dharma Archives - The Open Heart Project


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Are you a Buddhist? I don’t know. You tell me.

May 1, 2023   |   15 Comments

Dear Open Heart Project, 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... READ MORE

The Teacher-Student Relationship: Liberating or a Trap?

July 27, 2017   |   33 Comments

I’m a 20+ year practitioner in a Tibetan Vajrayana tradition. It is based on teachings brought to the West by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. There are things in these seemingly straightforward sentences that might piss some people off. There are people who say that the Vajrayana (the third “yana” or vehicle of Buddhist teachings, aka the esoteric teachings) is not even... READ MORE

How and why would anyone become a Buddhist?

June 12, 2017   |   2 Comments

   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

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


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   |   8 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

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