Readage: Detox Your Heart by Valerie Mason-John

Detox Your Heart

Having missed out on reading this book the first time around, I am grateful to have the opportunity to check out the new edition of Valerie Mason-John’s book Detox Your Heart- Meditations for Healing Emotional Trauma. I’m like a broken record lately in saying that again, a book that I needed at this particular stage in my life has made it way into my hands. Call it cause and effect, karmic forces or just plain great timing – I’m feeling blessed to have the chance to receive and be open to the materials within this essential book.

This book is a refreshed, revised and expanded version of the one that was initially released in 2005. It features more stories than the previous work as well as an update on the author’s relationship with her mother.

Anchored in the Four Noble Truths, Mason-John delivers an eye-opening autobiographical journey through her overindulgence in sex, drugs and rock and roll, or as she calls it a different kind of Triple Jewels than what Buddhists know.

The author shares her personal story of how she grew up under terrible circumstances and was unable to shake the negative self-talk she was imprinted with. Her honesty is direct. You can’t help but feel deep empathy for the pain that she suffered. The stories of the obstacles she overcame throughout her life will inspire you towards enacting change in your own situation. She views the human spirit as what helped her break out of her addiction and self-destruction. Once we discover this promise of a way out, we need to overcome our habitual tendencies – those hindrances that keep us stuck in what causes us suffering. Mason-John suggests that we need to detox and purify ourselves in order to fully heal. She calls us to use kindness, generosity, creativity, meditation, and mega-doses of self-love to help in our healing. This book in her words is about “reuniting heart with mind.”

“This book is a self-awareness book.”

Detox Your Heart- Meditations for Healing Emotional Trauma will help you to see where you’re hung up, and then will provide you with suggestions for how to change your habits. As was the case with Valerie, all it takes is a willingness and desire to heal. Getting in touch with our emotional self and how we are not to blame for many of the circumstances that befall us is a central element of this book and one that resulted in a major shift. In sharing her story, Valerie’s bravery is helping others like her. She notes that we must face our inner demons in order to come to inner peace. Slowing down and looking at ourselves – our experiences is what helps us tap into feeling and connecting to our emotions. Emotions play a key role in Mason-John’s book and she spends a good part of this work on identifying, exploring and working with our emotions, thoughts and feelings. Creating a space for emotions, welcoming them and then seeing the wisdom that can come from exploring them further than we traditionally do is key to transforming our habitual reactions.

Valerie is an example of resiliency and recovery. This book draws the reader in and explores exercises that they can do to help them to view their situation from a new perspective. Her goal is to help individuals heal their bodies, minds and hearts with the idea of taking “stepping stones towards inner change.”

In the author’s words “Detox your heart and you’ll detox your life.” This book is essential if you are seeking freedom from suffering and want to step into a path of healing and self-awareness.


Linkage : Links I love – January edition

Same blog – Different look

Keeping up the tradition of the old blog and my love of sharing good stuff, here’s a few links and things that are making me emotional, keeping me inspired, blowing my synapses and just generally causing some feels.


Fear of a Trump Planet – or How I Came Back to Studying Buddhism and Still Fear the Bomb

Binders full of Buddhism

I won’t opine on what I think or feel about politics these days. I’ll save you from this dear friend. You get enough of it on social media and in in the sometimes anti-social media so I’ll spare us all. 

We’re about to be challenged like never before. We’re about to need all that loving-kindness, peace, love and understanding like never before. We are going to need all that mindfulness, awareness, compassion, compassionate action, compassionate in-action – EVERYTHING! 

A few years ago I had a crisis of faith. Not in Buddhism but in myself. I had be pushing myself so hard to study and practice. To be perfect. I had schedules, timetables, apps, bells, whistles, reminders, post it notes, memberships to communities, blogs, magazine subscriptions, books, books, books. I didn’t lose my path, I filled it up with too much. It all became so overwhelming. I had a goal- to become a teacher in my local Buddhist community. It wasn’t out of a sense of desire for fame (I’m so shy that I think I’d prefer to give talks or instruction while wearing a ski mask). I was out of a sense of seeing how much Buddhism brought to my life and wanting to share this.

I taught a few sessions with a close friend in my sangha, but when he died, I put that all on a shelf. I lost my main cheerleader and was left with my own judgey little mind to fill in the gaps and tell myself that I was best to focus on other things. Best to be a cheerleader for those who can teach than to be a charlatan, an imposter. 

So after a sabbatical into the realms of full on suffering and grief, I’ve emerged with a whole new headspace. It’s a path of ‘get there when you do,’  rather than the disciplined treadmill I had myself on. I’m enjoying the ride so far. I have a great coach Practice Instructor. I’m being gentle on myself and applying a bit more loose to my formerly too tight. I’m not sure if I’m in the middle just yet, but it’s feeling much more effortless and joyous than before. That counts for something. 

I’m feeling more like I’m on a pathless path, without a goal and with no idea where I’ll end up. Before that kind of perspective would freak me the flip out but now, I’m seeing this spaciousness as exciting. It’s potential. It can be filled with whatever comes my way. I’m open to the mystery of not knowing. Not controlling. Studying the Dharma with an idea in mind of where I’d like to go, but knowing that it can take me anywhere. 

Or nowhere at all. And that’s OK too.