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Boorstein studied with Dipa Ma and is a co-founding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California and a senior teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts.
All four of Boorstein's grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Boorstein grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Barnard College. After moving to California in 1961, Boorstein earned a master's degree in social work from the University of California Berkeley in 1967.
She has written numerous books such as It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness, That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist, Don't Just Do Something, Sit There and How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers with Toni Bernhard.
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- "About Sylvia Boorstein". Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- "Sylvia Boorstein". Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW). Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- "What Dipa Ma taught Sylvia Boorstein about the mind of equanimity". Lion's Roar. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- "History of Spirit Rock". Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Cochran, Tracy (Spring 1996). "It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness". Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Marks, Richard G. (Spring 1999). "Review: Jewish-Buddhist Meetings". Shofar. Purdue University Press. 17 (3): 93–98. doi:10.1353/sho.1999.0005. JSTOR 42942901. S2CID 170268171.
- Meade Sperry, Rod (25 August 2009). "Sylvia Boorstein on the meaning of "Don't Just Do Something, Sit There"". Lion's Roar. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- "Learning To Live A Full Life With Chronic Illness". NPR. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 2 November 2018.