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Working with Painful Emotions: Hatred

August 29, 2022   |   13 Comments

Audio-only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 14:10

Dear Open Heart Project,

I’m so glad to see you and delighted to practice meditation with you. Before we sit, I want to continue our exploration of working with painful emotions and how our meditation practice can help.

In this series, we started with anger, moved on to attachment (or grasping), then shame, followed by jealousy, anxiety, and, last week, distrust. This week, we move on to perhaps the most dangerous of all painful emotions: hate.

Is it possible to meet what we find hateful (for very good reason, I assume) without adding to the hate? Please have a listen to this short talk and let me know what you think. It’s always so great to hear from you.

On another note—I’m excited to let you know that my new book, The Buddhist Enneagram, is now available for pre-order. It presents a view of the enneagram, a system that describes nine types of people, through the lens of the Buddhadharma. If you want to learn more, preorder the book and then click here to let us know and to reserve your spot in a free, live, webinar on Oct 1 from 12p ET-2p ET.

With love, Susan

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  • Posted by:  Noreen

    Thanks so much for this series, it’s been very helpful in examining all the emotions rolling around in me and how best to deal with them.
    With love and gratitude,

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      I’m so glad to hear it, Noreen. Wishing you well on the journey! With love, Susan

  • Posted by:  emma

    This series is so wise and gives me lots to chew on. Thank you! I wondered if at some point you might be able to do one about feeling you don’t fit in. My daughter, an enneagram 4, has been talking about how she feels different to everyone else and it seems painful for her. Lots of love, Emma.

    • Posted by:  emma

      Actually I realise there are probably insights in the shame and feeling-inadequate talks that probably could be useful. I will rewatch. x

  • Posted by:  Arleen

    Susan, thank you for this wise talk and soothing sit. Wondering if you’re ever coming to California to teach? I just moved to the Sacramento area and would relish an opportunity to be present for longer talks and opportunities for longer group practice with you. Best, Arleen

  • Posted by:  Sue

    What a timely and involved topic! When people who hate together get together, the effect seems to be magnifying, as if they start to breathe and seethe together. If one individual met with some other individual in the “other” group, they could doubtless find some basis of relationship, even if it’s the weather or the grandchildren. En masse, however, the toxic emotion is stirred and ferments to the level of dehumanizing the “others.” And if others are not human, it is easier to demonstrate violence against them. To say that the antidote is love is a big idea to swallow. Looking at the hate, sitting with it, being aware of what bodily sensations accompany the emotion, recognizing (as you so beautifully describe) the seeds of hatred within ourselves – this is hard work but it is also freeing. And, just to open another door on the topic of hatred, looking at how hatred of ourselves works is scary. To feel hatred for a part of oneself has to be the saddest experience of humanity.

  • Posted by:  Essie

    When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Thank you, Susan. I enjoyed this series and apparently really needed to hear this.

  • Posted by:  Matias

    Thank you so much, Susan.
    I was really needing ti hear this 🙏

  • Posted by:  Jennifer White

    Hi Susan! Thank you for this series. It has been very helpful to think about these aspects each week. Could you tell me how this particular subject, when hatred arises because of someone who does violence against others and remaining steadfast in the Bodhisattva vow?

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Hi Jen. It is totally understandable and, I would say, appropriate, to become enraged at injustice and violence. I don’t think this is breaking the bodhisattva vow.Trying to employ injustice and violence to right the wrong may be. What we feel is one thing. What we do is another. Perhaps the vow is best honored in our actions and then, eventually, in our feelings. xo S

  • Posted by:  Elizabeth Chapman

    Thank you so much for this — both the series and this particular video talk. So timely. And it reminds me of Thich Nhat Hahn’s poem “Call Me By My True Names.” Here is a link to that poem for anyone that wishes to read it:

    Thank you.

    • Posted by:  Elizabeth Chapman

      Sorry — spelled Hanh incorrectly…

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thank you, Elizabeth!

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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