Ritual Inspiration: Sharon Salzberg

Source: http://www.sonima.com/meditation/sharon-salzberg/

Sharon Salzberg’s presence is gentle and commanding, her pedagogy earnest and funny, her writing personal and erudite. As a teacher and writer, Salzberg consistently demonstrates awareness and acceptance of what it means to be human. She speaks about her personal experiences with honest sensitivity, sharp intelligence and a raw sense of humor, generously showing her students around the world that it’s possible to integrate the principles meditation into everyday life, not just in the formal sitting practice. When meeting Salzberg, you would have no idea that she is both a New York Times best-selling author and one of the most prominent teachers of Buddhism in the West; her demeanor is relaxed and humble, even as she possesses an unprecedented depth of knowledge about both Vipassana (mindfulness) and metta (loving-kindness) practices, and has led meditation retreats around the world for more than 30 years.

Born in New York City, Salzberg experienced a great deal of emotional pain during childhood, which she often cites as the genesis of her eventual interest in meditation. Salzberg sped through high school in New York City, and found herself enrolling in college at the State University of New York in Buffalo at age 16. After reading some of the Buddha’s central teachings in an Asian philosophy course during her sophomore year of college, Salzberg found herself thinking, “Wow, I’m not alone. I don’t have to feel weird. Everyone at s…

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