Caitlin Frost doesn’t yet have her own webl, but she is filled with and shares in her daily life a tremendous amount of insight, experience, inquiry and love. This comment she left at the Living With an Open Heart thread is too powerful of a teaching, a potent expression of practice, to leave in the comments… so I’m reposting it here.
I’m particularly drawn to her point that living with an open heart involves “holding the courage and willingness to constantly die and be born”… and when this practice embraces clarity, “the energy stays in the system, feeds it and provides the strength to support the vulnerability.” To live with an open heart, it is essential to stay connected to energy sources that support vulnerability. Vulnerability can become quite destructive if not supported… and is exceptionally powerful when held in its essence.
Take it away, Caitlin:
Hi Ashley, I am exploring similar terrain at the moment. I have been doing a lot of meditation and Byron Katie work this past month and opening up lots of interesting and vulnerable places in myself. Feeling raw and also amazed and full of strength possibility. Like I am dying and being born at the same time – over and over again. I really think that clarity is the key – I can live with an Open Heart much more peacefully and powerfully when I am really clear – it is like a slightly (and crucially) different kind of vulnerability that retains much more life force and curiosity than the combined “amazing moments with leaky, fearful and confused energies mixed in” I have mostly experienced around vulnerability in my life. Open – close – open – close…
Having very closely experienced death and birth in recent years – it struck me very clearly that they share a powerful and connected energy – a sense of power or life force moving. In a way living with an Open Heart feels for me like holding the courage and willingness to constantly die and be born. Without the clarity – it just feels like dying, and the energy feels like it is draining out of the system. With the clarity it feels like the birth is connected, follows quickly, and so the energy stays in the system, feeds it and provides the strength to support the vulnerability.
In my martial arts training I am also playing with these energies of openness and vulnerability in the physical realm. Experimenting with the energy of emotional vulnerability in my responses to physical vulnerability. What it feels like to hold my energy and body solid and open as someone comes flying through the air at me.
Noticing that it is my own sense of groundedness and clarity of thought that makes it possible for me to stay fully present for the experience, and stay open to the experience whether I block or jump out of the way. If I can trust my clarity – I can stay open to it, curious and available to act.
This leads me to wondering, how do you (whoever you are that is interested in looking into this question) recognize clarity? A related question emerged and was explored in the last online meditation which was, How do you recognize deep knowing?