For episode 146 of the Metta Hour, Sharon speaks with colleague and friend Trudy Goodman, PhD.
Trudy is a Vipassana teacher in the Theravada lineage and the Founding Teacher of InsightLA. For 25 years, in Cambridge, MA, Trudy practiced mindfulness-based psychotherapy with children, teenagers, couples and individuals. Trudy conducts retreats and workshops worldwide.
In this episode, Trudy shares her personal journey with meditation and psychotherapy and how the two have informed her healing, and her professional path as a teacher and therapist. She and Sharon discuss loneliness, depression and mental health issues that have affected people differently in the pandemic quarantine. They also speak at length about the cultural stigma that many feel around mental health that prevents them from seeking out support or treatment. As well, they talk about domestic violence, and how the pandemic has increased instances of abusive relationships, and some resources for those facing it. The episode closes with Trudy leading a nine-minute guided meditation that is a form of lovingkindness practice. Learn more about Trudy’s work at www.trudygoodman.com
Links from this episode: Tips for SAFELY reaching out for support | Futures Without Violence |Resources for Partner Violence and Child Abuse During COVID-19
Motherhood to Meditation
Invited by Sharon to share her story, Trudy recalls traumatic experiences early on as a single mom. She had done everything properly; gone to college, got married, had a child, but still nothing was working out. This utter bewilderment that ‘there must be something more to life’ sent her on a journey of inquiry into consciousness and perception. Studying developmental psychology with Jean Piaget, mixed with psychedelic inquiry and mysterious openings, eventually led her to learn meditation from a Korean Zen master.
“The whole result of that was just my sensing that there must be a way to experience this life that makes more sense than the way I’m currently feeling. When I met my first teacher, a Korean Zen master, I could just see in his eyes he knows what I want to know.” – Trudy Goodman Kornfield
Join Trudy for a loving-awareness-steeped ride through her spiritual journey alongside her friend and teacher, Ram Dass, on Ep. 374 of Mindrolling
Pandemic, Vulnerability & Asking For Help (21:55)
Speaking to the social, mental, and spiritual difficulties present within this pandemic, Sharon and Trudy highlight the strength, courage, healing and liberation instilled in asking for help. Using their mutual friend and teacher, Ram Dass, as an example of someone who had to go from, “How can I help?” to, “How can you help me?”, they explore the raw, interconnected power of vulnerability for opening oneself and others to truth and love.
“It’s normal to suffer in this situation; even the shame or paralysis about getting help – all of this is perfectly normal.” – Trudy Goodman Kornfield
“Just talking to somebody; it doesn’t even have to be a therapist. It can be a friend, a stranger, because being heard–being deeply listened to–is healing. It helps you regulate your system.” – Trudy Goodman Kornfield
For another brilliant conversation with Sharon diving into mental health, vulnerability, and mindfulness, check out Ep. 144 of the Metta Hour
Metta World Peace, Practice & Aspiration (41:08)
Trudy and Sharon explore the story of a rough and aggressive professional NBA basketball player who went through a transformation after finding the practice of metta: loving kindness. Changing his name to Metta World Peace, he was vulnerable enough, and aspired consistently enough, to transform in front of the world. From this lens, Trudy speaks to the notion that no matter what we are doing with our day, we are practicing something, so why not practice what brings us more love, peace, & equanimity?
“I wanted to reach back and be part of something that I was as a child in the purest form. Metta was something I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to accomplish it the ways I had goals on the court…Metta is a place for me to go when I feel my emotions are getting the best of me.”– Metta World Peace
Sharon Salzberg uncovers the relationship between our spiritual practices and our aspirations, on Ep. 7 of the Metta Hour