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Joseph Goldstein (born 1944) is one of the first American vipassana teachers (Fronsdal, 1998), co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) with Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg, contemporary author of numerous popular books on Buddhism (see publications below), resident guiding teacher at IMS, and leader of retreats worldwide on insight (vipassana) and lovingkindness (metta) meditation.

While the majority of Goldstein's publications introduce Westerners to primarily Theravada concepts, practices and values, his 2002 work, "One Dharma", explored the creation of an integrated framework for the Theravada, Tibetan and Zen traditions.



  • 1944: Born; grew up in the Catskill mountains of New York
  • 1960s: Graduated from Columbia University as a philosophy major
  • 1965: Entered the Peace Corps as a volunteer in Thailand where he first became interested in Buddhism; he later went on to live for eight years in Asia
  • 1974: Led meditation retreats fashioned after those of S.N. Goenka at Chogyam Trungpa's Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO., where he met Kornfield and Salzberg
  • 1975: Co-founded the IMS[1] in Barre, MA.
  • 1989: Helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies[2]
  • 1998: Co-founded the IMS Forest Refuge[3] for long-term personal retreats.


Since 1967, Goldstein has practiced different forms of Buddhist meditation under well-known teachers from India, Burma and Tibet. In his 2002 book, One Dharma, he lists his teachers (p. v) as:

Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche, Anagarika Sri Munindra, Sri S.N. Goenka, Mrs. Nani Bala Barua (Dipa Ma), Joshu Sasaki Roshi, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, the Venerable Sayadaw U Pandita, His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, and Tsoknyi Rinpoche.

Publications (partial list, in chronological order)

  • The Experience of Insight (1983)
  • Seeking the Heart of Wisdom (1987), with Jack Kornfield
  • Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom (1994)
  • Path of Insight Meditation (1995), with Jack Kornfield
  • Insight Meditation: A Step-By-Step Course on How to Meditate (2002), with Sharon Salzburg Sounds True
  • One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism (2002)
  • A Heart Full of Peace (2007)


Goldstein was honored by the New York Open Center [4] in 1999 for his "outstanding contribution to the mindfulness of the West."




External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Joseph Goldstein (born 1944) is one of the first American vipassana teachers, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS), contemporary author of numerous popular books on Buddhism, resident guiding teacher at IMS, and leader of retreats worldwide on insight (vipassana) and lovingkindness (metta) meditation.


  • When we look back at our experience, we can see so clearly its ephemeral, dreamlike nature. Yet when we look ahead, when we look to the future, somehow (and this is the great enchantment) we get dazzled by all the possibilities that are there waiting for us as if the next event in our lives, the next sitaution, the next project, the next reationship, the next meal, even on meditation the next breath ... we live our lives in anticipation of the next hit of experience as if the one that's coming will finally do it for us. What's so strange is that nothing up 'til now has brought that sense of real completion or fulfillment. So why are we so seduced into thinking that the next one will? This is a very strange phenomena.
    • Wisdom and Compassion [1]
  • The more we can be with our own difficulty, our own pain, the easier it is to be with the pain and difficulties of others.
    • Wisdom and Compassion [1]


  1. a b Wisdom and Compassion Talk by Joseph Goldstein. [1] (July 27, 2004)

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