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Jul 22
Dharma Teachings
What is at the Heart?

Open Heart projectA Request
by Susan Piver

A show of hands, please. What do you believe in? What are your values? What do you believe is at the heart of human nature?

What kind of world do you want to live in?

Here is what I say.

There are more people who want to act out love than hate.

There are more people who are neither Red nor Blue, no matter where they live.

There are way more people who are not fundamentalist than those who are.

There are more people who prize the values of tolerance, openness, and friendship over money, consumerism, and dogma.

There are more people who want our leaders and institutions to make the health and safety of our bodies and our planet their first priority than there are those who want to pillage both for their own benefit.

There are more of us who are willing to make some sacrifices for the greater good than those who believe we are in this alone.

We stand by the principle that all persons have the right to choose their own belief system as long as it does not include violence against others.

We hold achievement and abundance as high priorities, but not at the expense of family, friendship, love, joy, raising healthy children, and the creation of a world of opportunity for all.

These — family, love, self-expression, creating goodness for ourselves and others, and tolerance — are the true American values. Beyond this, they are human values.

We want to restore sanity to our systems of governance, education, and commerce. We can do it because wherever lives a person who wants to abuse or kill others, there are countless others who do not.

For every businessperson who lines his or her pockets at the expense of others (or even of our very planet), there are five who give back.

For every self-interested, disingenuous politician, there are ten who would take elective office for the greater good.

And for every cynic who believes that power-grabbing and violence are simply human nature, that any person in a position of power or influence would turn on his fellow man, I say there are a million who try to do otherwise everyday. I am one. You are too.

A show of hands, please.

Learn more about the Open Heart Project by clicking here.

Susan Piver has been studying and practicing Buddhism since 1995. A graduate of Shambhala Vajrayana Seminary, she has been authorized as a meditation instructor. Susan teaches workshops on meditation, inner growth and creativity and is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say “I Do.” She is also the author of The Hard Questions for an Authentic Life: 100 Essential Questions for Designing Your Life from the Inside Out, and The Hard Questions for Adult Children and Their Aging Parents, all published by Putnam. Her latest book, How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own Life, explores incorporating spiritual practice and study into everyday life. For more by Susan Piver, click here.

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3 responses to “ What is at the Heart? ”
  1. Wish I had ten hands up Susan! Today is not a good day.

    Began well but ending with lot of concern, uncertainity and frustration.
    Feel like quitting and giving up. Can I touch the goodness in my heart
    and be at peace with this unease now….

  2. Anyana Banerjee
    Jul 26, 2013

    This is a great reminder Susan, thank you!

  3. Merala Heins
    Jul 22, 2013

    Two hands WAY UP!!!

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