Chris Grosso and I met on Maui at the Open Your Heart in Paradise retreat with Ram Dass and friends. My husband and I began attending these retreats the Spring of 2015, inspired to spend some time with Ram Dass before he leaves this world and, well, frankly, because my husband adores Krishna Das. KD, as he is lovingly called, a long time spiritual brother of Ram Dass, attends every retreat. Each night he and his band fill the hall with glorious mantras and heart opening sound.
What I immediately loved about this tribe is how intergenerational it is. From newborns to elders the community is diverse and international. I’ve met many wonderful people over the past few years, but Chris stands out for me. Young (thirties) and nearly fully and beautifully tatted, one might think him unapproachable at first glance. But behind the tattoos and under the cap he almost always wears is a soft, somewhat shy, extremely intelligent man. Chris is warm as all get out and we became fast friends. Over dinner one evening Steven and I learned about Chris’ challenging life and how he came to be who he is today, a powerful voice and leader in redefining spirituality for these times. He calls himself an Indie Spiritualist.
Chris is a straight shooter who lays it all on the table right from the start. I love this about him. For Chris there is no shame in being human notwithstanding all of the messiness and complexity that comes with it. And in his presence your shame is welcomed into the light of day … so that it can then fall away. He lives in Connecticut and travels to teach and support people at all stages of their addiction (which includes all of us) to find their true sense of home and love.
Chris’ first two books Indie Spiritualist and Everything Mind are brilliant. They offer a clear view of a postmodern spirituality that is grounded and accessible. Chris shares openly about his struggles with addiction and how his indie spirituality has saved his ass. He offers suggestions and anecdotes, deep wisdom and profound teachings, all in his enchanting self deprecating way. A third book, Dead Set on Living, came out in March and I have yet to read it. I can hardly wait.
When Chris and I met in Maui I gave him a copy of my book, imagining he would find resonance and kinship in our struggles and realizations. And he did. Shortly afterwards he invited me to speak with him on his very popular podcast on the Be Here Now network. It took us a while to get it together, but we finally did. Using Being SELFish as an outline for our interview, Chris asked thoughtful and piercing questions, igniting a deep exchange that was inspiring and enlivening for both of us. We hope it will be the same for you. Have a listen here.