9 Heart Pains

What life issue causes you psychological discomfort? Whatever issue that makes you feel stuck, according to Taoist philosophy, is not a problem, but an invitation. Accordingly, each spirit takes birth to explore a certain curriculum in his or her upcoming life. We will be provided certain life circumstances and challenges to learn these lessons and thereby reach our destiny. When we are born, these areas are hidden and dormant, and will emerge when the life circumstance is ripe for the learning. When these circumstances present themselves, they create a certain magnetic pull, or “need” that we will not be able to resist. When this need arises, we have entered one of the “Nine Palaces.” When we enter into the palace and are unable to come to terms with its lesson, it becomes a “Heart Pain.” Chinese philosophy provides 9 major life-lessons: Health;

Wealth (having enough – issues of scarcity or abundant resources);

Prosperity (reputation, honor, how you are viewed);



Global/World issues (includes travel);

Career/Vocation (acquiring knowledge associated with);

Wisdom; and


These nine heart pains or nine palaces contain life lessons that will not go away until we learn from and evolve beyond the lesson. They have a certain “charge” associated with them – mentally, emotionally, or physically. We either highly value or resist issues associated with them. We may feel a great need to protect ourselves from issues surrounding them. If you don’t overcome your heart pains, they will be transferred to your children, unless children are the pain you are faced with. When you think about your present life “issue,” is there a physical sensation associated with it? Does your heart rate speed up; blood pressure increase? Does it give you a feeling of contraction in your gut or chest? Does its loss feel like it hurts your heart? Do you feel like you have to protect yourself or the issue? Then it is a heart pain; a palace through which your destiny is urging your spirit to shine through.

Pain, according to Chinese medicine, means lack of free flow.  The presence of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual pain indicates this area needs restoration of free flow. Instead of turning away from this pain, we are drawn into it.

When these fundamental lessons emerge, there will often be a deep sensation that you are being threatened; that protection around this issue is required. This brings up the energetic official called the Pericardium, or heart protector, whose job it is to protect that which the heart holds precious. The highest function of the heart and pericardium is to open, rather than protect. When you can open up to meet these issues head on and transcend their lessons, then you have the possibility of reaching your destiny, intimately associated with your heart’s desires. Repressed pericardium issues, or long standing heart pains, may need assistance, through the unconditional love of the Heart and the unconditional acceptance of the Lungs to open and release. Use the microcosmic orbit breathing exercise, directing the heart’s energies within.