Larry Rosenberg is the founder of the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center (CIMC) and a guiding teacher of Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. His new book,Breath by Breath, was recently published by Shambhala. Born to Russian-Jewish immigrants in 1932, Rosenberg grew up in Brooklyn; his father, who had Marxist leanings, came from fourteen generations of rabbis, but thought “that only an idiot goes into religion.”
Rosenberg went to Brooklyn College, and received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Chicago. A highly coveted job in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School followed. But this turned out to be a “staggering” disappointment and he returned to the University of Chicago, where he began to experiment with hallucinogens. During a trip to Mexico in the 1960s, he met a cowboy turned holy man who told him, “Don’t waste your time with drugs; you should start meditating.”
Thirty-five years later, Rosenberg is sitting in a wing chair in CIMC, talking to Tricycle’s contributing editor Amy Gross about the evolution of his own practice.
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