Sunday, April 18, 2010

Reading the Heart

Another long day at Zen Hospice, training to be a volunteer, and dealing with grief and death. Tonight, taking a restorative walk on Stanford campus, I could feel the vast expanse of my heart, still raw and achy from all the grief, my own and the other people in the group. And for the first time, I became fully aware of the telltale signs, the exact sensations that signify grief for my body. The burn in the heart and stomach, the heaviness in the chest, the almost bitter taste in the mouth . . . And I realized how mistaken I had been before, whenever I had felt those same sensations, out of context, and had rushed to see them as the expression of other emotions such as anger or self-hate. Thinking mind likes to pack away experiences neatly into known categories, even at the risk of being mistaken. 

I am still finding my way around the heart . . . 


  1. Marguerite - I love this! The *taste* of grief... feeling it viscerally. And how often we mis-identify those familiar feelings and emotions... I love your last statement as well: "I am still finding my way around the heart..." Yes, me too! Your statement here opened mine :)

    I also loved your "Post-it" exercise in the next post... I love the practical ways that you offer here to get in touch with the deeper internal landscape. I'm going to try this one!

    With gratitude... Heart Bows to you...

  2. Deep bow, back to you . . . and wishing you continued exploration into the depth of mind and heart. May you be well, and happy, and at ease, and at peace.