Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!

Today is about celebrating freedom.

Which is soo perfect ..

Because meditation gives us freedom.

It helps us choose how to respond .. to almost anything.

It lets us decide what we want to optimize for .. and how we want to be. 

It also gives us the freedom .. to know we deserve to step away from work sometimes!

We have the freedom to enjoy ourselves ..

To be silly and laugh and have fun & be our favorite version of ourselves.

I hope you're having a great holiday weekend ..

And enjoying warm summer days. 

Tonight we're not gathering for meditation .. so you can enjoy fireworks or quiet time or whatever you choose, wherever you are ..

We'll be back next week, meditating each Tuesday evening and gathering to celebrate LOVE in July (please save July 20th .. more details soon ...).

And today, I wish you a truly awesome day.

Cheers to freedom,

Tuesday with Essential Oils

It feels like a good time to give ..

So this week, again, we're offering a FREE workshop after The Path meditation tonight!

First we'll enjoy a meditation expertly guided by Pandit Dasa, author of Urban Monk.

Then .. at our beautiful home at The Standard, East Village .. you're invited to stay for a tea ceremony .. to relax your body .. and go even deeper.

Together we'll enjoy an organic hand-blended herbal tea with rose, chamomile and lavender.

The herbs .. and the ritual of sipping .. will help us feel amazing .. and then we'll use an organic essential oil with chamomile and spruce to stimulate our senses even more .. and enhance the connection to our bodies.

It's all courtesy of Jennifer Goldman from Essential Rose Life .. who's designed this experience for us.

And it's all included in the regular cost of a Tuesday meditation ((just $24 for everything!)).

click here to join us Tuesday

It's another thank you for being part of our community .. and being you. (And we're excited for our first tea ceremony together!)

Also .. HUGE thanks to everyone who joined The Path Experience this weekend. What a joyous and relaxing retreat!

It's been inspiring to be around so many incredible people from our community this past week, for the big workshop last Tuesday .. and our retreat Saturday.

It's felt .. truly .. life-affirming.

And so I leave you with a hope .. that you're grateful for the wonderful people in your life. 

It is a beautiful thing .. to live life .. in gratitude. Grateful for what we have.

With love and cheers to a tea ceremony tonight (with more wonderful people!),  

The Path Experience - Saturday

As I write you I'm looking through the amazing people joining us Saturday for The Path Experience.

Did you see the details the other day? If not, you can check it out here. I'll hold :-)

I also have some cool new things to share with you today...

  • We can finally announce that dinner after the retreat will be catered by Epicured, a gourmet kitchen and food delivery service. They're preparing a special meal for us, and it's going to be delicious (and healthy)!
  • We're hosting this retreat .. drumroll .. at The Standard, East Village! This is our first retreat with The Standard, and we're thrilled to share this beautiful space with you.
  • The dinner party after the retreat will be at "The Terraces," a gorgeous home with terraces overlooking the city. It will be a spectacular close to the retreat.
  • We'll be serving Harmless Harvest coconut water (yummm) and Verday Chlorophyll Water. We're so grateful to our sponsors.

But here's the deal...

Want to know why I really think you should join?

Going on a 10-day retreat is tough.

The Path Experience is fun and social and beautiful .. and will transform your energy in just five hours, with no need to travel.

We'll clear your body and mind from the effects of electronics .. and bring you to your natural state of intuition, creativity, and bliss.

You're going to feel incredible after this retreat. The feedback we get after them is extraordinary.

One person wrote, "I feel amazing. And I look amazing ... I got my radiance back." Another person said, "I've had one of the most productive and crystal clear weeks in ages .. and I think part of that is having a clear mind."

I hope you join us for great meditation and yoga. To have fun and be in community with like-minded new friends.

But most of all I hope you join us to feel the stillness and goodness within you.

And so... for a better summer. A better year. And a better you.

I hope to see you Saturday.

With love,

p.s. We only have 6 spots left -- so if you want to join us, reserve your "cushion" now.

The Path Experience NYC - June

I'm writing you with clouds outside the window as I fly home to NYC (yay!) after hosting The Path Experience in San Francisco.

And I'm learning .. that the MAGIC of these retreats .. is bringing together amazing, like-minded people .. and creating a warm, friendly environment that makes it easy for everyone to DIVE into relaxation .. and stillness.

The meditations and wisdom were great .. and we gathered in a BEAUTIFUL place (the apartment that actually houses the SF clocktower!! It was unbelievable!).

But what makes these retreats powerful beyond my wildest dreams .. is the supportive feeling of the community we build each time. And it's all thanks to you .. our community.

Look, life can be hard. I get it. It's easy to put your dukes up and wonder who's out to get you. When you step into these afternoon retreats, that fear washes away. And you enter .. kindness. Playfulness and happiness.

This is why people emerge from The Path Experience saying they feel INCREDIBLY clear, calm and happy .. after just five hours on retreat (and a happy cozy dinner afterwards).

And so .. I'm super excited we're hosting The Path Experience in NYC this Saturday. If you're in town, I hope you join us.

click here for The Path Experience Saturday

This time we're doing something different.

We're going to CLEAR you from the effects of electronics on your body and mind.

Working from the outside in, using yoga and meditation, we'll give you a digital detox. And leave you feeling renewed, refreshed, and reconnected to you.

Experience what it feels like to REALLY connect to your body.

To SWIM into your breath.

And TOUCH your creativity and intuition.

Yoga master Marlie McGovern will co-lead with me. We only have 10 spots remaining. If you feel digital overstimulation, and you're ready to turn it off, join us.

click here for The Path Experience Saturday

(As always we'll gather amazing people, be in a beautiful space & enjoy delicious food after.)

And TUESDAY, join us for a preview! Marlie will guide our meditation at The Standard, East Village .. and shift your attention from digital .. to your creativity and inner self.

click here for meditation Tuesday

You'll get a cool bonus if you join us Tuesday. After the meditation, you're invited to stay and enjoy a FREE workshop on Mindful Eating and Self Compassion by Quiet the Noise, two NYC nutritionists. Lisa Hayim MS, RD and Naomi Arbit, PHD, MA will guide us in a special technique to help you make healthy choices about food .. by listening to your body and treating it with kindness. ((Also, we'll enjoy free chocolate as part of the workshop! I'm 100% joining!)) All this is included in the regular cost of a Tuesday meditation (just $24 for everything).

The workshop .. is a thank you for being part of our community. And being mindful. And being you.

Cheers to mindful eating and emailing and hope to see you Tuesday and Saturday,

The Path Experience NYC

I'm writing you from San Francisco, where I just emerged from a retreat with Jon and Will Kabat-Zinn.

The wisdom and meditations were great .. and I feel amazing. 

But one of the reasons I feel so clear and calm .. is that I put away my phone and computer .. for days.

Our electronics are addicting. And making us feel stressed. That stress permeates our body and mind.

So for our next afternoon retreat .. we call The Path Experience .. we're offering a COMPLETE digital detox for the body & mind.

I'll co-lead this time with a yoga master — who RUNS a restorative yoga teacher training program for doctors and therapists (so, yeah, she REALLY knows her stuff) — and working from the outside in, we'll clear you from the effects of electronics.

You'll emerge from the retreat feeling rejuvenated and deeply relaxed. More playful. And creative. And as always you'll meet amazing people and enjoy a fun dinner party after the retreat (included).

We're keeping this Path Experience intimate so it's as powerful as possible, and we only have 18 spots. Click here to join us:

click here for The Path Experience

My partner on this retreat is Marlie McGovern, who DEEPLY knows yoga and how to make it work for your body and mind. Marlie also helps to lead our extraordinary Meditation Teacher Training program. The depth of her knowledge in yoga and meditation is incredible, and she'll bring both to you.

So when the retreat is over .. you'll reenter the outside world .. from a different place.

Feeling calm, centered .. and ready to follow your bliss.

click here to join us on retreat  

Cheers to retreats and a true digital detox,

p.s. Janusz Whelin (raised on a hippie farm - ask him about it!) is guiding our meditation Tuesday evening at 7pm, at our home at The Standard, East Village. Click here to reserve your spot. Yay!

Finders Course & SF Retreat

Hey there,

I'm writing you from San Francisco, where I'm excited to head on retreat in a few hours .. to unplug and go within.

But first, I wanted to invite you to join an extraordinary online course. 

It's a four month program, called Finders Course. It's intense. It requires meditating an hour a day .. and positive psychology exercises too .. to supercharge your happiness and well being.

It is a real time commitment. But it pays off.

It shifts you .. to a deep feeling of inner peace. One person in my class (we just finished the course) said he now feels "deep contentment." I found it transitioned me from thinking the world was out to get me .. to a profound feeling that the world supports me.

A new round of Finders Course starts June 24th. They're accepting applications the next few days.

click here to apply to Finders Course 

Or respond to this note, and we can talk about it. 

In the meanwhile, I wish you an awesome, joyous weekend, full of love and/or laughter, fun and/or productivity!

With love,

p.s. If you're in SF or have friends or family here, we're hosting The Path Experience San Francisco next Saturday, June 17th. It's an afternoon retreat in a stunning location, with food from Seed + Salt, amazing people and just 8 spaces left. Click here to learn more or join us!

p.p.s. Have fun today!

teacher training & the book .. is out!


First, good news to share ..

We're opening enrollment TODAY for our teacher training program (which starts in October). And the site to apply .. is now live!

click here to apply for teacher training 

If you've thought about becoming a certified meditation teacher .. this is the best program in NYC. And the community of teachers we have .. is amazing.  

We got a huge response from our note last week .. a bunch of applications .. and only 25 spots available.

If you enroll this month we'll give you $200 off the tuition. So if you've ever thought about becoming a teacher, I encourage you to apply today!

click here to apply for meditation teacher training

And, huge thanks to everyone who joined our Mindful Leadership course and closing retreat Saturday.

It was inspiring to hear how TRANSFORMATIVE the course has been .. and to learn how much we can progress as leaders if we learn to properly connect with our minds, bodies and hearts. 

And Tuesday .. is the launch of Sharon Salzberg's book Real Love! 

Sharon guided an extraordinary retreat for us in April. She's one of the top meditation teachers in the country. And this book will teach and inspire you to live with more love .. in every area of your life (yes, even work!). I encourage you to buy a copy if you haven't yet, and buy another if you already have! It's a perfect gift for friends, colleagues and family members. 

Click here for Sharon's new book Real Love

Book sales the first week are the most significant for an author. Often it's what propels a book into bestseller status. Sharon is an incredible teacher and friend of the company. If we can help her get to bestseller status, this will help bring us to Buddhist heaven (which is, you could say, joy today)!

Announcing: Meditation Teacher Training

Have you ever thought ..

About becoming a meditation teacher?

For months we've been asked ..

When is our next teacher training?

Today I'm so excited to announce: a new Meditation Teacher Training course from October - January (with a winter holiday beak) in partnership with the Nalanda Institute and Pure Yoga.

If you want to deepen your practice .. or really learn the wisdom behind meditation.

If you want to add meditation teaching to your role as a coach, business person, doctor, teacher, therapist, creative or whatever you do ..

Or if you simply want to become a certified meditation teacher .. this is the best program in NYC.

It's comprehensive. And accessible. With a focus on neuroscience, wisdom, practice and community.

THIS MONTH .. we're offering .. $200 off tuition for the first ten people who enroll.

Are you thinking about meditation teacher training?

Have you ever thought about becoming a teacher?

To teach .. or maybe .. just for you?

Let us know if you're interested!

the key to happiness and a long life

I've always wondered if you can be an extreme extrovert and AND an extreme introvert.

I love hosting events, building friendships and going to dinner parties, but I often choose to travel on my own — and love it! I love meditating and reading and spending days just enjoying nature.

Then .. we hosted our Montauk retreat last June.

I was nervous about it. I knew I would be living with our team, sharing a room with our chef Daphne (!), and that meant being around people nonstop. I worried about offending someone or being offended myself! But it ended up being one of the best experiences of my life. Ally Bogard and our team created an atmosphere of LOVE. Everyone got along. It didn't matter who you sat with at dinner or next to for meditation.

Everyone was amazing.

I loved living in community and it made me think.

Not just about the importance of loved ones but the power of community. About what it means to have people around to share the good times and bad.

"Social connections .. not only give us pleasure, they also influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking," Harvard Medical School published in Harvard Health Publications. "Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer."L'chaim!

L'chaim! Community matters! Sangha, the community of meditators, is one of three jewels in Buddhism.

So this month we're celebrating community in two big ways.

First, we're hosting a dinner party for members of The Path, graduates of our teacher training program, people now in our (amazing!) Mindful Leadership course, and everyone from the Montauk retreat. We'll be in a spectacular Soho home with terraces overlooking the city enjoying good food & wine & peoples. If you'd like to join us, you can become a member of The Path here (and join all our Tuesday evening meditations for free, yay)!

Click here to become a member of The Path

Second, we’re launching a dharma program this month to encourage giving back to the community AND so you can get closer to all the good things we're doing! Here's the deal:

If you volunteer to help produce two Tuesday meditations you can join the other two that month.
If you volunteer to help at a big monthly event or retreat you can join the following month's Tuesday meditations.
If you join our social media activation team you can join two Tuesday meditations. Email us here for more details! 

A mistake in Rome...

I’m writing you from Rome, my favorite city in the world — and feeling a bit embarrassed to share with you what happened this weekend.

I was walking down the Via del Corso, one of my favorite streets, feeling happy and light.

When suddenly - BOOM! - someone smashed into me. I snapped my head around and saw the girl casually walking away. Did I have a lesson to teach her! 

Aspetta! I said loudly (“wait" in Italian). I walked towards her. 

“Why not say 'I’m sorry?’" I asked in Italian, ready to preach the wisdom of kindness.

But it was me who needed the lesson. 

She was walking with someone. Her caretaker turned around. And for the first time I saw that the girl who had run into me had a disability. It was now clear that walking was a challenge for her, and even being outside on this holiday weekend full of people enjoying the sunshine on the busiest shopping street in Rome.

It was I who was humbled. Deeply. Tears welled up in my eyes. Not only because I may have hurt this woman emotionally but because I was so wrong about the story I had created about her.

And how wrong the stories we create about others often are. And, really, the stories we create about ourselves, too. 

We live with big and small mistruths about ourselves (I’m not good enough for x, I’m not handsome enough for y, I’ll stay in this job/relationship/city because I don’t deserve something better).

In Buddhism they say everything is empty.

Can we live with everything being empty? No stories about ourselves, and certainly no stories about others?

I created a 100% false story about this woman. And probably about many others in my life. What if we let all the stories go? 

Today I pledge to trying living with fewer stories. To give people the benefit of the doubt. And to live with love, even if someone smashes into me (or the verbal equivalent) because I’ll never know the real reason why.

This month we're hosting a dinner for our members May 18th (invites go out soon!). We'll talk about the stories we create, about ourselves and others. And we'll laugh and hopefully share some humility too. If you're interested in becoming a member of The Path, which means you get special invites, discounts on retreats and join all our Tuesday sits for free, please click here to sign up (just $50, which is super super low)!

And to dip into your Buddhism, your kindness and your true self, with no stories, join us at The Standard, East Village Tuesday for a meditation with Home Nguyen of the MindKind Institute (who has more than 20 years of experience in personal leadership and mind-body practices). Home has an extraordinary way of guiding meditations that leave you feeling calm, happy and centered, so I hope you join us Tuesday:

click here to join us for meditation Tuesday at The Standard

We’re excited to meditate together — to help strip us of stories, about ourselves and others.

Here's How We Built a Vegan Seder Plate

The vegan seder plate

The vegan seder plate

We're prepping for our Jewish Buddhist non-denominational vegan seder led by Sharon Salzberg tomorrow - and did a trial run of the seder plate tonight, managed by our team member Mani Katari!

We have:

  • celery to symbolize spring. It gets dipped in salt water to symbolize the tears of the enslaved.
  • kale & lettuce  bitter herbs to remind us of the bitterness of slavery and captivity.
  • olives the blood-red color is symbolic of the blood shed as well as the blood smeared over the doors of the people the Angel of Death passed over. Olives can also be used to symbolize the commandments of compassion for the oppressed (instead of shankbone).
  • avocado symbol of new life, renewal and hope (instead of egg).
  • Charoset: NOT ON THIS PLATE but will be provided by our chefs: a mixture of nuts, apples, wine and spices.

And, decorated with mint, parsley and thyme.

I love this team.

Best vegan seder ever - can't wait for tomorrow. And only 2 spots left! thepath.com/sharon to join us.

I've never shared this story before...

I come from the fast-paced NYC start-up world. I thought I could never show weakness. Or fear. No feelings!

But let me share a little "secret".

That's all BS.

We all get scared. We all feel alone sometimes. We all have moments of complete terror when we meet one of our heroes.

But here's the cool part ..

The moment we acknowledge it. The moment we allow ourselves to feel it. That's when everything changes.

It kind of blows my mind that I'm hosting a dinner and retreat with one of my mentors this weekend and that's it almost sold out.


Because the first time I had a chance to actually meet her, I was petrified.

I remember it like it was yesterday...

My hands were sweating. My heart was pounding. I felt like I was going to throw-up.

But I'm getting ahead of myself... let me give you some context.

I first heard about Sharon Salzberg when I was helping to run a tech company.

I was stressed out of my mind. I didn’t know what to do or how to handle it.

I wanted to meditate but didn’t know where to start. 

Every time I actually tried to do it, I thought I was doing something wrong and would just wind up getting more stressed .. and feel frustrated and stop!

I went to guided meditations all over the city but nothing felt quite right. I couldn't connect or identify with these people. I never felt "apart of." 

I didn't feel surrounded by people like me - a founder, super ambitious, surrounded by other entrepreneurs who wanted to learn meditation mainly to feel sane. To stop, even for a second, the churning of my mind which swirled in circles of stress worse than a cyclone.

The teachers whose classes I attended kept talking about the luminaries of meditation in the U.S. I retained only two names: Jon Kabat Zinn for mindfulness and Sharon Salzberg for loving-kindness. 

At that point in my life, I didn't feel any real "loving kindess" for myself, so I began to use Sharon's name as a "makeshift mantra" of sorts, and I would somehow always feel better once I did. 

Crazy, right?

I imagined what it would be like to someday meet her and how I would feel. It brought be calm and peace. But if I'm being honest...

I didn't really think I would ever meet her. I didn’t know where she lived, but I assumed it was on a mountain, maybe somewhere in Tibet or Nepal or somewhere else where she could meditate all day and think deep thoughts. It felt really, really different from my life.

One day a friend invited me to a meditation Sharon was leading. I couldn’t believe she was in NYC! I couldn’t believe I could ever be in the same room with a teacher as famous as she was.

Heck, this was the woman who literally wrote the book on loving-kindness and is often credited with bringing compassion meditation from the East to the West and helping to make it mainstream!

I remember sitting in the back of the room, awed and humbled to be in the same room as this famous teacher. I remember she taught us six phrases we could use to practice loving-kindness meditation on our own: 

“may you [or I] be happy, may you be peaceful, may you live with ease, 
may you be safe, may you be healthy, may you be strong.”

I loved the first three of these phrases and used them for a half hour sit with Sharon that night. Sitting, still, at the back of the room, afraid to move up or to say hi. 

That evening I went back to work, as was my life as a tech founder, and I’ll never forget what happened. I answered emails from partners and from people on our team. 

And I was funny! I was kind. Something had "shifted". 

After this meditation with Sharon, without even trying, I was myself! I was funny and silly and light — and the next day my colleagues commented on how different my tone was in the emails they got from me that night :-)

Sharon’s phrases became my daily practice. 

It was the one respite in stressful days of press interviews, meetings, calls and panic attacks (that I didn’t tell anyone about). 

Then one day, when I had a panic attack and couldn’t cross the street to my office, I left my job and the company I had co-founded and took a 2.5-year trip around the world to get healthy again. To shake off the stress of running my first start-up...

As you can probably guess that’s when I really *found* meditation. I ended up studying around the world. 

And I had the inspiration, on a 10-day retreat in India, to start The Path — and to bring meditation back to the US and try helping people avoid the panic attacks and burnout I had suffered living a hectic "always on the go" life for so many years.

Eventually, I was ready to go back to NYC. As a new, better version of myself. And to launch The Path community.

On our first month, my co-founder and I made a dream list of people we wanted to partner with. Sharon topped the list. 

We laughed and said to each other — if we can ever do anything with Sharon, we’ll know we will have made it. And we will have accomplished our goal of offering to the next generation of change-makers — the best meditation teachers in the country. 

A few months after we launched a friend invited me (yay!) to a gathering of some of the top thought leaders in meditation in the city. I saw Sharon on the invite list, too. I couldn’t believe it. I opened the door to the event and took a deep breath. 

A group of people were there. Including Sharon. 

My hands were sweating. My heart was pounding. I felt like I was going to throw-up. It all felt like a blur...

But within a few minutes, someone introduced us, telling Sharon that I had just started a community called The Path, and asked me to explain our concept to see what she thought. 

Want to know what's so crazy about all this?

I used to be a live TV reporter. I've met some of the most famous and successful celebrities and business people in the world. I’ve given speeches to thousands of people. And yet...

I’ve never been so scared to speak in my life.

My voice trembled, and I said, “I’ve studied meditation around the world. Including your work. My partner and I believe you can put all of the types of meditation into four categories: mindfulness, mantra, energizing and meditation to help you accomplish a goal, like compassion or loving-kindness. We think all four categories are valid. And we want to teach all of them, to help people find the technique that’s best for them.”

And then I held my breath. 
I was, in a word, terrified. 
No one spoke. 

And finally, that famous, awesome, warmth of a Sharon Salzberg smile emerged. “I like that,” she said. “That makes a lot of sense. I support what you’re doing.”

And I breathed a sigh of relief.

I came back to the gathering the next month. As did she. 

We became close.

Now, two years later, Sharon is a dear friend. We know we're both night owls (shhhh), so we email funny things to each other at all hours. I helped her choose the font for her new book. And I forward her silly emails from my mom extolling the virtues of empathy :).

And yet, just last year I was terrified to ask her something once again...

We were both at the Wisdom 2.0 conference and walking to the bathroom after a session. I held my breath and asked her to lead a retreat for us.

And without hesitating — my hero, mentor and teacher said YES!

In that bathroom we closed the deal for her to lead her first retreat for The Path, last September. 

It was amazing.

This year we wanted to do something cool, and she had the idea to lead a seder. I thought she was kidding but said I would call her bluff and say yes, let's do it! 

She wasn't kidding. So on Friday we're doing it. She'll play rabbi and lead a "Jewish-Buddhist non-denominational vegan seder" (her name, her idea). 

I couldn't be more excited for this event. 

Because I know she will help you in the way she helped me. To breathe, live and love again.

And I also want to help her. I want to help bring her new book to bestseller status. 

So I'm thrilled we'll have a "day of love" retreat with her about the book Saturday. And that we're asking everyone who joins to buy a copy of her book. Or two. 

I WANT to help this woman who's changed my life so much for the better to get to bestseller status on her new book the week it's released. That's why we're asking people to buy books to attend the dinner and the retreat.

Sharon is one of my favorite people in the world.

On Friday I almost can’t believe I have the honor of introducing one of my life mentor’s and inspirations.

As our teacher. For the weekend. I hope you can join us and see how she can change your life for the better, just as she has changed mine.

Want to join us?

Click here to reserve one of the final spots...
and experience the "Sharon magic" yourself.

Our Thoughts on Real Love (And Why We Recommend It!) by Sonali Nigam

One of the best perks of being part of The Path is the opportunity to get to know some amazing teachers and sometimes even getting a sneak peek into their upcoming books. Needless to say this week, Sonali Nigam, a member of The Path team was over the moon to get her hands on a manuscript of Sharon Salzberg's soon to be released book: Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection. Here she shares some of her favorite passages from the book and why she considers it to be one of the most important books of 2017!

I have always thought of Sharon Salzberg as a force of Loving Kindness in our often crazy world. Having taught for over thirty years, written New York Times bestsellers, and co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, Sharon has created a movement of Loving Kindness and Self Compassion that only gets bigger and bigger with every passing year. And I for one am glad of it.  

I am sure each of you reads a book like Real Love for your own reasons. Perhaps to be inspired, perhaps to fix a relationship or perhaps to help someone else. 

My personal reason for wanting to read this book is that Sharon as an author always keep it real. Her prior books were not only thoughtful, but also accessible and actionable. Pertinent to real lives... Like mine and yours :)

And Real Love is no different. It speaks to real situations that are common to the human experience. Not only is Sharon asking questions that provoke introspection, but she provides simple tools to attend to the thoughts and feelings that come up as a result. 

Sharon tackles a very relevant theme early on in the book, the curse of advertising, 

"Have you ever wakened in the morning feeling contented and quiet, and then, within fifteen minutes of checking your phone, felt out of sorts and jealous? Longing for something more? 

By asking these questions, Sharon brings awareness to the mindless thoughts and actions we each take without considering their impact. Next she points out, 

"Many of us now spend as much time immersed in images on a screen as participating in the world outside our devices. Whether subtly or blatantly, ads tell us that our bodies need making over, our clothes just won’t do, our living room is a mess, and we’re not invited to the right parties—all as a way to sell us more and more. Along the way, what might be a source of pleasure becomes infused with anxiety."

Sharon's wisdom highlights the consequences of our mindless immersion in a seemingly benign medium. Thankfully, she follows up with a set of practical tools to help the reader undo these toxic patterns and develop better ones. 

An important tool Sharon describes is the Freedom of Imperfection. She begins by sharing her own struggle, 

"When I first started to co-lead meditation retreats, my perfectionism caused me a lot of suffering... I worried that I would lose my train of thought or state something so ineptly that my mind would freeze. The image of me standing there speechless was so vivid that I refused to teach. I was silenced by my own perfectionism. Eventually, I decided I could try to give a talk on lovingkindness and lovingkindness only. I figured that if my mind went totally blank, I could launch into the traditional lovingkindness meditation, and maybe no one would notice my imperfect performance. Then one day I realized that all our talks were basically about lovingkindness. The point wasn’t to give a perfect performance, it was to connect with the people gathered to listen and to extend a sense of inclusivity and care to them. 

My ability to share my insights with more freedom came about when I started to connect to myself and to that space of care from within. I shifted my attention away from self-protection and needing to be perfect and focused instead on giving what I had to offer. It was a big shift in intention, a move away from the lonely self to a space of connection. And when I came to this recognition, I found my voice."

The beauty of having Sharon as a teacher is that she walks the talk. Her honesty and compassion make it easier for her readers to believe that the tools she provides are tested and proven. Then she encourages us to give it a shot? And instead of saying eek that's too hard, you probably come away thinking hmm ...maybe these thoughts are easier to overcome than I thought? 

Bottomline, Real Love is full of ideas, questions, and tools that can transform the way we love and connect with ourselves and others. Which is why we at The Path highly recommend that you pre-order a copy right away. And ping us to let us know what you think about the book too!

Interested in learning more about Real Love and Sharon's teachings? Join The Path for an in person celebration of Real Love with Sharon this weekend at Primary and Neuehouse!

"Our Lives are Interconnected..." An Exclusive Interview with Sharon Salzberg on her new book "Real Love"

From The Path's joyous retreat with Sharon last year!

From The Path's joyous retreat with Sharon last year!

We had an extraordinary chance to connect with Sharon Salzberg today, in advance of our retreat with her this weekend, to chat about her soon-to-be-released new book "Real Love."

And we learned? A lot. That love is about everyone. Everything. We are all connected. Here's more. And for the incredible opportunity to spend time with Sharon in person, join us Friday night for a dinner party with Sharon and Saturday for a "Day of Love" retreat at Neuehouse. Register here to join us.

And, now, enjoy words of wisdom from one of the greatest teachers of our time: 

The Path: Can you talk a bit about the inspiration behind this book? Was there a specific event or experience that led to Real Love being written?

Sharon Salzberg: I found myself, through years, just wanting love to be part of different conversations: love for oneself as distinct from narcissism as we try to find balance in life; love for another that doesn’t feel like being awash in fear; love for all even as we face and challenge actions and views we in no way agree with. couldn’t love play a role in all these explorations? i was convinced it could, and wanted to help contribute to that.

The Path: Many of the people in The Path community are striving to bring change to their workplaces and communities. Can you share how the principles of Real Love could also support them as entrepreneurs and leaders? 

Sharon: What I’m calling real love is a profound sense of connection. it doesn’t mean we like someone and it certainly doesn’t mean we approve of them or will support them, but we know deep down our lives are interconnected, they have something to do with one another. Knowing the truth of interconnectedness actually helps perspective taking, inclusiveness, less fear, less alienation. All of that is good for business decisions and leadership.

The Path: What's next for you on your journey as a teacher and an author? What are your hopes and wishes from putting this book out in the world?

Sharon: I can’t imagine writing another book right away! Having just read the entire book aloud for the audio version just recently, i had the radical thought that i wished it had been three separate books — one on love for oneself, one on love for another (whether parent or child or lover or colleague or pet), and one on love for all, which opens us to a love for life itself. Especially in that third section, I wrote about social movements and efforts to create change in this world base don love. i wished that was its own book….so maybe that’s next. One of my hopes for the book is that people, in addition to buying one for themselves, will buy one for someone they love. Another hope is that people will buy copies to be given away — to public libraries, cancer support groups, schools, prisons etc. That latter wish is kind of complex, but we’re working on figuring it out. 

To buy an advance copy of Sharon's book Real Love, the Art of Mindful Connection, click here.

And to meet Sharon in person this weekend, please click here.

Neuehouse (yay), a great teacher & an online course

Neuehouse meditation


I'm excited.

To invite you to join us here (yes, this cozy spot)!

On Tuesday we're bringing The Path to the spectacularly beautiful Neuehouse — for a meditation guided by an INCREDIBLE teacher.

Amy Gross is the former Editor of Oprah Magazine, and she learned meditation from Jon Kabat-Zinn himself. She was my MBSR (Mindfulness-based stress reduction) teacher, and I was blown away by her during the class. I believe she is one of the best mindfulness teachers in the country.

I hope you can join us as Amy guides us in a relaxing, transformative meditation — in one of my favorite places in the city:

And, many of you have been asking about Finders Course. It's a really intense and SUPER impactful online meditation course. I'm doing it now, and it's rocking my world. 

A new round starts March 25th, and a few members of our community have already enrolled. It is a real time commitment — an hour of meditation a day plus positive psychology exercises each morning and evening to skyrocket your well-being.

I can't say enough good things about Finders Course .. but I know not everyone can do an hour of meditation a day. SO I'll only mention it this one time, and if you want to learn more please respond to this note and we'll speak directly about it. If you feel ready, apply to participate in this new round of Finders Course here.

Cheers to feeling great. To an amazing teacher Tuesday. To YOU taking steps to become the best version of you.

Cheers to taking time for relaxation. Stillness. And insight. 

You are amazing.

Conversation with a Meditation Teacher: Dr. Home Nguyen of MindKind Institute

The Path community was fortunate to experience a beautiful meditation led by Home Nguyen on Tuesday, February 21st. Sonali Nigam, a community member of The Path and graduate of our teacher training program, asked him a few questions about his life and work afterward. 

Dr. Home is the founder of the MindKind Institute and has over 20 years of experience in personal leadership, mind-body practices, career development, executive coaching, and facilitating organizational effectiveness. His mission is to develop mindful, influential, and compassionate leaders, and to help them master their power so they can make a real difference in the world.

The Path: Can you tell us about how you began on your path towards mindfulness?

In my 20s, I was going through a difficult period in my life – traveling, working too hard, experiencing insomnia and a very painful ulcer. I worked as an Artistic Director for a theater company and one evening a young actress came to me. She said, “We need to talk now, “and I tried to brush her off. But she was very insistent. She said to me, “You are very charismatic and you get people to do what you want, but I don’t feel loved when I work with you.” At the time I didn’t understand, but this conversation stayed with me. Soon afterward I checked myself into a Vipassana retreat for 10 days. That was the beginning of my meditation practice as an adult.

The Path: So that was a turning point in your life that led you to meditation…

There is one more event I would like to share. I was thirteen years old, and I was on a boat lost in the middle of the ocean – a refugee from Vietnam. We were lost at sea for 19 days. One day there was a huge wave coming towards me, and I was certain it was going to kill us. I thought that all 91 people on that boat would die.  I saw death up close and had to face it. In that moment I let go, I decided to accept death. In that moment I felt a very deep peace that I had not experienced before. From there the boat drifted into southern Thailand where I lived in a refugee camp for a year. For a thirteen-year-old boy that was a very profound experience. But at that time my brain was not developed enough to understand the significance of that moment.

The Path: What has your personal meditation journey been so far? Any challenges, any unexpected outcomes?

I have been exploring and practicing meditation for over twenty years now. After all these years, I still face difficulties. There are days I am distracted by the phone, Facebook, the news. Often, I still wake up in the morning not wanting to mediate. The difference for me is that when I find myself stressed or avoiding meditation I respond differently that I did before. In the past I used to judge myself, I was harsh. I would tell myself, “What’s the matter with you, what's wrong with you, you are weak, you have failed, you are not doing this right”. But now the judgement is still there but I can recover much faster. I tell myself that this period of struggling will pass. I will forgive myself. I will start again.
The practice of mindfulness is about letting go of what was and starting again in the present moment. In taking that approach of starting again, I use a beginner’s mind. I let go of achievement, I let go of measurement. I show up and do my meditation as I am in this moment. Even if it was for one breath, that is good enough to start again.

The Path: What advice would you give to those who are at the beginning of their path towards mindfulness?

My advice for a new practitioner is to allow yourself to start over again. The second tip is to find a good teacher. Think about learning to swim, when you are beginner you need a good coach. Once you learn how to swim you can surf, you can dive and do so many other things. But at the beginning, you need a good teacher to help you learn the foundations, and helping you to be safe and sane as you starting the exploration.

The Path: Can you speak about the work that you are currently doing in the field of mindfulness?

I recently finished my PhD at Columbia University, and my doctoral research was on mindfulness and how it relates to leadership, in particular how leaders can create environments that help their organizations become mindful. I have been teaching students at the Columbia Business School and Law School on how to develop mindful leadership practices for about 6 years now.  My research and practice is to understand how we can incorporate mindfulness into everyday life and how we can influence others in a positive and healthy ways.

On Meditation Teacher Training :: Sonali Nigam

It's hard to believe our second meditation teacher training has come to an end! We're beyond proud of all the students who took this journey. We'll be sharing interviews with some of the recent graduates, to celebrate. 

Read below for a beautiful essay by Sonali Nigam. 

Sonali has an interdisciplinary background in the technology, policy and business of healthcare. She has always been obsessively curious about the intersection of wellness and technology and geeks out on reading research articles on this topic. Sonali lives in New York City with her husband and their cat Naomi. You can find her on instagram @sonalaholic  

One of my earliest memories is of 7-year-old me sitting cross-legged on the cool floor of my aunt's meditation room, chanting mantras with my eyes closed. At the time I didn’t necessarily understand what meditation was supposed to be but it felt like a happy space, so the practice stayed with me. 
Fast forward twenty-five years later, I found myself wishing for more of that space and (some sanity) in New York City. The meditation apps and weekend retreats were helpful but I wanted more. I was constantly reading the scientific research about how great meditation was for my brain. But I couldn't quite figure out how to integrate it into my life in a consistent way. 
That's where The Path came in. I had heard about a meditation community through word of mouth and signed up to attend an event with a friend. I instantly loved the accessible nature of the Weekly Sit. It was held in a friendly and secular community, with wise teachers and a beautiful setting. To me, it was the perfect way to get away from the stresses of the city and incorporate a few moments of contemplation. 
So a few months later when I received an email about their upcoming Teacher Training program I felt goosebumps. The time felt right to take a deeper dive and immerse in a meditation practice. I wasn't 100% certain that I would want to teach afterward, but I knew that the training would support my desire to create a daily practice and also provide me tools for contemplation and self-reflection. 
The training was a three-month long commitment: four weekend retreats in addition to weekly Monday night classes. On my way to the first class, I witnessed two women on the subway trying to pull each other's hair out. 

Ah, the joys of living in New York City... I walked into class that night eager to find some quiet and compassion.
Happily, I found the teacher training to be that and much more. Each week, we learned core meditation concepts and discussed how they were applicable to modern life. The teachers Dr. Loizzo, Geri Loizzo, and Marlie Mcgovern were knowledgeable and approachable. In particular, Dr. Loizzo would break down the science into more palatable pieces which meant that everyone could follow along easily. The class discussions were friendly yet wide-ranging. We discussed everything from Buddha's life, to how to teach non-meditators, to the neuroplasticity of the brain!
Our homework was to meditate each day in order to practice what we learned that week. Of course, it was not always easy to find the time. There were many tempting distractions to deal with every single day, but I stuck with it and slowly began to feel the changes. If I didn't meditate one day, I felt like I was missing something. Over time I became creative with the practice. I tried meditating in the park during lunch my breaks, while sitting on a plane, and walking meditations whenever it was possible.  
Every few weeks we would be asked to lead a group of our peers in teaching a meditation and provide each other constructive feedback. Initially a nerve-racking experience, this quickly became one of my favorite aspects of the course. 
The training went by so quickly that before I knew it the twelve weeks were over. I look back now and am amazed at how many unanticipated changes took place in that brief period of time. Before the training, I didn't think that I could teach at all, much less teach meditation, but the positive experience of teaching my peers combined with my teachers’ support gave me the confidence to believe that I could. 

The bigger change was even more unexpected. As an introvert, I had always struggled with faking extroversion in order to fit in. The mindfulness training helped me to become aware of this struggle between my authentic self and the image I wanted to project to others. And the loving kindness practice we learned continues to help me be more accepting of myself the way I am.
I remember Dr. Loizzo saying during our last class, "The world will be a better place if there were more people meditating and teaching others how to meditate." I couldn't agree more. For me, the teacher training was a critical step on my path towards mindfulness and compassion. As I continue my practice and begin to teach, I firmly believe that the tools I have been given will continue to support me and the communities that I live and work in. 

Why I'm smiling...

I'm sitting in my favorite cafe, enjoying a green tea ... with a big smile on my face.


Because I'm looking at the site we're creating for the next Path Experience .. which we're doing again March 11th.

We'll finish the site soon and make spots available WEDNESDAY AT NOON (set that calendar alert...).

If we missed you the first time around and you're wondering what The Path Experience is .. 

I wanted to create something that provides the benefit of a multi-day retreat .. in just five hours. And do it in beautiful spaces, with great people .. so it's fun, social .. and transformative.

And .. it worked! 

People REALLY connected and said the meditations flew by .. they loved them, felt a profound impact, and actually wanted more! 

By the end people said they felt:

"really open and a bit blissed out"
"Loved it! Felt really great after."
"I felt relaxed and good."
"Elated. Peaceful. Connected."
It's hard for me to describe how I felt ..

Maybe the word is serene. Like I had nothing to prove, no need to be charming or funny. For maybe the first time in my life I felt ok 'being' rather than 'doing.'

It also had a big effect on people's work. You meet great people at the Path Experience (I'm working now with three of the people who joined the last one!). But it also affected people's productivity. One woman wrote me a few days after:

"I've had one of the most productive and crystal clear weeks in ages. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of progress I've been able to make in a week in my work and in my love life, and I think part of that is having a clear mind."

Our next Path Experience will be even better.

We're gathering in a jaw-dropping home off Union Square featured in The New York Times. We hired a chef to prepare dinner. And we'll serve gourmet snacks, organic home brewed coffee and Kombucha made by members of our community.

I'm SO excited for this. We're going to keep it intimate again — just 25 people. Spots will sell quickly, and we're raising the price to cover the chef and dinner, but I also want to make this accessible.

So we're going to offer TEN spots at $250 Wednesday at noon before we raise the price to $300.

It's the benefits of a retreat. In a stunning home. With amazing people. And a dinner party. Can't wait.

anything is possible

It's been years since I was a big football fan...

A little kid in Pittsburgh waving the terrible towel :).

But I couldn't take my eyes off the Super Bowl. 

Tom Brady saw an impossible situation. A game that was clearly over. Defeat.  

And he saw a window. Light. And he believed. 

He made the impossible .. possible.

You have this power too. It's within you. And it's amplified by meditation. 

If you're having an awful day, you CAN change it.

Meditation gives you the power to turn a bad mood into a good one. It's a choice. Just like Tom Brady's choice to go for it.

If you think you can't get that job, that date, that trip, whatever you dream of...

You can.

The power to get it, to GO FOR IT, is in your mind. If you believe it, you can manifest it. Just believe in yourself, know that things can turn around, and realize that many things we think are impossible .. can happen.

Tom Brady engineered the biggest Super Bowl comeback in history. 

What comeback or goal do you want to engineer in your life? If you're open to sharing, please respond to this email and let me know. I'd love to hear it and support you.

I'm inspired to write a book. I've thought about it for years, and now it's time to do it. What's your inspiration?

It could be smiling more or changing jobs. Big or small. You decide. 

The Benefits of a Consistent Meditation Practice :: An Interview with Culadasa (John Yates PhD)

Students of Dr. John Yates (Culadasa) — including, by coincidence, one of my best friends from college — describe him as a sweet, humble teacher. Who looks a bit like yoda :).

For decades Culadasa taught meditation in Arizona, beloved by his students but relatively unknown.

He spent years writing a book, then self-published it. 

And it sold 18,000 copies in a year.

Suddenly people took notice. Simon & Schuster picked up the book. And now it is being translated and distributed around the world. You're invited to his coming-out party :)

Culadasa is not a grandstanding, boastful teacher. He is simply good :: and clear :: and humble. A neuroscientist, he demystifies "awakening" and shows how each of us can get there. If you follow the subreddit Meditation, you've seen The Mind Illuminated mentioned every day. People are calling it an "instant classic". We were able to speak with him for this exclusive interview in advance of his talk to The Path community tomorrow evening. Read on for priceless advice on growing your practice.

The Path: How long do you recommend householders (normal working people) meditate each day?

Culadasa: I recommend a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour each day. More is always better, of course, and experienced meditators will often sit for longer or add a second sit when they can.

However, new meditators may need to work up to this, both in terms of adjustments to their daily schedules, and how long they are comfortable sitting. 

Consistency should take priority over duration, so when it isn't possible to sit for the usual amount of time, it's better to sit a little while anyway, rather than skip it. 

The Path: How can we maximize each minute that we meditate?

Culadasa: To maximize the value of your meditation time, be diligent about actually practicing when you sit, but relax and accept whatever comes without judgment. The only "bad" meditation is one you didn't do, and no matter what happens during a sit, it was a "good" meditation. Don't create expectations of how your meditation should go, just trust in the process and follow the instructions.

The Path: Do you think some people have more impactful experiences with mindfulness meditation, others with mantra meditation, and others with loving-kindness? Or should we all know many types and practice what feels most charming to us on a given day?

Meditation systems like the one I teach and write about in "The Mind Illuminated" include a variety of techniques appropriate at different Stages and for different purposes. The various practices you mention have different purposes and are more suitable to different people at different times. This is where having the guidance of a teacher helps enormously. But knowing many different practices and doing "what feels most charming" on a given day won't get you very far. It takes time and consistency to get the real benefits of any practice. 

The Path: What is the path towards becoming more "awake" // "self realized" // enlightened? What do you recommend for people holding normal jobs and living in a place like NYC?

Culadasa: The path to becoming "awake" // "self realized" // "enlightened" is one of developing powerful mindfulness on the cushion and applying it throughout your daily life, combined with the practice of virtue and compassion, and some degree of intellectual understanding of the delusion you are living in and the wisdom you seek. All of this can readily be accomplished by lay men and women with jobs and families, regardless of where they live. But notice the emphasis I put on doing these things in daily life. Don't compartmentalize, making meditation some separate activity you do for a little while every day. Extend it into every moment of your life. Then Insight will arise, mature, and give rise to that profound inner transformation we call Awakening. It's available to anyone who dedicates them self to it fully enough. You just have to make your job, family, and other worldly activities a part of your practice. And avoid the time-wasting, mindless, and unnecessary activities that consume most of the ordinary lay persons' lives.