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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2019-12-05 Just Another Ego Trip 46:16
Sometimes our shyness or concern about what others think keeps us from expressing our gifts and making as meaningful a contribution as we can. In seeing through the constructed sense of self—the understanding of Anatta—those thoughts lose their power and don’t get in the way of expressing our true nature.
IMCB Regular Talks
2019-10-17 Holding Grief Through Connection 43:47
I [recently] spoke about how sharing our pain by connecting with another helps us hold and process our grief. This week I want to look at the importance of "Connection through Community" and how we can create more community in our lives.
2019-10-03 Holding Grief Through Connection 56:18
Whether the climate crisis, some other social issue or personal loss, sharing our pain by connecting with another helps us hold and process our grief. By opening the heart we can transform our feeling of isolation into one of shared humanity. This talk ends with a guided experiential dyad exercise adapting Joanna Macy’s "Learning to See Each Other" meditation from Coming Back to Life.
IMCB Regular Talks
2019-09-19 No Time to Play Small: Acting with Courage, Wisdom and Love 62:07
Greta Thunberg’s fearless willingness to speak the truth has inspired millions of youth to follow her lead resulting in the hugely successful September 20th Worldwide Climate Strike. Thunberg calls being on the autism spectrum her “superpower” because she doesn’t care what others think of her and only cares about telling the truth. Can we be like her, let go of our self-consciousness, not hold back and speak and act with honesty and courage?
IMCB Regular Talks
2019-09-12 A Lineage of Goodness: Ode to Benefactors 54:53
A talk about how our benefactors impact us, wisdom and love they pass on from their benefactors and how we transmit those beautiful qualities to others who pas it on as well. No one "owns" those qualities. Rather we are part of a lineage of goodness.
IMCB Regular Talks
2019-08-08 Dharmas Without Blame 40:52
With such disorienting events such as mass shootings in the news, how can we find our balance and hold things with equanimity, compassion and a wise dharma perspective. That is the theme for this talk.
IMCB Regular Talks
2019-06-20 Eco Dharma 44:35
Inspired by EcoDharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis by David Loy. James shares some perspectives that can give practitioners a sense of how to hold the climate crisis situation skillfully as well as what Dharma teachings have to offer the wider societal conversation at this time.
IMCB Regular Talks
2019-05-09 An Evening with Stephen Fulder (Founder of the Israeli Dharma Community) 61:54
James welcome Stephen Fulder who explores themes from his new book What’s Beyond Mindfulness? and shares about the Israeli sangha.
IMCB Regular Talks
2019-05-02 Internally & Externally - Holding It All 61:49
On the recent retreat James sat with Ven. Analayo, the monastic started out the last day's teaching saying: “This morning I want to talk about climate change. Though some say this is not an appropriate topic for the Dharma Hall, in my view and in light of the crisis we are facing, there is no more appropriate or necessary topic.” We explore how Dharma principles can help each of us individually hold this unsettling situation as well as why they are the key to us waking up as a species.
IMCB Regular Talks
2019-04-25 The Anapanasati Sutta: The Buddha's Teaching on Mindfulness of Breathing 69:02
After spending a recent retreat with Ven. Analayo Bhikkhu at Spirit Rock on this subject, James offers his understanding of Ven. Analayo's explanation of the discourse and how it can be applied in our meditation practice. You can also go to (paste it in your browser) this link to hear Ven. Analayo's Anapanasati guided meditation.

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