Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 95 – Gary Gach

Sharon Salzberg - Metta Hour - Ep. 95 - Gary Gach

For the 95th Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon converses with meditation teacher and author Gary Gach.

Gary Gach has been meditating and writing for nearly 60 years, and published numerous magazines and anthologies. He is the author of Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism and his moment recent release, Pause … Breathe … Smile ~ Awakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough. He’s been hosting a weekly Zen mindfulness practice group for nearly a decade in San Francisco and is lay-ordained in the Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism.
In this conversation, Sharon and Gary speak at length about Gary’s latest book, and how he came to the practice of meditation, as well as the intersection of art, consciousness and social change. The conversation closes with a guided meditation led by Gary. For more information about Gary, visit him online at

Gary shares his newest book, PauseBreatheSmileAwakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough. He and Sharon look at the book’s three-step approach to practicing mindfulness.

“Pausing,breathing and smiling is something that anyone can practice in the moment. It also refers to the structure of viewing and living in a mindful way. Everything is open and selfless. You don’t need to control, because everything is already infinitely possible. That kind of recognition brings us freedom from a sense of isolation or separation from everything else.” – Gary Gach

Turning Intention Towards Mindfulness (16:20)

How often do you remember to shift your intention towards mindfulness? Sharon and Gary talk about different practices we can use to return our attention to the moment.

“The practice is just recognizing that I have a mind that wanders, bringing it back and returning. That bringing back and returning is a form of intentionality.” – Gary Gach   

Art and Social Action (35:10)

Sharon and Gary reflect on the intersection of art, consciousness and social change. They discuss the ways that art can wake us up to our true nature and interconnectedness to others.

Three Breaths (47:10)

Gary closes the podcast with a 5-minute meditation that reminds us to pause, breathe and smile.

Sharon Salzberg - Metta Hour - Ep. 95 - Gary Gach          
Images via Gary Gach