Working with Painful Emotions: Attachment

July 25, 2022   |   11 Comments

Audio-only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 9:51.

Dear Open Heart Project,

I hope you are well and finding hidden pockets of good fortune wherever you look.

Last week, we began a series of conversations on working with difficult emotions and how meditation can help. We started with anger and this week we move on to attachment.

In spiritual circles, there is often talk of the folly of attachment. Sure! Got it! But how does one detach from painful feelings, hopes, fears, the love (and hatred) we may feel for others? In this video, I try to offer some suggestions.

Note: This video also includes a wildly embarrassing story about a time I lost any possibility of being non-attached and what I learned from it (hopefully).

What do you think? I always love to hear from you.

With love, Susan

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  • Posted by:  Esther

    That was great, Susan – attached to non-attachment. I laughed and then YOU laughed. Not your typical dharma talk. Thank you.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      so glad you enjoyed! i definitely made myself laugh in the retelling– xo s

  • Posted by:  Barbara

    A perfect meditation for me today! Thank you so much for sharing your story of attachment. It is indeed difficult to achieve non-attachment.❤️🙏

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      truly… and we can always begin by releasing attachment to non-attachment… 🙂

  • Posted by:  Lorene whitehill

    Thank you so much Susan for your meditation and sharing your personal experiences. I can so identify with losing it on various occasions. I love your honesty and it is so comforting to hear your talks. I love you dear friend.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      The love goes both ways. xoxo S

  • Posted by:  Shiwa Chotso

    Considering attachment in relation to enneagram Type One (my type), I can see that attachment to having things be “right” is such a powerful motivating force. It’s almost as if by clutching onto “right” behavior/choices ensures that the ship will be kept sailing true, as if by magic. This is anxiety-producing, and there is a tone of self-righteousness when it appears to be effective. Only there is no “right,” there is not even a ship. Attaching to keeping the ship of daily life on course is like grasping at a rainbow.

    • Posted by:  Cat Wright

      It would be great to explore this in more detail as I think this is true for a lot of us. I struggled to understand the attachment talk to be honest, but your response here has helped clarify it a little. Thanks xx

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      So useful, Shiwa Chotso.

  • Posted by:  James

    Thanks for your wonderful teaching re attachment and the surfing analogy !!

  • Posted by:  Betsy Loeb

    Thank you, Susan, for your authenticity & your humor!! The visualization of your climbing the fence is too much!! And, I’m sure the workers had a great laugh at “your expense”!
    Thank you, Shiwa Chotso, for your reply. So helpful “…keeping the ship of daily life on course…

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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