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Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
Publicly available talks can be browsed here in the order indicated by the "Sort Order" selection. Talk titles and discriptions can also be searched by typing in a search word (or words) in the search box and clicking "Search Titles and Descriptions". With multiple words, only those talks containing all the given words are displayed.

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2022-05-05 Cultivating and Celebrating the Inner Wise and Loving "Parent" through the Brahma Viharas 56:41
Eve Decker
An exploration and practice of the Brahma Viharas. Loosely inspired by Mother's Day, this topic points to how these heart practices allow us to hold ourselves, our experience, and others with wisdom and care.

2022-04-28 Forgiveness: A Misunderstood Superpower 54:22
Eve Decker
An exploration and practice of forgiveness. Often misunderstood, our misgivings and concerns regarding forgiveness can prevent us from practicing it and experiencing the peace it can provide.

2022-04-21 Gratitude for Our Home: Celebrating Earth Day 51:34
James Baraz
This Earth Day week we share an evening of gratitude and celebration for our natural world. When we get in touch with our love for something we are more motivated to care for it. Rather than going into the dire situation that most of us are all too familiar with, we can get connected with the beauty of the world that is our home We share a clip on the natural world and the experience of gratitude, which starts with an adorable little girl talking about the wonder of exploring nature instead of watching a screen followed by Brother David Steindl-Rast on gratitude. Although it is audio only you can still here the magic in the words. To see the video here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpkEvBtyL7M

2022-04-14 Maranasati: Practice with Death and Dying 50:31
James Baraz
The Buddha suggested reflecting regularly on five aspects of life called the Five Reflections (also called the Five Remembrances). This talk focuses on what he called "the most supreme of all meditations": mindfulness of death or maranasati. Although contemplation of one's death might seem unsettling or scary, when undertaken as a conscious practice it can be extremely enlivening and even liberating.

2022-04-07 Clear Comprehension: The Buddha's Teaching on Four Different Elements of Practice 48:53
James Baraz
This talk explores the topic of Clear Comprehension (sampajañña in Pali) a powerful Dharma teaching on four different aspects of practice. In the Satipatthana Sutta the Discourse on the Four Foundation of Mindfulness, with regard to each foundation, the Buddha says the following: "Here, bhikkhus (practitioners), a bhikkhu (practitioner) lives contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief..." Clear comprehension means more than just having bare attention. Understanding and applying these four facets of Clear Comprehension can support a real deepening of our Dharma practice.

2022-03-31 Motivate Ourselves with Compassion Learn and Practice with the Power of Compassion 49:32
Eve Decker
Compassion is a central Buddhist teaching and practice. It is meant to be applied to all aspects of life, including our inner life. Many of us learned to motivate ourselves with critical inner language and tone. This creates an inner atmosphere where difficult emotions arise more easily. We can utilize compassion instead - and lift the well-being our whole inner life, while still motivating ourselves. The talk explores the difference between criticism and compassion in self-motivation, and how to use compassion as our guide rather than criticism.

2022-03-24 Creating Your Own Lovingkindness Phrases 53:40
Eve Decker
Lovingkindness meditation, or 'metta' (ancient Pali word for loving-kindness or friendliness), is a way of training the mind to be more loving and compassionate. The value of this is immense - a warmer, friendlier inner life and more skillful choices in the world. Technically, lovingkindness meditation uses phrases - language - as the vehicle of meditation. Buddhism provides traditional phrases that many people love, and we don't have to be limited by those phrases if they don't speak to us or if we want to try adding more personalized words.

2022-03-17 Calming the Anxious Mind: Skillful Practices for Anxiety 52:02
James Baraz
Many people are experiencing stress and anxiety these days. Heartbreaking scenes of victims of the Ukraine invasion and other conflicts, potential escalation of war, political divisiveness or personal challenges all create an atmosphere of tension that is in the air. How can we use our practice to calm the mind and create space to hold it all without getting overwhelmed?

2022-03-10 The Dharma of Good Leadership 57:27
James Baraz
When a leader has the welfare of the people as a priority the country prospers. When a leader cares only for themselves the country declines. This talk explores the Buddha's teaching on the qualities that make a good leader, the influence a leader has on the people and the story of an actual leader who underwent a transformation from a feared merciless ruler to one of great wisdom and compassion. We discuss how these teachings apply to our contemporary world.

2022-03-03 Sad Heart, Breaking Heart: Working with the Invasion of Ukraine 58:10
James Baraz
The news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is particularly sad and disturbing Although there are conflicts like this happening around the world, an unprovoked invasion from one of the strongest military countries in the world into a European country that could feasibly escalate into another world war is deeply unsettling. We explore as a community how our practice can help us hold all the feelings that may be arising. Includes a 7 minute clip of Joanna Macy explaining her Spiral from her "Work that Reconnects."

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