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Joseph Goldstein Interview

Paper Frog links to a Slate.com video interview with Joseph Goldstein, who has been teaching at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts for many years. Robert Wright, the interviewer, who obviously has an interest in meditation, isn't afraid to ask the probing, naive, or self-interested questions. It's a good watch, particularly if you're new to meditation, or have questions and concerns about it. While Goldstein's approach has a Buddhist flavor to it, the interview contains a lot of insights.

Here's one exchange I like, as taken from a transcript of the interview, in which Goldstein elaborates on the difference between detachment and non-attachment:

Joseph Goldstein: ...This could be clarified by the distinction of two words which often get confused. You know often people understand in Buddhism that there's a great value on detachment and that sounds a little grey. You know just to be detached from everything.

Robert Wright: Right.

JG: That's not what the teaching is about. The teaching is about non-attachment. Detachment implies a sense of withdrawal.

RW: Withdrawal from?

JG: From whatever.

RW: Including joy, including...

JG: Anything!

RW: Right.

JG: It's like a pulling away from. Non-attachment doesn't imply withdrawal it simply implies not holding on. So that's a very different experience, it's a very different mind-set. That's really what we're practicing.

Technical note, watching the interview on a Mac, I was only successful using the Real Player option.

June 26, 2006 | Meditation | Permalink



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