How to Make Magic: Part Three

October 17, 2022   |   15 Comments

Audio-only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 11:55.

Dear Open Heart Project.

Magic takes shape in three ways: Outer Magic, Inner Magic, and Secret Magic. Today, I offer you a short talk on cultivating magic on the so-called secret level. It’s not a secret from you, particularly. I suppose it is referred to as “secret” because it is invisible.

Thoughts? I always love to hear from you.

With love, Susan

PS My new book, The Buddhist Enneagram: Nine Paths to Warriorship, is newly published. You can find more details here. If you read it, please consider leaving an honest review on your preferred online retailer’s site.

These reviews really make a difference! Thanking you in advance.

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  • Posted by:  Jane Deakin

    Thank you so much for bringing it back to every Monday. A touchstone of beauty and wisdom 🙏

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So pleased to hear this! With love, Susan

  • Posted by:  Gopigal

    Thank you for this… was exactly what I needed to hear this morning 💕

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So glad to know it. Sending love and appreciation, S

  • Posted by:  Victor Peceño

    Hi Susan, I have watched the three videos about magic, and it has helped me a lot to understand the practice and to learn more about what it means, thank you very much for your teachings.
    Best regards,

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      You’re so welcome, Vincent! Thanks for practicing together. Warmly, S

  • Posted by:  Esther

    Thank you, Susan. This is a wonderful start to my day. I have heard the story of the translator many times now, but each time you add a little bit more, so I learn more each time.🙏

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So glad it still resonates! It does for me, too. With love, Susan

  • Posted by:  Melissa MacDonald

    Thanks, Susan 🙂
    Lately I’ve been thinking about the concept of free will as described by neuroendocrinology researcher, Robert Sapolsky. When asked if, based on his research, humans have free will, he said yes, we do, but just for mundane things, like the decision of whether to button two or three buttons on our shirt. I wonder if there is importance in these “mundane” decisions, and maybe Buddhist practice tries to harness that. After listening to your talk about secret magic, especially your last example on the practice of letting go, I saw a more direct connection between this idea of free will and Buddhist practice. Perhaps the seemingly “mundane” decision of letting go is a secret magic that can have beneficial consequences. Thanks for the food for thought and the opportunity to make these interesting connections!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      It is so good to read these reflections, Melissa! With love, Susan

  • Posted by:  Sue Ellen

    Understanding secret magic has seemed too slippery for me to grasp, until one of those out-of-the-blue moments brought it home (for a split second, anyway). My husband, who has mobility problems, was walking toward me in Target, holding onto a cart for balance, shuffling slowly, frowning with effort, and obviously concentrating on the 50′ walk across the store. The shopping trip had been frustrating for us both, with his grumpiness meeting my barely constrained impatience. All this just to pick out a pair of slippers he could manage. In a flash that I would have claimed at the time was an actual brilliance in my brain, I recalled him, forty years ago, walking toward me at an airport, before he knew I was there. He strode purposefully, wearing cowboy boots and a rust-colored corduroy jacket, carried a briefcase, and projected energy with every stride. He was my beloved, bathed in golden light, grinning as our eyes met. The magic is that I saw in the recent instant that this is the same man. We are still connected in the same way that John Donne described as an infinitely thin strand of gold. We’re both a little scared of what comes next, of how we will manage, of the three final stages of life. But we are still us. Even recalling the Target moment refreshes the magic for me. So grateful….

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      This is so incredibly beautiful, Sue Ellen. So grateful that you shared this example of ordinary magic. Love always, Susan

  • Posted by:  Alan Goodman

    Hi Susan

    I was hoping you could clarify something. You told the story of the translator, after getting robbed and being angry, he instead offered it. Can you elaborate on this. He offered it how? Thanks

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      i enjoyed our discussion about this question this past Friday. hope it was useful! with love, s

  • Posted by:  Daniel Costa

    This third secret magic is particularly pertinent to me in regards to your depiction of giving back your experience be it negative or positive back to humanity or the perpetrator of the action towards you. A few weeks ago I had my wallet stollen out of my car due to my lack of diligence. The thief quickly started to try to use my credit cards of which activity I was alerted to by my bank. I proceeded to close/cancel all my credit card accounts but noticed that the infractor was attempting to make a purchase at a grocery store for food, which was successful on one of the charges. Of course my first reaction was to be upset and frustrated at both myself for my negligence and he perpetrator for violating my personal possession. But something interesting happened that you describe in your story about the Buddhist translator who got pick pocketed. I decided (this is where free will comes in) to spiritually give that individual my wallet as a gift by providing him/her with food that they could most likely not afford. By doing this simple reversal in my thinking, not only did I avoid and immediately lessen the pain and anger I was feeling, but it fostered emotions of gratitude in indirectly having contributed to ease the suffering of another less fortunate individual in need, which gave me a sense of belonging to something bigger… Oneness! It is actually truly ethereal and magical in its secretive power! That you for this valuable teaching Susan 🙂

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