Not practicing “enough”? Guilt and shame are optional…Instead, try this:

Before today’s meditation session, I offer you a practice that you can do when you feel bad about yourself for not meditating. The truth is, we all experience this, including myself. While it is very good to have a consistent practice, it is NOT good to beat yourself up when you don’t. In fact, it is pointless, worthless, and steals your life force.

When I was young, I was a very bad student. I was often late with my homework (in part because I didn’t understand what was being asked of me–turns out I have a mild learning disability). The more I put off doing this work, the worse I felt. The worse I felt, the less I did. The less I did, the more I put off…and so on. I’m sure you have some familiarity with this syndrome.

When it comes to meditation (or anything that is important to you), it is extremely important to avoid this cycle. Guilt and shame are to be avoided at all costs because those are the states of mind that give rise to this cycle. In today’s video I teach you a very, very short practice you can do instead. Try it and let me know how it goes!

Today’s practice lives here and I always love to hear what you think.

Love,
Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

NOTE: This summer, I’m deep in the creative cave planning a new phase of the Open Heart Project which I’ll announce in September. I’m authoring lots of new material and recording meditations of varying lengths, with varying amounts of instruction. While I’m making all this new stuff I will continue to send you a NEW video on Mondays. Thursdays video will be drawn from the vast OHP archive. Enjoy and happy summer!

It’s okay to be negative

Hello and welcome to your meditation practice! It is very common to think that negative thoughts can harm you and you shouldn’t think them. I disagree. Before today’s meditation, I explain why! Hint: your mind is vast…

Today’s practice lives here.

Love,
Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

NOTE: This summer, I’m deep in the creative cave planning a new phase of the Open Heart Project which I’ll announce in September. I’m authoring lots of new material and recording meditations of varying lengths. While I’m making all this new stuff I am going to send you a NEW video on Mondays and Thursdays video will be drawn from the vast OHP archive. Enjoy and happy summer!

Indestructible Goodness

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There is such a thing as goodness. It is alive. It is intact. Nothing we do can destroy it.

By goodness, I don’t mean the opposite of badness, exactly. I certainly don’t mean anything sentimental, saccharine…soulless. Ew. Goodness is not goody-goody or cute.

The earth is good. There is goodness in love. Friends are good. Teachers are good and so are students. It can sometimes be good to have an enemy. Pets are good. Reconciliation is good, as are courage, kindness, devotion, dignity, and confusion. The capacity to care—even to notice goodness or non-goodness—is good. Laughing is good and so is crying. Wisdom, insight, and intuition are good. It is good to be fierce and it is good to be soft. Vulnerability is good. Sadness is very good. Anger can sometimes be good and so can doubt. It is good that you can get your feelings hurt because this means your goodness has been wounded and, well, that hurts. (Even though it feels bad, it is good.) Healing is good. There is goodness in art, extraordinary goodness, perhaps the very most.

These things are happening all the time. But none of them need be present in order to feel the goodness because it is always present—in you. Your tenderness reminds you of it and so do your longing, tears, and capacity for joy which are not so different from each other.

The thing that is not so good? Forgetting the goodness. Letting it slide. Hiding from it.

Denying goodness sometimes seems easier than affirming it, however to do so is actually dangerous. With this denial come cruelty, violence, abandonment, and the inability to recognize what is precious and real. We see “us and them” in all things. We perceive attacks where there are none. We are afraid all the time and from this fear come fundamentalism, intolerance, stupidity, and absurdly short-term thinking.

Affirming it reasserts the truth.There is nothing more radical that you can do. It will make some people mad, but do it anyway. Just one person can remind a multitude.

Practicing for and with each other

As our community grows and expands, I am planning the next phase of the Open Heart Project. (Don’t worry–if you don’t want any next phase, the OHP will also continue as is!) Before today’s sit, I explain a bit about what’s coming up and then, for our sit, we tune into the beauty and wonder of community…while you are practicing, thousands of others around the world practice with you and I invite us all to feel the network of support we have created.

What do you think? I always love to hear from  you.

With love, Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

Creative Mornings Boston: Changes in business hopeful for the world…

I really enjoyed giving this talk to the creative community here in Boston. I talked about how changes in the way we do business bode well for other changes we’d all like to see in the world…

Bringing formal back

We live in a world that prizes casualness above formality. When we feel comfortable around someone, we feel we can dress down, put our feet on the table, show up at a dinner party late and people should cut us some slack. Well, sure. But there is also value in retaining a sense of formality, even (or especially) around those we love and who love us. Before today’s sit, I offer some thoughts about all of this.

What do you think? I always love to hear from  you.

With love, Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

Is meditation a path to bliss? A way to lower blood pressure? Something else?

The primary gift of meditation may not be what you thought at first. Before today’s video, I offer a few thoughts on what it is.

What do you think? I always love to hear from  you.

With love, Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

A simple way to sidestep irritation and judgment

Having trouble viewing the closed caption version? An un-captioned version can be found here:

Life is full of everyday irritations and worse: judgments, criticisms, and dismissing people because they act or look a certain way. Sometimes this is actually appropriate–people can be rude or out of line or domineering–but sometimes we have missed a step, a way of looking at things that can help us soften toward what offends us. Before today’s practice, I tell you a little story about a different way of approaching such things.This way is not only a way of being kinder to others, it is a way of being kinder to yourself because when you are able to let judgment go, you soften. And softening always makes you feels better…

Thoughts? I always love to hear them. With love, Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT AN EXCITING DEVELOPMENT IN THE OHP VIDEOS! You will notice something different about today’s video: it is close captioned for the hearing impaired. A member of our wonderful community suggested that I do this to make it easier for those who can’t hear to meditate. I loooved that idea! Today, we begin. Although we can’t close caption every video (which requires transcription, word for word), my beautiful assistant Michele will close caption one video per month, on the first Monday of that month. Hopefully we will develop the resources at some point to close caption every video, but for now we’re deeply happy to offer one such meditation per month. May it bring benefit to that community.

The spiritual lesson I learned from my own road rage

I’m not proud, but, yes, I have been a jerk on the road from time to time. One of those times taught me a lesson that I’ll never forget. Before today’s meditation, I share that story with you in the hope that it can help you meet your own irritations and pet peeves with greater softness.

If you want to skip the story and go right to the meditation, it kicks in at about 7:00.

Thoughts? What helps you to discover more kindness within yourself? I always love to hear from  you.

Please practice!

With love, Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.

Meditation can strengthen relationships with those you love

Meditation can strengthen relationships with those you love…unexpected perhaps, but true! If you can do this one thing, your relationships will really benefit. Before today’s practice, I explain how.

Thoughts? I always love to hear them.

With love, Susan

Audio-only version can be downloaded here.