Working with Painful Emotions: Anxiety

August 15, 2022   |   8 Comments

Audio-only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 11:57

Dear Open Heart Project,

I hope you are well and finding joy and richness in your world.

About a month ago, we began a series of conversations on working with difficult emotions and how meditation can help. We started with anger, moved on to  attachment (or grasping), and then shame. Last week, we took a look at jealousy (or feeling inadequate).

Continuing the heartache playlist, today I offer some thoughts on working with anxiety.

These are anxious times, that may be an understatement. But if we take a look at the energy of anxiety apart from its story line, we may come into possession of pure alertness. Hyper awake and hyper vigilant are different things. In this short talk, I offer some suggestions for teasing the two apart.

Thoughts? It’s always so great to hear from you.

With love, Susan

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  • Posted by:  Maggie

    Thank you so much for these talks Susan. I find them valuable and useful. They really ‘bridge the gap’ between meditation and reality – great meditators may posit that there is none but sometimes I’m at a loss to know how I can use what I’ve learned in meditation in real time. Other times I berate myself for, essentially, being an imperfect human because I’m a meditator.
    Last, but not least, I love your dress.
    With gratitude, Maggie

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Maggie, what you say about bridging the gap means every thing to me. That is the whole point! It is wonderful when our practice helps us with absolute or ultimate realization but it’s also great when it shows us how to live more fully in the relative world.

      Our imperfections give us all the tools we need to be of benefit to others, so thank goodness we all have so many of them!

      MY DRESS!! I love it too, as you know…

      Love, S

      • Posted by:  Sandra Stefan

        What you just said there about our imperfections being a valuable tool, well Amen to that!
        My therapist would concur:)

  • Posted by:  Joell

    Thank you for this series in particular. I find something helpful in all your messages but this series has been crucial for me. I hope to make the Friday 3PM sangha and may ask you to expound on the attentiveness aspect of anxiety.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      I’m so glad you’re finding these useful. I wish you well in every way, always. Would be great to continue the conversation on a Friday when it works out. Love, S

  • Posted by:  Lee Schwebel

    Dear Susan,

    Immensely thankful for your time and love and grace. You are so amazingly kind and courteous in how you talk to us. I am so relieved you were available to me today to share not only certain tricks and ways of coping, but also sharing from your heart and soul with an openness in relating your own experience and showing us your own frailty and humanity. You are loved.

  • Posted by:  Normand

    Thank you so much for the simple concise knowledge sharing! Ive always thought I didnt have anxiety…lol…but now Im looking at certain soothing practices that may seem innocent enough, but tye question now arises..
    ” what am I soothing?” 🙂

  • Posted by:  Liv

    Thank you! This is helpful! I think of anxiety (chronic anxiety I mean) as very much connected to a feeling of being unable to cope. Trying to befriend myself, soothe myself and work on healing childhood wounds..all are helpful. I catch my inner critic often!

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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