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Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (both in Barre, Massachusetts), has been leading retreats in the vipassana tradition of Southeast Asia for nearly twenty years. His teachers include Anagarika Munindra, S. N. Goenka, Dipa Ma, and the Venerable V Pandita Sayadaw of Burma. He is the author of The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation and co-author of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation. His new book, Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom, was published by Shambhala in the fall.

This interview was conducted by editor Helen Tworkov at IMS in October.

Tricycle: After leading nineteen three-month retreats, what inspires you to keep at it?

Goldstein: In the last few years I’ve taken more time, two or three months each year, to reimmerse myself in practice in an intensive way. It is tremendously energizing to reconnect to what the teaching is all about, to why I got into it in the first place.

Tricycle: What is it all about?

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