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Retreat Dharma Talks

Transforming Fear into Fearlessness

A six-week study and practice course
The Four Noble Truths that form the heart of the Buddha’s teaching invite us to examine our relationship to dukkha: stress, distress, unsatisfactoriness, suffering. Most of us though, have an instinctive resistance to suffering, so we need to practice working skilfully with the different levels of fear that often show up along the path to freedom. As we learn how to release ourselves from the confines of these fears, we’re able to live with greater ease, happiness, and peace, and to connect with the wisdom and compassion that are our true nature.

2019-06-22 (37 days) Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre

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2019-06-22 01 talk: Transforming Fear into Fearlessness intro 26:04
Jill Shepherd
Intro talk giving an overview of fear in the context of the Buddha's teachings, and touching in to how befriending fear benefits not only ourselves, but the communities and wider society we live in
2019-06-29 03 meditation: body sitting, breathing 13:49
Jill Shepherd
A short guided meditation with an emphasis on settling and soothing the body, heart, mind before starting a study class
2019-06-29 04 talk: Fear of Dukkha, and Fear IS Dukkha 26:44
Jill Shepherd
Exploring the courage it takes to meditate and to engage with the Buddha's teachings on the Four Noble Truths, focusing on the First Noble Truth that there is dukkha: suffering, stress, distress, unsatisfactoriness
2019-06-29 05 instructions: the anatomy of anxiety 9:12
Jill Shepherd
Deconstructing the chain reaction from basic sense stimuli to proliferation and anxiety thought-loops
2019-06-29 06 guided meditation: exploring physical sensations of anxiety and the antidote of metta 31:54
Jill Shepherd
Working in groups of three, each person taking three minutes to name out loud the physical sensations of social anxiety; then a short guided metta meditation before continuing to name out loud the physical sensations associated with metta/kindness
2019-07-06 07 guided meditation: body, breathing, choiceless awareness 14:46
Jill Shepherd
A short guided meditation beginning with physical sensations and the breath, opening to choiceless awareness, orienting to kindness and metta
2019-07-06 08 talk: Second Noble Truth, craving for sense pleasures, compassion 26:10
Jill Shepherd
Returning to the Second Noble Truth, exploring clinging to sense pleasure as a common reaction to unpleasant emotions, and how compassion and self-compassion offer a more skilful way of navigating anxiety
2019-07-06 09 instructions: mindfulness of mind 8:37
Jill Shepherd
A short talk offering definitions of different aspects of mental activity, including thoughts, emotions, moods and mind-states
2019-07-06 10 guided meditation: dyad practice, mindfulness of mind 21:24
Jill Shepherd
Working in pairs naming mind-states out loud using just one word; separately for four minutes each, then alternating back and forth
2019-07-14 11 guided meditation: body and heart-mind 15:23
Jill Shepherd
A short guided meditation attuning to the body and the heart-mind, noticing how we're relating to experience, and inclining in the direction of appreciation and gratitude
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