Notable Living Contemporary Teachers

Home Base
Barre, Massachusetts USA

Foundation of Teaching
Buddhism, Peace, Love, Compassion, Presence, Vipassana Meditation

Example of Teaching
“It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn’t depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn’t depend on how long you’ve held on to the old view.”

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Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg is a central figure in the field of meditation, a world-renowned teacher and New York Times bestselling author. She has played a crucial role inbringing meditation and mindfulness practices to the West and into mainstream culture since 1974, when she first began teaching.

Her latest book is Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection (published by Flatiron Books). She is also the author of the NY Times best seller Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program (published by Workman Publishing, 2011), Real Happiness At Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace (published by Workman Publishing, 2013), Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier with Robert Thurman (published by Hay House, 2013), The Kindness Handbook (published by Sounds True, 2008); The Force of Kindness (published by Sounds True, 2005); Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience (published by Riverhead Books, August, 2002); Lovingkindess: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness and A Heart as Wide as the World: Living with Mindfulness, Wisdom, and Compassion (both published by Shambhala Publications); co-author with Joseph Goldstein of Insight Meditation: A Step-by-Step Course on How to Meditate (Sounds True) and editor of Voices of Insight (Shambhala).

Sharon’s work is non-sectarian, though based on the ancient Buddhist practices of vipassana (mindfulness or insight) and metta (lovingkindness), the aim of which is to deepen awareness and compassion, giving rise to greater peace and happiness.

In 1971, in Bodh Gaya, India, Sharon attended her first meditation course. She spent the next three-and-a-half years engaged in intensive practice and study with highly respected teachers from India, Burma and Tibet. Sharon returned to America in 1974 and began teaching insight meditation and leading retreats. In 1976, she established, together with Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield, the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, which is now one of the most renowned and active meditation centers in the Western world. Retreats of varying lengths, offering intensive training in meditative skills and contemplative practices, are presented throughout the year and are attended by people of many diverse religious backgrounds and interests.



  1. “Life is like an ever-shifting kaleidoscope – a slight change, and all patterns alter.”
  2. “Any ordinary favor we do for someone or any compassionate reaching out may seem to be going nowhere at first, but may be planting a seed we can’t see right now. Sometimes we need to just do the best we can and then trust in an unfolding we can’t design or ordain.”
  3. “By prizing heartfulness above faultlessness, we may reap more from our effort because we’re more likely to be changed by it.”
  4. “Each decision we make, each action we take, is born out of an intention.”
  5. “As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life — delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay — I hold this question as a guiding light: “What do I really need right now to be happy?” What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way.”
  6. “If we fall, we don’t need self-recrimination or blame or anger – we need a reawakening of our intention and a willingness to recommit, to be whole-hearted once again.”
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