The Six Paramitas: Generosity

October 25, 2021   |   18 Comments

Audio-only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 22:12.

Dear Open Heart Project,

Hello, excellent person. I’m so glad to welcome you to the first video in our new six-video series, The Six Paramitas (or transcendent actions).

I’ve been studying and appreciating the Six Paramitas for many years. As is so for many wisdom teachings, with every moment of understanding comes the realization that it is all much deeper than I realized. Rather than feeling at home and comfy when I study them–oh, now I get it!!— I see that my understanding is just one small part of an enormous kingdom of knowing. In that sense, they are exceedingly generous.

Which brings us to paramita number one, Generosity.

No matter what we attempt to accomplish in our lives, be it spiritual, creative, romantic, practical, political, if we do not begin with generosity, our efforts will be less meaningful on all the levels.

Do not take my word for this! Or anything! Have a listen to this short talk and then we will sit together for 10 minutes. Then let me hear from you! I love to hear from you.

As you know, this series is free. Please feel free to forward to anyone who might benefit from it. The sign up is here.

Love, Susan

PS This is super exciting: From Dec 26-Jan 1, the Open Heart Project is offering a free program to help us enter the new year with confidence and inspiration, Building a Mindful New Year.  Each day for six days, a different (and amazing) Buddhist teacher will give a talk and lead a meditation on, you guessed it, the Six Paramitas! So you’ll get a chance to learn about these amazing actions from a variety of perspectives. Stay tuned for the program announcement to save your spot.

PPS. Moms and everyone who knows a mom, check this out!! The great and wise Jenna Hollenstein will be here Nov 14 to discuss the spiritual journey of motherhood–which, as all moms know, includes indescribable love, unbelievable messes, exhaustion, inspiritation, irritation, and endless opportunities to stretch the heart’s boundaries. Please click below to save your spot and/or forward to a mom you love.

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  • Posted by:  Kerry Brennan

    This was a beautiful talk and lovely practice!
    Thank you!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      You are so welcome, Kerry! Many thanks for taking the time to comment. Warmly, S

  • Posted by:  Delia

    Thank you Susan! It’s always a great pleasure to listen to you and practice with your guidance.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      I am so happy we can practice together, too, Delia. xo S

  • Posted by:  Lori Mills

    Wow! So timely to see that I found The Open Heart Project today! I purchased your online How to Meditate course from Lion’s Roar and have been watching it the last cupla nights. I really like how you explain things. This will be a good time to join your group since I just started a Tibet House USA Menla course by Tenzin Bob & Dr. Holocek. I listened to its Intro class today in the course ,
    “Preparing for a Good Birth” (the 3rd bardo) and look forward to the next 12 sessions which last around 2 hours each. Every day I try to find time to meditate based on doing it alone on my own schedule, and rarely get to it, though, I do yoga streamed live a cupla times a week with good dharma talks from Jai Dev Singh of Life Force Academy (Nevada City, CA). I attended Jai’s retreat in Sept. 2021 at Menla and Tenzin Bob Thurman was the guest speaker two of the days. LOVE him! Want to be happy like he is! I am going through a rough patch after being a victim of police brutality and arrest after someone filed a false police report about me. My lawyer got word it will be dismissed, but the process is mind-grueling. Next, my civil defense lawyer will help me to sue the company of the employee who filed a false police report. Super Twilight Zone occurrence. So……..Thanks for your online community and offerings! Also, SUCH EXCELLENT timing to have this Saturday to start a mandala painting guided by 6 video lessons in a course that just came out on Daily OM where she has us set an intention, then we see her setting outside in nature (a new part of a forest each session as she hikes further into the wilderness), and she has us meditate on some form in nature that we will reflect within our painting. Each day another layer of design is placed upon the previous layers of the painting until our mandala is created. Talk about synchronicity! Again, I am so pumped to check out your sangha and become a part of it. The Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Society (or named something like that) is less than a half-hour drive from where I live near Folsom. Take care and I will see you all in the cloud! sorry for all the gory details of my recent trauma, but I have so much anger in me from those cops breaching my threshold without a warrant or any evidence and smashing me up against a hanging tapestry with a quote from HH Dalai Lama while handcuffing me! I didn’t realize this reply was going to be posted for all to see; thought it was just going to Susan, but I am not embarrassed that the sangha knows about it ( more by how long this post became! lol) Maybe some can relate to the anger and the need for a scheduled structured meditation practice that could anchor me during these coming months moving toward final resolution. I want to “get over it” and see what new wisdom I learned from the experience. So, I seek meaningful ways to dig deep and find myself where I am at now. The past and the future draw my mind away from any peace that could be found TODAY. The ONLY day I have at the moment.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So sorry you have had these incredibly difficult circumstances–and so glad you are bringing it all to the path. I’m grateful our paths have crossed. With all great and good wishes! Susan

  • Posted by:  Alison Carter-Goulden

    Thanks Susan. This was most helpful! X

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So glad to hear it! xo S

  • Posted by:  Leslie H GUSTASON

    Thank you Susan-you sharing this teaching and practice with us is truly an act of Generosity. Best regards, Leslie

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thank you, thank you, Leslie. xo S

  • Posted by:  Kaat

    Very beautiful to be able to sit with someone in meditation. You explanations are also helpful although I meditate quite some time. Thank you very much.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      You are so welcome! Glad we can sit together.

  • Posted by:  Susan

    This feels very tangible as a way to approach deepness in the practice of generosity. Thank you for the presentation.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Susan, so glad to hear it! Glad to practice together. Warmly, Susan

  • Posted by:  Richard Mathes

    I believe that I recognized the feminine principle in the paramitas of generosity, patience, and wisdom, and the masculine in discipline, exertion, and mindfulness. (Not to say that any are exclusive of the opposite quality.) How that might affect practice is beyond my pay grade, but it might be helpful considering the richness of our personal human nature.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Interesting! I look forward to contemplating this. Many thanks, S

  • Posted by:  Elizabeth

    I was overjoyed at how good this one was. I especially appreciated the explanation of the maras. Normally, they are only superficially explained, but this really got the to crux of how they relate to patience. I’ve had my own challenge, recently, with a difficult person and found everything you said to be inspiring and reassuring. My mantra on that day, was something I read (maybe on The Lion’s Roar): if you can’t be kind, be quiet.

  • Posted by:  Jiana

    Susan you are so great at making these teachings accessible and real. Really appreciate you and the work you are doing!

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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