If your meditation is not making you more peaceful…

May 6, 2024   |   24 Comments

Audio only version is here
Meditation begins at 14:23

Hello you wonderful human. How do I know you’re wonderful? Because you are interested in meditation and your spiritual journey. Case closed.

Many of us wonder how we can achieve the inner peace and tranquility of the great teachers we love. This is an excellent quest. However, most of these great teachers (you may notice) are wearing robes. Why? Because they are monastics. We are not, presumably. Yet we seek to follow teachings that emphasize asceticism, non-attachment, and removing emotional afflictions. If we lived in monasteries and wanted to focus exclusively on practice, study, and contemplation, this would make a lot of sense. However, when we try to apply them to the life of a householder (i.e. our lives), we run into trouble. It’s not possible to be an ascetic when we have a full household. We can’t be non-attached in this world of great beauty and sorrow, where our very best is needed to create a better world. Emotional afflictions are simply part of the territory. So…now what?

Please have a listen to this short talk for some ideas. And let me know what you think. I may have rambled a bit as I searched for ways to express what may be inexpressible. You tell me. 

With love, 

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  • Posted by:  Becky

    You are making loads of sense! Here’s how I’m understanding what you’re saying here: Essentially, if I’m looking for peace or joy or calm or contentment, I’m more likely to find it in noticing what my actual in-the-moment experience is rather than focusing one, two, three steps ahead or behind—that grounding myself in the present is the firm foundation upon which I can ultimately find rest.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      This sounds 100% spot on to me! Truly. xo S

  • Posted by:  Joell

    I am very excited for the new book! I look forward to learning more about the householder path from you.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      And I always look forward to hearing your reflections on it all. Love always, S

  • Posted by:  David Guy

    I think you’re making perfect sense.

    I think that Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior describes the householder path. It’s always been a big inspiration to me.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Me, too. An endless inspiration! <3 S

      • Posted by:  David Guy

        Also, in his book, Touching Enlightenment, Reggie Ray said Trungpa sometimes referred to “householder yogins,” people for whom “‘the sitting practice of meditation,’ as he called it, would be our primary life commitment.”

        That’s what I aspire to.

        • Posted by:  Susan Piver

          Me too…

  • Posted by:  Melinda Boroson

    Susan, You made so much sense to me today. I had a question in my mind this morning that I could not exactly express in words–what you said in your talk provided the answers. Thank you for speaking so clearly to me.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So very happy we can practice together, Melinda. <3 S

  • Posted by:  Tre

    Wonderful – just what I needed to hear today, especially about taking on this householder path as a PRACTICE and not obstacle to liberation; and your point about meditation not to go forward or back but being present in the moment. I occasionally struggle with (the illusion?) that I’ve been “more spiritual” at some earlier time in my life and wish I could return to that – your post was very helpful today, thank you.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So very, very happy it was useful, Tre. With love, S

  • Posted by:  Lynne Bannerman

    Thank you Susan,
    This talks leaves me feeling grounded and more accepting of the confusion I am experiencing. One thing I am not confused about is that I am on the right path.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      How wonderful! <3 S

  • Posted by:  Betsy Loeb

    You made perfect sense.
    Though I understand the difference between the Householder & Monastic paths, it’s a great contemplation to consider the teachings coming from a monastic (not that I can’t receive guidance as you mention you have). Thank you! And, I look forward to your new book!!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thank you, Betsy! It’s a joy to practice with you. Love, S

  • Posted by:  Elizabeth Chapman

    Thank you! This was beautiful – clarifying, informative and most importantly, relevant!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Yay on all counts!! xo S

  • Posted by:  Alison Carter

    I’m so happy to hear that you’re writing a book on this subject.
    I’m working my way through On Becoming an Alchemist at the moment. It’s making me think a lot about the intersections with what you have taught me over the years and I wonder if anyone in the sangha would like to do some book club style chats on it. I’ll suggest it in the WhatsApp!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      We are of one mind here! We are talking about starting a book club “Circle” for exactly this reason. LMK what the Whatsapp folks say. Happy to support in whatever way it comes about. <3 S

  • Posted by:  Alison Carter-Goulden

    Your circle idea sounds great. My time is super limited at the moment and as I’m in different time zone I’m probably not a reliable organiser as much as I’d like to be, I can definitely put out a message in the sangha those and suggest it to see if there is interest and let you know x

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      we can totally organize from this end if folks are interested…

      • Posted by:  Alison Carter-Goulden

        One circle is reading On Becoming and Alchemist at the moment and so there is so interest. I’ll see how many people and then maybe it’s best to email you?

        • Posted by:  Susan Piver


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