In 1974 when Sharon Salzberg discovered meditation, there were no meditation apps, mainstream teachers, corporate retreats or scientific studies backing the practice like we have today. Largely considered a Buddhist practice, meditation was relegated to Eastern thought and spiritual gurus. But for Sharon, who grew up in the hustle and bustle of New York City and went through a number of traumatic experiences as a child, it was a lifesaver — a tool that showed her she could take ownership of her life and transform her own suffering.
After studying in India for several years, Sharon became a meditation teacher and one of the first people to bring meditation into the mainstream, demystifying the practice with her secular and modern approach. I have followed her for years, and I am THRILLED to feature her in this episode — one that is so packed full of wisdom from this master teacher.
In this episode, Sharon shares what meditation is and what it isn’t and the many wonderful things meditation can cultivate in our lives, including self-compassion, healthy ways to process pain, the ability to fall and get back up again and a profound connection with ourselves and others. She also helps to break down how to get started meditating and why everyone should be doing it.
Listen to discover:
- The heart of the practice, which might surprise you
- How meditation is a life exercise and skills training
- Why there is no failing in meditation
- The difference between a mindfulness practice and a loving kindness meditation
- What causes suffering
- Navigating uncertainty, fear and anger during these challenging times
- And SOO much more!
Whether you’ve meditated for years or are considering starting, I know you will love the countless nuggets of wisdom in this episode. And if you’re on the fence, I encourage you to take Sharon’s advice and just try it! Don’t give up after 10 minutes or look just at the practice time itself, but instead look at your life and how differently you respond to yourself, your relationships and life’s challenges. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
“We’re not trying to blank out or drop parts of our experience. We’re cultivating the ability to be with our experience differently. We don’t have to take every thought to heart. We don’t have to follow every thought into action. We don’t have to hold onto an emotion as if it’s the only thing we will ever feel.” – Sharon Salzberg
“It’s the practice of letting go and being able to begin again.” – Sharon Salzberg
“We don’t all share the same degree of pain. But we all share vulnerability.” – Sharon Salzberg
“You’re not supposed to stop your thoughts; you’re supposed to witness.” – Michelle Chalfant
LINKS & RESOURCES:
Sharon Salzberg Website
Sharon Salzberg Facebook
Sharon Salzberg Instagram
Real Change (New Book)
Real Happiness (Sharon Salzberg Book)
Faith (Sharon Salzberg Book)
Inner Child Resource (contains 2 free meditations)
The Adult Chair Website
The Adult Chair Membership
The Adult Chair Coaching Certification
The Adult Chair Workshops