Enough with the Mindfulness

Date Published: February 16, 2021

Sharon Salzberg was one of the first to bring meditation and mindfulness into mainstream American culture beginning in the 1970s. She's co-founder of The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and the author of eleven books, including the New York Times bestseller, Real Happiness. Her podcast, The Metta Hour, features interviews with leaders in the mindfulness movement. She recently released “Care for Caregivers,” a series of eight guided meditations aimed at helping caregivers build resilience, available online and on a dedicated app. In this interview, she explains what mindfulness is and isn’t, and lays out how it can help caregivers become more resilient.

Podcast Transcript

Sharon Salzberg: 00:00
The really crucial moment is the next moment after you've been gone, after you've been lost. Because that's the moment we are practicing resilience. We have the chance to let go more gracefully of whatever the distraction has been and start over, begin again with a full heart.

Host: 00:23
From the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, you're listening to Road to Resilience. I'm Jon Earle. Today on the podcast we have Sharon Salzberg. She's a legendary meditation teacher. She was one of the first people to bring mindfulness meditation to the West in the 1970s. She's a bestselling author. She's the host of her own podcast, The Metta Hour. Sharon is also the co-creator of a series called "Care for Caregivers," which features meditation techniques and bodywork techniques for caregivers. No matter how much meditation you've done—if it's zero or if you're a daily meditator—you're going to find something interesting and maybe powerful in what Sharon has to say. So here is Sharon Salzberg. Hope you enjoy it. Sharon Salzberg, welcome to Road to Resilience.

Sharon Salzberg: 01:08
Thank you so much.

Host: 01:10
I want to come to this from a point of view of exhaustion. That might be an unusual place to come to it. And here's what I mean.

Sharon Salzberg: 01:17
It seems to be the current mode. So I don't think it's unusual in that sense.

Host: 01:26
Here's what I mean. Mindfulness has so entered the popular culture that I think a fair number of people are going to see mindfulness something, something, something in their podcast feed, and they're going to go, "No! Enough with the mindfulness. I don't want to meditate. I don't want to be mindful. I can't take it anymore." And so I want to start by asking you how you approach that as a teacher.

Sharon Salzberg: 01:50
Well, I've been teaching for a very long time. I actually just had an anniversary as a practitioner. I began meditating January 7, 1971. I just had a 50th anniversary, which is such an outrageous thing to say.

Host: 02:05
How did you celebrate?

Sharon Salzberg: 02:07
I sat around. You know, our times, it's like, it's not that easy. But it meant something, you know, like, just to realize that, as friends of mine say, "You were meditating before it was cool!" And now, as you say, it's kind of not cool again. But I think part of what the resistance is a little bit of a sense of coercion. Like you've got to do it! This is the thing to do. Or last year it was the thing to do. You're almost past it, you know. But it's really not that way. Obviously, this is a very difficult time for everybody. And if you're working, you're in some way working on the front lines of suffering wherever you are, whether it's the hospital system or a grocery store. And there is the other side—people are isolated and feeling very alone. And I do, you know, when I'm teaching on Zoom, I read those chats and I see the word "exhaustion" more than anything, which is why I made that comment. It's like, this has gone on for a long time, you know, I'm exhausted and I've depleted my resources, my sense of inner resources. And I think mindfulness or meditation—it's a very direct way of addressing that if you want to. And it's also a way that, you know, you don't need equipment, you don't need to be in a group, all those things that may not be available to us right now. It's very private in a way, and that's good.

Host: 03:47
I want to drill down into what mindfulness is and what it isn't. And I think that'll be helpful for people who are coming to this without any experience in mindfulness. How would you describe the "is" and "isn't"?

Sharon Salzberg: 04:01
I really do see mindfulness as a kind of skills training. It's like tools. And first of all, it's cultivating a greater ability to be centered. And in the midst of the maelstrom of thoughts and feelings and impressions and experiences and stress, to have a place where we can actually rest our attention, which doesn't dismiss all the other stuff, but we get some space from it. And that is, of course, crucial. And part of that sense of centering is a sense of rest. It's like, if you're placing your attention on something, let's say the feeling of the breath, which would be a common mindfulness illustration. You're not trying to change the breath. You're not trying to improve it. You're just resting. And that's a rare thing these days for us and any days for us, and it's restorative, you know, it gives us a sense of even momentary peace and that's important. And then mindfulness, very importantly, is an ability to be with the whole range of feelings that come up for us in a different way. So we're not necessarily sucked into something and overcome by it, but we're also not pushing it away or ashamed of what we're feeling or freaking out. It's like, now that I've had that anniversary, I have the opportunity of saying to myself, "You've been meditating for 50 years! Why are you still feeling that?" Which I refrain from the best of my ability. So again, part of what is important is that it's a recognition that we feel what we feel. We're angry, we're grieving, we feel exhausted, whatever it is, and not to disparage that, but to learn a different relationship to it. Because we don't necessarily, of course, want to be overcome by those feelings and overtaken by them so that our decisions are based on that or our choices, our actions are based on that. But we also don't want to fight what we're feeling and have a kind of hostility and fear, dislike. And so sometimes we call mindfulness a place in the middle. And that, again, it opens up the sense of space. So here's my favorite definition of mindfulness actually came from an article in the New York Times some years ago, which was a pilot program bringing mindfulness into the classroom. Now it's, you know, much more prevalent, but then it was, it was very new. So this is a fourth grade classroom in Oakland, California. So the journalist says to one of the kids who, let's say, is probably nine or 10 years old in fourth grade. He says, "What is mindfulness? What is mindfulness?" And the kid responds by saying, "Mindfulness means not hitting someone in the mouth. That's what mindfulness means." And I thought that is a perfect definition of mindfulness. Because what does it imply? It implies you know you're feeling angry when you're starting to feel angry, not after you've sent the email, not after you've lashed out at somebody. And it also implies a certain balanced relationship to that anger because if we get consumed by these different feelings that come and go, we're likely to hit a lot of people in the mouth because life can be really frustrating. But at the same time, if we freak out about what we're feeling and we can't stand it and are so embarrassed and we get tighter and tighter and tighter until we explode. So it doesn't work. So we say mindfulness is that place in the middle where you can recognize fully what's happening, but there's some space. And in that space there's choice. There are options that we might not have otherwise seen. There's creativity. Like I like to think of that kid thinking, "Hit someone in the mouth last week. Didn't work out that well. Let me try this." So mindfulness is not like a passive state where you get all kind of gooey and you're just letting everything come and go in that sense. But the actions we take can be different.

Host: 08:05
And as you said, even as someone who's been practicing for 50 years, you still come up against, you still have thoughts and feelings that are like, no, I don't. Those are those thoughts and feelings. You don't become some, some kind of like serene, peaceful—although you're very peaceful, Sharon.

Sharon Salzberg: 08:21
Thank you!

Host: 08:24
But I think that's an important point to make. That the evolution is not that you become perfect inside somehow, it's that there's space between your thoughts and feelings and your actions. And there's calm in that space, and there's freedom in that space.

Sharon Salzberg: 08:42
It's exactly right. There is calm. I mean, I went to India when I was 18 years old to learn how to meditate. There's a big difference. But it's because of the relationship shifting, not demanding that I never feel this again, or I never feel that again, you know, which doesn't work for anybody. But there's a big difference between having a thought, seeing it for what it is like, an old pattern, or maybe an assumption we need to question, you know, not all assumptions are incorrect, of course, but many of them are. And so there's just a lot of options in that space compared to being driven by our thoughts, taking it to heart, building a self image around something, thinking it's the only thing I'll ever feel. Or, and I think this is very important in this time, thinking I am the only one who's feeling this. We often add a sense of isolation to what may be a very difficult feeling. Um, but we never actually, the only one.

Host: 09:44
I think the caregivers who are listening to this will very much relate to a lot of what you've just said. In addition to sometimes feeling like the only one, certainly the incredible highs and lows of the pandemic, of caring for people, of losing patients, of the comradery of being on the front lines. Connect mindfulness to caregiving for me. Where can mindfulness come into that equation and maybe help someone who's in a caregiving role?

Sharon Salzberg: 10:14
That's a very important question for me. Some of the most profound work that I've done in the last many years has been for what we call "caregivers." I often think we need maybe a better word, because it doesn't necessarily evoke the power of being on the front lines of suffering.

Host: 10:34
Do you have another word in mind?

Sharon Salzberg: 10:35
I don't and I struggled with that. So I was going to ask you if you had another word.

Host: 10:40
I'll get back to you on that.

Sharon Salzberg: 10:41
Okay. Or I'll get back to you because I do think about it whether it's in your personal life or in your professional life. And maybe it's best exemplified by a distinction we sometimes make, which is also being made in research to some extent, between the word "empathy" and the word "compassion," or the state of empathy and the word "compassion," which, of course, we use in common language as synonymous, but there's actually a distinction sometimes drawn. So empathy is that felt sense of, it's like a resonance. There's, of course, cognitive empathy as well. But really we're talking about that kind of vibratory resonance with someone's situation.

Host: 11:33
We're on the same wavelength.

Sharon Salzberg: 11:35
Yeah, we feel into it. Not in an imposing way, like, "I know exactly what you're going through," but there's something in us that recognizes the aloneness.

Host: 11:46
Like, I see pain and I feel maybe something like that pain.

Sharon Salzberg: 11:49
Yeah, exactly. And that's essential. We see also in this world a lot of instances where there's not enough empathy and we see how cold and cruel it can be. But we would say that's like an essential, it's a necessary but not sufficient building block for what we call compassion. So compassion in this sense, we're defining as a movement toward some situation of pain to see if we can be of help. So that's distinguished from moving into to burn up ourselves or moving toward to insist that we will be of help.

Host: 12:29
Oh, so let me make sure I understand. So the empathy is I feel it, the compassion is I'm moving towards to see if I can help.

Sharon Salzberg: 12:37
Yes. So I see it very much in a sequential way. Like maybe we feel that sense of empathy and hopefully we do, but we're frightened by what we are encountering so we just want to run away. Or we are exhausted. We feel depleted. We do not have the sense of wherewithal to meet it. And we all know that even not in such extreme situations as now. Just like, you're done in and somebody starts telling you their very sad story and you're thinking, "Please go away. I cannot take it in. I just can't do it." So maybe you're frightened, maybe you're exhausted. I've also encountered—

Host: 13:15
It’s a horrible feeling. I'm sorry to interrupt you. It's a horrible feeling when you want to be there and you want to empathize and you can't be and you feel like such a bad person.

Sharon Salzberg: 13:23
Yeah. And you know, another terrible feeling—I met a psychotherapist once who told me, this was just a cycle he got into, he said he found himself blaming a lot of his patients. Like they would tell him some story, and he would think, "I told you six months ago what to do! If you'd only done it you would be in a better way." Or we might have that kind of savior mentality, which also doesn't work. Like, I'm in control. I'm going to fix it. It's my responsibility to fix absolutely everything in this universe. Or we might have the compassionate response, which is moving toward, not into, but toward to see if we can be of help. And so that implies balance, maybe it's a balance between compassion for others and compassion for oneself. It implies an acknowledgement of limits. I will do everything I can and I'm not in control of the universe. There's so much that's not in my hands and that's not blameworthy, that's just reality. It implies a kind of wisdom that sometimes what we do is just like planting a seed. You know, I would imagine in a healthcare setting, you know, you can't be thinking about life and death as winning and losing. There's a whole ecosystem, you know, maybe there's the family and now there's the family that's distant or there's, you know, there's so many aspects where we might be called on to do the best we can. And we may not get a rush of instant gratification and that in no way means we did nothing. So often we are planting a seed and it will bear fruit in someone's recollection of that time, you know, or something like that. And so that's where mindfulness plays a role. We understand when we are exceeding that sense of limitation. We understand when we're burning out. I've done a fair amount of work through the contemplative based resilience program at the Garrison Institute with international humanitarian aid workers, people who are working in the refugee camps in Syria, or something like that. And they've told me that when they start burning out, the first sign is that they don't pay as much attention to safety protocols anymore. And that informs them, " I think I'm in trouble." And I can imagine it. I don't know exactly how, you know, I mean I think of myself as a lay person, not in a healthcare setting, you know, and I think, I don't really feel like going through two renditions of happy birthday when I wash my hands, you know. I think one is enough for God's sake, you know, and it's just like, "I'm not dealing with this." And that's a sign. And so there are many ways we can use mindfulness, just awareness of what we're feeling, recognition when we don't have a reasonable sense of boundaries. And I would say that a sense of balance between compassion for ourselves and compassion for others is so crucial. And it feels so wrong to us. Especially if you are a helper, you know, you're a caregiver, it feels selfish and weird. Like, "What do you mean I need to rest?"

Host: 16:45
And you're surrounded by people who are giving everything, everything to their patients. And you might feel like, "Why should I spend an hour on myself when I can save another life?"

Sharon Salzberg: 16:56
Exactly. And the thing is, I mean, you have to look at the reality of the situation. I think it's not that likely you will save another life if you're miserably overcome and you just don't have it in you.

Host: 17:16
So it sounds like mindfulness creates the structure within which you can engage in a healthy way with suffering.

Sharon Salzberg: 17:28
Yeah, and I think what seem like simple things are crucial. The first meditation instruction I ever had in India, beginning January 7, 1971 was sit down and feel your breath. Just feel the sensations of the normal, natural breath. And as I often say, my thought was, "That's stupid. I came all the way to India. Where's the magical, esoteric, fantastic technique that's going to wipe out all my suffering and make me a totally happy person." And then I thought, "Eh, how hard can this be? What'll it be like 800 breaths or 900 breaths before my mind starts to wander?" And to my complete astonishment it was like one breath and I'd be gone. And I completely freaked out, you know, I was like, "What's this?" And I heard, although I did not believe right away, over and over again, the instruction that would say, "Don't worry about that. That's just the way our minds are conditioned." The really crucial moment is the next moment after you've been gone, after you've been lost, because that's the moment we are practicing resilience. We have the chance to let go more gracefully of whatever the distraction has been and start over, begin again with a full heart and not freak out, call yourself a failure and do all this stuff. And I thought, maybe that's the first thing I really learned in meditation. It's probably the most important life lesson. Because how many times a day do we have to do a course correction, or we have to shift something or we have fallen down somewhere, we have to pick ourselves up or let others help us up and we start over. We're always beginning again. And so even just like training that muscle saying, "Okay, what's the best way to move on? To make progress? I mean, obviously, you know, we make a mistake that I have to be lessons learned, or maybe we have to make amends or whatever. So it's not trying to deny that, but that sort of endless castigating of ourselves and, you know, declaring that we're failures and, you know, I mean, it doesn't help. It's actually, if we have the awareness and the spaciousness enough to look at it critically, we think, "Well, that was an hour and a half that was totally exhausting and demoralizing." You know, what good did that do? And we understand the importance of being able to begin again. So it's even like tools like that that have helped me a lot.

Host: 20:04
So you've mentioned breath work. And in the caring for caregivers, excuse me, in the care for caregivers series, you do a couple of meditations called loving-kindness meditations. I was wondering if you could explain what that is specifically and why did you choose that particular practice for this series?

Sharon Salzberg: 20:30
In some ways stylistically it's similar to the breadth in that we have an object of awareness. We rest our attention on that object. Our minds wander, and we let go more gracefully, hopefully, always and then coming back and starting over. But instead of resting our attention on the feeling of the breath, in loving-kindness meditation, we rest our attention on the silent repetition of certain phrases. So the phrases are expressions of generosity of the spirit. It's like gift-giving. May be happy. May be safe. Things like that. And so it's a way of, first of all, channeling our energy and our mental energy. You know, if you feel just like a barrage of thinking and you feel restless and agitated, it's a way of gathering all of that energy and moving it in a positive direction. It's also a way of stepping out of what may be a more familiar rut. So for example, if you think about yourself at the end of the day, almost to do a kind of evaluation. And if you are in the habit of pretty well only remembering the mistakes you made and the things you didn't do quite right, and where you didn't show up let's just say, so much so that your whole sense of who you are and all that you'll ever be just collapses into that stupid thing you said at lunchtime in the meeting. If we offer ourselves loving-kindness, it's like saying, "Okay, maybe all that's true, but that's not all that I am. That's not all that happened today. So let me wish myself well. May I be safe, be happy." And because it's phrased that way, people often say to me, "Well, who am I asking?" Well you're not asking anybody anything. It's like gift-giving. You hand someone a birthday card and you say, "May you have a great year ! May you be happy. May I be happy." So you're shifting from just that endless sort of disparagement of yourself to wishing yourself well. Or, there are many people we encounter we tend to look through instead of look at, we objectify in some way. The grocery store clerk would be a perfect example of somebody who now, you know, of course we call them "essential workers" and hopefully we do a kind of reflection, like, how do I get to eat if I'm not growing my own food? That we actually live in an interdependent universe. I've had heads of medical practices say things to me, like, "You know who I'm more and more appreciative of in the hospital? The cleaning staff." And I think, "Well, yeah!" And so we also have a practice of offering loving-kindness to those people. And we may not know anything about them, the people we encounter, we don't have a particular relationship with, that we don't maybe know anything about, even their name, but here, too, we think of them and we think, "May you be happy. May you be peaceful."

Host: 23:45
What does doing that lead too ?

Sharon Salzberg: 23:47
Well, it leads to, most profoundly, a recognition of connection. That our lives have something to do with one another. And a way of being with so that there's a sense of "we" that is very real. So that idea of interdependence can seem very abstract, but whenever I was going into a company or an organization to teach, my favorite question was, "Who else has to be doing their job well for you to do your job well? Because in fact that's the reality of things. And so the more we pay attention differently, the more we recognize that. It doesn't mean we like everybody. It doesn't even mean we like anybody, but there's a deep knowing that our lives have something to do with one another. And so the feelings—I mean right now is just an exacerbation of the kind of loneliness people have been reporting anyway, and even if you're working in the world, you can feel very disconnected within. And so the more we can connect to a greater sense of humanity, the more we can recognize that as well, that it's never just me. And you can approach that with compassion for yourself, which of course will lead to compassion for others.

Host: 25:11
Let's talk about practices. In the popular imagination meditators sit with crossed legs for long periods of time doing something. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Sharon Salzberg: 25:24
No, it doesn't have to be that way. We have a lot of options, actually. You can sit, and I find that a very useful thing to do. That's like a little period of strength training. So in a way we can divide the meditative process into two parts. One is a dedicated period where we're just sitting or walking or lying down, whatever the posture, and we're just cultivating awareness and compassion. The other part is what we call sometimes short moments many times. A classic example of that comes from Thich Nhat Hanh, this Vietnamese teacher who said, "Don't pick up your phone on the first ring. Let it ring three times and breathe. Then you pick it up." You know, nothing that's very lengthy, but just this interjection of short moments. And I once went into a finance company in New York to teach and I said that, and I looked up and I saw the complete panic on everyone's faces. So I said, well, maybe for you just twice, just let it ring twice. Or you try to drink a cup of tea or coffee and you're not multitasking for once. You're really feeling the warmth of the tea cup and you're smelling the tea and you're tasting the tea. So short moments many times, But I find that those are hard to remember, and much easier to remember if I've also meditated in a formal sense each day.

Host: 26:53
That's helpful. That connects the mindfulness to the meditation. That's helpful. Thank you.

Sharon Salzberg: 26:58
So it is, it's like this little period of strength training, and then you've got a greater ability. So the last neuroscientist I talked to about the length of meditation—and remember, as a neuroscientist they're talking about demonstrable changes in the brain that can be shown on an fMRI machine—was 12 minutes a day, three to five times a week. I just had that conversation with somebody, actually. And, for me, just as an individual, every day is easier for me than three to five times a week. Because, for me, if it were three to five times a week, it would be Monday and I think I'll start on Wednesday. And it's Wednesday and I think I'll sit five times on Saturday. But if it's every day, it's every day. But, you know, you just learn from your own rhythm and your own patterns.

Host: 27:51
And what does your practice look like? After 50 years.

Sharon Salzberg: 27:53
After 50 years, yeah! I do a lot of that short moments many times. And especially now, like, I'm not traveling and other things. And I sit usually twice a day these days and 20 to 40 minutes at a time. Really, 12 minutes can do it. Some people say five minutes, and I do believe if you've only got five minutes do five minutes. It's the regularity of it that seems the most important. But sometimes the first five minutes are the hardest five minutes, because you sit down and you think, "I forgot to call so and so. I've got to do this. What's that sound? I think it's my refrigerator. Do we still have repair people for refrigerators? I don't know. I don't even think we have Sears anymore. How am I going to get a new refrigerator?" But that will settle down, and you'll get much more space from that, but really five minutes would be beneficial. And some people say three minutes. But since I just had that conversation with a neuroscientist I'll stake a claim for 12 minutes.

Host: 28:55
People talk about the spillover from the formal meditation practice to the mindfulness throughout the day. The spillover effect for me, I felt most profoundly in the distance between my thoughts and feelings and emotions, whether it is to get angry or to satisfy a desire or compulsion. Being able to see that happen and then, as we were talking about at the very beginning, be like, "No, no, no. Just wait. Wait for the second ring. Do I want to do that?" It's pretty profound.

Sharon Salzberg: 29:28
I think it's very profound. And, you know, that gap between what we're feeling and how we're acting is very, very important because we feel what we feel. We cannot control our feelings, but actions are consequential. And so having some space is really the most precious thing. It's really an extraordinary thing. What I've noticed for myself these days is that because I have more time, I'm not traveling, I'm not arranging travel and doing all those things, and because I'm practicing short moments many times quite diligently, I think a lot about email. And it's funny because I have a resolve to be kinder in emails. I was never mean as far as I know, but it's just like rereading things before I press "send" and thinking, "Well, you know what, I'll take out that sentence. They don't actually really need to hear that. Or that's going to have them wondering, you know, 'What does she mean?'" And then it's going to be maybe not so helpful or something like that. And I think it's a wonderful feeling that your whole life can feel like a creative medium.

Host: 30:41
So Sharon, I'm wondering what you would say to a beginner. Somebody who's maybe dabbled in meditation, who's read a little bit about it, but is having trouble actually getting started.

Sharon Salzberg: 30:52
Well, I think one of the best things is to read a little bit more about it. Or to have some kind of community, or possibly a teacher, which could be through an app or anything. It doesn't have to be in person, which it wouldn't be right now anyway. Because some much of the time we bring our ideas of what should be happening right into the process. And then we suffer needlessly. Like so many people, if I'm introduced as a meditation teacher, will say to me, "I tried that once. I failed at it." We don't believe you could ever fail at it, because the point isn't what you're experiencing, but how you're relating to what you're experiencing. So if I say to somebody, "Why do you think you failed at it?" " Well, I couldn't stop my thoughts. I couldn't have a perfectly blank mind. I couldn't keep anxiety from arising. I couldn't keep sleepiness at bay." But we don't think that that's the point of meditation anyway. It's changing our relationship to our thoughts, our relationship to the anxiety, our relationship to the sleepiness. And that's so hard to believe. And so, creating a kind of supportive context where you either keep reminding yourself or you have reminders. "It's okay. Whatever I'm experiencing is okay." And I'm the kind of person who's very supported by structure. That's why every day is good for me. And I usually ask people, set a realistic goal. What is realistic for you? And people will say, 10 minutes a day for a month or 10 minutes a day for a week, whatever it is, and then do that. Not eight hours to take because it's not going to happen, but something really reasonable. And don't worry about what you're experiencing during the course of the practice, because it will always change. The reason we meditate is not to become a great meditator. The reason we meditate is to see the effects in our lives. And so that's the place to look. People say, "Wow, I sat and I was diligent and I felt nothing was happening, but then I noticed I got really weirded out at this work situation, but it didn't last all day the way it usually does. It lasted for 20 minutes, and that's a big change!" That's where we really see the difference. And so it's good to assess, it's good to evaluate, it's good to see if you want to continue, but look at the right place, which is your life. So another way to get started in the caregiver context is something we used to do at the Garrison Institute with the various cohorts that were coming through. The program is that we would start with an exercise that could be done through journaling, or it could be done just through reflection, and say it's journaling, in the first column, we ask people to write down some of the greater sources of stress at work. And that was interesting often because in addition to the obvious issue that they were grappling with, sometimes i t was things like bad communication with a team or with a supervisor and things they might want to address. And then i n the next column, we said, write down what you do, what you have done to lift your spirits, to cultivate resilience, to get a break, to get some perspective. And then in the third, the last column, look back at what you just wrote down and see if you have any comments about it. And it was so interesting because I think for four years, every single person wrote down "listen to music of some kind," although different kinds of music. And some people had strong faith connections. Some people did not. Sometimes people talked about getting out in nature. Sometimes they talked about things like drinking a lot. I drink a lot. And then in the assessment—this actually happened once, it wasn't with the domestic violence workers, it was another group I was working with—somebody had written down, "I get out in nature and that really helps me." And then they wrote down, "Of course I haven't done it in like seven years." That is a true story. And so then you think, "Well, maybe I should get on it again." And I know we live in a constrained time. It's hard to always access the things that have helped us in the past, but maybe we can or in some other form. And then people did write down things like, "I drink a lot," and then they'd look at that and think, I am worried about that. "I think I need to both address that and maybe be open to learning new skills." And then of course we were opening the door to introducing, as an experiment, mindful movement practices and meditation.

Host: 35:44
Sharon, this has been such a pleasure. I'm so happy that we got a chance to talk.

Sharon Salzberg: 35:48
Yeah, thank you.

Host: 35:50
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