Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 01 – The Buddha Within

Buddha

Sharon Salzberg considers the concept of the Buddha as a human being who had real questions much like our own; what Buddha discovered was found through the power of his own awareness, and through his teachings, we too can uncover our own innate compassion.

Raghu Markus introduces Sharon Salzberg’s talk on the Buddha within. He discusses the concept of retreating. A retreat provides a rare opportunity to break from the fragmented nature of day-to-day, and allows us to settle back into the truths of our own lives. Through the process of concentration we begin to piece together the energy required for self-actualizing our own capacity toward freedom and finding the Buddha within.

The Power of Awareness (8:06)

Sharon Salzberg describes how the Buddha’s idea of happiness stems from awareness. She talks about her experience at a retreat in India and the moment she realized that Buddhism is more than a religion. Buddhism is a way of life that helps us deepen our self-understanding. Buddhism shows us the potential each of us has to live freely and compassionately much like the Buddha did. 

For tips on meditation listen to: “Ram Dass – Here and Now – Ep. 14 – Meditation”

“Within us, there is this huge capacity for openness, for spaciousness, for being unconfined, for being free. There are tools for actualizing that. For making it real for each one of us.”

Problem Solving (13:58)

We listen to Sharon talk about using the tools of buddhism to have confidence in our own experience. Putting Buddhism into practice allows us to take control of the problems we need to solve and helps us be the agent of our healing. She shares some guidance a teacher once told her:

“The Buddha’s enlightenment solved the Buddha’s problem, now you solve yours.”

Concentration In Meditation (23:15)

Sharon describes the difficulty some have in keeping awareness during meditation. She discusses how people can cultivate their practice by rerouting their thoughts back to the present when they wander. In time, the ability to concentrate gives us a sense of power, balance, and healing. Being still in meditation offers us a wholeness we truly need—a wholeness we do not receive in the busy fragments of daily life. Can you think of a few ways to stay grounded in your practice?

For more on the topic of awareness and the Buddha within, check out Jack Kornfield’s talk “Gates of Awakening

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