An Interview with Meditation Teacher Sharon Salzberg
by LENORE FRIEDMAN
Size: 3.7” x 8.2”
Pages: 21 pages
Published with Permission from
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
This chapter from the Remarkable Women written by Lenore Friedman is about the remarkable achievements of Sharon Salzberg, who when she was about nineteen years of age had the opportunity to meet Dipa Ma, an “extraordinary saint and teacher”. Dipa Ma had “the power of light” while being “utterly empty”. She had told Sharon that she would herself be a very great teacher herself one day, something that has come to fruition in this very life.
Sharon had discovered Buddhism when she was only seventeen, after reading Chogyam Trungpa’s books Born in Tibet and Meditation in Action. Through unwavering and determined effort despite physical pain, Sharon went through many periods of retreat that has enabled her to be what she is today. One thing that was most remarkable about Sharon is that she has never had any doubts about her practice. However, she says that this has been a hindrance sometimes because she is not able to understand the doubts faced by many of her students in their own practice. In her own case, she said that when she was told to sit until she awakens to the truth, she simply sat down to do it. Everything thought by her teacher was “very unquestioned” because of the absence of doubts in her and her “malleable” character.
You will also have a chance to read the interview conducted by Lenore Friedman at Barre, Massachusetts ,where Sharon had co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in 1975 together with Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield and Jaqueline Schwantz. Lenore’s way of interviewing Sharon allows us to gain some insight into the workings of the minds of these two remarkable women. She also writes about some of the experiences Sharon has had in her retreats with some of the great teachers in Buddhism, among whom are Kalu Rinpoche in Darjeeling, India, and U Pandita, in Burma.