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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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2020-09-17 Holding a Positive Vision 53:47
  James Baraz
It seems like an accomplishment just getting through such tumultuous times--wildfires on the West Coast, storms around the country, coronavirus lockdown and the US in daily chaos. It would be understandable to succumb to anxiety and overwhelm. But as the Buddha taught, practice is about overcoming negative thoughts when they arise and cultivating wholesome thoughts and mind-states. We will explore the importance of holding a positive vision even through the storm.

2020-09-03 The Buddha as a Social Activist. 43:20
  James Baraz
Sometimes the teachings seem to suggest a life of withdrawing from the world. But the Buddha himself was an example of engagement and could even be called a political revolutionary. As we try to sort out how to apply the teachings, (including duties of a good ruler) to contemporary issues, it can help to see his teachings in that light.

2020-08-27 Keeping Your Heart Open 57:24
  James Baraz
It seems like we're collectively going through an intense initiation in so many ways--the wildfires, the virus, racial injustice, economic collapse and an election fraught with acrimony. The Buddha taught: "Hatred never ceases from hatred. Hatred only ceases from love." How can the teachings support us to skillfully keep our hearts open not only to those suffering but those who, through ignorance, cause suffering as well?

2020-08-13 Resilience 45:21
  James Baraz
Resilience

2020-08-06 Keep Out the Hate, Let in the Love 46:19
  James Baraz
How can we prevent succumbing to all the negativity around us--messages of fear, hatred or despair from the media or people in our lives? Can we protect ourselves and process the very real issues facing us while letting ourselves still be nourished by the goodness that's around us?

2020-07-17 We Are What we Think 54:12
  James Baraz
The Buddha taught: "We are what we think. With our thoughts we make the world." We will explore mana or "the conceit of I am" and how we construct a sense of self with our mind. Based on how we see ourselves or how we compare with others, mana or the conceit of “I am” is born. This tendency leads to "The Three Conceits: I am superior, I am inferior, I am equal to." If we're not mindful, we then erroneously proceed to make a permanent, solid entity of self. We explore how not seeing this clearly creates suffering and how we can free ourselves of this self-constructed suffering.
IMCB Regular Talks

2020-07-10 How Not to Be a Hot Mess 63:15
  James Baraz
Devon and Craig Hase join James in sharing about their new book How Not to Be a Hot Mess: A Survival Guide for Modern Life. The book offers a playful exploration of living a life of Integrity based on the teachings of the Buddha. Devon and Craig lead meditation retreats throughout North America and Europe. Devon teaches at the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock. Craig spent six years in a Zen monastery and teaches mindfulness meditation, and dharma full time.
IMCB Regular Talks

2020-07-03 Applying Early Buddhist Perspective to Contemporary Issues 55:09
  James Baraz
Ven. Bhikkhu Analayo has just written an essay exploring how the early Buddhist perspective shows that diversity work can become an integral part of the Buddhist path of practice. We will explore some of Ven. Analayo's ideas and see how we can apply them in our own practice. We'll also touch a recent article by Bhikkhu Bodhi, another esteemed Buddhist scholar, entitled "From Tragedy to Hope: Reflections on the Killing of George Floyd".
IMCB Regular Talks

2020-06-18 Racism and White Privilege - Part 3: Working with Guilt and Shame 52:18
  James Baraz
The Buddha spoke of hiri and ottappa (Shame and Dread) as "The Guardians of the World." These are considered two wholesome states as they can prevent us from engaging in unskillful actions. But guilt and shame associated with internalized racism can paralyze us or put up walls of resistance. This is especially true if we take those feelings personally and blame ourselves for the cultural conditioning we're shaped by. How can we work skillfully with those natural and understandable reactions?
IMCB Regular Talks

2020-06-11 Racism and White Privilege with Special Guest Deb Kerr - Part 2 57:13
  James Baraz
We will continue our exploration of Racial Justice and White Privilege with Deb Kerr. who led us in a rich discussion last week. Deb is a core teacher at East Bay Meditation Center where she is a co-founder of EBMC and has served on the EBMC Board. Deb will offer teachings on how educating ourselves about race relates to and is an extension of dharma practice and how it connects the dots to the larger picture of systemic change.
IMCB Regular Talks

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