Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 143 – Real Change Series: Sarah Jones

For episode 143 of the Metta Hour, Sharon speaks with Sarah Jones.

Sarah is a Tony® Award-winning performer, writer, comedian and activist. Called “a master of the genre” by ​The New York Times​, Sarah is known for her multi-character, one-person shows, including Broadway hit ​Bridge & Tunnel​, and the critically-acclaimed show ​Sell/Buy/Date​. She has given multiple main-stage TED Talks garnering millions of views and performed for President and First Lady Obama at the White House. Sarah recently launched Foment Productions, a social justice-focused entertainment company aligned with her progressive, intersectional activism. She has appeared in film and TV projects ranging from Sesame Street to ​ Marriage Story,​ and she will next be seen in an upcoming Netflix dramedy series, ​On the Verge.

This is the sixteenth episode of the Real Change Podcast series. In this conversation, Sarah and Sharon speak about Sarah’s path and how contemplative practices have informed her work as a writer, director and actor. They discuss the idea of creativity as an act of social action, as well as some of the themes from “Real Change.” Sarah shares about her journey with self-love, and how she find resilience and joy.

Learn more about Sarah’s work at

Creativity: A Fun, Neurotic Journey

Rather than shying away from our neurosis, how can we use them to help better the world? Sharon invites Sarah to share about her creative works as a performer, comedian, and activist, and the passionate inspiration and authenticity that stands at her base. Sarah explains her unique fusion at the flowing intersection of performance, comedy, and activism came when she learned to embrace her neuroses by having a sense of humor about them.

“The fun, neurotic journeys that my mind takes me on at any given moment – that’s really underneath my creativity, and I come to embrace it and have a sense of humor about it, even alongside the very serious aspects of social justice work.” – Sarah Jones

For another creative intersection of art, comedy, inspiration, and spirituality, tune into Ep. 362 of Mindrolling
Meditation: Contemplation, Intuition, & Compassion (7:47)

Prompted by Sharon, Sarah reflects on the thread of contemplative practice instilled throughout her life, explaining her intuitive, internal processes as a child, and how those laid the groundwork for deep inquiry into a wide variety of formal meditation practices as an adult. Sarah describes meditation as an invitation to sit with her thoughts, instead of running from them. Rather than forcibly trying to clear her mind, her whole menagerie of thoughts were welcome on the cushion.

“My trying to occupy a space of understanding, of compassion for another person, empathy with another person – that was a form of meditation for me even when I was very little.” – Sarah Jones

Learn to tap into your intuitive processes in order to navigate life from the meditative heart, on Ep. 119 of Heart Wisdom
Hope: Art, Creativity, & Activism (20:50)

Sharon expresses accolades to Sarah’s unique intersection of art, creativity, and activism for helping inspire portions of her book, Real Change. Through this lens, Sarah describes that the best way to move people on a deep, emotional level in their hearts and minds is through their souls, through art, and through connections that defy conventional notions of having opposing sides.

“I got it really early on that I wanted to have access to more joy and play, and being centered instead of marginalized, and I wanted that for everybody. So, that’s where the art and activism were almost synonymous. If you want to be effective in your activism, you have to move people.” – Sarah Jones

For another inspiring dive into the intersection of art, activism, and reimagining systems, tune into, Ep. 130 of the Metta Hour

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.