Join Our Mailing List

I'm listed in Life & Lifestyle

Posted By Opening the Heart

Donna Pic


The Opening the Heart Workshop has always defied description.  Yet I long to put words to my experience there, these 22 years.  I realize there are no literary shortcuts.  Here is a snapshot.

It involves remembering.  It pulls me into a powerful vortex of possibility, being in that sacred, human arena.  My brain begins firing like a sparkler, burning hot and radiant, right down to the "quick" of the stick, where we hold on.

The content of Opening the Heart is  A*L*I*V*E, sometimes a rushing river that picks up stuck energy and moves it along, depositing a person on the grassy bank, panting and released, wet, glistening, and new.  Sometimes, the experience is more like being pierced by the rays of a determined sun, illuminating places inside that have never been met with kindness, or tender companionship.  There are times when the choreography of the weekend causes old pain to burn like a forest fire, moving with speed, friction and flame to demolish the "under story," or, as I've come to think of it, the "cover story."  Who among us couldn't use the chance to peel off the habit of pretense, lift the veil, remove the mask?  You might say that Opening the Heart is like being exposed to the elements, and for that reason, change is inevitable. We surrender to the current of life, allow ourselves to be taken for a ride, giving our intelligent hearts their way with us, and in so doing, we are "moved."

Participants have often told us that they do in a single weekend, what would take years in talk therapy to accomplish.  While each person "paddling the waters" of Opening the Heart has a unique experience, we facilitators admit that we aim deep, trusting the work to take each of us to the core, to the root of what wants transformation.  We are respectfully unapologetic for our exquisite aim, and deeply trusting of what arises from wisdom of the body.  Your body!

We facilitators "hold" this process with years of experience, with a skill set that weaves together the best practices of all our combined years.  We "walk the walk" in our own lives, grateful for the effectiveness of the techniques we've inherited and honed over time.  We work from a place of genuine humility, believing in the dignity and resilient nature of  humankind.  Time and time again, we witness extraordinary courage, and the capacity we embody as a species to face the task at hand.  We are all innately brilliant at showing up for life. We can meet both triumph and tragedy at the door, with a kind curiosity, allowing life to open us from the inside out.

We aspire to be loving agents of change in our facilitation, often surprising a culture accustomed to distance and self sufficiency, with disarming warmth, and the truer hues of interconnectedness.  Leading the Opening the Heart Workshop is a privilege.  It is one of our purest joys, our most beloved, human "offering."

Ron Ortner, a magnificent contemporary artist says this:
"It is already a given that life is a failure, by which I mean that we come with an expiration date.  You should seek as though your hair is on fire, and you need water."

Why wait?  We invite you to dive in, with the spirit of the loving warrior you already are.

With heart,


Posted By Opening the Heart


Royal Albert


As an Englishman, I have a paticular fondness for the Royal Albert Hall. As far as I am concerned, it is one of the finest places in the world for listening to music.


Albert Hall Interior


I can brag that I saw The Who and Chuck Berry play live on the same bill there on July 5th 1969 right after watching The Rolling Stones play a free concert in Hyde Park.

Last year the amazing Joe Bonamassa played his debut concert at this magnificent venue and one of the highlights was a version of the blues standard Further On Up The Road with guest artist Eric Clapton. Listen to it here - and then I have a few more thoughts.



What an amazing pairing of talents! The passionate intensity of the younger Bonamassa's playing and singing contrasted with the skillful effortlessness of the older, wiser Clapton. The concluding guitar duet gives me goosebumps. It has to be one of the most inspiring conjunctions of unrestrained youthful power and cool, polished experience ever recorded. Clapton clearly loves playing alogside Bonamassa - his sardonic smile seems to say - yeah, I've been there. And Bonamassa clearly idolizes Clapton. Together they're like the ideal father - son combo.

And the song: Further On Up The Road speaks to me of Karma - the idea that the unskillful, hurtful things we do will inevitably come back to bite our heels at some point.

So - nostalgia for "The Royal Albert", passion and experience from Joe and Eric, and a spiritual reminder all in one delicious package. Can you tell that I really enjoyed this video?

PS I'm going to see Joe Bonamassa live in Worcester, Massachusetts next month.

Til next time,



Gift a Friend