The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
James Baraz's Dharma Talks at Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
James Baraz
I try to convey that the wisdom and compassion we are looking for is already inside of us. I see practice as learning how to purify our mind and heart so we can hear the Buddha inside. In doing so, we naturally embody the dharma and help awaken that understanding and love in others we meet.
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2021-05-13 Forgiving the Unforgivable: Angulimala Sutta (MN #86) 55:45
Angulimala was a feared serial killer who was the scourge of the land--until he met the Buddha. We will explore his story and its relevance for our practice in learning to keep our hearts open to those who cause great harm. Why does the Buddha find it beneficial and how is this possible?
2021-05-06 Saying Goodbye: When a Friend Dies 60:25
This past week James felt very fortunate to be with one of his dearest friends in his final days died. This talk explores that life passage. How can we say goodbye to a loved one and grieve fully with the understanding that death is a natural part of the life cycle? How can practice help us through that process?
2021-04-08 Death and Dying 57:42
with Sylvia Boorstein
Sylvia and James will have a conversation about death and dying something they have both been recently practicing with in their personal lives.
2021-03-28 Befriending Ourselves Daylong 4:26:41
James Baraz and Eve Decker When we develop a basic kindness towards ourselves we not only learn to accept the difficult parts, but in the process embrace our humanity and see more clearly the beauty that's inside. As we do that we allow our goodness and True Nature to shine through. This becomes a gift to everyone we meet, a healing energy that awakens the goodness in others as well.
2021-03-18 Honeyball Sutta: The Buddha's Teaching on Papanća 56:36
Have you ever wondered how your mind can move from one thought to getting lost in a complex story without you knowing how you got there? The Buddha describes this process in his Honeyball Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya #19) where he explains the phenomenon of papanća or proliferation of thought. The more we understand this porcess and work with it as practice, the less we get caught up in the stories the mind creates.
2021-03-04 Eve Decker - 8-Fold Path 51:24
Eve Decker talks about the 8-Fold Path
2021-02-25 Gratitude 52:46
In the Mangala Sutta, the Discourse on Blessings, the Buddha teaches: "To be content and grateful is a blessing supreme." Gratitude is a particularly potent ally in awakening true happiness because it helps expand the mind as well as the heart. With a grateful heart we have a larger container and more space to hold the difficulties we encounter. When we pause to notice what we usually take for granted a new world of possibilities opens up. It's as if we've changed the station instead of being stuck on our own little "drama channel."
2021-02-18 The Secret Ingredients of Dharma Practice 37:59
One of the lesser known lists are four different qualities of heart, The Four Iddhipadas, that are present in people with differing temperaments, that are powerful motivators for practice.
2021-02-11 Intention from the Heart 49:58
The Buddha taught "Intention is karma". We will look at two manifestations of intention and how we can work with this powerful energy to increase well being.
2021-01-28 Anatta and Self-Forgiveness 49:00
Do you ever give yourself a hard time if you've made an embarrassing mistake or have done something you regret? This talk explores how we can truly forgive ourselves with a thorough understanding of the Buddha's teaching on the selfless nature of who we are, otherwise known as Anatta, the selfless nature of experience.

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