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Sharon Salzberg
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Sharon Salzberg is a meditation teacher and New York Times best-selling author. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. Sharon has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding retreats worldwide since 1974. She is a weekly columnist for On Being and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Sharon's latest book is Real Happiness At Work, published by Workman Publishing. She is also the author of several other books including the New York Times Best Seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation (2010), Love Your Enemies with Robert Thurman (2013), Faith (2002), and Lovingkindness (1995).

For more information about Sharon, and her teaching schedule, please visit:

Entries by Sharon Salzberg

Can't Sleep? Try Meditation

(4) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 5:20 PM

Throughout my years as a meditation teacher, I've encountered many students who come to meditation from a place of acute anxiety. Meditation, and mindfulness practices in general, are scientifically proven antidotes to anxiety and stress, as they are about focusing the mind on what is rather than allowing...

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Lovingkindness For Yourself as Well

(2) Comments | Posted June 8, 2014 | 8:00 PM

"I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt."

Maya Angelou

In classical Buddhist teaching, the practice of lovingkindness begins with extending love...

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Changing an Organization

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 3:54 PM

At a pilot program created by the Garrison Institute, we offered mindfulness training through meditation and yoga to domestic violence shelter personnel, hoping to reinforce resilience skills in face of the incredibly stressful environment in which they work. We started with frontline workers.

After some time, seeing positive affects...

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Real Happiness At Work: The Myth Of Multitasking

(4) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 12:01 PM

The following is excerpted from Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace

We would like to believe that attention is infinite, but it isn't. That is why multitasking is a misnomer. The brain can focus only on one thing at a time. We take in...

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Self-Forgiveness at Work

(0) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 10:23 PM

I was in NYC once, trying to hail a cab to take me uptown to a lecture by Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. It was right at the time shifts were changing, when it's typically difficult to find a free taxi. Some do stop, however, ask where you are...

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Another Way of Viewing Strength

(17) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 12:21 PM

Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani advocate for womens' access to education, left Jon Stewart speechless in her appearance on The Daily Show on Oct 9.

As the world knows, a 14-year-old Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman while on a bus in the Swat Valley. She...

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Love Your Enemies: How To Break The Anger Habit

(168) Comments | Posted October 1, 2013 | 9:08 AM

Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier by Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman gives practical strategies for spiritual transformation. The new book was inspired by HH Dalai Lama and is a result of the workshops that Bob and Sharon have...

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Redefining Success: How a Friend of Mine Found True Happiness

(5) Comments | Posted May 26, 2013 | 12:55 PM

A friend of mine, an attorney named Jocelyn, was highly successful and extremely well compensated, specializing in trusts and estates. She didn't mind helping people with the disposition of their funds, was not facing a moral quandary in terms of her deeper values and did not dislike the people she...

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Who to Vote For?

(3) Comments | Posted September 26, 2012 | 2:00 PM

A few weeks before the presidential election in 2004, I was in Ohio attending a conference. One of the university staff who had helped organize it came to the closing on Sunday, apparently with some reluctance. She was crying, and said, "I couldn't decide whether to come or not, since...

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Fierce Compassion

(22) Comments | Posted August 14, 2012 | 12:00 PM

I've spent quite a bit of my life as a meditation teacher and writer commending the strengths of love and compassion. So many times people have approached me and said something along the lines of, "I don't know about developing greater love and compassion. Surely that will consign me to...

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A True Refuge

(296) Comments | Posted January 21, 2012 | 8:21 AM

From the beginning of my meditation practice in 1971, I was very moved by a sense of the Buddha as an integrated being. Most of us can easily experience our lives as somehow fragmented, split apart. We might feel perfectly filled with complete lovingkindness, strongly in touch with the radiant...

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No Place To Hide: A Buddhist Perspective on Birthers

(23) Comments | Posted May 3, 2011 | 8:31 PM

As surely everyone knows, a few days ago President Barack Obama released to the press the long form copy of his birth certificate. The long form had the same information as the short form, which he had released years ago, and reiterated the same truth. Anyone who comprehends that Hawaii...

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Opening the Heart with Lovingkindness

(3) Comments | Posted March 3, 2011 | 8:49 AM

I've always said that lovingkindness and compassion are inevitably woven throughout meditation practice even if the words are never used or implied, no matter what technique or method we are using. Everyone's mind wanders, without doubt, and we always have to start over. Everyone resists or dislikes the thought of...

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Meditation Practice: A Paradigm Shift

(6) Comments | Posted February 9, 2011 | 8:46 AM

My earliest experiences in meditation were in a context of intensive retreats. It happened to be in India, but it could have been anywhere: a group of people gathered with an instructor in a place we didn't leave for 10 days or two weeks, with someone cooking our meals and...

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Beyond Sorrow: The Resilience of the Human Spirit

(5) Comments | Posted January 19, 2011 | 8:53 AM

A few years ago I went to the Walter Reed Army hospital to do an afternoon of teaching meditation for the nursing staff. Just before the class, my friend, a nurse there, took me on a tour of one of the wards. Of course it was extremely intense, even in...

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Meditation: The Key to Resilience in Caregiving

(17) Comments | Posted November 19, 2010 | 9:21 AM

As I look forward to co-leading this retreat, People Who Care for People: Tools for Resiliency at the Garrison Institute, I find myself reflecting on caregivers I know. Some practice caregiving professionally, as nurses, first responders, chaplains, non-profit attorneys; others in their personal lives, as parents, children, siblings,...

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What's Better for Creativity: Depression or Happiness?

(99) Comments | Posted October 30, 2010 | 5:38 AM

Last week the Dalai Lama was at Emory University, where he holds a Presidential Distinguished Professorship. Amongst the offerings were a teaching on compassion and an exploration of scientific research into compassion meditation. There was also a discussion with Alice Walker and Richard Gere called "The Creative Journey: Artists in...

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How Doing Nothing Can Help You Truly Live

(7) Comments | Posted May 24, 2010 | 10:18 AM

When the retreat center I co-founded, the Insight Meditation Society, first opened, someone created a mock brochure describing a retreat there, with sayings like, "Come to IMS and have all the tea you could ever drink." It also featured a wonderful made up motto for us: "It is better to...

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How Silence Can Help Us Unplug

(23) Comments | Posted May 15, 2010 | 8:00 AM

When I did a CD kit called Unplug, a few of my friends chuckled. "You have to plug it in to get directions on how to unplug," one witty pal pointed out. True enough, and perhaps somewhat ironic, but also not a problem.

Sometimes our issue seems...

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The Buddha's Five Protections - Part 2

(47) Comments | Posted April 19, 2010 | 1:16 PM

The Buddha spoke of five ways that we can nurture and protect the seeds of truth that we have planted: first through morality, and then through understanding and studying the teachings, as we described in the previous post.

The next protection comes through having the support of spiritual...

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