In which I make a request of you.

My request: to remember that what you do matters. Your practice is important. Before today’s sit, a short reminder…

Love, Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

Note: The meditation begins at 1:23 in the video.

Meditation and Strong Emotions

Hello and welcome to your meditation practice. Today we will sit together for 10 minutes.

It can happen sometimes that while you are meditating, a strong feeling of some sort arises. It could be grief or anger and it might even bring you to tears. What should you do? Should you just let go and try to focus on breath? Well, maybe. Today’s video offers some options.

I am always interested in what you think. Your comments and questions are most welcome.

Thank you!

Susan

 

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

The Dharma of Depression: a podcast

podcast_logo

In this podcast, drawn from a talk in the Spring of 2014 at the New York Shambhala Center, Susan discusses the intelligence of depression, how to differentiate depression from sadness, and how depression can become a part of your spiritual path.

The Importance of Non-Aggression

Hello, dear meditators. The world is a crazy place and it is really easy to see enemies and threats wherever we look. While we must protect ourselves and stand up for justice, aggression only–ever, ever, ever–leads to more aggression. The entire scope of recorded human history is my witness. Then what? Before today’s sit, a few small thoughts on this gigantic topic.

With love and great hopes for peacefulness, Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

The Power of Ordinariness

We all live complicated lives and have worries, losses, and uncertainty. We work harder and harder to make these difficulties go away–and that can be fruitful sometimes. But at other times we are just beating ourselves up. What to do? Before today’s practice, I offer a suggestion.

With love and great hopes for your ease and peacefulness, Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

What does it mean to be “non-attached?”

A non-subtitled version is below.

Often, Buddhism is said to counsel non-attachment. Because all phenomena arise, abide, and dissolve, if we become too attached to, well, anything, our suffering will increase.

This is often associated with not caring or being super cool and removed. Actually, it means the opposite. Before we sit today, I explain.

Enjoy!

Love,
Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

When the Tibetan Buddhist was mugged at Port Authority

Hello, dear meditators. Before we practice together today, I tell you a story that taught me something important about working with anger and loss.

Sending love,  Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

Will meditation make you more peaceful?

Yes! And no. Please check today’s pre-meditation talk for more thoughts on how both of these things can be true.

I always love to hear from you, so please feel free to share your reactions.

Love,
Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

The Most Important Question

What did Albert Einstein say was the most important decision we each must make? And what does that have to do with meditation? Before today’s sit, we consider these points.

Thoughts? Love to hear them.

Enjoy!

Love, Susan

 

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

Feelings, part two

“A lot of tragedies happen around the world because somebody’s feelings were hurt.”—Sakyong Mipham

I see part of our work together as returning a sense of grace and power to the realm of feeling. For far too long, feelings have been ghettoized as girly, weak, something for losers. Feelings are what you talk about when you’ve run out of ideas, jokes, and stories. When someone says, “I want to talk to you about my feelings,” we gird our loins for battle or try to run away. Anything but feelings! Conversely, however, some of us make a very big deal about feelings and treat them as precious, fragile, even magical. Some kind of middle way is best.

The last thing we want to do to someone we care about is hurt their feelings and we will go to great lengths to avoid having our feelings hurt. And for good reason. They can cause relationships to end, companies to collapse, and wars to start. I am not even exaggerating. (I don’t know too much about wars, but I do know something about work and I’ve never seen a great idea fail for lack of funding, positioning, or talent. Great ideas fail because someone’s feelings were hurt.)

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you weren’t afraid of getting your feelings hurt? I’m not saying there is a way to avoid hurt feelings, but there is a way to develop the capacity to meet them as a part of your spiritual practice. Seriously, ask yourself: who would I be and what would I create if I was not afraid of my feelings but saw them as my allies?

You could say that learning how to feel is the foundation of a good life and a good human society. As you develop a relationship with your feelings you create the pathways (Sakyong Mipham’s word) to feel how others feel.

In meditation practice, the pathways create themselves with each moment you spend simply being human. The wider you open the door to joy, sorrow, and confusion, the more wisdom you invite. With each molecule of feeling you allow, you create a molecule of compassion.

In other news, what do you think of this logo for us?