Roshi Joan Halifax – BHNN Guest Podcast – Ep. 13 – Joy and Freedom with Sharon Salzberg


Sharon Salzberg joins Roshi Joan for a conversation about the fruits of joy and freedom in Buddhist practice.

Show Notes

Good Company (Opening) – The Buddha once said to Ananda that the whole holy life is good friends. Roshi Joan and Sharon reflect on the importance and joy of sangha, our spiritual community, in our practice.

“When you look at the etymology of the word freedom it means not being in bondage. This is really what the Buddha taught, how to be free. The Buddha also actualized that sensibility in his relationship with his community. How to have these unmediated and unfiltered friendships that are characterized by freedom.” – Roshi Joan Halifax

Discover More: Ram Dass dives deep into the importance of the spiritual community on Ep.115 of the Here and Now Podcast

Joy and Freedom (10:05) – Roshi Joan discusses the role of practice in lifting suffering from our lives and the quality of spaciousness and joy it provides. She shares a story from her early life that first demonstrated to her what it meant to be liberated.

“We all want to be awake, but what does it entail to awaken, to be free, to go through our pain and suffering but also not catastrophize? Just as we see the kind of catastrophe globally, we also have an opportunity to look at things in another way and practice awakening in the midst of catastrophe.“ – Roshi Joan Halifax

Discover More: Joseph Goldstein discusses the liberation that results from non-attachment on Ep.23 of the Insight Hour Podcast.

Coming Home (18:00) – Sharon talks about the four qualities of the Brahma-vihara – Loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. She looks at the Brahma-viharas as our most natural inner home that we can always come back to.

“These are four qualities that said to be our best home. Like any home we may not be there all the time, we certainly leave, but it should be the place where when we return there should be a certain feeling where we feel most authentic and most relaxed. The cultivation of those qualities is a way of having that inner home, which of course will never leave us.” – Sharon Salzberg                                 

Capacity of the Heart (25:15) – Sharon shares her story of learning about the liberation provided by Buddhist teaching for the first time and how it transformed her perception of joy and suffering.

“We can do something about the suffering. Not the suffering of circumstance or loss, but the way we hold everything; the degree of presence, spaciousness and compassion, all of that. We have the potential to have a hugely transformative effect on our lives.”  – Sharon Salzberg

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