I received a phone call from a dear family member to tell me she was just diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. She wondered what Tomaso’s diagnosis was at the time of his death. I remembered Congestive Heart Failure was part of the scenario. As his sister, she was trying to piece together the medical history of the family. Brother Delaney had a diagnosis of Congestive Heart Disease at the time of his death, also.
Synchronistically, I was pondering heart failure in light of the prevalence of heart disease in the United States, in relationship to unresolved grief and emotions and denial of suffering in our society.
As I deepen the practice of meditation with teacher Will Johnson this year, I know that turning back to the world after doing meditation practice unveils the tragedies impossible to ignore such as hunger and starvation, depression leading to suicide and homicide, and the list goes on. We are part of this web of reality and of the conditions that have caused suffering. We are US citizens, for instance, and our government is responsible for decades of suffering by nature of our foreign policy, by nature of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, to name a few.
If we turn away and deny the conditions that cause the misery of the world, what is the cost to the human heart? The intuitive heart is fed by love, Presence and has no boundaries. Our intellect is fed by ideas that often rationalize why we can’t wholeheartedly give all to be all. Thus the separation of heart and mind creates dis-ease within the body proper.
Will Johnson uses the term somatic phobia in terms of meditation practice itself. If we assume the posture of a stone statue while sitting, invariably pain in joints and within chronically held bodily conditions exacerbate. But as we awaken the felt presence of the body by filling the pranic balloon, an invitation is extended to all the frozen parts of the body needing awakening. Thus an integration of heart and body naturally occurs. OM