photo of Sylvia Boorstein

Sylvia Boorstein

Sylvia Boorstein is a psychologist and leading teacher of Insight Meditation. Her many best-selling books include Pay Attention, for Goodness’ Sake and Happiness Is An Inside Job.


Recent Articles

How Endings Make Room for Beginnings

Sylvia Boorstein on the transformative power of acknowledging life's constant cycle of creation and loss.

How to Practice Wise Intention

Regularly remind yourself of your intentions, advises Sylvia Boorstein. It’s the key to keeping your life on target.

How to Work with the Winter Blues

Perhaps these days of less sunlight are opportunities for more contemplative time, more looking deeply to see what can only be seen in the dark.

Man with headlamp looking into space.

Meditation for Interconnectedness

Sylvia Boorstein shares a meditation for deepening our sense of interconnectedness.

No estoy bien, tú no estás bien –y esto está bien

Cuando leemos las noticias, quizás nos vemos abrumados sintiéndonos “nada bien”, pero Sylvia Boorstein dice que hay modos en los que podemos trabajar con ese sentimiento.

No Worries

Sylvia Boorstein addresses a mental affliction we don’t often talk about in spiritual terms. It’s a big problem for her, and maybe for you—worrying.

Daily Life is Practice

These days, if an aversive reaction starts to form in my mind, I think to myself, “Wait! Don’t disturb the peace!”

I’m Not O.K., You’re Not O.K.—and That’s O.K.

"We are all subject to the pain of loss, grief, sadness and even plain disappointment. But by talking to one another about it, we console. It is enough."

Meet Bad Habits with Loving-Kindness

Sylvia Boorstein unpacks the foundational Buddhist teaching “Recognize unwholesome states in the mind and replace them with wholesome states.”

Statue of the bodhisattva Shadakshari Lokeshvara.

One Simple Practice That Changes Everything

Right intention is the key to living the life we want and to traversing the Buddha’s eightfold path, says Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein.

How Not to Lose Heart

Sylvia Boorstein says it’s time to cut yourself some slack.

Amigos, no comida

Cuando Buda nos enseñó a abstenernos de tomar la vida de otros, él no hizo una excepción de los animales que nos gusta comer. Mientras que muchos budistas comen carne, Bob Isaacson de Dharma Voices for Animals argumenta que no lo deberían hacer.

Many Thanks

Sylvia Boorstein learns how daily messages of gratitude exchanged between friends can bring insight and the inspiration to practice.

Still a Schmuck?

A reader asks Sylvia Boorstein: “What’s the point of practice if it’s not making me a better person?”

Nonexistent But Precious

Sylvia Boorstein looks at the paradoxes and subtleties in the central Buddhist concept of no-self.

From Getting Mad to Going Shopping: What’s Your Pattern?

Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein on 5 styles of habitual reaction—and how to find freedom from yours.

Mind in space.

Restoring the Mind to Kindness

Sylvia Boorstein on how to rescue your mind when confusion overwhelms it into suffering.

Our Beloved Enemies

Sylvia Boorstein shows us how, with practice, we can glimpse new ways of relating to loved ones, even when we’re stuck.

Friends, Not Food

When the Buddha taught us to abstain from taking life, he didn’t make an exception for animals we like to eat. While many Buddhists eat meat, Bob Isaacson of Dharma Voices for Animals argues they shouldn’t.

I’ve been meditating for a long time, but I’m still a schmuck. What’s the point?

In the November 2018 issue of Lion’s Roar magazine, 14 Buddhist teachers answer the most frequently asked questions about challenges on the spiritual path. Here, Sylvia Boorstein shares the simple way Buddhist practice has changed her.

Buddha Shakyamuni.

The Message of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths

The message of Buddha's Four Noble Truths is that paying attention and seeing clearly lead to behaving impeccably in every moment on behalf of all beings.

Living in the Divine Abodes

Heaven is nowhere else but right here on this earth, when we live with friendliness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.

We Are All Wayfarers

It's very easy to get annoyed, says Syvlia Boorstein. "Particularly with our loved ones."

Practice: What Are My Intentions for Today?

A daily intention-setting practice, from Sylvia Boorstein.

Man with headlamp looking into space.

How do I develop insight through Buddhist practice?

We suffer, according to Buddhism, simply because we misunderstand the nature of reality. Sylvia Boorstein on developing insight into how things really are.

There Is No Blame

“There are no human enemies,” says Sylvia Boorstein, “only confused people needing help.”

The Most Frequently Asked Question

Does spiritual practice mean we can never get angry? No, says Sylvia Boorstein, it’s all how you work with it.

Sad doll.

Can I Be Happy If My Child Is Not?

Sylvia Boorstein answers a reader’s question about how to be happy when her children are not.

Meet a Teacher: Sylvia Boorstein

When I graduated from Barnard in 1956, I’d already been married for a year and was pregnant with my son Michael. I went back to school eight years and three children later to earn a Masters in social welfare and a Ph.D in psychology. I became a psychotherapist and yoga teacher. I met Jack Kornfield…

moon, sun, change

How Many Copies? – Embrace Change

Embrace Change: leading Buddhist teachers and writers offer stories, teachings, and meditations to help us embrace the change in our lives.

Mentors: Spiritual Friends Help Guide the Way

My friends are teachers, as I am, but in both cases we are not trying to teach each other. Rather we are friends learning together.