You are brilliant.

December 10, 2018 | 6 Comments | FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites
The meditation begins at 7:35
Audio only version is here.

Hello, meditator! It is lovely to see you and I’m very happy we are practicing together.

It is quite natural to come to meditation because you wish to repair or improve something about yourself. Maybe you want to be less stressed-out. Maybe you want to be more patient, feel more in control of your life, or just get a good night’s sleep. Maybe your heart is broken and you struggle with grief. Of course! These are great motivations. However, there is no need to approach meditation as a repair shop–you are already utterly whole.

In the Buddhist view, we are born in possession of a deeply loving and responsive nature. That is ground zero. Thus, no self-improvement is needed, rather, our work is to remove obscurations that cover over this truth and resolve any confusion about our innate goodness and worthiness. Before today’s practice, I share with you a brief story about the time the Dalai Lama responded to the question of how best to work with confusion on this issue.

What do you think? Your comments and reflections are always of interest. Please make comments below, if you feel so moved.

With love and respect, Susan


  • Posted by:  Cindy

    Thanks for the Monday morning pep talk! I found this very helpful and enlightening. If we keep this in mind we view the world (and ourselves) with softer eyes and a more open heart. ❤️

  • Posted by:  barbara born

    hi dear Susan!
    Im always struggling with this story. How is it possible that the Dalai Lama, or any buddhist for that matter, does not understand the notion of self rejection, lack of self worth? Isnt this the whole reason behind problems we face in our lives and in the world? We dont just suffer because most things in life are impermant, but because of our own (old) pain that leads to self rejection (that leads to acting out etc.); thats whats clouding our buddha nature, in my view. And that’s one of the reasons we meditate. Pema Chodron describes all these mechanisms so well. Stay with the feelings, stay with the pain, recognize the hook, ‘Shenpa’, and dont act on it. This way we make room for our softness and brilliance.
    Why else would we work with our emotions?

    It could be true that in Tibetan there’s no word for ‘not liking yourself’ or self rejection. But if the Dalai Lama really doesnt understand this whole notion, then he’s not human.

    Thank you for reminding us of our buddha nature and of being whole already!! xxBarbara

    • Posted by:  Cate

      Really appreciated this observation, Barbara. Our perfection and brilliance may be the absolute truth, but we live relative lives. We may believe, conceptually, that we are whole, but our day-to-day experience — our emotional responses to what is occurring in our lives — continually suggests otherwise. That’s why practice is necessary. Apparently there are huge cultural differences around self-esteem, with Westerners suffering disproportionately from poor self-regard. But any human who is paying attention to what is happening within her seems bound to often feel embarrassed or unworthy. Pema Chodron recalls this well in her own early practice, as she started to see clearly. Apparently it recedes with (lots of) time and practice, as we become less averse to our own negative states.

      • Posted by:  barbara born

        Thank you, Cate. And well said.

  • Posted by:  Renee Jones

    We are all good by nature until we are affected by life’s experiences. We must try and remember this at all times. Thank you Susan

  • Posted by:  Pamela Nesbit

    How wonderful to rest my hands today. Thank you for these precious moments.

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