The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
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2021-10-14 Letting Go of Knowing: Loving The Mystery: 49:08
James Baraz
This talk explores the freedom that comes from letting go of our attachments to ideas. As the 3rd Zen Patriarch of China said, "Do not search for the truth. Only cease to cherish opinions." What benefit can there be when we truly let go of thinking we know how things really are?

2021-10-07 Emptiness and the Big Perspective 50:29
James Baraz
The Heart Sutra teaching famously states: "Form is Emptiness Emptiness is Form." This liberating perspective is the gateway to understanding the inter-connectedness of all phenomena and the spaciousness and freedom that comes from seeing our place in the bigger scheme of things. The talk includes a recording of Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweikart's moving account of the profound shift he experienced upon seeing the Earth from outer space.

2021-09-30 Right Livelihood: Exploring Work as part of our Spiritual Path 54:17
Della Z Duncan
Della Duncan, a Renegade Economist, Right Livelihood Coach, and the host of the Upstream Podcast whose work is deeply inspired by Buddhist Economics explores the “Right Livelihood” virtue of the Buddah’s Eightfold Noble Path, both philosophically as well as practically in our own lives. For a supplement to the conversation, here is an article Della co-wrote on the subject with Mark Phillips, “Cultivating Right Livelihood: Work as a Spiritual Path and a Vehicle for Economics Systems Change.”

2021-09-23 Seeing Beyond the Mask: Looking Past Our Assumptions 53:33
James Baraz
In his teaching on the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha describes in the Second Noble Truth four kinds of attachments that cause suffering. One of these is attachment to ideas and opinions. We explore this topic of looking beyond our views and opinions that are causing so much divisiveness and separation in these pandemic days.

2021-09-16 Anything Can Happen at Anytime: Working with Uncertainty 49:16
James Baraz
We explore the topic of dealing with uncertainty. Although we never know what lies ahead, at this time the feeling of uncertainty is highlighted in a more acute way globally than ever before. What will happen next with the virus and its variants? Will people get vaccinated or will the anti-vax information continue to influence people's choices? What about climate disruption? Will we collectively wake up to the reality in time to keep from heading over the cliff of self-destruction? What does the Dharma offer us to wisely work with this unknown reality?

2021-09-09 Three Practices to Support Equanimity 51:41
Eve Decker
Eve Decker shares three practices that support the quality of equanimity - balance in the midst of life as it is. Eve offers a reflection, instruction, practice, and song to support our deepening in this wonderful energy of well-being.

2021-08-26 Dharma Songs: Listen to and Sing the Dharma 53:09
Eve Decker
Eve Decker and her mom, Eleanor Decker offer songs that convey dharma themes. Eve's mom, Eleanor, has been singing all her life, brought her kids up singing, and co-leads the Valley of the Moon Threshold Choir.Threshold Choirs are predominantly women and sing at the bedsides of the dying. Eve has been writing songs on dharma themes and collecting dharma-themed songs, for many years. Come sing your dharma!

2021-08-19 R.A.I.N. Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture 56:15
Eve Decker
Eve Decker offers teaching on the practice of R.A.I.N. - Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture This acronym, coined by teacher Michelle McDonald and further developed by Tara Brach can be a very useful tool to help us meet difficult situations, both on and off the cushion, with skillfulness.

2021-08-12 The Buddha's Teaching on How Practice Unfolds: The Five Spiritual Faculties 54:11
James Baraz
The Five Spiritual Faculties is a central teaching of the Buddha that explains how the practice develops and unfolds: This classical list of five qualities expresses both the importance of balance as well as a natural progression of development with one quality leading to the next.

2021-07-29 Different Lenses, Different Realities 46:36
James Baraz
When people ask, "How are you?" it depends on what lens we're looking at life through. The personal lens evokes a very different response than the societal one. This talk explores how we can hold different realities in our minds and hearts at the same time. Also the compassion that comes from understanding that each person has their own reality that makes sense to them.

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