Good Advice

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Real Happiness for New Yorkers: Sharon Salzberg’s new book explains

happy woman in the snowIf you’re anything like us, two of your resolutions for 2011 included working out more and meditating. And if your second goal still hasn’t materialized, then the debut of Sharon Salzberg’s new book has arrived just in time.

Salzberg, one of the country’s leading Buddhist teachers and the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Center, makes learning meditation clear as a bell in Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation (Workman).

It’s a 28-day program that doesn’t feel programmatic. Instead, the structure of Salzberg’s book follows the pattern of the breath, intelligently weaving inner-life experience and real-world practicalities of why we do and don’t meditate. There are a variety of meditation exercises and tips; and a CD with guided meditations.
Real Happiness, Sharon Salzberg

Also brilliant: how to meditate during a meeting (while still looking like you’re paying full attention!) and how to let go of the thousands of thoughts that come up while you’re practicing meditation. I’m still practicing this one a week later. (It sure beats the shove-the-thoughts-out argument I was having with myself before.)

At her publisher’s office a few weeks back, I asked Salzberg what “real happiness” means for New Yorkers—that particular breed of workaholic seekers. (Self especially included.) “Tuning into that moment of awakening might be it,” says Salzberg, who recognizes the difficulty of stopping to do such a thing. “Sometimes happiness is just one breath.” Well, I’ll take it. —Melisse Gelula

Sharon Salzberg is leading donation-only Introduction to Meditation classes on Wednesday, January 12, 18, and 25; 7–9pm at the Tibet House, 22 West 15th St., between Fifth and Sixth Aves., 212.807.0563, www.tibethouse.us

For a full calendar of her January talks, classes, and future events, visit www.sharonsalzberg.com

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