#582. Sharon Salzberg On: Openness, Not Believing the Stories You Tell Yourself, and Why the Most Powerful Tools Often Seem Stupid at First
Today’s episode is a rangy and fascinating conversation with a titan of the modern mindfulness scene: Sharon Salzberg. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, a renowned meditation retreat center and has written twelve books. Her latest is called, Real Life: The Journey from Isolation to Openness and Freedom.
We get personal and talk about a fascinating question: why did so many Jewish kids of Sharon’s generation (the Boomers) get interested in meditation? Sharon was part of a whole crew called the JewBu’s — young Jewish people, mostly from New York, who found their way to India and other parts of Asia in the 1960s and 70s, learned about Buddhism, and then came home and taught it to so many of us.
In this episode we talk about:
- The case for openness versus constriction. What is openness? Why do we want it? And how does one achieve it?
- How not to take so seriously the stories you tell yourself
- Whether shame is ever useful
- How the most powerful tools (like self-compassion) can often seem so stupid at first
- The importance of having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset
- Why gratitude gets a bad rap
- The difference between self-centeredness and “healthy pride”
- Sharon’s recent and quite harrowing medical odyssey — and how meditation helped her get through it.
Where to find Sharon Salzberg online:
Other Resources Mentioned:
- Saturday Night Seder
- Carol Dweck
- Tsoknyi Rinpoche
- Dr. Dan Siegel
- S.N. Goenka
- Barbara Frederickson
- Anagarika Munindra
- Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
- IMS: Sharon Salzberg in Conversation About Her New Book, Real Life, April 11, 2023