This is an excerpt from Finding Mastery #101 with meditation expert Sharon Salzberg in which she explains why formal meditation training is so applicable to everyday life scenarios.


The things I learned how to do in formal meditation, if I’m sitting everyday for twenty minutes or so, are the exact mechanisms that I use in life.

I notice I’m lost in the story and I take a breath. I just relax, you don’t know yet right?

I learned to feel things in my body so that much more quickly I can get that information like, “O you’re starting to get lost again.”

I learned how to let go.

If you sit down in that original kind of meditation, where you’re sitting and you choose an object of awareness – say the breath or a mantra or something like that and every time your attention leaves there, you gently let go and bring it back, that’s like exercising the letting go muscle.

You’re learning how to come back to your goal and your intention, which is to be without that original object again and again and again and again, without being disheartened, and without blaming yourself, and without hating yourself.

You do what needs to be done again and again and again and again. So then you do that at work, or in your community, or do that wherever you are.


Listen to full podcast here.


Meditation Expert

Sharon Salzberg is a New York Times Best selling author and teacher of Buddhist meditation practices in the West. In 1974, she co-founded the Insight Meditation Society at Barre, Massachusetts with Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein.