Sharon Gutterman has been a teacher of meditation and mindfulness for over a decade, and has been leading workshops, retreats and the eight-week MBSR program at Copper Beech Institute since our doors opened in 2014. Many of our guests have begun their practice with Sharon and been inspired by her teaching, and many more are yet to come!
Get to know more about Sharon as she shares what moves her in life and in her role as teacher.
My favorite time of day is … morning — because I feel grateful, curious, and excited wondering how the day will unfold.
I started practicing mindfulness …15 years ago. Changes occurred in my life at that time that confused and scared me. I lost my sense of purpose. I went with my husband to a yoga class, and I also began meditating and journaling daily. I read voraciously about Buddhism and loved memoirs about people’s transformative experiences. When I came across Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, that clinched the deal. My husband and I attended an intensive retreat led by Jon and his colleague Saki Santorelli. From then on, I’ve been a committed student and practitioner of Buddhist psychology. Doors have opened that I would never have dreamed could have opened for me.
Three things I can't live without are … 1) getting a kick out of the irony of life, 2) books, and 3) my sitting practice.
I teach mindfulness because … I can relate to the universality of what it feels like to suffer and be confused, and because I’ve come to see we all have innate tools to help us get through tough times. I particularly appreciate the concept that what we think affects how we feel as well as the reminder to savor the present moment.
I feel a sense of authenticity about myself as a teacher. I try to practice what I teach. It’s gratifying to literally see people change. And, I’ve become good friends with several of my students. Teaching mindfulness at Copper Beech is a privilege and a joy.
Three things that I never would’ve thought I’d be doing … 1) teaching in prisons, 2) teaching on a cruise ship, and 3) living in Connecticut and loving it!
I’m inspired by … people’s courage.
My guilty pleasure is … coffee first thing in the morning and reality TV shows.
The best advice I ever got was … “The best teachers have a great sense of humor.”
The most important things on my bucket list are … doing all I can to be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy, maintaining loving relationships with my husband, children, and grandchildren, and being open to new experiences.
The last thing I do at night is … either write in my gratitude journal or mentally identify five things I’m grateful for that day.