The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
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2022-01-27 Remembering Thich Nhat Hanh 51:02
James Baraz
The great Vietnamese Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, passed away on January 22nd at the age of 95. Thay, as he was known to his students, was one of the most influential Buddhist masters in modern times.We spend the evening exploring his teachings and honoring his spirit. A short clip of him teaching is included as part of the evening.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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!
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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