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The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
James Baraz's Dharma Talks
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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2017-01-30 Five Spiritual Faculties: Understanding how Intensive Practice Works (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 57:46
The list of the Five Spiritual Faculties provides a good explanation of how the process of intensive retreat practice unfolds.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Month-long Retreat
2017-01-26 "What Are You Going To Do Now?" 48:18
The swirl of political events with the new US administration have contributed to a culture of apprehension and anxiety for many as they adjust to this new reality. The question many practitioners are asking is what is the place of Dharma in this unfolding of events. What is Dharma and not Dharma? What is our responsibility? How does the political environment inform our Dharma practice? How does our Dharma practice inform our engagement in the world? The talk includes Bhikkhu Bodhi's essay Let's Stand Together that appears in the journals Lion's Roar and Buddhadharma.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2017-01-19 "Being a Sacred Warrior in These Tough Times" 49:13
Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." As we enter a time of uncertainty and, many are experiencing a swirl of emotions from apprehension and fear to anger and ill. How can we use our dharma practice to acknowledge and transform our negative emotions into wise effective response coming from understanding and love?
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2017-01-05 What Channel Are You Tuned To? (Note: This talk has some occasional sound distortion but it's worth it.) 50:52
As the Buddha said, "We are what we think. With our thoughts we make the world." Our minds can go to the the greatest places of fear, anxiety and ill will or understanding, compassion and peace. When we're lost in confusion we have in us the capacity to remember the goodness and wisdom that our hearts long to connect with. This talk is about remembering that possibility and cultivating access to that Buddha right inside, especially when the outside world is giving us very different messages.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2016-12-29 Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017: Reflecting on What We've Learned and Where We're Heading 59:14
As we leave 2016 and open to 2017, how can we learn and grow from what's past and set ourselves in the right direction as we face an uncertain future? This talk includes recent Spirit Rock's Statement of Values: Spiritual Sanctuary and Refuge and the teacher meeting out of which it came. James reflects on his recent Huffington Post article "Holding Hands Together: From Helplessness to Empowerment." Finally, there is a ritual for letting go of the past and creating a wise intention for the future.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2016-12-11 Spirit Rock - Equanimity: Finding Balance in Our Practice with James Baraz 5:31:45
Equanimity is a highly valued quality in Buddhist teachings. It is one of the Four Divine Abodes, one of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, and one of the Ten Paramitas or Perfections.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2016-12-08 "The Power of Equanimity" 56:49
Equanimity not only helps us stay balanced in difficult times. It is a foundation for strong, effective response, especially in response to the forces of greed, hatred and power.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2016-12-03 Connecting Mind and Heart: Awakening Joy 1:15:13
The Dalai Lama says: "The purpose of life is to be happy." This practice leads to true happiness. It starts with the mind intending to awaken the heart and all the goodness within us.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Connecting Mind and Heart
2016-12-02 Forgiveness Practice 0:00
(Recording not available) 
Forgiveness towards self (body, mind, heart). Asking and extending forgiveness with another.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Connecting Mind and Heart
2016-12-01 Love, Serve, Remember = Non-Greed, Non-Hatred, Non-Delusion 65:13
The three sources of true happiness are the same no matter what the spiritual tradition.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Connecting Mind and Heart

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