Sharon Salzberg is one of the leading teachers of Buddhist meditation in the West and is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She’s written nine books including the New York Times best-seller Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation. Here, she offers a glimpse into what her daily practice looks like.
Where do you meditate?
I meditate wherever I am ... living room couch, hotel room, etc. I also practice a form of Lovingkindness walking meditation, walking down the streets of NYC, going through airports, etc.
I do sitting meditation first thing in the morning, whenever that's possible. Before getting online, before checking cell messages. I also do walking meditation often when I'm actually walking.
What type of meditation do you practice?
When I'm sitting, I mostly do mindfulness or awareness practice. Sometimes Lovingkindness meditation. And as I said, I frequently do Lovingkindness just going from place to place.
Why do you meditate?
I've been meditating for 45 years. It's the center of my life and the source of much of my happiness
Advice for first-time meditators?
I'd say give it a trial run. It's not an activity that bears fruit from merely thinking about it. You need to do it. So I usually suggest what is a realistic commitment, say five to ten minutes a day, for a month, as an experiment. Then assess and evaluate. But when you are looking for those fruits, look at your life, not that formal period of a few minutes. That might not change much, but you will change.