Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 88 – Frank Ostaseski celebrating Joan Halifax Book “Standing at the Edge”

Sharon Salzberg - Metta Hour - Ep. 88 - Freedom at the Intersection of Courage and Fear with Frank Ostaseski

In Episode 88 of the Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon joins Frank Ostaseski at an event that was recorded live at the JCC Manhattan in September of 2018 in celebration of Joan Halifax’s new book release, “Standing at the Edge.”

Due to travel complications, Joan was unable to join this event until the end of the evening, creating the unique experience of Sharon and Frank discussing Joan’s teaching at length, as well as many of the themes of her new book, like the different paths of the warrior, the role of courage on the spiritual path (and daily life), empathy and compassion, integrity and self-respect and the dedicated, lifelong work of working with dying that both Joan and Frank have spearheaded.  Frank Ostaseski is an internationally respected Buddhist teacher and visionary cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, founder of the Metta Institute, and the  author of “The Five Invitations.” Learn more about Frank here: and learn more about Joan’s work here:

Show Notes

The Many Shades of Courage (Opening) -We begin by settling in with a 5-minute guided meditation by Sharon. Frank and Sharon explore the topic of courage, looking at the many ways in which courage manifests in our culture. Courage is often represented by large acts of heroism or fearlessness in the face of risk, but what about everyday acts of courage?

“There is also the courage it takes some people to get out of bed in the morning. I think it is easy to think of courage as this ‘highfalutin’ thing or something that requires some high level of mastery. I sometimes want to just talk about the courage it takes to just be a human being in our world today.” – Frank Ostaseski

Finding Our Courage (19:00) – How do we keep our heart open when we are facing our greatest fears? Sharon speaks about the surrender and faith required to find the courage that lives within us. She and Frank look at the courage required to accept death and all that comes with the dying process.

“It is very easy to be a bystander in one’s own life. Move off the sidelines, make the offering to try something and move into the center of possibility.” – Sharon Salzberg

Fear and Dying (44:50) – Why are we so afraid to have a conversation about death? Frank and Sharon talk about the value in understand our fears and what our awareness of those fears can offer towards confronting them.

“The part of you that knows you are afraid is not afraid.” – Frank Ostaseski

Explore “Standing at the Edge” with Roshi Joan and Raghu Markus on Ep. 229 of the Mindrolling Podcast

Sharon Salzberg - Metta Hour - Ep. 88 - Freedom at the Intersection of Courage and Fear with Frank Ostaseski

Spiritual practices can help soften shame, confusion, anger, and pain. We often seek the release of meditation, yoga, or chanting and they can soothe the discomfort of fear or self-judgment. But many people get lost in what can be called Spiritual Bypass—when our spiritual identity, beliefs, or practice become a defense to avoid honestly experiencing and processing deep emotional suffering.
Learn to recognize this tendency and better integrate your spiritual practice during a 5-day intensive workshop with renowned author Gabor Maté, MD, and expert Kundalini Yoga teacher Sat Dharam Kaur, ND, March 3 – 8, 2019. at 1440 Multiversity This workshop combines unique therapeutic work, Compassionate Inquiry, and enhanced yoga to explore emotional realities that many spiritual practices often ignore. Register today: Compassionate Inquiry


Images via Lily Cushman and Russell Aarron