The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
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2022-01-20 Equanimity with Uncertainty: Finding Balance in Difficult Times 51:13
James Baraz
Equanimity or Upekkha is a highly valued quality in Buddhist teachings. It is one of the Four Divine Abodes, one of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, one of the Ten Perfections and on a number of other lists. When highly developed it is the precursor to the experience of awakening. But what is equanimity? How can we cultivate it in our meditation practice? Even more, how can we access it in our daily life, especially in times like these with so much uncertainty, fear and sadness over the suffering in the world? We will explore various aspects of equanimity that can be pragmatically applied to our life off the cushion.

2022-01-13 Mindfulness, Gratitude, and Well-Being The Causal Relationship Between Awareness, Appreciation, and Peace 57:01
Eve Decker
Many of the practices taught by the Buddha support and overlap each other. Some are causative factors for others to arise. This evening we will reflect on some of the ways mindfulness practice can lead to greater levels of appreciation and awe, and how appreciation impacts our felt sense of ease in life.

2022-01-06 Determination: Practices to Support Reaching Our Goals 55:34
Eve Decker
"Determination" is one of ten "Perfections of the Heart" taught by the Buddha. How do we employ it in our journey toward wisdom, compassion, and freedom? In this time of New Year's resolutions, Eve reflects on practices that can keep us on our path or get us back more quickly when we fall to the side.

2021-12-30 New Year's Gathering: Letting Go and Moving On 51:53
James Baraz
As the year comes to an end, we mark and celebrate this transition point by reflecting on where we are in our lives and consciously get in touch with our vision for the coming year. The Buddha talked about the power of having Wise Intention and "Clear Comprehension of Purpose" to keep us facing in the right direction. As a community we can support each other through reflecting on what we've learned in 2021 and share a ritual to call forth our vision for the coming year.

2021-12-23 Winter Solstice and Holidays: A Time to Keep the Heart Open 53:11
James Baraz
When the days are shortest and darkness is all around, we have holidays to help us remember the light. In this talk we reflect on the heart practices of gratitude, forgiveness and love that help us stay connected to the light inside and around us.

2021-12-09 Lovingkindness - Why and How 57:03
Eve Decker
Eve Decker takes a deep look (including songs) at the practice of lovingkindness: What it is (and isn't), what supports it, how to make it your own, and why you might want to do that!

2021-12-02 Women’s Bodies: How mindfulness and compassion can help us heal the effects of toxic messaging 57:48
Eve Decker
There is an unintentional but unfortunate blend in mainstream culture of patriarchy (“a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property”) and consumerism (“the preoccupation of society with the acquisition of consumer goods. The need to sell things.”) This combination has led to decades of massive cultural messaging around “ideal” female bodies that are both childlike and sexualized. Eve Decker takes a look at how this messaging affects our thinking minds and how Buddhist practices can help us heal.

2021-11-18 Buddhist Responses to Aging 59:46
Eve Decker
What are the Buddhist responses to aging - our own aging and that of those around us? What teachings and practices are there that can help us feel more peace with aging. This talk offers perspectives and practices that can help support ease around the issue.

2021-11-11 Letting Your Heartbreak Open to Active Hope 53:05
James Baraz
How can we keep open and stay engaged when our hearts are breaking and we just want to shut down? How can we cultivate a "no-matter-what commitment" as Terry Patten teaches? How can we develop "Active Hope" as Joanna Macy calls it. That is the topic of this week's exploration. The talk includes a powerful 20-minute conversation between Joanna Macy and Thanissara that took place a month before this recording.

2021-11-04 Showing Up for Reality with Humility and Grace: Terry Patten's Last Teaching 50:16
James Baraz
Beloved Philosopher, Teacher and Sacred Activist Terry Patten sadly passed away a few days before this talk. His last book, A New Republic of the Heart, is an inspiring teaching on how to face the global crises we are in. As he went through his own final journey he shared how one can face death with courage, wonder, grace and trust. It was a blueprint for how to meet the pain and sorrow of the world with those same qualities. This talk includes a powerful, clear, deeply moving clip excerpt of Terry's last teaching a week before he passed plus some of his teachings that have touched so many.

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