sharon salzberg

  • The sun and the wind: Day 18 of the challenge Paid Member

    I haven't sat yet today. It's so nice outside I thought that I might just count my pleasant stroll to lunch as some walking meditation. Although, I'm sure that it doesn't qualify—I was somewhere between autopilot and mindful. I definitely wasn't focusing my attention on my feet and legs, as Sharon instructs us to do in Real Happiness when she invites us to walk "as if your consciousness is emanating from the ground up." However, I also wasn't lost in thoughts of future and past, like I so often am. I saw the man with headphones, shouting angrily at his own reflection in a window (impressive, I know, noticing a screaming lunatic). There was also the Dorrito bag in the tree bed on the corner, the incessant honking of a taxicab. In New York, one is always surrounded by more than enough grit and grime to think "This is a dirty world," but today I was thinking more "What a wonderful world" so maybe this meditation is doing something for me. Or maybe it was just the weather. More »
  • Day 11: The Great Meditation Challenge Paid Member

    I stayed home sick today. My feet are cold, my head is clogged, my nose is dripping, and my lips are cracked. This morning, I ambled slowly down the stairs for a cup of tea, not as a mindfulness practice, but because I feel tired and sore. My whole body aches. 

The second week of the 28-day meditation challenge is about working with our bodies. In Real Happiness, Sharon writes, “A very good place to become familiar with the way mindfulness works is always close by—our own bodies. Investigating physical sensations is one of the best ways for us to learn to be present with whatever is happening in the moment, and to recognize the difference between direct experience and the add-ons we bring to it.” 

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  • Day 4: Snow, Samsara, and You Paid Member

    Day four on the cushion. My thoughts are all over the place. What has to be done today in the office? Is it going to snow this weekend? How will I be OK when my parents die? I probably haven't learned a thing about meditation in all these years. But one thought that I had was a real pick-me-up: I was thinking about, well—don't let this creep you out—I was thinking about you. Usually sitting with my coworkers just makes me feel grateful that I have a job where office meditation is encouraged (and, in this case, not only encouraged but required!)—I see us as a little sangha. But today I imagined you and everybody else out there taking part in the challenge with us this month. My sense of sangha widened out to wherever you find yourself sitting today. This isn't just something nice to say; you can see the widening circle when you drop by the book club. More »
  • An evening with Ven. Metteyya at New York Insight Paid Member

    From left: Bodhi (Ven. Metteyya's attendant), Sharon Salzberg, Ven. Metteyya More »
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    Sharon Salzberg, Slumdog Millionaire & Mother India Paid Member

    Last night I had the pleasure of taking Sharon Salzberg to see Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. It's an odd mix of poverty, cruelty, deprivation and high-stakes game-show  drama that culminates in Bollywood-style celebration. Go figure, but it worked. We were both pretty exhilarated—and winded—by the end of it. Over dinner the conversation drifted back to India, where Sharon spent her formative Buddhist years, a place she still considers her spiritual home. I've just received an email from Sharon tipping me off to her latest on the Huffington Post—her thoughts on India and the recent tragedy in Mumbai. You can read "Mother India" here. More »
  • More on China's lack of press freedom; Salzberg; Solzhenitsyn Paid Member

    More on China's anxious mix of almost-freedom (for foreigners) and increased repression (for its own citizens.) A German rights-group criticizes the IOC for its role in the press restrictions. Sharon Salzberg has a new blog post at Huffington Post. And the literary giant Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has died. From his Times obituary: He wrote that while an ordinary man was obliged “not to participate in lies,” artists had greater responsibilities. “It is within the power of writers and artists to do much more: to defeat the lie!” More »