Gloria Taraniya Ambrosia has been offering instruction in Theravada Buddhist teachings and practices since 1990. She is a student of the western forest sangha, the disciples of Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Chah, and is a Lay Buddhist Minister in association with Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in California. She served as resident teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts from 1996 through 1999. Taraniya teaches at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and at Dhamma centers in the United States.
Going for refuge mirrors the process of waking up. We settle enough to know what we are experiencing (Buddha); we learn to let things be the way are (Dhamma); and we experience directly the happiness and release that comes from skillful behavior (Sangha).
This talk addresses several potential difficulties in practice – attaching to ideas about mindfulness and concentration, thinking that nothing is happening in practice, feeling half here and half not, and the tendency to “do” the practice.
The Buddha defines three kinds of conceit—conceit itself (māna), the inferiority complex (omāna), and arrogance (atimāna). Conceit is a player in giving rise to a sense of self and perpetuating it though ignorance. This talk offers practical guidance to help meditators see conceit and uproot it through understanding and insight.
This talk outlines the Buddha’s teaching on the three forms of craving—craving for sensual pleasures, craving for becoming, and craving for non-becoming. Taraniya encourages the practitioner to use the retreat environment to observe craving in what may seem like minor or insignificant moments. These moments hold potential for major insights.
Given the conflicts, wars, and divisiveness over the past year, many people ask, “How do we practice with all of this?” Taraniya offers reflections on opening to difficulty, making practical adjustments in our lives to support inner balance, and increasing our capacity to manage mindstates through understanding and wisdom.
The Buddha never denied or affirmed the existence of a self. He merely noted that when we relate to the body, feeling perception, formations and consciousness with attachment, we suffer. Non-identification with the body and mind frees us.
This talk examines both the classical and subtle meaning of going to the Sangha for refuge. The classical refuge in Sangha involves going forth into monastic life and/or turning to elders for guidance along the way. The subtle refuge involves knowing directly the happiness that comes from keeping impeccable silā.