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Start Here Now

An Online Course on the Path and Practice of Meditation

SKU# 9781611805222


Online Course

Shambhala Publications | 12/21/2016
ISBN: 9781611805222


Meditation practice is transformative. It has been proven to lead to everything from a good night’s sleep to higher productivity and reduced stress, to clarity of mind and even complete enlightenment. Recently, these benefits have become more widely recognized, but beginning and sustaining a practice amid the distractions and busyness of modern life can seem overwhelming.

Over many years, meditation expert and New York Times best-selling author Susan Piver has taught thousands of people how to do just that. In this course, Susan distills all of her best advice and tried-and-true techniques into a four-week program that will:

    • Guide you through the basics of starting a meditation practice
    • Teach you how to work with your body, breath, and mind for an effective practice
    • Present practical tips for creating a sustainable routine
    • Explain how to navigate the inevitable roadblocks
    • Teach the key principles of meditation and clarify common misconceptions 
    • Show you how to maintain a potent connection to your own unique path


Over the course of this four-week program you will be provided with the tools and support you need to begin a meditation practice that could change your life.

This course includes:


Four 20–30 minute lessons and two guided meditations from Susan, available in both video and audio format, with transcripts


Guided reading assignments with PDFs from Start Here Now, and a 50% discount off the paperback version


Exercises to help you integrate the practice into your everyday life


Unlimited access to all course materials


An Overview of What You'll Learn:


Lesson 1
Getting Started:
An Introduction and Overview of Sitting Practice

Meditation is perhaps one of the simplest activities we can do—it is basically just taking our seat on this earth and paying attention to our breath. And yet, there are many misconceptions about the practice that can get in our way when we’re first starting out. In this lesson, we’ll review what meditation is—and what it is not. Susan will also give you practical advice for how to set up your home practice.

Lesson 2
Confidence Leads to Discipline:
A Strong Foundation

Culturally, we tend to think of discipline as rigid and sometimes even cruel. But in the context of meditation practice, creating a container of discipline is life-affirming and even joyful. In order to bring discipline to our practice in a healthy way, we need confidence. In this lesson, we’ll learn five steps for creating outer confidence and one step for creating inner confidence. We’ll also learn the three most common obstacles to meditation practice and their essential antidotes.

Lesson 3
Deepening in Wisdom:
Relaxing Self-Aggression

Many of us encounter a deep well of self-aggression as we deepen in our practice. At that point, it would be easy to mistake our meditation as a means of self-improvement. Self-help, however, undermines the underlying principle of meditation practice, which is that we already have everything we need to be wakeful and kind. In this lesson, we’ll receive practical wisdom to avoid turning our meditation into a weapon we use against ourselves—instead, we’ll learn how to maintain our connection to the sacredness of the practice.

Lesson 4
Living with a Fully Open Heart:
Loving-kindness for Ourselves and Our World

The meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche said, “The only true elegance is vulnerability.” This may sound hard to believe, considering how uncomfortable it sometimes is to live with an open heart. In this lesson, we’ll discuss the relationship between tenderness, meditation, and spiritual warriorship. We’ll learn how to stabilize our minds and hearts in a state of openness to create a truly sustainable practice that will serve not only us, but our whole world.

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Susan Piver is a New York Times bestselling author and meditation instructor whose books include How Not to Be Afraid of Your Own LifeThe Wisdom of a Broken Heart, The Hard Questions, and Start Here Now. She has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, the CBS Early Show, The Tyra Banks Show, and other national television programs in connection with her books. She is the founder of the Open Heart Project and leads workshops and retreats around the country on living an awakened life. 

Important Note on Browser Requirements

We are partnering with’s online learning platform Canvas to offer this course. Canvas supports the last two versions of every browser release.

Canvas supports the following versions of Flash and popular web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 11 and Edge
  • Chrome 56 and 57
  • Safari 9 and 10 (Macintosh only)
  • Firefox 51 and 52 (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Flash 23 and 24 (used for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files)

We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plugin. If you cannot update your browser to one of the above versions, you will not be able to access this course. Some supported browsers may still produce a banner stating Your browser does not meet the minimum requirements for Canvas. If you have upgraded your browser but still see the warning banner, try logging out of Canvas and deleting your browser cookies.

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