On today’s episode of the Healthy Wealthy and Smart Podcast, Sharon Salzberg joins me to discuss her new book Real Love which will be released on June 6th, 2017! In her tenth book, Sharon Salzberg provides a pathway towards more sustainable and authentic connection by offering a creative toolkit of mindfulness exercises and meditation techniques that guide us to strip away our layers of habit to access a truer understanding of love, “real love.” This journey enables us to become more present and to begin to experience real love—love based on direct interactions, rather than preconceptions. When we are truly engaged in these present experiences we are not only able to feel more connected to our own core selves, but also to those around us, and ultimately to life itself. Divided into three sections, Real Love explores love in three arenas of life: for oneself, love for an other, and love for all of life.
In this episode, we discuss:
-An introduction to Loving Kindness Meditation
-Practical strategies to incorporate meditation into a busy schedule
-Is self compassion through meditation considered laziness?
-What Sharon hopes readers will learn from Real Love and viewing love as an ability not a feeling
-And so much more!
Sharon believes that our human brain, “can tend to fixate on what’s wrong and not appreciate what’s right and what’s good.” Loving Kindness Meditation understands our bias to focus on the negative and balances it with positive reflection for a holistic view of ourselves.
Incorporating meditation into a busy schedule can be as simple as being more present in everyday activities. Sharon stresses that, “Just short moments that break the crazy momentum that we get lost in, they make a difference too.”
According to Sharon, meditation is not a process of resetting our inner thoughts but rather enhancing them. “Our goal is not to wipe out thoughts, our goal is to develop a different relationship to our thoughts… The kind of awareness we are cultivating is balanced, it’s clear, it’s present, it’s loving.”
Sharon shares that the ultimate effect of meditation is revealed through a constant practice. By mastering the skill, “We learn to let go and begin again. When we do that over and over and over again, what happens is that our attention starts to get stabilized.”
For more information on Sharon:
Born in New York City in 1952, Sharon Salzberg experienced a childhood involving considerable loss and turmoil. An early realization of the power of meditation to overcome personal suffering determined her life direction. Her teaching and writing now communicates that power to a worldwide audience of practitioners. She offers non-sectarian retreat and study opportunities for participants from widely diverse backgrounds. Sharon first encountered Buddhism in 1969, in an Asian philosophy course at the State University of New York, Buffalo. The course sparked an interest that, in 1970, took her to India, for an independent study program. Sharon traveled motivated by “an intuition that the methods of meditation would bring me some clarity and peace.” In 1971, in Bodh Gaya, India, Sharon attended her first intensive meditation course. She spent the next years engaged in intensive study with highly respected meditation teachers. She returned to America in 1974 and began teaching vipassana (insight) meditation. In 1976, she established, together with Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, which now ranks as one of the most prominent and active meditation centers in the Western world. Sharon and Joseph Goldstein expanded their vision in 1989 by co-founding the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS). In 1998, they initiated the Forest Refuge, a long-term retreat center secluded in a wooded area on IMS property. Today she teaches a variety of offerings around the globe. Sharon resides in Barre, Massachusetts, and New York City. She served as a panelist with the Dalai Lama and leading scientists at the 2005 Mind and Life Investigating the Mind Conference in Washington, DC. She also coordinated the meditation faculty for the 2005 Mind and Life Summer Institute, an intensive five-day meeting to advance research on the intersection of meditation and the cognitive and behavioral sciences. At the 2005 Sacred Circles Conference at the Washington National Cathedral, Sharon served as a keynote speaker. She has addressed audiences at the State of the World Forum, the Peacemakers Conference (sharing a plenary panel with Nobel Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Jose Ramos Horta) and has delivered keynotes at Tricycle’s Buddhism in America Conference, as well as Yoga Journal, Kripalu and Omega conferences. She was selected to attend the Gethsemani encounter, a dialogue on spiritual life between Buddhist and Christian leaders that included His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The written word is central to Sharon Salzberg’s teaching and studies. She is the author of nine books including Lovingkindness, the NY Times best seller Real Happiness, and Real Happiness at Work. In her early Buddhist studies at the University of Buffalo, she discovered Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s book, Meditation in Action. She later heard him speak at a nearby school: he was the first practicing Buddhist she encountered. While studying in India, Shunryu Suzuki’s book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind profoundly influenced the direction of her meditation practice. She is a weekly columnist for On Being, a regular contributor the the Huffington Post, and was a contributing editor of Oprah’s O Magazine for several years. She has appeared in Time Magazine, Yoga Journal, msnbc.com, Tricycle, Real Simple, Body & Soul, Mirabella, Good Housekeeping, Self, Buddhadharma, More and Shambhala Sun, as well as on a variety of radio programs. Various anthologies on spirituality have featured Sharon Salzberg and her work, including Meetings with Remarkable Women, Gifts of the Spirit, A Complete Guide to Buddhist America, Handbook of the Heart, The Best Guide to Meditation, From the Ashes—A Spiritual Response to the Attack on America, and How to Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism.
Resources discussed on this show:
Sharon Salzberg Website
Real Love Book
Sharon Salzberg Twitter
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