Practicing Real Happiness: A Conversation With Sharon Salzberg

imgres-1It was wonderful to talk to Sharon Salzberg, the renowned meditation teacher and bestselling author, about her new book series on Real Happiness.  I’ve known Sharon for 20 years and she is one of the most intelligent, kind hearted people ever (no surprise that a past book is titled A Heart As Wide As the World).  Here, we discuss what Sharon believes is “a serious need to redefine what people think of as happiness,” and how it feels to a pioneer in the mindfulness revolution sweeping the country.
Listen to a Conversation with Sharon Salzberg

“What’s Your Story?” Just Released

whats-your-story-fullsize I’m excited to announce that BetterListen! has just released my brand new, seven-part audio course called “What’s Your Story?: Discover Who You Are and What You Want Through the Power of Personal Writing,” as well as fifteen individual Seekers Forum Talks. They are offering one of these talks, “Awakening Genius,” for free in the month of October as well as a 30% discount on all items as part of the launch. Use this welcome code (markm30) and check out the catalogue at

The Art of Surrender

imagesSurrender has long been a dirty word in a culture steeped in do-or-die machismo, in which giving in — even when fighting is useless — is often seen as giving up. Yet most of the things that truly matter — love, art, awakening, service — require significant leaps of surrender. Here’s my column from this month’s Contemplative Journal.

“Writing Awake” at The Esalen Institute

IMG_1493-1 The “Writing Awake” workshop at Esalen this past weekend was wonderful. What a great group of people, remarkable stories, powerful writing, enormous candor, laughter, and insights. The Esalen campus is magnificent and a perfect backdrop for creative work. Our last morning there, we watched a pod of humpback whale mothers and their calves feeding in the ocean below. An awesome sight for all. Thank you to the 34 participants in this memorable workshop. Hope to see you again next year!

“Life Unplugged” in Contemplative Journal


Summer is the season for letting go. It’s our time to be unserious and reasonably irresponsible. “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability,” as Sam Keen says. Amen to that. In this month’s column in Contemplative Journal, I look at “Life Unplugged” and the fact that “your relationship to time may be, in fact, the most important relationship of your life.” I hope you enjoy the piece.  Click here to read. 

My Invisible Lover

56-18562-laura-1406743631Here’s my latest piece for Purple Clover.  It’s called “My Invisible Lover,” and tells the story of Laura Sauvebelle, my college French professor, literary mentor, and friend with memorable benefits.  When I moved to the south of France this summer, I hoped to find my old friend again but what awaited me was something I never expected.  Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you. Read the piece here.