The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
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2023-01-26 Why Intensive Practice 54:25
James Baraz
Going through the process of sitting in silence over a long period of time is a unique and profound experience. What happens on a month-long retreat and why do people do it? Though it is not possible for everyone to get away for that length of time or have the desire to do it, the principles shared can be applied to shorter retreats as well
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2023-01-12 Motivation from the Heart: The Place of Devotion in our Practice 53:50
James Baraz
Devotion is not a topic often spoken of in our Buddhist community. Yet it plays a significant role in monastic communities and Tibetan practices. The Buddha spoke of Saddha, one's heartfelt connection to practice as one of the Five Spiritual Faculties and Powers. Devotion can be a major source of inspiration which can fuel our practice. How can we access it and have it moisten and bring juice to our practice - even for those not naturally inclined that way.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2023-01-05 "The Stress Prescription" 59:35
Elissa Epel and James Baraz
James and guest Elissa Epel, talk about her new book The Stress Prescription. Elissa is a long-time practitioner, highly-respected researcher and Professor and Vice Chair of UCSF's Department of Psychiatry. Here is James' book endorsement: “I love this book! Backed by solid scientific research, Elissa Epel’s engaging, user-friendly, down-to-earth style is at once practical, convincing, and motivating. This is more than just another stress-reduction book—The Stress Prescription makes you feel like you’ve gotten the secret keys to ease and contentment. I enthusiastically recommend it!”
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2022-12-29 Endings and Beginnings: A Ritual for the New Year 39:30
James Baraz
An end of year reflection and ritual that includes letting go of the past--not the lessons but the baggage that may come with them--and visioning the future--what we want to create for ourselves moving forward.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2022-12-22 Celebrating Solstice: Honoring the Duality of Light in the Midst of Darkness 53:41
James Baraz
We explore going through the dark as an essential element of coming into the light. How can we grow through our own journey of facing challenges while staying committed to facing in the direction of greater light.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2022-12-08 Soulful Way to Work with Dukkha 64:10
Alexa Redner
Join guest speaker, Alexa Redner, in exploring classical practices of finding freedom from suffering as well exploring pathways to creating beautiful and meaningful relationships with the challenges of life
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2022-11-17 Confidence and Humility: It's Not about Me 51:07
James Baraz
The Buddhist writer Wei Wu Wei wrote: "True humility is the absence of anyone to be proud." We are often humbled by life. How we handle it can either lead to defeat or profound growth. We explore how being humbled can deepen our capacity to open to all of our experience and strengthen our confidence and trust as we align ourselves with something greater than ourselves.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2022-11-03 What is Compassionate Action for You? 56:23
Eve Decker
What inspires your kindness? How can your practice support you? As the mid-term election approaches, if you are feeling distressed with so much at stake we reflect on this moment and beyond. Amid the noise and overwhelm, we will gather to touch some quietness, connect, and re-imagine the moment.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2022-10-26 Disidentifying from Non-Helpful Thoughts 55:25
Eve Decker
Peace can be available when we learn not to take our own thoughts personally. The Buddha taught "non-attachment to views"; which can include momentary views about ourselves, others and life that upset us. A look at some concrete ways to practice non-identification from non-helpful thoughts.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2022-10-20 Anything Can Happen at Anytime: Holding Loss with a Tender Heart 53:46
James Baraz
Our Dharma community is processing sad news this week that has sent a shock wave through the sangha. One of our respected teachers who led movement at many Spirit Rock retreats and mentored many students in the practice took her life after a long bout with health issues that affected her mental well-being. A truism of the law of impermanence is that "anything can happen at any time." I want to use this event as an opportunity to explore how the practice can help support us when a sudden major loss happens.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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