The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
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2022-06-16 Amazing Grace: Why Do Some People Turn Their Suffering into Compassion While Others Become Embittered? 50:41
James Baraz
In one discourse the Buddha taught that suffering can be a causative factor for faith to arise. However, that is not always the case. In fact, often suffering leads to bitterness, fear, and ill will. Why is it that, for some people, suffering is the catalyst to begin their spiritual journey and for others it's leads to negative patterns that contribute to a society filled with divisiveness, fear and "othering." We'll explore this mysterious process
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2022-06-12 The Five Daily Reflections 52:53
James Baraz
A follow up to a recent talk that focused on death and dying. This talk explores the other four of the Five Daily Reflections (also known as the Five Remembrances): aging, illness, loss and karma. It includes practices and discussion on how we can include them regularly in our Dharma practice, which the Buddha highly recommended.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2022-06-09 5 Methods to Work with Troublesome Thoughts: MN #20: Vitakkasanthana Sutta 49:43
James Baraz
The Buddha gave a teaching on five different methods he recommended to work with disturbing thoughts. When we are mindful of the thinking process it's possible to see thoughts simply as mental fabrications. However, when we get caught in them and the body gets activated, we spin out in the story and are caught in a negative emotional response. We become identified with those mental formations and can more easily get lost. When that happens, the Buddha offers these five strategies as skillful techniques to deal with the confused mind.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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