Deep Heart map by John Pendergast

“What do I mean by the Deep Heart? What is it, exactly, and what does it entail?

I want to share a multidimensional map with you, one that I have distilled after years of exploration.

This map of the heart is simple, subtle, and incomplete. It is also not completely original—others have described similar strata of the psyche.

We can access three broad levels of experience and identity in and through the heart area: ego, soul, and Self (no-self).

Ego refers to our self-story and image, along with its related feelings and sensations. It is who most of us ordinarily think and feel we are.

The Soul level is an intermediary dimension between ego and self. This level is often denied or dismissed by rationally oriented psychologists who have never contacted it experientially.

The deepest dimension—the self or no-self is unbounded and infinite, unlike any worldly ocean that has a limit, no matter how vast.”

My two cents: I have never thought that the heart has different depths, different levels.

My meditation practice is intently focused on exploring these levels.



One response to this post.

  1. About the author. John J. Prendergast PhD

    John J. Prendergast (1950 – ) was born and raised in Silicon Valley before there was any silicon. Instead, Santa Clara valley was full of orchards – plum and cherry – and wild mustard in the spring. He attended UC Santa Cruz when it was still small and experimental. There his spiritual search began in earnest. He attended a series of long meditation retreats in his twenties, before beginning his graduate studies in psychology.

    He met his first teacher, the European Advaita master Jean Klein, in 1983 and studied with him until his death in 1998. He began studying with this second teacher, Adyashanti, in 2001.

    He was a professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco for twenty-three years where he taught and supervised masters level counseling students. He has had a private psychotherapy practice since 1985.

    He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Undivided: The Online Journal of Nonduality and Psychology. For more, see:

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