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Lojong Slogan 17

April 24, 2020   |   Leave a reply

With Practice the five strengths, the condensed heart instructions, we bodhisattvas-in-training are settling into a sense of meditation practice permeating our entire lives. Distinctions between meditation and non-meditation begin to blur and we see that there is only awareness available to us all the time, no matter how heightened our state of feeling. We are nourished by this and find... READ MORE

Lojong Slogan 8

February 24, 2020   |   Leave a reply

In 2020, the Open Heart Project sangha is exploring the 59 slogans of Atisha, one per week. These slogans are also called lojong (or mind training) practice. They are exceptionally dense. So much meaning is packed into each slogan. Their meaning is not understood through the intellect. Rather, it is arrived at through contemplation. . How is contemplation different than... READ MORE

Lojong Slogan 7

February 24, 2020   |   Leave a reply

Hello, I hope you are well and feeling happy. Or happy-ish. Or happiest. . At the Open Heart Project, we are studying the 59 slogans of Atisha, a thousand-year old practice also known as lojong. The slogans are incredibly pithy and dense. They are like objects that expand in water only, here, the water is your awareness. All you have... READ MORE

Lojong Slogan 6

February 24, 2020   |   Leave a reply

Over in the Open Heart Project sangha, we are engaged in an ancient practice called lojong or mind training. In this practice, we train our minds through the contemplation of slogans. There are 59. This week, we are on slogan #6: . “In post-meditation, be a child of illusion.” . Two questions arise immediately. . First, what is post-meditation? One... READ MORE

The Teacher-Student Relationship: Liberating or a Trap?

July 27, 2017   |   33 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

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