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How to create more happiness: Step #4

August 21, 2017   |   1 Comment

The meditation begins at 6:35 Audio only version is here. Hello. I am so happy we have a chance to sit together. Before today’s 10-minute sit, I offer you some thoughts on the fourth paramita or transcendent action: exertion. It is really easy to lose the energy to act in this crazy, wonderful, confounding world of ours. In this video, I suggest... READ MORE

How can I plan for the future and think about the past when I’m supposed to be in the present moment?

August 14, 2017   |   Leave a reply

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #24.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. Torsten from Berlin raises an excellent question, one for the ages. If mindfulness is about being present, how... READ MORE

How to create more happiness: Step #3

August 14, 2017   |   Leave a reply

The meditation begins at 6:40 Audio only version is here. Hello, wonderful humans. I am so happy we have a chance to sit together. The reason I always say this is because it is ALWAYS TRUE. Before today’s 10-minute sit, I offer you some thoughts on the third paramita (or transcendent action), which is called “patience.” If you think of... READ MORE

Loving Kindness Meditation for Victims of Racism and Hatred

August 13, 2017   |   Leave a reply

      This is an audio version of the Facebook live event I gave on Sunday, August 13, 2017. May it bring you peace. Love, Susan xo         GET FREE WEEKLY MEDITATION VIDEOS The only way to understand meditation is by doing it yourself, and I’m here to help. Sign up and I’ll email you a... READ MORE

How to create more happiness: Step #2

August 7, 2017   |   Leave a reply

The meditation begins at 7:24 Audio only version is here. Hello, excellent meditators. Welcome to your practice. I hope you will enjoy the practice of meditation, or, if you can’t, that you choose to enjoy the practice of kindness toward yourself. Today, before our practice, we continue our broad examination of the six paramitas (or transcendent actions). Last week, we discussed... READ MORE

How to create more happiness: step #1

July 31, 2017   |   Leave a reply

The meditation begins at 11:11 Audio only version is here. Hello and I hope you are well! I am delighted to have a chance to practice meditation together. Over the last 8 weeks, we looked at each step along the noble eightfold path which describes the path away from suffering and toward libertation. I heard from many of you about... READ MORE

How can I have compassion for others without ignoring my own needs?

July 31, 2017   |   Leave a reply

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #23.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. Katia’s question is about figuring out the balance between kindness toward others and self-care. In this answer, I... READ MORE

The Teacher-Student Relationship: Liberating or a Trap?

July 27, 2017   |   14 Comments

I’m a 20+ year practitioner in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, a Tibetan Vajrayana tradition. It is based on teachings brought to the West by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. There are things in these two seemingly straightforward sentences that might piss some people off. For example, in my community, there are arguments about whether it is okay to say “Shambhala” and “Buddhist”in... READ MORE

What can help when you have lost a pet and are overwhelmed with grief?

July 24, 2017   |   1 Comment

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #22.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. Like many of you, Taryn in Austin, TX could not have loved her dog more. Then she died.... READ MORE

Could meditation be giving me insomnia?

July 18, 2017   |   Leave a reply

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #21.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. This week’s question is truly fascinating. Our questioner has discovered that since beginning a meditation practice, his mind... READ MORE

How can meditation help me with heartbreak?

July 10, 2017   |   Leave a reply

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #20.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. This week’s excellent question is about equanimity. Our lovely questioner wants to know how she can remain equanimous... READ MORE

What is the best way to prepare for a meditation retreat?

July 3, 2017   |   2 Comments

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #19.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. Ashley is planning to come on one of my retreats. YAY! This is her first-ever meditation retreat and... READ MORE

Meditation is very boring. What am I doing wrong?

June 26, 2017   |   1 Comment

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #18.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. I love, love, love this question from Paula. Thank you, Paula! She has been meditating for several years... READ MORE

I find meditation to be irritating! My eyes feel dry and uncomfortable. Can I still get the benefits of wakefulness if I meditate with my eyes closed?

June 19, 2017   |   Leave a reply

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #17.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. Hillary is accustomed to an eyes-open practice (as I teach it). But she finds it very uncomfortable and... READ MORE

How and why would anyone become a Buddhist?

June 12, 2017   |   1 Comment

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #16.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. This week’s question is about becoming a Buddhist. The ceremony for doing so is called “taking refuge”. What... READ MORE

How do I know if this practice is “the one”?

June 5, 2017   |   Leave a reply

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #15.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. Victoria from England is really interested in two different but equally meaningful spiritual practice. How important is it... READ MORE

On being a teacher

June 5, 2017   |   8 Comments

Just back from teaching two retreats in France and am filled with gratitude for the participants and for the great good fortune of being a teacher. Reposting this from 2015 as much of it still stands. I just finished teaching two retreats at Dechen Choling Retreat Center in France, “The Open Heart Retreat” followed by “Fearless Creativity: A Meditation and Writing... READ MORE

The Truth About Marriage Vows: Five Promises you Can Keep.

May 31, 2017   |   4 Comments

(Parts of this piece were published previously, but as our wedding anniversary approaches, I felt compelled to update it.) Next month, my partner and I celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary. Nineteen years. How the hell did that happen?! As we get ready to celebrate nearly two decades of wedded bliss, (and also of wedded hell, confusion, joy, and mystery), I’ve... READ MORE

How do you find a spiritual teacher? Are you, Susan, my teacher?

May 22, 2017   |   1 Comment

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #13.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. This week’s question comes from Edith in Scotland. She is curious about the teacher-student relationship in Buddhism. How... READ MORE

Buddhism and Relationships: Eight Qualities of Love

May 15, 2017   |   2 Comments

Even though Buddhism is often associated with ascetic practices done by people in robes, as a 20+ year practitioner, it has been useful to apply core Buddhist teachings to my love life. Buddhist practice and study were helpful when I fell in love, got my heart broken, and, now, in marriage. In a recent post, I offered a way to... READ MORE

Can you practice meditation while you are experiencing physical discomfort?

May 8, 2017   |   1 Comment

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #11.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. Claudia’s meditation practice was going really well…until she developed tinnitus. Is it possible to meditate on your breath... READ MORE

Buddhism and Relationships: The Four Noble Truths of Love

May 5, 2017   |   1 Comment

Earlier this week, I posted about applying the wisdom of Buddhism to romantic relationships. Is it even possible? Advisable? As a Buddhist and a wife, I would say yes. Relationships have periods of closeness and distance and no one can really tell you what governs their coming and going. It’s a mystery. During one such period of distance with my... READ MORE

Buddhist wisdom for relationships.

May 2, 2017   |   6 Comments

My 19th wedding anniversary is coming up next month. HOLY CRAP. I never in a million years imagined that I would be with one person for this long. Our marriage has been more than I could have hoped for but nothing I would ever have expected. Like most of us, when I was young, I dreamed of finding the right relationship.... READ MORE

Is it important to commit to a particular meditation technique?

April 24, 2017   |   1 Comment

   Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. This is episode #9.  I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. This week’s question is about deciding on a particular technique. Is it necessary? What if I derive benefit... READ MORE

Ask Susan podcast episode #7:Meditation is Not About Becoming Perfect, It’s About Becoming Genuine

April 10, 2017   |   Leave a reply

  Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. In this week’s episode, our caller reports that her meditation practice brings her face-to-face with difficult emotions, which she was taught to... READ MORE

Ask Susan podcast episode #6:What Should I Do if My Foot Falls Asleep?

April 3, 2017   |   Leave a reply

  Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. This week’s Ask Susan question is a very practical one! When Marsha sits down to practice, her “feet go dead.” For all... READ MORE

Ask Susan podcast episode #5: When will Meditation Make Me More Peaceful?

March 27, 2017   |   1 Comment

  Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. This week’s excellent question is about meditation during times of great upset. When we are angry, sad, or confused it seems more... READ MORE

Ask Susan podcast episode #4: Compassion and boundaries

March 20, 2017   |   Leave a reply

  Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. This week the question is about showing compassion for others and also protecting our own boundaries, which is an excellent point to... READ MORE

Ask Susan podcast episode #3: Basic goodness

March 13, 2017   |   Leave a reply

  Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. This week’s question comes from a listener in Amsterdam. The question is What is meant by basic goodness?” Basic Goodness is the... READ MORE

Ask Susan podcast episode #2: Patience and kindness

March 6, 2017   |   Leave a reply

  Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast. I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. This week’s question is one many of us share. It is about discovering deeper wells of patience and kindness through our practice... READ MORE

Ask Susan podcast episode #1: Staying focused

February 27, 2017   |   Leave a reply

  Welcome to the Ask Susan podcast! I’m really excited to be able to offer this to you. Each week, I will answer a question about spirituality and meditation practice. Please click here to ask me your question. Our first episode answers a question from Lisa, How do I stay focused during my meditation? How can my mind be more... READ MORE

Renunciation and the Church of Magical Eating

February 21, 2017   |   1 Comment

When you think of spirituality, you might call to mind a framework or set of rules that show you the way to inner peace, to end your suffering (and possibly even avoid death), is to be good. On the darker end of the spectrum, however, behavior is often driven by a fear of consequences (of not following the rules), an... READ MORE

Just You and Me

January 21, 2017   |   Leave a reply

Since the presidential election, I have felt called to do more. To get involved with organizations that stand for the values I hold dear, to call my elected officials to give them a piece of my mind (or at least read one of the suggested scripts from Facebook), to march and rail and educate myself about my own ignorance and... READ MORE

Everything’s Better When Mommy Meditates – Part 2

December 20, 2016   |   Leave a reply

In Part 1 I talked about the top five benefits of meditating when you’re a mom. In Part 2, I discuss the major obstacles and how to overcome them. There are plenty of barriers to creating and sustaining a meditation practice for any of us, but when your life centers on caring for small humans, that ups the ante. In... READ MORE

Everything’s Better When Mommy Meditates – Part 1

December 19, 2016   |   Leave a reply

When my son was 10 months old, he already had 8 front teeth and an appetite to match. Without molars, however, he could literally bite off more than he could chew. Nevertheless, anything that neared our mouths was exactly what he wanted. One afternoon, at a bistro with my mom, that anything was a hunk of baguette. Just two weeks... READ MORE

Don’t bite the hook.

November 14, 2016   |   3 Comments

Hello, dear, brave warriors. I want to share with you a piece I wrote for Lion’s Roar on November 9, called “Don’t Bite the Hook: Five Things to Remember Post-Election.” As a community of practitioners, now is the time to put our practice to work as the foundation for bravely standing up for what is right without losing a sense... READ MORE

I want a viable third party and I want it today.

November 11, 2016   |   9 Comments

I woke up at 3:30 this morning and made one up out of a longing to live in a world that makes sense to me. Before I even got out of bed, I decided that I want a third party that will take us in the direction we need to go to save our Democracy and our planet and I... READ MORE

Love in the Time of Crankiness. Part Two.

November 4, 2016   |   10 Comments

In a recent post, I wrote about my choice to respond to hateful comments even though the general consensus is to delete. Go back and read it if you like, but you don’t have to. Here are some additional thoughts on how one might go about doing this without creating more insanity. What usually happens is this: You yell at me,... READ MORE

Love in the Time of Crankiness. Part One.

November 3, 2016   |   15 Comments

As a writer, blogger, Buddhist teacher, and self-employed person who depends on her web presence for all sorts of reasons, I have often heard this admonition: Ignore flamers. Don’t respond to anyone who wants to fight with you or challenge your position unless they are polite and measured. Do not react to aggression, ridicule, shaming, insults, projections, and taunts. Delete,... READ MORE

November 9: Time to Move Forward

November 2, 2016   |   Leave a reply

It has been a crazy, painful election season here in the United States and we know that people all over the world have been feeling it too. No matter what “side” you are on, there has been so much chaos, vitriol, and aggression.   On November 9th, it will be time to move forward.   Can we find a way... READ MORE

Five Mindfulness Lessons Every Coach and Therapist Can Use

October 27, 2016   |   1 Comment

Within the first few nutrition therapy sessions with a new client, I inevitably ask her (or him) to do something that seems impossible: to stay in the icky, fearsome, claustrophobic space between having a painful emotion and automatically reacting to it by overeating. This might not sound like much, but to someone struggling with emotional overeating, learning to stay with... READ MORE

Dear Susan, How Do I Deal With Emotional Abuse?

May 11, 2016   |   2 Comments

A meditation teacher and award-winning author provides guidance on readers’ real-life problems. Here is her advice on domestic distress. Dear Susan, My boyfriend of 10 years now is so rude to me. He barks orders and isn’t sexually interested anymore and complains about all that I do. I feel worthless. What should I do? Dear Friend, Well, this is a... READ MORE

Dear Susan, I Am Rethinking My Marriage and Don’t Know What to Do

April 27, 2016   |   2 Comments

A meditation teacher and award-winning author provides guidance on readers’ real-life problems. Here is her advice on what to do when you’re spiritually disconnected from your spouse. Dear Susan, Four years ago something changed in me. I woke up feeling electrical. Full of energy. I saw things different, knowledge of things I don’t know came from where. Now my husband... READ MORE

Dear Susan, How Do I Deal with Anger?

April 21, 2016   |   1 Comment

A meditation teacher and award-winning author provides guidance on readers’ real-life problems. Here is her advice on understanding and resolving anger. Dear Susan, How does one let go of anger—not deep-rooted anger but anger over everyday trivial things? How can I learn to really let go of things that don’t matter in my life? Too much time is wasted on... READ MORE

Dear Susan, How Do I Deal With Loss?

April 18, 2016   |   1 Comment

  A meditation teacher and award-winning author provides guidance on readers’ real-life problems. Here is her advice on dealing with loss. Dear Susan, It has been 11 years since my late husband’s tragic death, I have since remarried, but I am missing my late husband greatly. I still miss him very much. How can I fully move on with my... READ MORE

Loving the People You Hate/Donald Trump

March 7, 2016   |   85 Comments

During this election cycle in the US, I find tremendous cause for hate. Spoiler alert: I HATE Donald Trump—hate him with a passion I would otherwise reserve for terrorists, power-mongers, fundamentalists of any stripe, baby slappers, and puppy murderers. HATE. I fucking hate that guy. He is a liar. A charlatan. A cheat. Someone who degrades others. An egomaniac who... READ MORE

AMAR A LA GENTE QUE ODIAS/DONALD TRUMP

March 7, 2016   |   Leave a reply

Durante este ciclo electoral en Estados Unidos, encuentro tremendos motivos para el odio. Revelación: YO ODIO a Donald Trump-lo odio con una pasión que además reservo para los terroristas, traficantes de poder, fundamentalistas de cualquier índole, maltratadores de niños y asesino de cachorros. ODIO. Carajo que odio a ese tipo. Es un mentiroso. Un charlatan. Un tramposo. Alguien que humilla... READ MORE

The Open Heart Project: 2015 Annual Report

January 5, 2016   |   11 Comments

Hello, to all! I hope your year is beginning in a delightfully auspicious way. Mine is, because I finished this $(#) annual report which has somehow taken about a week to write. (I thought it would take a couple of hours.) I share it with you here as an account of the ups and downs of 2015 which, as it... READ MORE

What you are doing right now is the path.

December 8, 2015   |   18 Comments

In the Buddhist view, there are three ways to practice the dharma. (Determining the way that is right for you is a matter of karma and inspiration.) The first way is the path of monasticism. This is fairly straightforward in terms of understanding what is meant. You renounce this world and the things of this world—money, sex, buying a house,... READ MORE

Helping victims of violence

November 20, 2015   |   8 Comments

…which is basically all of us at this point. After the brutal attacks in Paris last week, like everyone, I felt enraged, grief-stricken, and, perhaps most of all, lost. What could I, one person, do in response to this horror, not to mention other horrors in Beirut, Nigeria, and in the skies above? If only there was some way to... READ MORE

Start Here Now comes out today

September 15, 2015   |   11 Comments

My new book is out today. I am honored to share it with you. Personally, I really, really like it. I’m so happy about it. I woke up this morning at 5:30 wondering how the day would go, how I would feel about it all, (it’s such a vulnerable situation), and if the world would embrace it in any way.... READ MORE

The magic of a morning routine

September 9, 2015   |   4 Comments

Yesterday was a wonderful day. I felt productive, connected, and easeful. I accomplished work I was proud of. I liked myself. I focused on what mattered to me and honored my energy ebbs and flows. When I went to bed, I felt good-tired. The day before yesterday sucked. I wandered around in a fog. I watched a lot of television.... READ MORE

The one where I asked the Dalai Lama a question

September 8, 2015   |   6 Comments

Some years ago, my friend Josh was organizing a press conference at MIT for the Dalai Lama and the prominent neuroscientist Richard Davidson. They were there to answer questions about the Dalai Lama’s decades-long dialogue with scientists exploring the relationship of science and Eastern thought. Josh asked me if I wanted to go and of course I did. There were... READ MORE

How I feel about JetBlue (and a bunch of other stuff)

August 17, 2015   |   14 Comments

Is it totally silly to have feelings about an airline? It may be. However, when you are a nervous flier (as I am), it matters. “Nervous flier” is the term used by airport and airline professionals to designate anyone who may freak out while in the process of checking in, boarding, flying, and/or deplaning. If you use this term while... READ MORE

RESPONDER A LA VIOLENCIA Y A LA LOCURA (UNA PERSPECTIVA BUDISTA)

July 16, 2015   |   Leave a reply

Tal vez has visto en las noticias hoy que hombres armados abrieron fuego en las oficinas de la “revista satírica” Charlie Hebdo, una publicación en París, Francia, que en el pasado ha encolerizado a los extremistas Islámicos. Unas 12 personas, incluyendo famosos caricaturistas franceses, fueron asesinadas. Pensé que era una broma. No lo es. Nada puede hacer que esto esté bien.... READ MORE

BUDISMO Y RELACIONES: 3 ETAPAS PARA SANAR UN CORAZON ROTO

July 9, 2015   |   15 Comments

(útil para trabajar con emociones fuertes en general) Nada se siente peor que un corazón roto, del tipo que tienes cuando alguien a quien amas termina la relación. Sentimientos de vergüenza, remordimiento, dolor, rabia y terror pueden abrumar incluso al ser humano más estable. El sufrimiento tiene el poder de hacer ver una vida factible como un desastre. Sorprendentemente, el... READ MORE

EL PODER DE LA TRISTEZA

July 8, 2015   |   1 Comment

No sé si han notado esto acerca de su práctica de meditación, pero algo que mucha gente advierte es una especie de delicadeza-a su propia experiencia, tal vez, pero también al mundo que te rodea. Hay un sentido de permeabilidad, de caminar por la calle y recibir información de una manera más directa que antes. Cuando ves un narciso amarillo... READ MORE

Is writing an egotistical act?

July 8, 2015   |   2 Comments

I recently saw this question: Does anyone of you write morning pages? With Sokuzan Brown‘s talk today (in the Daily Dharma Gathering) I thought about the observing of the I and I was wondering if it is an act of holding on to the ego to constantly make I-statements in the free-writing. Generally, I would be interested what others think of journaling in connection to meditation.... READ MORE

¿CÓMO FUE PARA USTED? INFORMES SOBRE LA EXPERIENCIA DE SER UN MAESTRO.

June 19, 2015   |   Leave a reply

Acabo de terminar de enseñar en dos retiros en el Centro de Retiros Dechen Choling en Francia, El “Retiro Corazón Abierto” seguido por “Creatividad sin miedo: Un Retiro de Meditación y Escritura”. En el último día del último programa, un estudiante amablemente preguntó qué sentía yo cuando terminaba un retiro. Nuestro grupo estaba sentado a la mesa del desayuno en... READ MORE

How was it for you? Reporting on the experience of being a teacher.

June 19, 2015   |   31 Comments

I just finished teaching two retreats at Dechen Choling Retreat Center in France, “The Open Heart Retreat” followed by “Fearless Creativity: A Meditation and Writing Retreat.” On the last day of the last program, a student kindly asked what it felt like for me when a retreat was over. Our group was sitting at the breakfast table in the main... READ MORE

Rediscovering basic goodness

June 10, 2015   |   2 Comments

I just finished teaching an Open Heart retreat in beautiful Dechen Choling which is situated in rural south-central France, near Limoges. The beauty here reminds me of what the world felt like when I was a kid in summertime:  Verdant, lush, quiet, warm…all you want to do is be outside. These words are misleadingly prosaic… But when you arrive here... READ MORE

A room of my own

June 3, 2015   |   5 Comments

In addition to creating a new online home (this redesigned website!!), I’ve taken a leap and decided to move to a new offline home as well—a workspace that is separate from my personal home. For years, I have worked at home and there are many things I love about doing so. There is something powerful about removing the separation between work... READ MORE

Why blog?

May 23, 2015   |   6 Comments

I am so excited about my new website. I could not be happier with the design and, as important, with the increased clarity about what exactly is going on here and how you might take advantage of it. I was a little surprised by how emotional the redesign process was. Every decision had repercussions for me, for you, for the... READ MORE

How do Buddhists respond to violence?

April 28, 2015   |   8 Comments

I was teaching a workshop in Baltimore this past weekend, just as the rioting and agitation of the protests was ramping up. We all felt frozen. One of the students brought up this question—what are we supposed to do? What, as non-violent people, do we do when faced with violence, including our own? She was enraged at everyone. Enraged at... READ MORE

Your questions answered here!

April 15, 2015   |   1 Comment

Thank you, Kris, for these excellent questions. Q1: As for putting our attention on our breath, would you want to speak to the relationship between putting my attention on my thoughts and (not) sort of leaving my body? I feel like sometimes what is happening for me is that while focusing on my breath, and labeling my thoughts, I lose... READ MORE

Transforming Betrayal and Non-Closure

March 25, 2015   |   3 Comments

I wanted to use today’s email to respond to a post (on our Facebook page) from Barba Twin regarding anger and forgiveness. In it, she describes a situation that many of you may be familiar with: a relationship that has ended with no opportunity for closure. The person seeking it is then left on his or her own to find... READ MORE

The Open Heart Project Annual Report

January 12, 2015   |   30 Comments

In creating the Open Heart Project, we are building something astonishing: the world’s first completely virtual, thoroughly robust, dharmically honest meditation center. My thoughts on how it went in 2014, where we are going in 2015, and the fascinating challenges encountered.     [social_share/]

En respuesta a la Violencia y a la Locura (Una perspectiva Budista)

January 11, 2015   |   2 Comments

Translation courtesy of Yolanda Andrade. Tal vez han visto las noticias donde hombres armados abrieron fuego en las oficinas de la “revista satírica” Charlie Hebdo, publicación francesa que en el pasado ha enfurecido a los extremistas islámicos. 12 personas, incluyendo el famoso caricaturista francés, fueron asesinadas. Pensé que era un chiste, No lo es. Nada puede mejorar lo sucedido. No hay explicación... READ MORE

Répondre à a violence et à la colère (une perspective bouddhiste)

January 11, 2015   |   Leave a reply

(traduction française de Elise Maes Le Goff) Texte original Aujourd’hui des hommes armés ont ouvert le feu dans les bureaux du magazine satirique Charlie Hebdo qui avait soulevé par le passé la colère d’islamistes extrémistes. Douze personnes, dont des dessinateurs célèbres en France, ont été tués. J’ai cru que c’était une blague. Mais non. Rien ne peut rendre cela acceptable.... READ MORE

Responding to Violence and Insanity (one Buddhist’s perspective)

January 7, 2015   |   85 Comments

              Perhaps you have seen the news today that gunmen opened fire on the offices of the “satirical magazine” Charlie Hebdo, a publication in Paris, France that has in the past angered Islamist extremists. Up to 12 people, including famous French cartoonists, were killed. I thought it was a joke. It is not. Nothing... READ MORE

On owning your true authority

August 28, 2014   |   3 Comments

I’ve written 5 books and edited 3, given countless public talks, and taught many workshops. I still struggle with self-confidence and like many who do, choose one of the two main coping mechanisms: downplaying myself and what I know and situating myself as one of many voices on the topic. (The other is overplaying and claiming complete authority while attempting... READ MORE

Mourning Robin Williams

August 14, 2014   |   6 Comments

So many of us are sad at the death of the actor and comedian Robin Williams. To watch him perform was to witness an extreme display of life force. It seemed inexhaustible. It is shocking that someone that funny and that gifted would want to die. But there is something that exists at the root of humor and creativity that... READ MORE

Rest in the meaning

August 12, 2014   |   2 Comments

As students of the dharma (whatever your dharma may be) we know the sheer delight of learning. We are fortunate to gather new insights, make connections, and feel privy to a new way of looking at the world. It is so exciting. We hear things that actually make sense—or that don’t, but in some equally intriguing way. I can’t tell... READ MORE

The Dharma of Depression: a podcast

August 11, 2014   |   3 Comments

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.

How to Enter (a building, a conversation, your life)

July 31, 2014   |   3 Comments

                        When approaching a sacred Buddhist site, it is customary to circumambulate three times before entering. You simply walk around the building, circling clockwise. Upon completion of the third loop, you enter. The first time I did this, I thought, why can’t I just walk in? But as I... READ MORE

This is your face on meditation

July 30, 2014   |   1 Comment

July 30, 2014 Photos were taken of meditation students before and after a month-long meditation retreat. What do you see in their faces? How is it that meditation does this?! For more such photos, click Enjoy! Love, Susan

Let’s talk about our bodies, shall we?

July 24, 2014   |   13 Comments

This morning I’ve been emailing with some people who run an outfit called Earth Strength. Without even knowing what it is, doesn’t that sound great? They are based in Tarifa, Spain and offer courses on, well, being outside, actually. You run, jump, swim, climb—not in a gym and not with special equipment and not to lose weight or anything like... READ MORE

Indestructible Goodness

June 18, 2014   |   4 Comments

                          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.... READ MORE

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

June 13, 2014   |   Comments Off on 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…

3 Ways Buddhism can help you heal a broken heart

May 5, 2014   |   17 Comments

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 of helpful advice for working with these terrible... READ MORE

Should spiritual teachers be paid?

February 17, 2014   |   89 Comments

This past Valentine’s Day, I launched a program called the “21-Day Open Heart Immersion: Live in Love.” I received this message (from a stranger) via email: With all due respect, I think that the global consciousness is in a state of a major shift and it has a lot to do with people like you helping to spread the world... READ MORE

Is it good or bad to have a big ego?

January 30, 2014   |   10 Comments

As a Buddhist teacher and someone with a lifelong interest in spirituality, I have attended my share of, well, interesting gatherings. From months-long meditation retreats where the vast and profound dharma is practiced, to sweaty evenings of devotional chanting, to workshops on using Sacred Geometry to attract love, to cocktail parties where sage is burned to prevent hangovers, to business... READ MORE

Can Success and Sex Sell Mindfulness?

January 22, 2014   |   6 Comments

This appeared in today’s Huffington Post… I’m a meditation teacher who speaks about mindfulness and teaches workshops around the world. I’m also founder of the Open Heart Project, an online meditation community with close to 12,000 members. And what a great time it is to be a meditation teacher! Mindfulness is becoming a movement and although I’m not always sure... READ MORE

The Secret to Happiness (as per the Dalai Lama, et al)

January 15, 2014   |   17 Comments

For some reason, I’ve taken it upon myself to declare new holidays. The last one was “International I Don’t Feel Bad About Anything Day” which was celebrated by not feeling guilty or judgmental about anything for one whole day. The new holiday is called “What About You? Day.” We celebrate by replacing the thought, “What About Me?” with “What About... READ MORE

The Hard Beauty of the Path

January 13, 2014   |   16 Comments

When it comes to the spiritual path, it seems there are two schools of thought. (Well, three. The first school says there is no such thing as a spiritual path.) The next school says that there is a particular path for you. Find it. Stay with it. Work it. The final school says there is something of value in all... READ MORE

Writers: How to Gain Confidence with the Container Principle

January 8, 2014   |   13 Comments

I was in beautiful Shambhala Mountain Center recently, teaching a writing and meditation workshop. As always, it was a wonderful combination of creativity, peace, and vulnerability. I really don’t know why, but the act of writing produces a lot of emotion, regardless of the subject matter. I’ve never known a writer who doesn’t do regular battle with these two issues:... READ MORE

The Fierce Power of Vulnerability: a podcast

January 7, 2014   |   3 Comments

In this podcast, drawn from a talk in late 2013 at the New York Shambhala Center, Susan discusses some of the sources of the biggest problems we face: speed and stress; fundamentalism; fear–and how reconnecting with our innate softness reverses them. She draws the connection between mindfulness meditation and the softening of our hearts.

The necessity of emotion

January 6, 2014   |   10 Comments

To be a spiritual warrior, one must have a broken heart; without a broken heart and the sense of tenderness and vulnerability that is in one’s self and all others, your warriorship is untrustworthy. -Chögyam Trungpa Chogyam Trungpa, the Tibetan meditation master who introduced the Shambhala teachings in the West, famously coined the phrase “idiot compassion” which is an interesting... READ MORE