Author | Speaker | Strategist
• Be Who You Are •
At the age of 5, I knew two things: I was going to travel the world, and be of benefit to everyone I met. Growing up was a painful process fraught with parents getting divorced, grandparents dying and my mom kicking me out of the house at 18 because I was dating an older woman. There were good things too, like learning the joy of good soil, the depth of a strong musical discipline, and the love of spiritual exploration. But, as soon as I could, I flew the coop and traveled. I was taken in by dozens of strangers who confirmed for me that auspicious coincidence is real, and true delight comes with connection.
From so much pain, the next step on my journey was falling deeply down the well of contemplative practice through the Shambhala Buddhist meditation lineage, which I deepened through my time at Naropa University and later on the Shambhala path of practice and study. In the last few years, that path crumbled with #metoo...
I've been practicing meditation now for over two decades. And all along the way, I've gathered tools, skills, connections and creative passions. It's only in the last few years that all of it is starting to make sense. I am finally starting to come out to the world again as a queer and quirky person who has climbed over mountains of pain and lived to tell the tale in order to look back and shine the light for you on your journey.
I know this is true: when we allow ourselves the gift of being who we are, we shine with genuine presence, and our every action becomes of benefit to the wider world.
This truth forms the foundation of all of my work and it is my deep honor and privelage to walk that journey with you. See below for ways to walk with me.
updated: 1 day ago
– Jenny Dunham, Dunham Brothers Painting, Cabot, VT
– Gabe Lajeunesse, Financial Advisor, Montpelier, VT
I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with Sarah on numerous occasions. In her leadership role, she has impressed me more than once with her ability to face challenging situations with a calm presence and strong integrity. Sarah carries an energy that has beautiful depth and understanding, which she compliments quite nicely with her excellent organizational skills and extensive knowledge. I highly recommend her, she is a great asset and resource to everyone she works with.
– Mary Mulally, Hunger Mountain Coop, Montpelier, VT
It’s time for YOU! Sarah Lipton’s presence-centered contemplative training and leadership mentoring has changed the way I perceive myself and recognize where I am, helped me clarify what I want and prioritize my actions, and has taught me to appreciate my achievements with joy and confidence. I've worked with Sarah for nearly a year and am so grateful for her support. Sarah has become my most trusted personal and professional resource.
– Shawn Shouldice, Strategic Communications Expert, Cape Cod, RI
– Jim Infantino, Slabmedia, Boston, MA
Being with Sarah is a transmission. Those in leadership positions are conditioned to think they need to have the right answers, the plan, and the way forward. However, The Presence Point challenges individuals and organizations to take an approach that is more radical. When we encounter a person who is naturally vibrant and aware, we are compelled to look to them for direction. But how do we become this kind of person? Sarah works not by building up her clients' credentials, but through helping them train in fearless authenticity, which includes a willingness to be vulnerable. Her approach teaches that, in fact, vulnerability is a fundamental ingredient to inspiring and leading others. To work this deeply, many people require a mentor and guide. Sarah's warm and gentle style supports people to make this kind of daring leap.
– Sara Lewis, PhD, MSW, University of Oregon
Sarah did an excellent job guiding our team through a recent team-building workshop. Despite many challenges, MIFH really shines, but medical work is still overwhelming. It was, therefore, quite helpful to have a few hours devoted to looking at how we are taking care of ourselves and each other. To take the time to acknowledge group strengths is actually quite strengthening! Learning breathing exercises and how to acknowledge each other with a smile and a nod helped demonstrate how we can increase awareness of support without having to 'do' anything - which is necessary in an already stressed environment. Since the workshop, I have noticed folks going out of their way to smile at each other, stop and check-in and acknowledge each other’s hard work. In short, Sarah was upbeat, bright and enthusiastic (but not overly so) and it was a warm, engaging, re-energizing workshop. This hit the mark!
– K.J. Nurse Practitioner, Montpelier Integrative Family Medicine, Central Vermont Medical Center, University of Vermont Health Network
Sarah has been my meditation instructor now for many years, and in many ways has become a leadership mentor for me in my life. I have seen her wisdom and brilliance shine through while she has journeyed with me through the vast terrain of my own mind as I navigate the world. She has warmth, but also the sharpness to cut through confusion. She has vision and clarity, but also spaciousness and a sense of joy and fun. Working with her is pure joy, and leadership through presence is something she is expert in. I highly recommend her – she is excellent at what she does. She will help you tap into the well of goodness and presence inside of you – the place where true leadership is born.
– Dr. Angela Borges, Boston, MA
The class I took from Sarah focused on embodiment—being present in my body in order to more directly and fully experience my reality. This focus was perfect for me because I am a person who spends most of my time living up in my head. I have been involved with academics all my life, first as a student and for the past twenty years as a teacher, and this profession has enhanced my natural tendency to spend a great deal of time THINKING about the world and breaking it down in terms of academic disciplines and concepts and theories. My habitual pattern is to intellectualize my experience rather than actually FEELING my experience as it happens. Sarah’s Presence Point class was very challenging for me, but also extremely enlightening. It was wonderful to dedicate time and take part in activities that encouraged me to simply FEEL my body and how it interacts with the world. Throughout the class, Sarah was an energetic, compassionate and knowledgeable teacher and leader. I would recommend her services to anyone wanting to develop the capacity to experience the world more fully and richly.
– J. Bradley Materick, Burlington, VT
The work I have explored with Sarah through her mapping process has revealed new pathways of thinking, professional opportunities, and skills necessary to manage the transitions I am facing. I have found the exercises meaningful and illuminating, and Sarah's skillful leadership has helped me uncover new passions, abilities, and interests. I am excited to greet this new phase of my life and career, and know I am capable of making a great transition, thanks to all I have learned from The Presence Point.
– Sandy Barry, Portland, ME
– Jeff Bassman, Digital Producer, Best Year of Your Life Summit
Sarah is very skilled in empowering her clients to rouse the powers of stillness and intuitive self-reflection. Using the awareness of commonplace feelings (your feet on the floor, legs on the chair), she guides you to deeply look at your feelings, goals, motivations, and abilities in the same gentle, positive, friendly, yet ordinary way. By showing you how to develop a practice of making your inner workings accessible, you begin to see quickly what is helpful, and what is maybe getting you stuck. You can approach your opportunities and obstacles in a dignified and elegant way.
– Jim Katz, Northgate Software, Inc., Boston, MA
– Tori Jones, Inside Sales Manager, SunCommon, Waterbury, VT
– Molly H. Bumpas, MEd, CCC/SLP, BCBA, Program Director, Sd Associates, LLC, Williston, VT
– Amy Perry, NAMI Vermont (National Alliance on Mental Illness of Vermont)
– Erin Lander, Founder at Good Culture Works
Sarah's leadership mentoring skills are exceptional. She has a unique ability to draw out insights through conversation, art, guided meditation, and creative exploration of past and present relationships in business. Ultimately, my sessions with her resulted in a new, more creative direction for my business. As a side benefit, we are continuing to work together collaboratively on projects that involve storytelling through different forms of digital media.
– Lee Purcell, Owner, Lightspeed Publishing, LLC
– Amy Wheeler, The Acupuncture Works, St. Johnsbury, VT
– Emma Cataford, Gampo Abbey, Nova Scotia
I have known Sarah and her work in my capacity as the President of Shambhala. We are a global network that offers contemplative practices for people from all walks of life, interested in creating enlightened society. We needed an online community news magazine to serve our worldwide members. Once “Shambhala Times” was developed, we needed a creative, inspiring and determined editor-in-chief to spearhead it. That person was Sarah. To do that, she had to create an international team of volunteer correspondents, editors and photographers.
That meant reaching out, guiding, encouraging and sustaining a whole team, essentially by phone, skype, email and social media. She was not able to offer any inducements, like money or awards. She had to make this happen on the strength of her leadership, the warmth of her personality and the delight people felt in working with her and contributing to the project. The results have spoken for themselves. We started with a handful of articles and photos. Today, a new feature story appears six days a week, and the site is visited an average of 10,000 times a week. True to the original inspiration of a community news magazine, at least 98% of all Shambhala Times 2,645 stories have been by local community members. I need say nothing more. Sarah’s leadership speaks for itself.
– Richard Reoch, London, UK
– Ella Reznikova, Barnet, VT
Whenever I am around Sarah, I find myself softly able to be more grounded, present in my body, and able to open my heart. I’ve always knows that I could come to Sarah with my most difficult and intimate personal challenges, and that her gentle approach will help me touch my own wisdom. She acted as the officiant and advisor for my marriage, and was integral to leading all of our guests (and us!) to be be able to relax into one of the most precious moments in my memory. She’s incredible!
– Dr. Sarah Kimball, Boston, MA
– Joe Snowdon, Boston, MA