experience a "heart connection" with the friend. This experience creates a feeling of empathy for that person, an intuitive connection. Again, research has shown that this subjective experience is accompanied by certain manifestations of entrainment, or resonance, between the physiological functioning of the two individuals.

Reed suggests that as the next step, the person mentally affirm something like the following to set the intention for the invocation of intuition: "I give myself permission to care enough for this person to share of myself to help this person and their concern I now ask my intuitive heart to choose and present to my awareness a personal memory from my past experience which, when I reflect in my heart as to its meaning, will provide me with insights that will also spark helpful inspiration for the other person's concern."

Thus the person invites a memory to come, uncensored and without effort. This step is like many intuitive exercises that ask the person to note the "first thought that comes to mind," except here the request is for a memory. The breath meditation is intended to create an attitude of trust, so the person can assume that just the right memory from among one's many life experiences will serve the partner's concern.

The final step is to share the memory, to explore extemporaneously (speaking from the heart) the experiences that surround the memory and tell a story about it, concluding with some lesson or piece of wisdom.

The other person is then invited to speak about their concern and to give some feedback. The other person uses the story as a template to create his or her own insight into the personal concern that was the focus of the exercise. Reed gives many examples, like the story shared above, to show how there are often both little details in the intuitive story that connect in an obvious manner with the friend's concern, as well as the overall theme of the story having a relevant piece of guidance to offer.

In evaluating the Intuitive Heart Discovery Process, Reed reflects upon the initial inspiration he received from Edgar Cayce. In commenting upon traditional laboratory ESP experiments, Cayce suggested that their trivial and fickle results would become more stable, meaningful and revealing if the experiments were revised to focus less on whether or not a person made a "hit," and instead focused on whether or not something helpful could be found in the exchange.

In applying this idea, Reed stresses that it is important not to focus on whether or not the person's story is an example of an intuitive "hit" to the bullseye of the friend's concern, but rather to focus on the collaborative process of finding new and helpful insights into the person's concern using the story as an intuitive guide to seeing new patterns of possibilities.

Practicing with friends in this manner builds confidence in the process, preparing the person to use it for oneself. As part of this preparation, there is also a shift in attitude about the use of intuition in personal guidance. Eventually, with enough practice with friends, the Intuitive Heart Discovery Process helps a person wean oneself from an attitude that is disempowering regarding intuition: "I don't know if my intuition is correct or not, and so I don't know if I should act upon it or not."

The Intuitive Heart process builds confidence in an empowering attitude about intuition: "I believe my memory does provide me with some intuitive wisdom about the situation confronting me, enabling me to proceed, even if cautiously, to feel my way forward in an exploratory manner, helping me to invent a constructive approach to this situation."

Reed believes the example of the inventor, who is comfortable with trial and error exploration that is often blessed with moments of intuitive leaps forwardf, is a more helpful vision of intuition than the one of the clairvoyant who can "see into" things correctly. Sometimes when intuition is "wrong," one is led into experiences that have surprising value.

Reed provides some exercises to help a person move from using the process with friends to using it for oneself. Sticking with the "hidden target" method for awhile, one can target random passages in inspirational books, and use the Intuitive Heart process to create personal interpretations of those passages. A later step is to perform an Intuitive Heart reading for the "day ahead," and then explore how helpful the wisdom proves to be as the day unfolds.

After sufficient practice with this exercise, a person would be ready to use the Intuitive Heart process for any personal question that might arise. Knowing in advance the question would not be so tempting a target to biased thought once a person had learned to trust the honest integrity of the open heart learned through the Intuitive Heart Discovery Process. In this way, the person learns a valid relationship with the source of intuition and no longer needs to rely upon any "tricknique" to tease intuition from the subconscious mind.

The Intuitive Heart Discovery Process is not merely a mental exercise to gain insights. It is a form of meditation with a love-centered connection of one's inner feelings. Through it one begins to develop a special quality of awareness. It is a skill-building exercise that teaches a person how to connect with the wisdom within that has developed from a lifetime of experiences. By learning to rely on trust and love as one's guide toward the living in harmony with oneself and others, it builds a natural bridge into higher consciousness.

Reed stresses that "the Intuitive Heart Discovery Process reflects ancient truths and wisdom about sharing and giving testimony to spirit". Practicing the method of the Intuitive Heart's path, Reed affirms, brings comfort, trust, and knowledgeable skill in dealing creatively with the various circumstances that life brings as opportunities for learning.

(Clayton Montez is a graduate of Atlantic University and Mayor of East Troy, Wisconsin. E-Mail: clayton.montez@marquette.edu)

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