Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 105 – The Spectrum of Awareness with Diana Winston

Sharon Salzberg - Metta Hour - Ep. 105 - The Spectrum of Awareness with Diana Winston

For the 105th episode of the Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon speaks with author and teacher, Diana Winston.

Diana Winston is the Director of Mindfulness Education at the Semel Institute’s Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. She is the author of “The Little Book of Being” and the co-author of “Fully Present: The Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness.” She has taught mindfulness for health and well-being since 1999 in a range of settings including in healthcare, universities, businesses, non-profits, and schools in the US and internationally and is the author of several books on the subject. Diana is a member of the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center has been meditating since 1989, including a year as a Buddhist nun.

In this episode, Sharon and Diana speak at length about Diana’s new book, “The Little Book of Being” released in the Spring of 2019. They discuss natural awareness and formal meditation practice as well as the nuances of working with a teacher. The podcast closes with Diana leading a 5-minute guided meditation. To learn more about Diana’s work, you can visit

The Spectrum of Awareness

Diana shares her introduction to mindfulness and meditation practices in the East. She discusses how her studies around the world led to her current research which looks at the spectrum of awareness that can be navigated through secular mindfulness practices.

“My experience is that people often move in and out of all of these types of awareness. So, I think it is helpful for people to know that here is a map of the territory.” – Diana Winston

Natural Awareness (12:10)

Sharon and Diana discuss the state of natural awareness we all have the potential to tune into at any time. They discuss the techniques and tools available to access this state through meditative approach.

“Natural awareness is like a radio station that is always blasting and is always available to us. However, much of the time we are tuned to a different station. We tend to tune to Radio Station Anxiety, KPF Judgement or WNC Anger. Even though natural awareness is part of being human, we need to practice tuning into it to become the radio station we hear most often.” – Diana Winston

Secular Mindfulness (27:35)

Diana and Sharon discuss the topic of secular Buddhism. They look at whether or not the contextual shift in practices and teachings in the West is in line with the teachings of the Buddha.

“In Bodh Gaya, India there was a 10-day course led by S.N. Goenka. That’s how I began meditating, in the context of this 10-day retreat. On the first night, Goenka-ji said, ‘The Buddha did not teach Buddhism, the Buddha taught a way of life. This is in no way about becoming a Buddhist. This is for anybody who wants to persue it.” – Sharon Salzberg 

Glimpse Practice (41:30)

Diana closes the show with a 5-minute guided natural awareness practice.

Sharon Salzberg - Metta Hour - Ep. 105 - Diana Winston

This podcast was made possible by our friends at 1440 Multiversity!

Join Sharon Salzberg and self-care activist Shelly Tygielski – a leading voice for modern-life mindfulness – along with a powerful slate of leaders for change as they share their centered and regenerative approach to dealing with today’s political climate.

In this galvanizing workshop, Sharon and Shelly unite at 1440 Multiversitywith invited guests Tarana Burke, founder of the ‘me too.’ movement; Rosa Alicia Clemente, scholar-activist and the first-ever Afro-Latina woman to run for Vice President of the United States; and Emma González, a rising advocate for gun control and the communities impacted by school violence. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind, powerful program for activists, engaged citizens, and caring individuals at



Images via Diana Winston and SimpleTin