Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 120 – Responding to Suffering in the Time of Coronavirus

Sharon Salzberg - Metta Hour - Ep. 120 - Responding to Suffering

Sharon Salzberg shares a reflection and guided practice around how we relate to suffering and better recognizing when we are swept away by thought, pain and emotion.

How We Relate to What Is

Sharon reflects on the unusual nature of time that we are all experiencing at the moment. Whether we are on the front lines or stuck inside four walls for weeks on end, what can we learn from this experience about the way we relate to what is happening in our lives on a day to day basis?

“I really do believe that how we relate to what is happening is also important. What is happening is very significant. There is tremendous stress, tremendous pressure, and uncertainty, but we also have a kind of power in how we relate to it.” – Sharon Salzberg 

The Most Important Moment (9:30)

We are led in a guided practice that grounds us by connecting us with our breath. Sharon reminds us of the importance of not letting our thoughts, emotions or sensations overwhelm us. We can recognize what arises and let that experience move on. If we do get stuck in an experience we always have the option to come back to our breath.

“For all those many times that you are just gone – lost in thought, spun out in a fantasy or find yourself falling asleep – truly don’t worry about it. Say to yourself, ‘The most important moment is the next moment after you have been gone.’ You have a chance to let go and a chance to begin again.” – Sharon Salzberg 

Responding to Suffering (26:20)

Sharon closes with a reflection on cultivating patience and breaking our conditioning to want to change things, to do something, or to make life easier for ourselves or others. She looks at how the tools of mindfulness and meditation can lift us from suffering and peacefully be with what is.

Dale Borglum shares a dharma talk around accepting the inevitability of pain and seeing that the suffering that comes with our pain is completely optional on Ep. 36 of the Healing at the Edge Podcast

COVID-19 Resources

Art via Alison Johnson & Sharon Salzberg