“The Envelope of the Heart (Pericardium) represents the civil servants, from them can come joy and pleasure” - Su Wen Chapter 8
The Pericardium Serves
The Su Wen draws analogies of the organs to that of a kingdom or governmental system. Each organ has a specific role and function to serve the higher purpose of the being. The Pericardium serves the Heart, who is the ‘lord and sovereign.’ I often overlooked the importance of the Pericardium, when doing emotional work with clients, always wanting to jump to the beautiful Heart Spirit, but more and more, we need to realize the utter importance of the Pericardium and the function it serves.
The Pericardium Protects
The Pericardium’s whole purpose is to protect the Heart. On a physical level it is a fibrous membrane that literally encapsulates the heart, protecting it from infection or invaders. On an emotional and spiritual level, we echo this sentiment. The Pericardium must protect the most precious and vital substances the Heart provides to the body and soul. Therefore, we must empower the Pericardium to differentiate ‘what is appropriate for me?’ from ‘what is inappropriate for me?’ Often when dealing with depression or anxiety, people feel outside or internal factors so deeply in their heart centers, it causes immense pain and suffering. It is in these cases that the Pericardium must be cultivated to begin establishing healthy boundaries, especially relating to intimacy, sexuality, and issues of appropriateness.
The Shen Thrives in Joy and Pleasure
By establishing healthy boundaries, we give ourselves, our loved ones and the world around us, the space the thrive. This type of healthy space enlivens the Shen or Heart Spirit. The Shen is the spirit of fire, insight, passion and awareness. It is associated with the Fire element of this season, that reflects the pure vulnerability alongside its wild, and destructive properties. With that in mind, the Shen must work in integrity and trust to thrive fully in the Self and the outside world. The Shen reminds us that our deepest obligation in life is to fulfill our spiritual potential - our unique Tao.