When we’re in a heart-coherent state, a particular heart rhythm pattern that ultimately reflects the activity in the branches of our nervous system is more synchronized. It especially reflects our higher brain system activity. The whole neural axis is getting more in-sync, more function in a more optimal state. 

Early on in our research, we found that by studying positive emotions—so when people are actually feeling, not thinking, this is an important distinction, but actually the felt experience of things like passion, appreciation, love, kindness, these feelings—that’s the rhythm our heart’s naturally beating out, and that’s the information it’s encoding. It takes us into a coherent state.

The role local environments play regarding coherence levels

I developed a number of techniques to help people shift into that more optimal state right in the moment. That’s a lot of what we do at HeartMath. 

The precursor to global coherence is what happens in our local environment. So a number of experiments have been shown that if the fields were irradiated and we’re able to maintain our coherence, that has a measurable effect on other people in our local environment—a lifting effect. It helps them get more coherent, right? That’s at the living room level, the interaction of fields.

Measuring global coherence around the world

Global coherence is really an extension of that. It’s called the GCI (global coherence initiative), and if we’re going to do science, we have to measure things. As part of the global coherence initiative, we’ve got what’s called the global coherence monitoring system. These are ultra-sensitive magnetometers that are specifically designed to measure what’s technically called time-varying magnetic fields—but they’re resonant frequencies—the fields that are moving in the Earth’s magnetic fields.

We have these sites currently in six areas. We ultimately want 12. Right now, these magnetometer stations are here in our location—in California, Canada, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and New Zealand, and the next site should be going into Brazil. So these, as I said, are specifically designed to measure the Earth’s resonant frequencies. It’s kind of metaphorically like measuring the heart rhythms and brainwaves of planet Earth. As it turns out, it may not be a metaphor, but I’ll keep it at that for now.

Take my fist as Earth. We’ve got the geomagnetic field. It’s kind of this big figure eight field, and we see these idealized pictures of it.

The magnetic field extends out into space, hundreds of thousands of miles, and of course, is critical for life on Earth as we know it. If we didn’t have a geomagnetic field, Earth would be like Mars very quickly. No atmosphere, no water, and so on. It would be blown away by the solar wind. But the magnetic field, the north, and south poles, what our compasses tune into, the strength of that field aren’t changing much relative to our day-to-day lives. It changes, but it’s over hundreds of years, so it’s a static or stationary field, like a refrigerator magnet.

It’s just a pure magnetic field that’s always there, but what I’d like you to do is think of these field lines. Let me give you an analogy. If you think back to science class, back when we were in grade school or high school. We got to dump iron filings on the glass plate. Remember that? Then you put the magnet under it, and all the iron filings line up in lines. Those are what are called flux lines in the Earth’s field. Now, think of those line guitar strings, and when you pluck a string, it vibrates. It vibrates at a specific frequency, or note, or tone. We can call it whatever, and if you change the tension, you change the frequency and the note.

Well, that’s exactly what the field lines of Earth are doing. These are technically called field line resonances. What’s plucking the strings of Earth is the solar wind, so the solar wind is rushing by at a million miles per hour, and it’s strong enough it pushes the field in on the daytime side of the planet and stretches it out on the nighttime side. I had to relearn all of this. We learned it in high school and quickly forgot it all, but Earth is turning, and so is the sun, and solar wind’s rushing by plucking the strings. Well, as it turns out, one of the primary resonant notes or frequencies of the field line resonances is exactly the same as a coherent heart rhythm: 0.1 hertz. 

All the frequencies vary depending on the pressure of solar wind, how tight the strings are tensioned, and so on. They all overlap, heart rhythms and the rhythms in our autonomic nervous system. These are quite high. They’re very large in magnitude, so basically, Earth is singing away 24/7 at the same frequency as our hearts. Then the other set of magnetic frequencies that the sensors are looking at, a lot of people would know them as Schuman resonances, and Otto Schuman was a German mathematician who first predicted the existence of these things. They got named after him.

These have to do with magnetic waves that get trapped between the surface of the Earth and the ionosphere. You can think of the ionosphere as a big soap bubble around Earth. Quite thin, speaking in scale here, starts about 50 miles above the surface and goes out to about 100 to 150 miles. But the ionosphere, it’s a plasma. It’s the fourth state of matter. It’s highly ionized, hot gas, if you will, ionized gas, and plasmas do a lot of unusual things in terms of magnetic fields and so on, but that’s another story, but for the Schuman resonance context, think of the ionosphere as a mirror that reflects magnetic waves.

Magnetic waves that get created in this cavity between the Earth and the ionosphere get trapped in there, and if those frequencies of these magnetic waves are resonant with the geometry of this cavity, they become what is called globally propagating standing waves. They’re everywhere, and it turns out the frequency of the first Schuman resonance is 7.83 hertz, which, if you know physiology, will recognize as one of our brainwave frequencies. Depending upon which system you use, low alpha or high alpha, the same as neural alpha rhythms.

There are eight of these Schuman resonances, and they all overlap brainwave frequencies. Okay, now, they’re in a magnetic magnitude much weaker than the field line resonances. They’re riding off, you look at it on the magnetometers, you’ve got these really big waves of theodine resonances, and then those human resonances riding on top of those. But basically, Earth is singing away at the same frequency as human brains, animals, and hearts.

Back to science class, remember tuning forks? Right, tap one, and the other vibrates magically. You know, so that’s a principle of resonance. Well, resonant coupling is more accurately what that’s demonstrating. By the way, tuning forks are coherent systems. Without coherence, you can’t have resonance. We didn’t learn that in high school, but it’s a fact. In the case of our tuning forks, it’s air molecules that are communicating between the two tuning forks, but showing that when two systems resonate at the same frequency, you can transfer energy and information.

Working with energy to achieve coherent states

Well, magnetic fields work the same way. You just don’t need the air molecules. When you’re sitting there in your offices, and I’m sitting here in the lab, there’s probably 100 cellphone conversations going on around me right now, and radio stations, and TV stations. It’s all here. So if I get my phone out, how do I pick out the one I want? You quite literally create a resonant. You tune the tuner until it’s resonant with the frequency you want. Boom. You transfer the energy and information.

All of us humans, are operating on the same frequency as Earth—both our brains and hearts. So we have the potential, then, to transfer energy and information between human hearts and brains and the Earth’s fields itself. One of our hypotheses in DCI is that the Earth’s magnetic field acts as a carrier wave of biologically relevant and patterned information.

In other words, we’re suggesting we all couple to the field, and it’s the mediator, so if we’re all coupled to it, then that creates what you could think of as a global information field that we’re all contributing to.