Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 85 – Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Sharon Salzberg - Metta Hour - Ep. 85 - Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

For the 85th episode of the Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon speaks with colleague Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein is a speaker and author who synthesizes traditional psychotherapy with a progressive integration of mindfulness and is the co-founder of The Center for Mindful Living in Los Angeles, CA. Elisha and Sharon discuss what brought Elisha to the practice of meditation, and how that has evolved into his work life today. They speak about the benefits of integrating mindfulness with psychotherapy, the science of habit formation, dynamics of self-worth in relation to compassion and self-love, and the relationship between the nervous system and the journey of spiritual awakening. The conversation closes with Elisha leading a guided meditation on compassionate action. Learn more about Elisha at

Show Notes

A Breath of Fresh Air (Opening) – Elisha shares his journey of coming to the practice of mindfulness and meditation, describing how he found relief from his suffering through contemplative practice while caught up in the corporate world. He and Sharon talk about the recent integration of mindfulness into the curriculum of secular psychology.

“The benefit of integrating mindfulness into psychotherapy, if somebody is open to that, is that now you have actual practices that can give a perceived sense of control, which is associated in the research with feeling well, happy and resilient. Also what you are doing is you are starting to teach people to attend to themselves and their experience. They are sending themselves the implicit message that, ‘I care enough about myself to pay attention to myself.” – Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Value of the Self (11:15) – We look at the role mindfulness and meditation play in revealing to us the truth of our own self-worth. Elisha speaks with Sharon about breaking through our conditioning and habituations with a regular practice.

“It is the practice of really loving yourself and doing it in a way that you are worth attending to.” – Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Love Your Suffering (20:30) –  How does cultivating love and compassion towards our suffering shift our relationship with that suffering in a liberating way? Elisha looks at the role of commitment and intention in shifting our fixed perspectives and recursive behaviors. He also shares strategies, based on both Dharmic teachings and scientific data, for moving away from suffering.

Check out this reflection from Lama Surya Das on best-utilizing suffering and happiness on our journey of awakening: How Can we Turn Happiness and Suffering into the Path of Enlightenment?

The Gentle Journey of Awakening (32:10) – Elisha and Sharon talk about supporting the beginning phases our spiritual awakening through gentle practices that calm our nervous systems, which builds the foundation for deeper levels of focus and mindfulness.

“There is a real benefit to learning how to relax your nervous system for your mindfulness practice.” – Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D

Meditating on Compassionate Action (45:30) – We close with a 5-minute guided meditation around compassionate action with Elisha.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of 1440 Multiversity – California’s newest retreat destination which hosts a faculty of thought leaders in fields including mindfulness, neuroscience, relationships, the creative arts, and more.
Learn to embody radical insight into everyday life with Krishna Das and Sharon Salzberg at 1440 Multiversity. Visit to register!


Images via Good Therapy and Cracking Your Creativity Code