SUSAN’S
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Mindfulness doesn't mean peacefulness

September 28, 2011   |   4 Comments

From a participant in The Open Heart Project: Q: “How can I increase my mindfulness when all the stressors of my life come into play at once?” A: I really appreciate your question about becoming more mindful when you are experiencing moments of particular stress. This is totally doable. However–if by becoming more mindful, you mean ceasing to feel stress,... READ MORE

My friends got married!

September 21, 2011   |   5 Comments

(photo credit: Katie Day Weisberger) And I got to write a poem for my beloved Ming and Kate. Say Yes First, contemplate the Great Eastern Sun. Say yes. Then establish the palace of touch. With delight, unbind the yes of that sweetness again and again, And may that delight produce future warriors. Say yes.

Do meditators get pissed off?

September 19, 2011   |   11 Comments

I wrote this in response to a friend who was feeling bad because one of her possessions was stolen–something that she had cared for, paid for in full, and would be expensive to replace. She wrote me feeling that her practice had failed her because she felt so violated and angry that she was questioning the goodness of her fellow... READ MORE

I Went Down to the Crossroads. Part One.

September 16, 2011   |   12 Comments

Me. Albert King. Another planet. About 25 years ago, I was driving cross country for the reasons you might expect of a 20-year old who was utterly lost. Where the hell was my life? It had to be somewhere. It was not in the big city suburb I grew up in. Not in the rows of desks at that sheep... READ MORE

Savor and Serve…my interview with Jen Louden

September 13, 2011   |   Leave a reply

I love me some Jen Louden. She is devoted, generous, smart, funny, and has a fantastic haircut. What’s not to love? Oh yes, she also wants to help everyone in the world become who they’re really meant to be and thereby save the planet. A mission I wholly admire. She interviewed me for her Savor & Serve project and you... READ MORE

The spiritual path in 3 (inseparable) phases

September 8, 2011   |   2 Comments

Hello wonderful Open Heart Project subscribers and other readers. I think about you all the time. I wonder how you’re doing and if you are finding a way to make your own personal connection to meditation practice. I hope so! I even think about you when I’m on vacation, which is right now. I’m in beautiful coastal Maine in an... READ MORE

Practicing on vacation.

September 6, 2011   |   6 Comments

Right now, I’m in Maine on our annual vacation. Duncan (my husband) and I come up here once a year. He has been doing so since he was a child and I’ve been coming here with him for the last 15 years. It’s the one time of the year where we leave everything–our stresses, concerns, chores, work responsibilities–at home. Or... READ MORE

How do you get back to your writing?

September 5, 2011   |   2 Comments

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68pOYiQDkVQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player[/youtube] It’s hard enough to get to your writing on a regular basis. How do you find the courage to return to it after an absence? Patti Digh, Jen Louden and I discuss and also give some info about our upcoming workshop.

Walk Into Fear: How to Make Fear Your Writing Companion

September 1, 2011   |   Leave a reply

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zstI_o4yimM&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] My friends (both wonderful writers and teachers) Jen Louden, Patti Digh and I met on Skype to try and answer some of your writing questions, gathered on Twitter and FB. Here is our riff on the first such question, “What do you do with all the fear that accompanies writing?!” Click on the video to check out our thoughts... READ MORE

How to choose a meditation practice

August 30, 2011   |   8 Comments

Some thoughts to consider: 1. Choose a practice that is rooted in a lineage that is older than, say, 2,500 years. Not saying you have to adopt another culture or act all eastern, just that it’s good to find something time-tested and honed. Thus you can have confidence–and confidence in the practice is always step one along the spiritual path.... READ MORE

When the Iron Bird Flies

August 15, 2011   |   Leave a reply

When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth. ~ Guru Padmasambhava (8th Century) I can’t wait for this film, described this way by the producers: When the Iron Bird Flies traces the astounding path of one of the world’s great spiritual traditions from the... READ MORE

Spiritual BFFs

July 4, 2011   |   24 Comments

There is no question that you have to figure out your spiritual path on your own. No matter how much you want to find ready-made answers, no one can actually tell you that you should be a Buddhist or a Catholic or an agnostic; no one can tell you that right now is the time to make a commitment to a... READ MORE

Sample chapter from audiobook, "The Wisdom of a Broken Heart"

July 1, 2011   |   10 Comments

Am putting finishing touches on the audiobook for The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. I’m really excited about it. Here is Chapter Two: “Nothing Happens” 6:16 minutes long. Sign up for my newsletter, “The Open Heart Project,” to connect more deeply, receive messages about working with the energy of the heart, and also for notifications of when the whole audiobook... READ MORE

Enlightened Reading list, continued

June 20, 2011   |   6 Comments

If you were to ask on Twitter, “What is your #1 book on meditation or spirituality?” this is what you would get. At least from my Twitterverse. Enjoy! Read them all! Or just read one with absolute comprehension! Become enlightened!

Someone sent me this poem today–

June 20, 2011   |   Leave a reply

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and/self-contained I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God Not one is dissatisfied,... READ MORE

Enlightened Reading

June 17, 2011   |   9 Comments

(Me, age 4, pretending to read. Some things never change.) These are the three most valuable and important books about meditation that I’ve ever read. You could spend your whole life reading and rereading them and would never get to the end of their depth and usefulness. In fact, if you or I were ever so lucky and diligent as... READ MORE

Surgery this morning

May 15, 2011   |   34 Comments

8a EST. Having my gallbladder removed for reasons I can explain later. In fact, getting to the point of having this prosaic medical procedure (the most common surgical procedure in the US, I’m told) has been anything but prosaic and might actually make a decent story. (Which I suppose is true for everyone who has it.) For reasons relating to... READ MORE

How to Open Your Heart

May 13, 2011   |   7 Comments

What is meant by a “contemplative view?” Rather than probing your thoughts and feelings for a storyline (i.e., what does this mean about me, my past, you, our relationship?), you simply see your thoughts and feelings. Observe them. Take them in. Allow them to be as they are without seeking to manipulate them at all. You’ll see some stuff you... READ MORE

On finding love.

May 11, 2011   |   16 Comments

I’ll try to keep myself open up to you. That’s a promise that I made to love. Joni Mitchell I read this quote today on someone’s Facebook page and a better instruction for love, I can’t find. The foremost allegiance is to love itself and this is a pledge you can actually honor, as opposed to the pledge to always... READ MORE

On Compassion and Enemies

May 4, 2011   |   118 Comments

On Monday, I wrote a little about my response to Osama bin Laden’s killing. Upon hearing of his death, most people expressed heartfelt and understandable relief that our hunt for one who wished to destroy us was over. Others participated in “celebrations” that seemed tinged with what could be described kindly as poor sportsmanship. The question I was trying to... READ MORE

SOBRE LA COMPASION Y LOS ENEMIGOS

May 2, 2011   |   Leave a reply

El lunes, escribí un poco acerca de mi respuesta al asesinato de Osama bin Laden. Al escuchar sobre su muerte, la mayoría de la gente expresó alivio sincero y comprensible de que se acabara nuestra búsqueda de alguien que nos quiso destruir. Otros participaron en “celebraciones” que parecían teñidas con lo que podría describirse amablemente como escaso espíritu deportivo. La... READ MORE

Osama bin Laden is dead. One Buddhist’s response.

May 2, 2011   |   354 Comments

“In the Shambhala warrior tradition, we say you should only have to kill an enemy once every thousand years.” –Chogyam Trungpa So, Osama bin Laden is dead. We killed him. There really was no choice. We were clearly in an “us or them” situation and if we didn’t kill him, he was going to continue to do everything in his... READ MORE

How to be more disciplined about practice + a story wherein I drop the F-bomb

April 22, 2011   |   10 Comments

The practice of sitting meditation begins to shed some light on the Buddhist view of discipline. In meditation, you cultivate focus and awareness by placing your attention on your breath rather than your thoughts. PS It has nothing to do with emptying the mind of thought!! Almost impossible!! Stop trying!! Big hoax!! Instead, you take a different view of your... READ MORE

Question from a reader: how to fit meditation into a mom's life with three kids under 5 and how not to fall asleep? Answer from Karen Maezen Miller!

April 18, 2011   |   7 Comments

A exciting first for susanpiver.com: a guest blog post! This one is from the talented and soulful Karen Maezen Miller, a Zen Priest and mother. Her book, Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life (New World Library, April 2010) is a memoir about spirituality in everyday life. I had received several questions from mothers about how to integrate... READ MORE

Where does real confidence come from?

April 11, 2011   |   14 Comments

Most people I know (including myself) suffer from lack of confidence, at least sometimes. Or all the time. The things I normally do to boost my confidence are chosen from among the following: Remind myself of sometime when someone said something nice to me. Call a friend and ask them if they think I’m talented/right/worthy. Downscale my original plan and... READ MORE

When the actor met the Monk.

April 7, 2011   |   24 Comments

A fantastic story from one of my very favorite radio shows ever, The Moth. I laughed. I cried. I fell further in love with the dharma, as if that were possible. Apparently, it is. Only about 7 minutes long–totally worth a listen. Even with the truly dreadful “Tibetan” accent.

START. (How to make lasting changes)

April 6, 2011   |   15 Comments

When it comes to creating real change in your life, there is only one action item that is critical. The most brilliant organizational strategies and profound insights into human behavior are 100% meaningless without it. If you are not doing this one thing, nothing else matters. I’m not being poetically licentious; I’m telling you the truth. That thing? Start.

Can meditation help with panic attacks? No. And yes.

April 5, 2011   |   12 Comments

I received this from a reader the other day: Q: “I was wondering if the meditation practice can help with panic attacks at all? Or if you know anyone who has suffered from panic attacks and been able to overcome them through meditation?” A: I know someone who has suffered from panic attacks. Me. I still suffer from them, although... READ MORE

Meditation Questions: Q1: What to do about distractions, like noise?

March 30, 2011   |   2 Comments

I’ve really enjoyed making and sending these emails and videos about meditation. It is so inspiring to see and hear about people’s heart-opening experiences. No matter how many times I see the effects of meditation practice, I’m still so blown away by this truth: If we open our hearts, we can change the world. Some of you have been good... READ MORE

From Ishita: #3

March 15, 2011   |   2 Comments

From Ishita: Last night I physically had to force myself to sit down to meditate. Despite the fact that I feel good about doing it and sometimes it brings me peace, the act of sitting down is one I have to force myself to do. I had to laugh because I moved from bed to chair (where i meditate) bed... READ MORE

From Ishita: Post #2

March 11, 2011   |   Leave a reply

From Ishita: morning time for me is sacred. I cherish the hours of 6-9a.m. and it is where I feel most connected to myself and the world. It’s a perfect time for me to practice meditation. So when susan said “somewhere it is always morning.” i just loved that. it was a visual that put me back into my heart.... READ MORE

Third (and final) meditation misconception

March 11, 2011   |   2 Comments

Meditation is not a form of self-improvement. [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/20919078[/vimeo] 2:38 Good morning, lovely people. In the last two posts, I talked about the first two meditation misconceptions. The 3rd and final misconception is actually the most difficult one to drop and it is that meditation is a form of self-improvement. In our meditation practice we take the view that no improvement... READ MORE

From Ishita: Becoming a meditator. Post #1

March 10, 2011   |   Leave a reply

My dear and wonderful (and accomplished and generous and brilliant) friend Ishita is establishing her meditation practice and will be reporting in from time to time (hopefully really, really often) about how it is going. I am SO EXCITED to have her as a regular part of the site, talking about what it’s like for her to explore the practice.... READ MORE

Misconception #2: Meditation will make me peaceful.

March 10, 2011   |   5 Comments

Good morning. Yesterday I mentioned I meditation misconception #1. Here is #2: It will make you more peaceful. I know, I know. Whenever we see pictures of meditators, they look pretty relaxed. When I first began to practice, I guess I imagined that it would evetually turn me into some kind of Yoda/Mother Teresa hybrid. Who knows, there is still hope. But in... READ MORE

Meditation Misconception #1: "It means I have to stop thinking."

March 9, 2011   |   4 Comments

Good morning! Often when I ask people if they’ve ever thought about a meditation practice, they look at me like are you crazy, there is way, way too much going on up here (pointing to head) and there is no way I can stop thinking. The #1 biggest misconception about meditation practice is that it involves clearing the mind of... READ MORE

Some suggestions for developing a meditation practice

March 8, 2011   |   19 Comments

Good morning! I am so happy to talk to you again about meditation practice as part of what I’m calling The Open Heart Project. It all began on March 5, 2011. This is the 3rd post and it contains some suggestions for establishing a daily practice. Be reasonable. Set a very doable goal. Don’t say, for example, “for the rest... READ MORE

Introduction to Meditation Practice

March 7, 2011   |   9 Comments

Good morning! It is my pleasure to introduce you to meditation practice or, if you already have a practice, to revisit the foundations with you. This link leads to a brief video introduction to Shamatha meditation, or the Practice of Tranquility. It is about 10 minutes long. The video is also at the bottom of this post. The Practice of... READ MORE

The Open Heart Project: Online meditation instruction and more

March 5, 2011   |   38 Comments

Sign up here.     Happy New Year! Today is Tibetan Buddhist New Year and a great day to start fresh and celebrate the fact that you exist. Come to think of it, every day is worthy of such celebration–and nothing creates the quality of a fresh start more than meditation practice. With each breath, you begin again and all... READ MORE

Thrilled to have been interviewed by Marianne Elliott

February 28, 2011   |   4 Comments

Marianne is a writer, a human rights advocate and a yoga teacher based in New Zealand. Her beautiful blog is about her experiences teaching yoga in Afghanistan, teaching other people to live authentically, and writing her very first book, Zen Under Fire: Learning to Sit Still in Afghanistan. (Not out yet.) We became friends on Twitter, had drinks in Brooklyn,... READ MORE

New on HuffPo

February 23, 2011   |   7 Comments

Self-Help Books: Are They Actually Helpful? You tell me. Has a book changed your life? Which one and why?

Thrilled to have been interviewed for Susannah Conway's blog

February 16, 2011   |   2 Comments

Susannah is a photographer, writer, and teacher. Her creations are an organic expression of her heart rather; a true artist. It was a pleasure to meet her in person a few months ago and now connect our worlds through this lovely and fun interview about creativity. Please enjoy! Click on her logo to read. OR Interview here!

For Angela

February 15, 2011   |   5 Comments

Recently, I’ve been asking you lovely readers to let me know if you have any questions or topics you’d like me to address in a blog post. I’ve received some amazing, deep, and deeply heartfelt questions. Stay tuned to hear riffs on issues such as: “How can I maintain hope and foster hope in others in difficult circumstances?” “I am... READ MORE

Interview with Bridget Pilloud

February 14, 2011   |   2 Comments

Thrilled to have met in person with Bridget for this fun, sweet, and soulful interview about love, heartbreak, and where true wisdom comes from. It’s 32 minutes long and if you’d like to listen, click on the image. “I talked with Susan Piver about her book and about the purpose of heartbreak. If you’re in the space of heartbreak, this... READ MORE

Day of Love

February 13, 2011   |   14 Comments

Some thoughts on Valentine’s Day What if we could celebrate Valentine’s Day in a whole different way? What if instead of celebrating whether or not we have someone to take us out to dinner, we celebrated all the love we have ever felt in our lives, all the love we have yet to feel, and all the love we could... READ MORE

Ask me about stuff.

February 9, 2011   |   12 Comments

In gearing up for my big, huge (to me) launch of a daily (M-F) email about life, love, leadership, joy, and creativity based on a Buddhist point of view, I’ve asked people what they might like me to write about. Here are some of the requests I’ve received: Can you talk about making a distinction between drawing a boundary with... READ MORE

Interviewed by "Drinking to Distraction"

February 3, 2011   |   1 Comment

The beautiful Jenna My excellent pal Jenna interviewed me for her cool blog about quitting drinking and how her life changed when she did. She has become a meditation practitioner and we talked about stuff like fear, safety, distractions, why it is that we’re all so vulnerable, and whether or not spiritual practice will make you safe. An excerpt: JH:... READ MORE

The Open Heart Project

February 2, 2011   |   10 Comments

Buddhist new year is coming up March 5, which is a lovely time for a new year to begin. It is still winter, but (for those who don’t live in New England or Minnesota) the hope of spring begins to arise. Each Buddhist New Year is associated with a different animal and the year is said to be colored by... READ MORE

John Cleese's advice for nurturing creativity

January 21, 2011   |   2 Comments

Well worth watching. A wonderful explanation of, among other things, what we in Shambhala Buddhism call “Container Principle,” the view that the environment you find yourself in informs your experience just as much as the other way around.

Talking with Eric Schneider about The Wisdom of a Broken Heart

January 18, 2011   |   Leave a reply

Lovely speaking with Dr. Eric Schneider today on his online radio show, “About Relationships.” We talked about the following: What made you (me!) write this book? What IS the wisdom of a broken heart? It hurts so much and generates so much confusion… How can we re-envision the pain as wisdom? What does Buddhism have to say about heartbreak? What... READ MORE

Design & Meditation

January 10, 2011   |   Leave a reply

Love this post from Apartment Therapy (a blog about home design and dec0r) about how a meditation retreat changes the way you look at this world. And comments reveal the many (understandable) misconceptions and (not so understandable) judgments people have about what such a retreat is supposed to look like. The Best Fresh Start… Vipassana & Design

Fuel your New Year's resolutions with love

January 1, 2011   |   12 Comments

OK, it’s officially next year. One can’t help but become reflective, which is wonderful. It is so useful to step back from the speed and commitments that occupy most of the year and use this grace period between Christmas and New Year’s as a time-out-of-time to fly up and hover at 50K feet, looking down on your life and asking... READ MORE

Fantastic post from David Allen re new beginnings

December 10, 2010   |   1 Comment

Got this in my inbox the other day. I love David Allen’s work and really believe in its premise, that if you attend to your environment properly, confidence, creativity, opportunity, and joy will increase. Check this out. Great, great thoughts as we begin the new year. GOOD RIDDANCE It’s time to purge. The end of a year and start of... READ MORE

What is discipline?

December 7, 2010   |   17 Comments

I think about discipline a lot, because I am not good at it. Like, what creates discipline­? If it’s an act of will, it doesn’t work. If it’s an act of seduction (you’ll get goodies!), it doesn’t work. If you leave it to chance, it certainly doesn’t work. Here’s what I’ve gathered: Discipline is built of faith + exertion. Faith... READ MORE

PTSD, Meditation, and more

December 6, 2010   |   2 Comments

Did an interview with Michele Rosenthal for her site, Heal My PTSD. Here is a link to the audio interview, if you’d like to listen. myths about meditation how to begin a simple meditation practice the benefits of meditation in PTSD recovery inner growth from trauma benefits of creativity in healing posttraumatic stress (ever heard of the word ‘vibing’?) the... READ MORE

Addicted to speed.

November 16, 2010   |   4 Comments

Is this you? 1. You check email obsessively throughout the day with a mix of hope and dread. 2. You panic when you’re stuck waiting and don’t have your phone, a book, music, something. 3. The idea of driving to work in silence makes you feel queasy. 4. When you awaken to 30 new emails rather than the requisite 50,... READ MORE

Odds of Marriage

November 4, 2010   |   15 Comments

Driving away from Shambhala Mountain Center yesterday, after a writers’ retreat. Thinking about love… 12 minutes, 22 seconds worth… ‘scuse the turn signal sounds… Not my most flattering angle, but nonetheless… driving from susan piver on Vimeo.

The power of joy.

November 1, 2010   |   1 Comment

An open heart conquers all. Please watch. Every day. For the rest of your life.

I’ll give you pretty.

October 26, 2010   |   1 Comment

I remember when I was 8 or 9 years old, lying on the floor of my bedroom, begging, pleading, gripping an arm to pull an invisible his ear toward me to say, Please. Make. Me. Pretty. Please. Pretty. Please. Lying there, thinking oh no, what if I’m not, what if I’m not? I don’t know where all this came from–from... READ MORE

Open your heart to change the world.

October 16, 2010   |   12 Comments

Lately, I’ve been thinking about what I could do to change the world. I mean, what else could possibly be worth thinking about? The crazier the world gets, the more I feel ashamed of my personal concerns and also cling to them as particularly meaningful. Because the world is so incomprehensible, I take refuge in what I think I can... READ MORE

Talk on the Wisdom of a Broken Heart (long)

October 12, 2010   |   1 Comment

Here is a recording of a talk I gave this past February at the Victoria Shambhala Center. It’s about, well, the wisdom contained in heartbreak. It’s an altered state. Could even be considered an altered state of grace, depending on how you view it. The first 17 minutes are meditation instruction, so if you want to go right to the... READ MORE

Tim Gunn PSA for at-risk LGBT teens

October 6, 2010   |   2 Comments

Please share this amazing, straightforward, moving PSA from the beloved Tim Gunn. Pass it along to any at-risk teens or families who may be struggling with issues of sexuality or gender. The Trevor Project is a suicide hotline that is there to help. 866 488 7386 We love you. We care.

fear.less

October 5, 2010   |   2 Comments

fear.less is an awesome online magazine. I’m on the cover of the current issue! Check them out and get on their mailing list for really inspiring and completely down-to-earth stories on becoming fearless.

Fun podcast interview with Ethan Nichtern

September 29, 2010   |   Leave a reply

Ethan Nichtern, founder of the awesome Interdependence Project, interviewed me for his podcast. Topics: finding the path, relationships and the lack of Buddhist teachings on them, creativity, and more. I loved talking to Ethan. Check out his book. One City. Here is the interview. Enjoy!

Sympathy for the Buddha

September 17, 2010   |   1 Comment

From The Worst Horse A report from the UK’s semi-notorious Sun reports that Jagger is a regular visitor to Laos, where, says one source: “He spent hours with monks in the temples and chanted with them. He practises Buddhism and meditation every day. He says it’s the first thing he does when he gets up in the morning.” This may... READ MORE

The Doubt Demon

August 25, 2010   |   8 Comments

Two days ago, out of the blue, someone who I really respect (but had never met) called to say he thought my work was awesome, that I was a “rock star,” and basically he just really appreciated my work. Amazing. Ridiculously cool. So affirming. My response? He must be psycho. That didn’t just happen. Then I burst into tears and... READ MORE

Getting Stuff Done By Not Being Mean to Yourself

August 20, 2010   |   24 Comments

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life trying to force myself to do things. Really good things. Things that are important to me. Things like meditating, journaling, going to the gym, and so on. I set schedules over and over. (I will rise at 5. Meditate, 530-630. Journal 630-730. Breakfast 8-9, and so on.) I fail way more... READ MORE

Am I a Buddhist? I don't know. You tell me.

August 17, 2010   |   15 Comments

How do you know if you’re Buddhist? I knew I was a Buddhist the moment I read a book by Chogyam Trungpa called The Heart of the Buddha. This is how I already think, only I didn’t know it, I said to myself. I must be a Buddhist. From that moment, the fates conspired to place me firmly on the... READ MORE

Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche Speaks About Meditation

August 16, 2010   |   Leave a reply

Perfect advice from 16-year old reincarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. “…If your mind is going all day, I must tell you frankly that is not something you should be worried or upset (about), because that really happens all the time.”

From Sogyal Rinpoche

August 16, 2010   |   2 Comments

“The more often you listen to your discriminating awareness, the more easily you will be able to change your negative moods yourself, see through them, and even laugh at them for the absurd dramas and ridiculous illusions that they are. Gradually you will find yourself able to free yourself more and more quickly from the dark emotions that have ruled... READ MORE

Finding Home

July 16, 2010   |   15 Comments

Hiro Boga, Jennifer Louden, Mahala Mazerov, and I have taken it upon ourselves to write on the same topic, and publish our work on the same day. This is the second time we’ve done this; the first time, our topic was writing. Today, it is home. Click on their names to read their lovely pieces. It is an honor to... READ MORE

Opening to Love After Heartbreak

July 14, 2010   |   14 Comments

Since The Wisdom of a Broken Heart came out, I’ve had the honor of speaking with many people who are meeting this incredibly difficult life passage with courage and tenderness. We talk about the endless waves of grief, fear, and rage and how one could possibly weather them. We talk about the valuable, hard-won heart opening that can arise. And... READ MORE

Writers' Retreats

July 7, 2010   |   4 Comments

Writers’ retreat participants talk about the retreat experience: Have I mentioned how much I love to teach writers’ retreats?! It is like my favorite thing to do. For the following reasons. 1. I get to help people say the stuff they’d like to say. 2. I get to teach meditation. 3. I hear and see writing take shape. 4. I... READ MORE

Authenticity: What is it? What Isn't it?

July 6, 2010   |   4 Comments

I recently spoke with Ronna Detrick of RENEGADEconversations. Ronna hosts a members-only, online forum for women called A CONVERSATIONAL SPACE. Included in that space are monthly MP3s of Ronna’s conversation with women from all over the world. And this month it’s me. The MP3 of our conversation is usually exclusve to her site-members only, but by clicking here you can... READ MORE

Heartbreak: How to gain closure?

June 17, 2010   |   25 Comments

Among the many difficulties that come with a breakup, the worst may be when the person who broke up with you will not discuss it and may even cut off contact altogether. I have one friend who was talking about marriage one day, and the next, literally, could not get her to take his calls. Eventually, he got a letter... READ MORE

3 Reasons to Meditate

June 15, 2010   |   5 Comments

Recently appeared in Huffington Post… By now, many of us have heard of the extraordinary, scientifically proven health benefits of meditation. It relieves stress (by lowering cortisol), improves focus and memory (by raising the level of gamma waves), prevents relapse into depression by 50 percent (according to studies by Jon Kabat-Zinn, M.D. and Zindel Segal, Ph.D.), boosts immunity (in one... READ MORE

Loving Kindness: An Unexpected Way to Pacify Heartbreak

June 10, 2010   |   11 Comments

(Photo: Vanessa Pike-Russell’s Flickr photostream) When your heart is broken or you’re otherwise dealing with strong painful emotions, the idea of feeling genuine loving kindness for anyone can seem far-fetched, much less yourself or the one who broke your heart. Loving kindness is soft and gentle, but your heart feels cold and numb or enflamed with rage—not loving at all.... READ MORE

There is a way to write that solidifies story lines–and a way to write that liberates you from them.

June 8, 2010   |   8 Comments

I and Twitter pals Hiro Boga (@hiroboga), Mahala Mazerov (@luminousheart), and Jennifer Louden (@jenlouden) all wrote on the same topic today: The process of writing. For a kaleidoscopic view of this issue (storytelling vs truth telling), check them out. Hiro Boga: Tsunamis in the House of Wholeness Jennifer Louden: How to Be a Writer Who Loves the Gap Mahala Mazerov:... READ MORE

3 Misconceptions About Meditation

June 2, 2010   |   8 Comments

This post first appeared on the Huffington Post. Check it out for all the cool, wacky, sweet comments. Meditation has been getting a very good rap lately. Very good. Scientists have proven that it actually makes you happier. It is included in mental health programs. It is being taught at gyms, schools and in the workplace. It has stopped being associated... READ MORE

Buddhism and Real Life: How to Be Disciplined

May 25, 2010   |   42 Comments

There are some things I’m good at, if I do say so myself. I know about generosity. I know from patience. I know how to try really, really hard. I’m devoted to the search for wisdom.  However there is one skill that I truly suck at and, without it, all these other good qualities are considerably weaker than they could... READ MORE

EL BUDISMO Y LA VIDA REAL: CÓMO SER DISCIPLINADO

May 25, 2010   |   Leave a reply

Hay algunas cosas en las que soy buena, si me permites decirlo. Sé de generosidad. Sé sobre paciencia. Sé cómo intentar realmente, realmente esforzándome. Estoy dedicada a la búsqueda de la sabiduría. Sin embargo, hay una habilidad en la que realmente soy mala y, sin ella, todas estas buenas cualidades son considerablemente más débiles de lo que podrían ser. ¿Esa... READ MORE

Audio recording of "The Wisdom of a Broken Heart"

May 18, 2010   |   8 Comments

Am planning to create an unabridged audio book of “The Wisdom of a Broken Heart.” I’m going to record and edit it myself and I’m really excited about it. I see it as a chance to add some of the insights and stories I’ve garnered in the 4 months since the book was published. I’m also going to include “extras,”... READ MORE

Buddhism and Real Life: What is True Confidence?

May 17, 2010   |   9 Comments

It often happens that I wake up completely devoid of self-confidence. I have no idea when or why this is going to happen. It drives me mad. I sit down to write and some inner Miss Thing tells me I have nothing of interest to say. I want to call a friend but Miss Things says, oh she has no... READ MORE

New Dimensions interview available as free download

May 1, 2010   |   Leave a reply

The “short form” of my New Dimensions Café interview is now available for listening and downloading for FREE on the New Dimensions website. From their website: Program Description: “Love is the least safe thing there is. It’s fierce. You can’t domesticate it. It’s wild. When you find it you should rejoice. When you lose it you should grieve.” So says... READ MORE

RIP Guru, RIP Jazzmatazz, RIP Brilliant Music Light

April 29, 2010   |   3 Comments

Some of you may know that I am a huge music lover. I worked in the independent music business for about 15 years. I have heard things that would make your mind explode. (In a good way.) There are a few recordings that I count as my always-fresh, completely beloved, never-tire-of-listening-ever-ever musical loves. They include (but are in no way... READ MORE

The Brilliance of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

April 29, 2010   |   16 Comments

Trungpa Rinpoche cuts right through to the core of our confusion and gives it back to us as wisdom. Thank you, thank you, thank you. “We must be willing to be completely ordinary people, which means accepting ourselves as we are without trying to become greater, purer, more spiritual, more insightful. If we can accept our imperfections as they are,... READ MORE

Buddhism and Relationships: 3 Stages to Heal a Broken Heart

April 28, 2010   |   233 Comments

(handy for working with strong emotions in general) Nothing feels worse than a broken heart, the kind you get when someone you love ends the relationship. Feelings of shame, remorse, grief, rage, and terror can overwhelm even the most stable human being. Heartbreak has the power to reframe a workable life as a disaster. Surprisingly, Buddhism has a tremendous amount... READ MORE

Broken Heart Part 1

April 27, 2010   |   3 Comments

Bindu Wiles, a blogger who brings a fresh, warm, down to earth voice to my favorite subjects: Dharma, Creativity, and Writing, interviewed me for her blog. The interview felt like talking to a sister.

Songs for the sad at heart

April 26, 2010   |   Leave a reply

Change Gonna Come Sam Cooke The Dark End of the Street James Carr I Can’t Stand The Rain Ann Peebles I Can’t Stop Loving You Freddy Fender I’ve Been Loving You Too Long Otis Redding There Is An End The Greenhornes & Holly Golightly What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? Jimmy Ruffin When I Get Like This Five Royales Whole... READ MORE

NICE Manifesto

April 26, 2010   |   22 Comments

I had such a wonderful time teaching from The Wisdom of a Broken Heart this past week in D.C., N.Y., Toronto, and Montreal (where the book is called La Sagesse d’un Coeur Brisé which makes it sound so pretty). Over and over, I’m struck by the deep well of tenderness that resides in each of us and how a broken... READ MORE

Pema Chodron on Awakened Heart

April 20, 2010   |   1 Comment

Read this today on Dennis Hunter’s thoughtful, helpful blog, One Human Journey, where he writes about his spiritual journey which includes hearing amazing talks from Ani Pema at Gampo Abbey. Click here to read the rest of the post. A few days ago, Pema Chodron gave a teaching at the Abbey in which she defined the aspiration of bodhicitta in... READ MORE