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The #1 most difficult task for spiritual practitioners

January 1, 2024   |   10 Comments

Audio only version is here.
Meditation begins at 16:15

Dear, wonderful Open Heart Project practitioners,

Happy new year! May 2024 be the year all beings discover their inherent sanity and decency. 

Although it may sound improbable, meditation is a direct conduit to such qualities. It introduces space between what we think and what we do, how we feel and the conclusions we draw about self and other. Truly, the world is in need of people who know how to work with their minds–not as stress-reduction or in order to get a better night’s sleep (both of which are awesome) but to be of benefit to this world. In 2024, our videos will focus on bringing mindfulness off the cushion and into real life. 

Over in the Open Heart Project sangha we are spending the entire year on the topic of spiritual practice IRL. If you have any interest in joining, please check it out

In today’s video, I talk a bit about the #1 most difficult task for spiritual practitioners: how to express loving kindness for those we may hate. (Spoiler alert: you don’t have to forgive anyone or excuse anything…) Please have a listen to learn more.

With love, Susan

PS There is still time to join our 21-Day Meditation Challenge. All the details are here.

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  • Posted by:  Loes Giele

    thank you for this easy to step-in-again meditation.
    And for the beautiful New-Year wish!
    Wishing a Happy New Year to you too, and indeed, may 2024 be the year all beings discover their inherent sanity and decency!
    and may we all find little openings and steps in that direction… opening up to that – well, giving it a chance – will be my intention for the coming weeks to begin with

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So glad this was useful. Grateful that we can practice it all together. Here’s to little openings and steps int eh direciton of sanity… <3 S

  • Posted by:  Susie Ford

    Thank you for explaining that I don’t have to become a Buddhist. I was getting rather uncomfortable with the verbiage as I am of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Faith, but enjoy your meditation teachings and guidance. I was about to unsubscribe from your emails but decided at the last minute to read this email first and NOT TO!!! Buddhist teachings are wonderful and I appreciate your teachings so much and thank you. ❤️In Real Life and Loving Kindness~ Thank you!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Susie, your path is the most important thing! Meditation can support your journey, no matter what form it takes. That has been my observation. So happy to practice with you. With love, S

  • Posted by:  Jennifer White

    Wow! Such a powerful message and meditation for the first day of 2024, and so needed. Thank you! I am excited about the plans you have for OHP and applying teachings IRL. Glad I get to be along for the ride. OHP has led to such a huge shift in my life. Thank you!

    At some point, could you talk about the Bodhisattva vow and finding it difficult to provide loving kindness to those you “hate”? My understanding of the vow is that you are committed to attaining Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings, but also means that you provide loving kindness for all sentient beings as well. If so, does “hate” have a place for a Bodhisattva?

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      great question and we can certainly discuss. please note that the first person to offer loving kindness to as part of the bodhisattva vow (or otherwise) is yourself for the suffering caused by hatred within your own heart. the point is not to look at it as a flaw but as an opportunity to practice. xo s

  • Posted by:  Colette

    Your talk is so spot-on!!! The way you distil Metta with such clarity and simplicity cuts, for me, through all the challenges of the practice. Thank you for that, truly. With really difficult people, I find the words that are working for me lately are “May they heal” – it feels honest and heartfelt, and it really has helped me grow. So thank you, and Namaste.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      so glad this resonated, Colette! and “may they heal” sounds true and good, just as you suggest. <3 s

  • Posted by:  Arleen Garcia-Herbst

    Happy New Year to you, too, Susan! Thank you for sharing this pithy teaching and reminder again on the first day of the year. It’s the kind of teaching that we could all stand to be reminded of on a regular basis, and it was exactly the teaching I needed to be reminded of today. I hope to make it to your July retreat but still working out if I can make it happen. Keeping my fingers crossed for yes.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So glad it was useful! And it would be great to see you in July if that can work. <3 S

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