Working with Painful Emotions: Jealousy

August 8, 2022   |   14 Comments

Audio-only version is here.
Meditation practice begins at 14:00

Dear Open Heart Project,

I hope you are well as we enter this new week on planet earth. May it be a peaceful one for all beings.

A few weeks 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, and last week we discussed shame. GOOD TIMES! But since we each experience all of these things, it is good to take a look at how we can ride our painful experiences rather than be run over by them. Our meditation practice is the foundation that makes it possible to do so.

This week we take a look at jealousy (or feelings of inadequacy).

In Buddhism, there are teachings on what is called the Four Immeasurables, or Brahmaviharas in Pali. Brahma means divine (or sublime) and vihara means abode. They are our true home. We possess each of the four in endless quantities, not because we’re good or smart (although I’m sure you are!) but because we were born with them. In this short talk, I try to show how they can be used to face the feelings of inadequacy that may arise if we compare ourselves unfavorably to others.

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

With love, Susan

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  • Posted by:  Lorna

    Thank you Susan for this – your words are so useful. They really do resonate – I will go back to this many times. It’s timeless. 🙏❤️

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      I’m so very glad to hear this, Lorna! With love, Susan

  • Posted by:  Michelle Q

    ❤️ I agree super good to watch this morning. A great reminder! I Do like a nice flowy dress though 😆. Much love

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Rock the flowy dresses, MQ! Love always, S

  • Posted by:  Is

    With metta

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Thanks, glad to hear it. <3

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver


  • Posted by:  Sue Ellen

    I have experienced a feeling of opening to happiness when joining someone in their own joy. It takes nothing from me, and adds immeasurably (as noted). Thank you for this reminder.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      Lovely! <3 S

  • Posted by:  Betsy

    This is a super difficult one for me especially as it relates to my sharing my grandkids with my ex who has many more financial resources & fun things (swimming pool, second home in FL) to share with them than I do!
    Somehow I just try and believe that love is not based on such things (rationally I know that, but still…)…and how wonderful for them to be able to experience these fabulous opportunities.

    Thank you for your teaching!

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver

      I so appreciate that you are willing to work so directly with the challenging situations you face. I really respect that. Love, S

  • Posted by:  Emily Klein

    I’ve been reflecting on some strong feelings of jealousy that have been coming up for me recently and found my way to your thoughtful offering. Thank you for this, Susan!

    One thing I’ve been pondering is how our early attachments and the care, attention, and guidance we received or didn’t receive from our caregivers affects the tendencies toward jealousy and envy. I’ve always thought of jealousy as a vice and a shortcoming and related to my own lack of virtue, mostly reacting to it with embarrassment and rejection. I’ve been learning that it’s a more complicated story than that and have been working at shifting into a more curious posture as I attempt to listen and learn from the feeling when it comes up. I’m really appreciating these ways you’ve shared here, Susan, that can help provide support within the painfulness of the jealousy experiences (no matter the roots), and that can help to reorient / reground us in the realities of our humanness and our sameness. And thank you for the the fake it till you make it invitation too.

    Thank you!

  • Posted by:  Jae Stone

    Thank you for your integrity, kindness, empathy and your gifts of simple but not easy treasures for the soul’s path in this substantive realm of our Journey to home.

    • Posted by:  Susan Piver


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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