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The Open Heart Project

February 2, 2011   |   10 Comments


Buddhist new year is coming up March 5, which is a lovely time for a new year to begin. It is still winter, but (for those who don’t live in New England or Minnesota) the hope of spring begins to arise.

Each Buddhist New Year is associated with a different animal and the year is said to be colored by the qualities of that animal. Whether or not you hold with such concepts, bear with me while I explain what those qualities could be in the coming year.

The year coming to an end has been the year of the Tiger. The coming year will emphasize quite different energies, those of the Iron Hare. Yes, a rabbit made of steel.

This is really good news. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty much done with fighting and territory and the laws of the jungle. I’m really, really ready for something a little cuddlier, a little fuzzier. That said, we don’t want a wimpy year, just one that is a bit more civilized.

Just in time…THE RABBIT. Perhaps above everything, this animal is associated with peacefulness. Cooperation. Harmony. The pleasures of daily life. Refinement. No undue stress. Some things that may have gone wanting in the past year, at least speaking for myself.

For this coming year, I wish for you just these uplifted qualities, peace most of all.

When you cultivate peace within yourself, you cultivate peace for this world. This is the truth.

This is the year to open your heart. This is the year to change our world and I want to help.

I’ve spent the last several months trying to figure out how exactly I might do this, and I think I’ve come up with something pretty cool. It’s very simple and involves a ton of options and encouragement to help you make meditation a part of your life, really, truly, once and for all, painlessly, plus a daily meditation or contemplation from me (well, Monday through Friday) via email.

I’ve been writing these like crazy, trying to get several months worth before I spring this on you in March. Topics range from love, leadership, creativity, and finding joy to more traditional Buddhist teachings on right speech, equanimity, and the actions of a bodhisattva (awakened being).

Does this sound like something you’d like?? I hope so. You can sign up for it here.

Stay tuned. More details in a few days.

If you have any topics you’d like me to cover, definitely drop me an email.

Here’s to a year of great joy. And remember, if we open our hearts, we can change the world.


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  • Posted by:  Ming

    this sounds amazing. thanks for the generous offer, very excited to see where the year of the rabbit goes!

  • Posted by:  Kate

    Awesome! Can you talk about facing prejudice in one of them, please?

  • Posted by:  Susan

    For you Kate, anything. xo S

  • Posted by:  Angie Willis

    I’m looking forward to this (am currently reading your book, How not to be Afraid of Your Own Life). Could you talk about not judging people in one of them? Thanks. Angie

  • Posted by:  Karen

    Could you write about practicing in the real world? I was at a party and said, ‘no thanks, I’m trying not to gossip.’ A friend later told me it was snobby and judgemental, and made them all feel like shit. I know, I’m just supposed to not gossip, instead of talking about it, but they were all sort of coming at me, you know? So how do we handle these tricky moments in a rabbit-like way? And why do we have to be artful about it, anyway? What if I had said, ‘no thanks, I don’t drink?’

    • Posted by:  Susan

      This is a FANTASTIC topic and the example you give shows me just what to write about. Do you mind if I include your story in my post? I won’t identify you by name. If you’d rather not, it’s OK.

      Stay tuned and thanks! xo S

  • Posted by:  Karen

    Feel free to include my story, Susan. Can’t wait to get on board!

    • Posted by:  Susan

      Thanks! Looking forward to writing about it.

  • Posted by:  Rick Herranz

    Hello Susan
    My name is Rick Herranz and i am very interested in your OPEN HEART PROJECT can you sign me up for that project? I am new to a meditation practice but i need help in overcomming some hatred and unforgiveness ina ugly divorce in which she had multiple affairs on me. Is there HOPE for me you think?

    Rick Herranz
    Wed 03/08/11
    Central North Carolina

    • Posted by:  Susan

      Hi Rick. SIgn up here. There is always hope…

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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