From Louis Carosio: Spiritual
teaching or practices rarely encourage us to let our heart break. To
welcome it. In Fall of 2013, our 20 year old daughter was diagnosed with a
rare ovarian cancer found in girls and young women. When I looked into
her eyes one evening during the depths of her chemotherapy, and she
expressed "It feels like I am dying", my heart broke. Broke open. As I
fully and completely allowed the pain of that moment, allowed my mind
to fully encompass that moment, my heart expanded, and all of life was
present. Fear and loss were absent. The weeping Jorah so beautifully
leads us to is the deeply poignant experience of a fully open heart, one
that entertains even the deepest grief or pain with profound acceptance
and openness. This is the Undefended Heart. (By the way, our
daughter's treatment was successful, and she is thriving in her life).
The path to the Undefended Heart is, quite simply, the willingness to utilize our life experience as our spiritual practice. To open into each life circumstance without reservation, judgment, or self pity. To know, without a doubt, that pain, judgment, and disappointment are the very things that lead us to freedom-if we practice to allow them fully, accept them completely, and let them move through us without grasping or pushing away.
Michael Singer, in his chapter entitled "Pain, the Price of Freedom" from his book "The Untethered Soul" writes:
"Spiritual growth exists in that moment when you are consciously willing to pay the price of freedom. You must be willing at all times, in all circumstances, to remain conscious in the face of pain and to work with your heart by relaxing and remaining open....This is the core of spiritual work. When you are comfortable with pain passing through you, you will be free".
Each Fall I begin an 8 month intensive called The Undefended Heart. The philosophy and practice of the Undefended Heart rests on the premise that much of what is offered as spiritual practice actually moves us away from what truly evolves us. That various forms of meditation, chanting, visualization, while useful in many ways, often do not confront or challenge the main thing: the profound tendency of the ego, or self, to compulsively move toward what it wants and not what it doesn't want. To subsequently resist, defend, protect oneself against others and life itself.
Conversely, the awakened heart and mind allows everything to be as it is without resistance. This is freedom. This is only achieved by the practice of opening into and allowing everything, especially that which is painful-because we naturally want to avoid it, or close down to prevent ourselves from feeling it. As a result, the mind becomes clouded and the heart contracted in small or large ways.
The intent of the Undefended Heart group series is to create a greater sense of freedom and heartfelt experience of life. The Undefended Heart group seeks to help you free yourself from the tendency to protect and defend your psyche. It uses psychotherapeutic, shamanic, and energetic technique and practices to help us face and move through (fully allow) that which challenges us. If you are interested in joining us in October 2015, please click here to Email Me