How to Stay Grounded in a Time of Transition (Step Five)

November 21, 2022   |   13 Comments

Audio-only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 17:33

Dear Open Heart Project,

I’m so happy to send you the fifth video in our eight video series on the noble eightfold path of Buddhism. We have already discussed Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech and Right Action. Today we look at Right Livelihood.

What does it mean to do your work in the world in accord with your personal dharma? Please have a look at this week’s video to learn more. And no worries if you are jumping in just now. Though you’re welcome to watch the earlier videos in the series, it is not necessary.

Traditionally, Right Livelihood is often about what you don’t do for a living: don’t kill beings, craft weaponry, enslave others. All of which makes complete sense—but what comes after this? How can we ensure that our work in the world is more than non-harming (which is essential, of course) but also creates more sanity, connection, and parity? How can our work be part of our spiritual journey rather than a distraction from it?

Somehow, the answers begin with our willingness to care about our experience, our relationships with those we work with, and the details of the work itself. Please have a listen to learn more and, as always, I love to hear what you think. What are your thoughts on Right Livelihood?  How are you finding this series in general? Please leave reactions, questions, reflections in comments.

Look for the sixth video in this series (Right Effort) next week.

Sending much love,


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  • Posted by:  Eileen Burns

    Hiya Susan! Are we really up to 20,000 people? WOWZA! I love it! Hope all is well with you and yours. Have a great Thanksgiving…Love Eileen XO

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      <3 S

  • Posted by:  Jane Deakin

    Absolutely love that extra bit about why we keep our eyes open . When I do these meditations on Mondays I always have a much better day because it does feel like I do everything afterwards meditatively. I do try to do it by myself and it always works best when I remember these instructions. Thank you

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Great to hear this! <3 S

  • Posted by:  Patty Weyhrich

    Thank you for leading us in this practice, I find them very beneficial. Thank you for your good work and have happy holidays. Patty

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Happy holidays to you too, Patty. <3 S

  • Posted by:  Sue Ellen May

    I’ve struggled a bit on integrating right livelihood with non-paid work, or even voluntary activities/avocations in retirement. Our financial foundation was set during working years, now there is little that affects it (outside of a bit of part-time work and how we spend our money). Your point about caring for the work I do, bringing kindness and attention when there is only me and my husband, is well taken. It’s sometimes a challenge to honor the small daily routine activities that mostly take energy and attention. But this is not a rehearsal – it’s the reality of now; every day is opening night for the Lifetime Samsara Blues Show. Thank you for your personal investment in the OHP – you make a substantial difference in so many people’s lives.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Sue Ellen, so lovely to read this and, as always, to hear what you are pondering. Much love, S

  • Posted by:  Anett

    Thank you so much for this series and being together on this path.

    Thank you thank you thank you….
    it is of benefit knowing there is a community of practitioners everywhere.
    Thank you too for your personal investment in the OHP – you make a substantial difference in so many people´s lives… that`s so true.Thank you Sue Ellen for this sharing. Dito.

    If you are early retired with a age where others are full in their work live ,it is a helpful to not get your selfworth out of the money you earn or not. Money is a theme in our family that is very difficult. …the most touching moments the last years , where when old people where happy when we visited them every week with our heart on four paws….

    As a non- paid work – than reciving a letter to pay the costs of travel etc was lovely value too. Practice in every day live is my job now , thank you to the OHP

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      “Practice in every day life is my job now.” LOVE THAT.

  • Posted by:  Daniel Costa

    Thank you for your teachings on the eightfold path of Buddhism Susan. It takes me back to my early 30’s when I read my first book on the Buddha and his journey to enlightenment. But the 4 noble truths and the meaning within them were always a difficult concept to grasp and took me many readings to unfold some understanding of their wisdom. It is refreshing to revisit these teachings through your interpretation and insight of them. I greatly appreciate your light and playful disposition in relaying these ancient complex teachings in a way that is relatable to our current modern world, which is no easy task to say the least.

    I particularly enjoyed your personal exploration on this topic of right livelihood when it comes to converging spirituality with making a living and what that entails for each of us. This is an existentialist dilemma I have and still am grappling with in my life to this day. How can we align our soul purpose or calling to that which allows us to support ourselves in an ever expanding world of consumerism without compromising our integrity or core values in relation to this moral construct of “right livelihood”?. And furthermore, how do we put a value or price for our services that are based in spiritual modalities in a western economic system that values consumption of products and competition over that of cooperative partnerships, conscious wellbeing and spiritual meaningfulness? How I would love to sit with you by a camp fire (or simply over coffee/tea) and have that philosophical conversation with you someday? Perhaps if it is meant to be 🙂 Namaste and may you and everyone on this post have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Truly, I share your questions, Daniel! I wish you all the blessings of the search for answers. Love, Susan

      • Posted by:  Daniel Costa

        Thank you for your acknowledgment Susan. I often feel, I have very little choice in pursuing the answers to such profound contemplations. Almost as if we are born into this life with certain seeds that we can help germinate or let wither away, never to bloom, and which inevitably hold the wisdom and secrets we seek within them leading to our ultimate enlightenment (should we be successful in nursing them to fruition). Of course, that’s just a noble theory like any other and I could be way off base, lol! But that subtle realization in itself is an awakening into the realm of “Right Mindfulness” which you so eloquently describe in one of your later module. Cheers and lovingness… Daniel.

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“With wisdom, creativity and artistry, Susan Piver brings a Buddhist lens to the spiritual map of the Enneagram. The results are vibrant and nourishing; a banquet of insights that help us transmute our difficult emotions into pure expressions of our basic goodness.”

 – Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance