The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
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2022-06-02 Resting with Impermanence Riding the Waves of Change 51:10
Eve Decker
Things are constantly changing. Using mindfulness to bring attention to this reality is a reliable way to teach the mind to bring endurance and compassion to difficult times, and to savor and be nourished by pleasant moments. When the mind can see for itself that everything is changing all the time, it can become less reactive, more responsive, and better at letting go.

2022-05-26 Songs and Poems to Support Practice 56:10
Eve Decker
There is great value in memorizing wisdom teachings. It gives the mind access to support when a teacher, spiritual friend, or book isn't readily available. One easy and fun way to log wise teachings into long term memory is through songs and poems with messages of mindfulness, lovingkindness, compassion and more. Eve shares several that came up supportively on her recent two week retreat; and you are warmly welcome to bring a practice-supporting poem or song as well.

2022-05-19 The Problem with Resisting Reality: The Possibility of Real Freedom 52:21
James Baraz
As much as we would like things to be a certain way, we have limited control over the way things are. Even though that may be apparent to all Dharma students who have some practice under their belt, the mind still gets caught in the habit of attachment to things being a certain way. This week we will explore what gets in the way, how we can open to the way things really are and the radical shift that can occur within us when we see through this self-created prison.

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.

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