Godwin Samararatne: “See how far you can accept yourself…”

The Vipassana Fellowship's March newsletter arrived today, and inside is this gem from the late Sri Lankan teacher Godwin Samararatne. It's an excerpt from a recording he made for a young cancer patient, to help him on his journey: "See how far you can gently soften, accepting yourself as you are, without any notion of what you should become. Making friends with who you are [...]

True Stories About Sitting Meditation from Charlotte Joko Beck, Joseph Goldstein, Sylvia Boorstein, and Sharon Salzberg


Four well-known Buddhist meditation teachers talk about their own experiences of self-discovery through sitting meditation. By Donna Rockwell A decade ago I found myself learning how to meditate. I took to meditation right away, and it transformed my relationship to life. I began to question all sorts of things, including my concept of self. Later, when I enrolled at the [...]

Sylvia Boorstein: “The Only Choice is Kindness”

"Life is so difficult, how can we be anything but kind?" It was these words that inspired Sylvia Boorstein to follow the Buddhist path. In this Shambhala Sun feature, Steve Silberman talks with her about the challenges of life, from a rough childhood to a post-partum depression, that helped her become such a beloved teacher-and example-of Buddhist virtues. By Steve [...]

To Love Abundantly: Sharon Salzberg’s Journey on the Path

How did Sharon Salzberg find loving-kindness -- and in the darkest of times? By Trish Deitch Rohrer In 1971, a few days before eighteen-year-old Sharon Salzberg was meant to leave for India on an independent study project from State University at Buffalo where she was a student, she heard Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was giving a talk in town, and she [...]

Joseph Goldstein on the benefits of long term practice

Joseph Goldstein—a major figure in the development of the Insight Meditation movement—joined the Buddhist Geeks yesterday to discuss the unique benefits of long-term practice. He touched on the need to train the mind through extended periods of dedicated training and he shared the background and vision behind the long-term retreat facility, which he helped start. He also [...]

Borderline Personality Disorder and Beginner’s Mind

Beginner's mind is an aspect of mindfulness that's particularly important if you're struggling with symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD), says mindful-oriented doctor Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault. "Beginner's mind means looking at things as if you are seeing them for the first time. Beginner's mind can help us to see things in a new light, rather than automatically [...]

Teaching of the Day: The Many Aspects of Awareness

Another issue of the Vipassana Fellowship newsletter has come and gone, and in the November edition there's a gem of a teaching by the late Godwin Samararatne—former director of the Centre at Nilambe (Sri Lanka) and a man revered for his direct and heart-felt delivery of the dharma. In this talk to beginning meditators, Godwin discusses the importance of connecting with [...]

Buddhist Geeks on “The Dhamma Brothers”

Today, Buddhist Geeks Vince Horn and Ryan Oelke podcast their interview with Jenny Phillips, director and producer of the new documentary The Dhamma Brothers. Jenny's film tells the story of how a program of vipassana meditation has taken root in an Alabama maximum-security prison. (See our post on The Dhamma Brothers project back in October.) The Geeks explore Jenny's [...]

Teaching of the Day: Joseph Goldstein on Mindfulness

The Vipassana teacher and IMS founder Joseph Goldstein doesn't write a lot, but when he does, it's clear, elegant, and completely to the point. Here's a terrific teaching of his that we called Here, Now, Aware: The Power of Mindfulness. It's adapted from a little jewel of a book, A Heart Full of Peace, which was based on a series of lectures Goldstein delivered at Harvard [...]

Teaching of the Day: The Value of Community

Starting tomorrow, I think we'll all be thinking a lot about the value of community--how to recognize our common values, how to put superficial differences aside, how, basically, to love each other. That's the change we really need. Community is important in Buddhism too. It's called sangha, and with the Buddha and the dharma, it's one of the so-called Three Jewels that support [...]