Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 140 – Real Change Series: Mallika Dutt


For episode 140 of the Metta Hour, Sharon speaks with friend and colleague Mallika Dutt.

Mallika is a leading innovator in storytelling and culture change, bringing together the power of ancient wisdom and spiritual practices with contemporary technologies and tools for creative connection and transformation. She combines her creative advocacy for a thriving world with a coaching, speaking and strategy practice that connects planet, people, and purpose.

This is the thirteenth episode of the Real Change Podcast series. In this conversation, Mallika shares what brought her to the path of activism and human rights, and how contemplative practices have informed her life. She and Sharon discuss some of the themes from “Real Change,” that have been relevant to Mallika’s journey: how intersectional analysis has informed her work, and the value of approaching anger as a positive force. The episode closes with Mallika leading a guided meditation practice on inherent dignity. Find offerings from Malklika at
Love, Compassion, & Human Rights

Sharon invites Mallika to share how she found her unique spiritual path, and the intention behind infusing it into her life’s work of uplifting individuals, communities, and the planet through mindfulness and activism. Noting her time teaching and learning alongside Sharon as an inspiration for cultivating this unique path of merging Dharma practice with social justice and human rights work, Mallika shares on her motivation of merging ancient spiritual wisdom with modern technology to bring about a manifold sense of wellbeing.

“The work that I did led me to constantly try to change the world, and what I came to realize and understand, was how important it was to bring some of that attention and focus within.” – Mallika Dutt

For another conversation from Sharon’s Real Change Series, merging human rights, activism, and lovingkindness, tune into Ep. 136 of the Metta Hour
Motivation for Political Activism (7:16)

Mallika shares stories of witnessing inequality and patriarchy in her early life in India, and the ensuing outrage that sparked her to fervently fight on a path of political activism. Arriving to the U.S. for college, she dropped into a zeitgeist of feminism, and began to understand the politics of colonial imperialism. This recognition pushed her to protest for various causes, including fighting colonialism, starting the Take Back the Night Marches against sexual assault, and pushing for more people of color in campus faculty.

“There was something about studying it outside of my country that created a bigger political framework. There I was suddenly with language, with context, with vocabulary to explain many of the things that made me angry growing up, and I dove into political activism right from the get go.” – Mallika Dutt

Join Sharon for a wise and illuminating conversation on bridging political activism and spiritual practice, on Ep. 42 of the Metta Hour
Power & Privilege, Loving Kindness & Interconnection (18:22)

How can we begin to understand power and privilege through the lens of interconnection and lovingkindness? Mallika divulges to Sharon that once she started tuning into earth-based practices, particularly learning Sharon’s lovingkindness meditation, that she began to transform her political and personal understanding of both her inner and outer worlds.

“The ground on which I choose to stand is that of interconnectedness, and that ground of interconnectedness has been deeply informed by what I have learned about loving kindness meditation.” – Mallika Dutt

Tap into an extended loving-kindness practice that can open the heart to even the most difficult individuals in our lives, on Ep. 47 of the BHNN Guest Podcast
Metta For All (54:50)

Mallika closes the episode with a 15-minute guided Metta meditation.

This is the first episode of the Real Change Podcast series. In this conversation, Joshin and Sharon discuss some of the themes from her new book, Real Change, exploring the ways that meditation practice can inform social action. They discuss working with anger, pathological altruism, finding long term resilience and joy in activism, and working to find balance. To close the conversation, Joshin leads a ten-minute meditation practice on equanimity.