Magic is real. Here’s how I know.

March 25, 2024   |   39 Comments

Audio only version is here
Meditation begins at 11:53

Hello wonderful sangha,

A long time ago, I was talking to my own meditation teacher (of now more than 30 years) about how to create an environment that invites the magic of transformation. Like most meditation teachers, I want to help you go beyond whatever your current challenges may be. To do so, you have to see something you have been unable to glimpse thus far. Something new has to appear. Like I said, magic.

He said, “oh, it’s simple. All you have to do is make offerings, request blessings, and dedicate the merit.”

These steps actually create magic. Not woo-woo wizard hat magic, but what some Buddhists call “ordinary magic.” When I begin my meditation by making offerings (as described in the video), attempts to use my practice for self-improvement fall away. Instead, I enter into some kind of mysterious dialog with wisdom greater than my own. My practice becomes, not about trying to “fix” myself, but a wish to relate more deeply to the brilliance of what inspires me. I relax. I feel more spacious about who I am and what my life is about. I see a different reality. Like I said, magic.

Three simple steps. Today I share some thoughts about the first one, making offerings. We’ll cover the other two in subsequent videos.

Thoughts? I always love to hear them.

With love,

categorized in:


  • Posted by:  Mike

    I am looking forward to these.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Glad to hear it! Keep me posted. <3 S

  • Posted by:  Nuala Murphy

    Dear Susan, I’ve followed your online meditations for ten years. The main reason that I meditate a few times a week is through making offerings, requesting blessings and dedicating the merit. It is what moves my practice into the spiritual realm. Many thanks for your instruction.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So lovely to hear this, Nuala. Very glad to be on the path together. <3 S

  • Posted by:  Linda Parisi

    I love this teaching. Thank you, Susan, for sharing these three steps with us. I look forward to the next two videos as well.
    Linda Parisi

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So happy to hear this, Linda. <3 S

  • Posted by:  Colette

    Thank you so much for bring the Sacred and the Spiritual to the realm of meditation.
    I have found the secular approach of many other Sanghas to lack the reverence that I need to embody a fully spiritual practice.
    The mystical saturates everything, and as you said, there is vast wisdom beyond ourselves.
    I truly love the simplicity and purity of offerings, request and dedication of merit – it brings our practice beyond our mere selves and into the world. To me, this is essential and it embraces the Bodhisattva ideal of caring for all. So again, thank you so very much! Adorning my altar brings much more meaning and richness to my practice 🙂

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So happy this resonates. ❤️

  • Posted by:  Colette

    I just added Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “You Are Here – Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment” to my altar. This small addition already makes my heart feel vaster and kinder 😀

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver


  • Posted by:  Allison

    Why do you keep eyes open during meditation?

    I have been listening to your book The Wisdom of a broken heart. I have found a lot of comfort in it. I am almost done and right at the part where it speaks to the 3 steps, so this is just perfect and feels so in alignment with what I need right now.

    This was my first meditation with you. It is so hard for me to just sit. I found keeping the eyes open to be distracting so I closed them, I’d love to know more surrounding that.
    I also just want to deeply thank you. Your voice is a great comfort for me right now.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Allison, I’m so glad the Wisdom of a Broken Heart is there for you when you need it. I hope you will continue to find it beneficial during this incredibly difficult time.

      Here is a video about why we keep our eyes open. Hope it’s useful!

      Sending love, Susan

      • Posted by:  Allison

        Thank you that was very insightful.
        I plan to do the at home writing and meditation retreat next weekend. Thankful for your wisdom.

        • Posted by:  Susan Piver

          Wonderful! I hope it will bring benefit and solace. <3 S

      • Posted by:  Susie Ford

        Yes, So Very Helpful!!! Thank you, Susan.

  • Posted by:  Betsy Loeb

    Dear Susan, I was surprised by this teaching. I thought I knew “offerings”. And, then you added the “environment” as a dimension. This expanded my understanding from conventional to magical. I could feel this importance throughout my body and most importantly in my heart. With great appreciation for your wisdom, Betsy

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Betsy, so good to hear your insights!! As always!! Much love, Susan

  • Posted by:  Teresa S

    I really appreciate the refreshing, authentic way you teach– how you make them very relatable.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thank you, Teresa. <3 S

  • Posted by:  Evie Watts

    I’ll be teaching a pottery class this evening and I can’t imagine a better way to offer myself to my students.
    Thank you for this wisdom.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      How lovely. Sending love to you, across the years and across the miles!

  • Posted by:  Kevin J Waters

    For so long my practice was about Improving / Developingmy abilities to Understand, and , Live by Buddhist Teachings. My Recovery Sponser once asked me how I was Getting along with “Others”/ a simple answer was “Fine”, but completely out of Left Field. After that conversation I began to Realize that I was all about Me !! Now as I’m Awaking I ask That I may be a Vessel from which Others may Learn, and Grow !! Thank You Susan

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      How lovely! <3

  • Posted by:  Susie Ford

    Thank you for this beautiful practice and the wisdom you share with all of us. I am not a regular meditator as yet but hope to be one day. My offering seems sad and dark but I as sharing as it: My overweightness and my addiction to afternoon red wine which go hand in hand, I offer. Your words today fit perfectly with my yoga practice as well. Release!
    Remind me why eyes open? It has been difficult for me to adjust after meditating with eyes closed for a while now.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So happy this resonates. ❤️ your offerings sound perfect. We have to begin exactly where we are.

  • Posted by:  Sarah

    Thank you, Susan!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      You are so welcome.

  • Posted by:  Geri Modell

    Hi, Susan. I’ve been an intermittent meditator for about a decade now, and when I get back on the meditation bus, it’s always your method that I use, because it works for me and feels right. I once took a weekend workshop with you in NYC on meditation and writing, and it was amazing; I hope to do that again sometime. In any case, I’m getting back on the bus again, and I appreciate this teaching, although, to be honest, I’m not sure I fully understand it … meaning, I’m not sure I get what is meant by “offering.” But I’ll watch parts 2 and 3 this week, so perhaps it will all make sense by the end. Thank you so much.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Welcome back! I hope you’ll find the exploration of offering and the other steps to be useful. And come back to a writing retreat! I love those, too. <3 S

  • Posted by:  Arleen Garcia-Herbst

    This teaching really resonated with me. I appreciate the heartfelt and genuine instruction. I try to do put into practice your teachings not just on the mat, but in daily life as well. I’ve been feeling a little disconnected from practice in general and CTR’s teachings in particular as of late due to the busyness of a householder’s life, but this particular teaching really spoke to me and magnetized me. Thank you so much for having the bravery and confidence to share with us. And for me personally, it is extremely appreciated and grounding. Namaste, Suzie Piver. 🙂

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So glad to read all of this, Arleen. Wishing you well at every step of the path. <3 S

  • Posted by:  terry

    Thank you.
    Open Heart and the thoughts you share always brings me back to the nitty gritty of why. Other mindfulness, meditation practices, tho extremely beneficial, as they do help to understand our daily challenges, coping, are more like a daily workout. And I embrace it all.
    But again, you bring it back to, it’s not just about me, it’s about we.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      I’m with you on each point! <3 S

  • Posted by:  Stephanie

    Hi, I really enjoy these part by part lessons. Are your offerings behind you b/c of the filming? Or if we weren’t here, would one be facing their offerings? I do struggle with the open eyes, so wonder if they were resting on offerings maybe that would be more peaceful than looking at the stuff on my floor. thanks.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Hi Stephanie. When I practice, I face the shrine. This is the most common way. Here is a little video about practicing with eyes open. Hope it is useful. Keep me posted! <3 S

      • Posted by:  Stephanie

        Thanks for this feedback. (:)

        • Posted by:  Susan Piver

          fist bump emoji!

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