Beating yourself up is not a good strategy to accomplish your dreams. Try this instead.

November 20, 2017   |   1 Comment

The meditation begins at 6:13
Audio only version is here.

Hello, dear meditator.

Without knowing (most of) you, I feel pretty confident in saying that you are working really, really hard to create more happiness for yourself and those you love. In fact, given all of the complexities of your history and your current life (not to mention planet earth), you are doing your very best. Yay! I support you to break through boundaries, express your deepest gifts, and fulfill your most powerful longings. Keep working it.

However, there may be a problem. It is called “self-aggression.”

For most of us, all the work we do to become better, stronger, healthier often tips over into some form of anger, disappointment, or disheartenment. We push ourselves harder. We lose confidence. We try again anyway. We push harder still.

While it is fantastic to just GO FOR IT, at some point our efforts to accomplish our goals can become domineering or worse. The primary voice in our head always seems to be yelling at us in some fashion. Not only is this dispiriting, it is destructive.

If we add our meditation practice to this list of things we must master or else, this profound and ancient spiritual practice may become a form of punishment rather that what it is meant to be: a gesture of kindness toward yourself. This gesture is of utmost importance.

Why? Because when you soften toward yourself, everything you long for becomes possible. That may sound like an exaggeration, but it is not. When you stop haranguing yourself to simply be with yourself, a kind of friendship with yourself develops. This friendship is the root of confidence. Self-knowing. Creativity. The capacity to give and receive love. These are not small things. And they are likely to arise in an environment of oppressive demands and judgments.

Before today’s meditation, I offer you a simple way to establish the foundation for gentleness toward yourself rather than aggression.

After you try it, please let me know how it felt. As your remote teacher, it is really important to me to know that I have gotten this point across. I would love to hear from you. Thank you!

With love, Susan

Special Online Event: November 21 at 8 p.m. ET





Byron Katie

On Tuesday, November 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET, Byron Katie will be a special guest teacher for the Daily Dharma Gathering. She will speak on her new book, A Mind at Home With Itself, and will be joined by her co-author and partner, the writer, scholar, and translator Stephen Mitchell.

In this work, she talks about how to use 4 questions (including the one in this week’s video) to “Free Your Mind, Open Your Heart, and Turn Your World Around,” which is the book’s subtitle.

This gathering is a special, not-to-be-repeated opportunity to meet with one of the great spiritual teachers of our lifetime. (She would laugh if she heard me describe her this way, but I stand by it.) <3

When I first encountered the work of Byron Katie about 15 years ago, I was deeply impressed by a few things. First, her genuineness and non-pretension. Second, her fearlessness. And, finally, that her method of asking four transformative questions in the face of painful thoughts was completely compatible with my Buddhist practice.

This new book is co-authored by Stephen Mitchell, one of the preeminent translators of spiritual works in our lifetime. In particular, his translation of the Tao te Ching is considered the gold standard.

I will interview them both and the gathering will last for about an hour.

How do I attend?

This gathering is part of our Daily Dharma Gathering which is free for members of the Open Heart Project Sangha.

The Daily Dharma Gathering (a daily session with a one of these amazing Buddhist teachers) is only one of the ways the Sangha helps you to deepen your practice and find more strength and joy. Please check out the Sangha here. Membership is $27 a month or $270 for a year. Membership supports your practice, your relationships, our community, and our mutual effort to bring more love and sanity into the world. xo S

PS Sangha members also attend all my 4-week E-courses for free. The next one is coming up on November 28, Invoking Magic: Create a Morning Routine.

What if I can’t attend live?

Each DDG session is recorded and available for 24 hours.

I’m really excited about this and I hope to see you there!

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