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Retreat Dharma Talks

Awakening Joy: Opening to Your Natural State of Well-Being

“It is that gladness connected with the wholesome that I call an equipment of mind…for developing a mind that is without hostility and without ill will.” ~The Buddha

The Buddha was known as “The Happy One.” However, the teachings often seem to emphasize working with suffering. Joy and happiness can seem frivolous or unspiritual even though joy is one of the Seven Factors of Awakening. In this retreat, we will practice with an emphasis on cultivating wholesome states to develop our natural capacity for well-being and happiness. Our own development of well-being and joy then becomes our gift to a troubled world.

The retreat includes silent sitting and walking periods with instructions and practice meetings with teachers, as well as some experiential exercises during the six days. This retreat is appropriate for both experienced as well as new/beginning students.

Practices will include:

Inclining the mind toward wholesome states;
The power of wholesome intention;
Mindfulness as appreciation practice (wonder and gratitude);
Embracing suffering as a path to joy;
How letting go leads to true freedom;
Integrity as a foundation for well-being;
Metta (loving-kindness) for self and others;
Mudita (sympathetic joy);
Compassion—the expression of a wise heart; and
The joy of simply being.

2021-06-07 (6 days) Spirit Rock Meditation Center

2021-06-08 Mindfulness of the Body 39:00
Debra Chamberlin-Taylor
2021-06-08 Three Wholesome States for Cultivating Joy 60:55
James Baraz
Intention, Mindfulness and Gratitude are the three wholesome states that are the foundational practices to awaken joy
2021-06-08 Lovingkindness to Self and Benefactor 46:24
Debra Chamberlin-Taylor
Metta Practice
2021-06-09 Including sensations, sounds and other objects in the field of awareness 46:29
James Baraz
Working with the wandering mind and moving from one meditation object to another in meditation
2021-06-09 The Joy of Collective Liberation 50:22
Leslie Booker
Knowing joy through faith, gratitude, and courage.
2021-06-10 The Joy of Recognizing the Hindrances 46:30
Leslie Booker
When we can turn towards this perceived obstacle...we can see that hindrances are not in the way at all, but rather an opportunity to practice joy in the recognition of them.
2021-06-10 The Joy in Loving Our Self and Letting Go 49:39
Debra Chamberlin-Taylor
2021-06-11 Everything is held in Awareness 46:10
James Baraz
Guided "Big Mind" Meditation to perceive Awareness as the space in which all experience arises and passes away.
2021-06-11 Awakening Joy: Last Seven Wholesome States to Cultivate Joy 1:13:21
James Baraz
Understanding the trajectory of developing wholesome states to awaken joy.
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