Metta Hour with Sharon Salzberg

Be Here Now Network

The Sharon Salzberg Metta Hour features Buddhist philosophy in a practical, common sense vernacular. Sharon’s natural wisdom, sense of humor and the ease with which she translates these teachings forge an intimate connection with the listener. From everyday experiences to pithy revelations, each podcast is a journey on the path of self-discovery.Sharon Salzberg is a meditation pioneer, world-renowned teacher, and New York Times bestselling author.She is one of the first to bring mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation to mainstream American culture over 45 years ago, inspiring generations of meditation teachers and wellness influencers. Sharon is co-founder of The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and the author of twelve books, including the New York Times bestseller, Real Happiness, now in its second edition, and her seminal work, Lovingkindness. Her forthcoming release, Real Life: The Journey from Isolation to Openness and Freedom, is set for release in April of 2023 from Flatiron Books.

  • 1 hour 9 minutes
    Ep. 241 – Zindel Segal & Norman Farb

    For episode 242, Sharon speaks with psychologist Zindel Segal, PhD, and neuroscientist Norman Farb, PhD, about their new book, Better in Every Sense: How the New Science of Sensation Can Help You Reclaim Your Life.

    Zindel is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders, University of Toronto Scarborough. He is a clinical psychologist whose research examines the use of mindfulness meditation in promoting affect regulation skills in people suffering from a depressive and anxiety based disorder. Norm is an Associate Professor, University of Toronto Mississauga and studies the social neuroscience of the self and human emotion, with a focus on how biases in self-representation shape emotional reactions that determine well-being.

    In this episode, Sharon, Zindel and Norm discuss:

    • How Norm came to this work
    • What inspired the new book, Better in Every Sense
    • Why people are languishing
    • The Default Mode Network versus Sensory Network
    • The positives of the “house of habit,” aka DMN
    • “Breaking Frame” to solve problems
    • Sense Foraging: shifting from thinking to sensing
    • The three steps in Sense Foraging
    • The role of equanimity in the Sensory Network
    • How Interoception relates to empathy

    The conversation closes with a meditation breathing practice led by Zindel. You can learn more about Zindel and Norm’s book Better in Every Senseright here. You can also check out Zindel’s first appearance on the Metta Hour Podcast from 2020 in Episode 144.

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    3 June 2024, 9:21 pm
  • 1 hour 33 minutes
    Ep. 240 – Fireside Chat with Kamala Masters

    For episode 240, we are continuing the Fireside Chat Series on the Metta Hour with Kamla Masters.

    This series features intimate conversations with longtime dharma teachers about the early days of their practice and the most impactful moments with their own teachers. Hosted by IMS Online, the second episode in this series. Kamala Masters is one of the founders and teachers of the Vipassana Metta Foundation on Maui. She teaches retreats in the Theravada tradition at venues worldwide, including being a Guiding Teacher at the Insight Meditation Society at Barre, Massachusetts. The conversation begins with a five-minute guided meditation from Kamala.

    In this episode, Sharon and Kamala discuss:

    • How Kamala and Sharon first met
    • Kamala’s primary teachers and influences
    • Sharon’s first travel to India
    • How Kamala first found meditation
    • Munindra teaching Kamala a washing dishes meditation
    • Munindra’s way of breaking barriers for Sharon
    • How Sharon met Dipa Ma
    • How Sharon reparented herself with her teachers
    • Munindra’s directive to “try harder”
    • Distinctions in meditation methods
    • How Kamala started teaching
    • Sharing what their formal daily practice looks like today
    • How they were taught lovingkindness
    • Do people need a teacher?
    • How to practice the Ten Paramis
    • How to use mental noting
    • Working with physical ailments and pain
    • Perfectionism as a hindrance

    You can learn more about Kamala’s work via the website for the Vipassana Metta Foundation on Maui right here.

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    21 May 2024, 10:28 pm
  • 1 hour 11 minutes
    Ep. 239 – Duncan Trussell and Raghu Markus

    For episode 239, Sharon chats with friends Duncan Trussell and Raghu Markus about their new audiobook Moving from the Movie of Me to the Movie of We.

    Duncan Trussell is a stand-up comedian, podcaster, writer, and actor. He is most known for his podcast The Duncan Trussell Family Hour. He produced and starred on the Netflix series The Midnight Gospel.

    Raghu Markus spent two years in India with Neem Karoli Baba and Ram Dass. He has been involved in music and transformational media since the early 1970s. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Love Serve Remember Foundation and hosts the Mindrolling Podcast on the Be Here Now Network.

    In this episode, Sharon, Duncan and Raghu discuss:

    • How the new book came to be
    • The healing is in the return
    • Self pre-occupation versus self-love
    • The guru in Duncan’s kids
    • Raghu’s parents meeting Neem Karoli Baba
    • How Duncan first met Ram Dass
    • Raghu and Duncan’s first hang
    • Finding the mother archetype
    • Wanting Jesus “with skin on”
    • Ram Dass the therapist
    • How to cultivate unconditionality
    • Getting real with ourselves
    • Duncan’s formal practice
    • “Remember Buddha Nature and your SS number” – RD

    The conversation closes with a guided meditation by Ram Dass on Loving Awareness.

    You can learn more about the new book Moving from the Movie of Me to the Movie of We right here.

    Listen to Duncan’s podcast and check out his upcoming comedy events right here.

    Listen to Raghu’s Mindrolling podcast right here.

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    6 May 2024, 8:57 pm
  • 34 minutes 34 seconds
    Ep. 238 – Lovingkindness Audiobook Excerpt

    For episode 238 of the Metta Hour Podcast, we are releasing a special extended excerpt of the brand new Lovingkindness Audiobook, set for release by Shambhala on April 23rd, 2024.

    This thirty-minute excerpt includes the forward of the book, written and read by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the introduction of the book, read by Sharon and a portion of the first chapter, The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Lovingkindess was Sharon’s first book, originally released in 1995 in hardcover format. It is now available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats.

    To learn more about the book or get a copy, click here.

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    22 April 2024, 5:19 pm
  • 1 hour 33 minutes
    Ep. 237 – Fireside Chat with Jack Kornfield

    For episode 237, we are launching the Fireside Chat Series on the Metta Hour.

    This series features intimate conversations with longtime dharma teachers about the early days of their practice and the most impactful moments with their own teachers. Hosted by IMS Online, the launch of this monthly series is a conversation between Sharon and Jack Kornfield. Jack trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. The conversation begins with a 10-minute guided meditation from Jack.

    In this episode, Sharon and Jack discuss:

    • Jack’s experience with Thai Buddhist monk Ajahn Chah
    • The Buddha statue debate from the early days on IMS
    • Jack’s first book “Living Dharma”
    • Ajahn Chah’s teaching about the original mind
    • Realizing innate qualities versus developing them
    • The sign above the door at IMS
    • What languages Sharon and Jack learned in Asia
    • Sharon’s relationship with teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche
    • The role of study in one’s spiritual life
    • Dualistic versus non-dualistic teachings
    • The necessity of lovingkindness in their early teachings
    • Learning to accept help and support
    • Sharon’s experiences with Dipa Ma
    • Different teachers that Jack has pissed off

    The conversation closes with a short sitting. You can learn more about Jack’s work right here and check out his new online course on the eight-fold path available right here.

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    10 April 2024, 11:28 am
  • 1 hour 5 minutes
    Ep. 236 – Sameet Kumar

    For episode 236, Sharon is in conversation with Sameet Kumar, Ph.D. Sameet is the clinical psychologist for the Memorial Cancer Institute.

    Sameet specializes in working with cancer patients and their caregivers. He is the author of Grieving Mindfully, The Mindful Path Through Worry and Rumination. He is part of a new anthology, coming out in May of 2024 from New Harbinger Publications, How to Grieve What We’ve Lost.

    In this episode, Sharon and Sameet discuss:

    • How Sameet came to grief counseling
    • American culture’s denial of the first noble truth
    • The human experience of pain/pleasure
    • Grief is whatever it is to you
    • The non-existent timeline for grief
    • Widening the scope of what losses affect us
    • The tools of ACT, CBT and Mindfulness for grief
    • Sameet’s new anthology book
    • Dampening the grief  stress response 
    • Sameet’s support of COVID front-line workers
    • Working with add-ons 
    • The role of Ram Dass in Sameet’s life

    Sameet closes the conversation with a guided meditation on the refuge tree. You can learn more about Sameet’s work right here.

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    26 March 2024, 2:28 pm
  • 1 hour 1 minute
    Ep. 235 – Suneel Gupta

    For episode 235, Sharon speaks with Suneel Gupta.

    Suneel is a bestselling author, renowned speaker, Harvard Medical School visiting scholar, and host of a global documentary series. He studies leaders around the world to discover and share simple, actionable habits that lift our performance, deepen our state of well-being, and guide us further into our dharma. His latest book, “Everyday Dharma: Eight Essential Practices for Finding Success and Joy in Everything You Do” was released in the Fall of 2023 from Harper Collins.

    In this episode, Suneel and Sharon discuss:

    • Suneel’s definition of dharma
    • How we express our core truth 
    • Dr King’s Street Sweeper story
    • Suneel’s life path with failure
    • The wisdom of Suneel’s Grandfather
    • Suneel’s journey of identity as a brown-skinned man
    • Writing as a therapeutic form
    • Arrival fallacy 
    • Eight pillars of Suneel’s book Everyday Dharma
    • The path is cyclical, not linear
    • Dharma as the bedrock on your life
    • How Suneel defines success 
    • Asking what makes you come alive?
    • Howard Thurman’s wisdom
    • Tuning into space
    • Vulnerability promoting connection

    Suneel closes the conversation with a short reading from his book. You can learn more about Suneel’s work and get a copy of Everyday Dharma on his website.

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    11 March 2024, 4:59 pm
  • 1 hour 14 minutes
    Ep. 234 – Dan Harris

    For episode 234, Sharon speaks with author and podcast host, Dan Harris.

    Dan is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling memoir, 10% Happier, about a fidgety, skeptical news anchor who finds meditation. He’s also the host of the Ten Percent Happier podcast and the co-founder of the Ten Percent Happier meditation app. For 21 years, he worked at ABC News, where he anchored such shows as Nightline and the weekend editions of Good Morning America.

    In this episode, Dan and Sharon discuss:

    • The new edition of Ten Percent Happier
    • What has changed in the meditation space in the last decade
    • The line between cynicism to skepticism 
    • The climate of despair and nihilism
    • Working with the inner critic
    • Dan’s drug-fueled panic attack on-air
    • Big life changes are not often a straight shot
    • Dan’s path finding meditation
    • The Jew-Bu movement towards Asia
    • The connection of Dan’s father and Joseph Goldstein’s family
    • Dan meeting Mark Epstein
    • The first time Sharon saw Birkenstocks
    • Dan’s first meditation retreat
    • How lovingkindness has affected Dan
    • “The Way of the Worrier” list from Ten Percent Happier
    • Dan’s son teaching lovingkindness meditation

    Dan closes the conversation with a guided lovingkindness meditation. You can learn more about Dan’s work and get a copy of Ten Percent Happier, the newly reissued book on his website.

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    26 February 2024, 7:49 pm
  • 52 minutes 32 seconds
    Dr. Jenny Taitz

    For episode 233, Dr. Jenny Taitz returns to the Metta Hour. Jenny is a clinical psychologist and an assistant clinical professor in psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    Jenny completed her fellowship in psychology at Yale University School of Medicine and achieved board certifications in cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. In addition to treating clients in her private therapy practice, LA CBT DBT, she is the author of How to Be Single and Happy and End Emotional Eating. Her new book, Stress Resets: How to Soothe Your Body and Mind in Minutes, is now available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats.

    In this episode, Sharon and Jenny discuss:

    • Jenny’s new book, Stress Resets
    • Acute versus chronic stress
    • Learning how to put stress down
    • The distinction between stress and trauma
    • How stress affects the body
    • Preventing a stress snowball
    • Cultivating agency in dealing with stress
    • The role of acceptance in stress
    • Working with causes and conditions
    • Stress resets versus stress buffers
    • Emotions come in waves
    • Coherent breathing
    • Creating an anti-depressant lifestyle

    Jenny closes the conversation with a guided mindfulness practice.

    You can learn more about Jenny’s work and get a copy of her new book, Stress Resets, on her website.

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    13 February 2024, 2:26 pm
  • 58 minutes 48 seconds
    Ep. 232 – Cecilia B. Loving

    For episode 232, Cecilia B. Loving returns to the Metta Hour. Cecilia is an award-winning speaker, belonging and inclusion thought leader, consultant and author, who serves as the Senior Vice President Head of DEI for PBS.

    Her work in restorative justice, storytelling, inclusive leadership, racial inclusion, mindfulness, and well-being helps redefine the importance of self-care and self-empowerment to create a positive and holistic environment for everyone. This is Cecilia’s second appearance on the Metta Hour. Her first appearance was in 2022 with Episode 192, which you can hear right here.

    In this episode, Sharon and Cecilia discuss:

    • Cecilia’s new book, Connecting Through Circles
    • The concept of "connecting through circles"
    • How circles differ from other conversation
    • The necessity of belonging
    • The science that backs social bonding
    • The Ministry of Forgiveness
    • Desmond Tutu’s personal style
    • Empathy as a path to transformation
    • Moving beyond “Us” versus “them” mentality
    • Cecilia’s approach to DEI at PBS
    • The ripple affect of DEI in the world
    • Vicarious Trauma
    • Lovingkindness Meditation

    Cecilia closes the conversation with a guided circle meditation. You can learn more about Cecilia’s work right here.

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    29 January 2024, 6:16 pm
  • 37 minutes 54 seconds
    Ep. 231 – Sharon Salzberg’s Meditative Story hosted by Rohan Gunatillake

    For episode 231 of the Metta Hour, Sharon Salzberg shares the journey of her spiritual life with the host of Meditative Story, Rohan Gunatillake.

    This episode was originally aired on Meditative Story, a podcast that combines the emotional pull of first-person storytelling with the immediate, science-backed benefits of mindfulness practice – all surrounded by breathtaking and cinematic music. You can find Meditative Story on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more!

    Rohan Gunatillake is a writer, entrepreneur, and host of the podcast Meditative Story. By artfully crafting meditations to compliment each guest’s story, Rohan blends mindfulness with narrative to create a unique listening experience, encouraging listeners to use someone else’s transformative moment as the basis for their own. He’s also the founder of the best-selling app Buddhify, and author of Modern Mindfulness: How to Be More Relaxed, Focused, and Kind While Living in a Fast, Digital, Always-On World.

    In this immersive blast to the past, Sharon Salzberg reflects on:

    • Her first trip to India
    • How disappointments and discomforts can lead to self-discovery
    • Being kind to ourselves and allowing slip-ups to happen
    • The initial meeting of Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein
    • Goenka’s non-verbal advice to Sharon and how laughter can release fear and anger
    • Reorienting ourselves when we veer off course

    This episode closes with a guided meditation. Visit to find our more information about the Meditative Story Podcast and how you can subscribe for more stories like this one!

    It will take a while before I learn that the skillful response to feeling anger is to feel it, and then, even to take an interest in it. I don’t have to let it carry me into action that I may regret. I already feel the lesson that life is teaching me over and over again: we all face challenges. It’s how we become who we are. You don’t have to judge yourself all the time. Give yourself a break.” – Sharon Salzberg

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    15 January 2024, 7:13 pm
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