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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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2023-01-05 "The Stress Prescription" 59:35
Elissa Epel and James Baraz
James and guest Elissa Epel, talk about her new book The Stress Prescription. Elissa is a long-time practitioner, highly-respected researcher and Professor and Vice Chair of UCSF's Department of Psychiatry. Here is James' book endorsement: “I love this book! Backed by solid scientific research, Elissa Epel’s engaging, user-friendly, down-to-earth style is at once practical, convincing, and motivating. This is more than just another stress-reduction book—The Stress Prescription makes you feel like you’ve gotten the secret keys to ease and contentment. I enthusiastically recommend it!”

2022-12-29 Endings and Beginnings: A Ritual for the New Year 39:30
James Baraz
An end of year reflection and ritual that includes letting go of the past--not the lessons but the baggage that may come with them--and visioning the future--what we want to create for ourselves moving forward.

2022-12-22 Celebrating Solstice: Honoring the Duality of Light in the Midst of Darkness 53:41
James Baraz
We explore going through the dark as an essential element of coming into the light. How can we grow through our own journey of facing challenges while staying committed to facing in the direction of greater light.

2022-12-08 Soulful Way to Work with Dukkha 64:10
Alexa Redner
Join guest speaker, Alexa Redner, in exploring classical practices of finding freedom from suffering as well exploring pathways to creating beautiful and meaningful relationships with the challenges of life

2022-11-17 Confidence and Humility: It's Not about Me 51:07
James Baraz
The Buddhist writer Wei Wu Wei wrote: "True humility is the absence of anyone to be proud." We are often humbled by life. How we handle it can either lead to defeat or profound growth. We explore how being humbled can deepen our capacity to open to all of our experience and strengthen our confidence and trust as we align ourselves with something greater than ourselves.

2022-11-03 What is Compassionate Action for You? 56:23
Eve Decker
What inspires your kindness? How can your practice support you? As the mid-term election approaches, if you are feeling distressed with so much at stake we reflect on this moment and beyond. Amid the noise and overwhelm, we will gather to touch some quietness, connect, and re-imagine the moment.

2022-10-26 Disidentifying from Non-Helpful Thoughts 55:25
Eve Decker
Peace can be available when we learn not to take our own thoughts personally. The Buddha taught "non-attachment to views"; which can include momentary views about ourselves, others and life that upset us. A look at some concrete ways to practice non-identification from non-helpful thoughts.

2022-10-20 Anything Can Happen at Anytime: Holding Loss with a Tender Heart 53:46
James Baraz
Our Dharma community is processing sad news this week that has sent a shock wave through the sangha. One of our respected teachers who led movement at many Spirit Rock retreats and mentored many students in the practice took her life after a long bout with health issues that affected her mental well-being. A truism of the law of impermanence is that "anything can happen at any time." I want to use this event as an opportunity to explore how the practice can help support us when a sudden major loss happens.

2022-10-13 It's Never Too Late: Responding Wisely with Unskillful Habits 26:17
James Baraz
Do you ever act on behaviors that you know don't support well-being but you choose to act on them anyway? I'm sure we all do. But how can we skillfully relate to that after the fact without self-judgment or self-recrimination? What are practices and teachings that help us to be patient as we go through this process of purification?

2022-10-06 From Heartbreak to Compassionate Action 55:06
James Baraz
Kaye Cleave is a sangha member and film producer of the award-winning movie Catherine's Kindergarten. Catherine’s Kindergarten is the story of Kaye's emotional journey to confront her grief after the death of her only child, juxtaposed with her physical journey to a Nepalese mountain village to open a school in memory of her daughter. It is a truly moving experience. I'm proud to be part of Kaye's journey and in the film. Kaye will share some of her story of how the practice helped her process her grief and transform it into compassionate action. We share a clip of the movie and discuss the process of how we can turn heartbreak into meaning.

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