When you’re committed to kindness, how do you respond to hate? (The one where someone called me a _________ [the b word])

November 27, 2017   |   Leave a reply  |   FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

The meditation begins at 9:17
Audio only version is here.

Hello, dear meditator. How are you? I hope you are well and feeling happy.

In the U.S., this is Thanksgiving weekend. For many of us, this means time with family–which can also mean time with people who make you angry/sad/confused/irritated…triggered.

We meditate to practice generosity, patience, and equanimity. How do we respond when generosity, patience, and equanimity go out the window? Does this mean that our spiritual experiment has failed?

It does not. In fact, when emotions are high we are presented with an opportunity to put our practice to work. This does not mean to feel all sanguine and relaxed. No! We are human beings who are “brilliant, vivid, made of music and fire,” to paraphrase Addison DeWitt. As such, we are capable of a great range of unpredictable feeling.

To become spiritual is not to equalize this range. It is actually to enhance it. In other words, rather than feeling less, as meditators, we feel more. Then what? When you are furious, do you yell and scream? When you are hurt, do you sob and disavow those who hurt you? Certainly, you are invited to. These are not necessarily anti-spiritual activities. It seems to depend on your motivation, the ability to introduce a pause between emotion and response, and a commitment to respect yourself and others. Interestingly, it is leaving out this first bit (respecting yourself) that leads to difficulty.

Before today’s sit, I share with you a story about when someone in the Open Heart Project called me a f*&#ing b*tch. I’m not particularly proud of this story, but I think it illustrates something useful: a way to respond to so-called haters that feels both genuine and pacifying.

Love, Susan


PS Our acclaimed 4-week program, “Invoking Magic: Develop a Morning Routine” starts tomorrow. During this program, we will:

  • Establish a doable, workable meditation schedule as our working basis.
  • Discuss the obstacles and review the antidotes to creating any morning routine.
  • Learn a simple 3-step process to help you remain connected to yourself and your priorities
  • Craft the right routine for you
  • Learn how and why to create and use a practice journal
  • Share and celebrate both victories and challenges with the community.

The cost $54 or FREE for members of the Open Heart Project Sangha. Join the Sangha for $27 a month to participate in this and other online programs, to access our archive of hundreds of meditation videos, participate in the Daily Dharma Gathering and more. If you join for a year ($270), you’ll also receive an autographed copy of my latest book, Start Here Now, an OHP t-shirt, and most important of all, you will have locked in a solid year of ongoing support for your meditation practice and all that comes with it: wisdom, compassion, and confidence.

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