The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
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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."

2022-02-24 What is Self-Compassion? Part 2 57:30
Eve Decker
This is the second of a two part series on why and how to practice Self-Compassion. The talk includes practice, working with resistance, and some of the research findings on this important topic.

2022-02-17 What is Self-Compassion? Part 1 57:10
Eve Decker
Eve Decker offers the first of a two part series on why and how to practice Self-Compassion. The talk includes practice, working with resistance, and some of the research findings on this important topic.

2022-02-10 The Practice of Letting Go 37:06
Ramona Lisa Ortiz-Smith
Ramona Oritz-Smith offers a talk on the nekkhamma, one of the ten paramis or perfections. Nekkhamma is usually translated as renunciation. However, the Buddha taught that practicing the nekkhamma is not a deprivation but rather brings great happiness when one experiences the freedom that comes from simplifying and letting go of our attachments. Ramona has been taking this on as a practice for the last two years and is happy to share what she's learned and invites us to explore this for ourselves.

2022-02-03 Intention: The Superpower that Precedes Action 57:10
Eve Decker
There is much in life we do not have power over. But practice helps us work skillfully with our own minds and hearts, and how we understand and navigate the world can make a huge difference in our well-being. This talk considers and practices the power of intention, one of the eight practices the Buddha taught as the path to freedom.

2022-01-27 Remembering Thich Nhat Hanh 51:02
James Baraz
The great Vietnamese Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, passed away on January 22nd at the age of 95. Thay, as he was known to his students, was one of the most influential Buddhist masters in modern times.We spend the evening exploring his teachings and honoring his spirit. A short clip of him teaching is included as part of the evening.

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