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Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
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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.

2021-10-28 Am I Enough? 53:06
James Baraz
A great Zen treatise says that someone truly enlightened is "without anxiety about non-perfection." It's no wonder that, with such impossible standards that most people hold themselves to, they always seem to fall short. How is it that others can so easily see our goodness while we're often the last ones to see our "True Nature"? The talk includes a short excerpt of Ram Dass sharing his primary practice to remember who we really are.

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?

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