In celebration of her new book, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection, Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg joined bell hooks and Lion’s Roar’s Melvin McLeod for a conversation at JCC Manhattan.
In this clip from that evening, Salzberg shares a short guided meditation to help connect us to ourselves and the people around us.
This event was sponsored by Lion’s Roar in partnership with the Garrison Institute and the JCC Manhattan.
Sharon Salzberg: Okay, so let’s sit comfortably, as comfortably as you can. You can close your eyes or not, however you feel most at ease.
We’ll start… Actually why don’t we start with my favorite reflection of all, which is: let’s see who comes to mind if you consider for a moment who all has been in any way involved in your being here in this room right now or watching this online. However you may be experiencing this. Because nobody was walking down Amsterdam Avenue and saw a bunch of people coming in here and thought, “I’ll come in too!” Right?
We’re all here because somebody told us about their meditation practice, or they gave us a book, or they read us a poem. We’re here because of conversations we’ve had, people who have reached out to help us, people we have reached out to help.
We’re here because of relationships, encounters, connection. So, who all comes to mind?
This moment is actually like a confluence of all that interaction, all those connections, as is every moment. We might feel so alone and so apart, but the truth is our lives are embedded in this greater fabric. So, who comes to mind? It’s like, who did you bring with you?
Sometimes I do this reflection and I think about the Board of Regents of the State of New York which gave me a scholarship, which was how I was able to go to college. And I went to India on a college program, which is how I learned meditation. Because they’re part of why I’m sitting
here right now.
And sometimes I do this reflection and I think about those people whose actions have really, really hurt me, not just the ones I felt annoyed at. You know? But those times where I thought, “I’m really at an edge and I’ve got to find something different, or I won’t be free.” They’re a part of why I’m here right now too. That’s the true context of our lives every moment.
And within that context we place our attention on our breath, that movement of air which is linking us. Let it be the vehicle for our really uniting with ourselves in this moment.