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Retreat Dharma Talks

Metta Retreat: Cultivating the Wise, Awakened, and Responsive Heart

2023-01-10 (8 days) Spirit Rock Meditation Center

2023-01-11 Day 1 Evening Talk: An Overview of Metta Practice: How Practicing Metta Transforms Us 61:38
Donald Rothberg
Metta practice offers a radical and yet simple approach and training: To bring kind and wise presence and response to every situation. We incline toward an expansive friendliness, and see what gets in the way of metta. This is an approach centering on kindness and love which finds many echoes in many other spiritual traditions. And yet it can be a very challenging training; we look at a number of the common difficulties of metta practice and how to work with them, particularly distraction and lack of stability of attention, sleepiness and restless energy, difficulty in accessing the kind heart, and the arising of difficult emotions, thoughts, and body-states. As we practice, we integrate mind, heart, and body, increasingly touch our depths and learn how to manifest metta in the world.
2023-01-12 Day 2 Compassion and Self Compassion, A Wise Response (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 47:51
Beth Sternlieb
Practicing kindness in every moment, responding with compassion, as the path of awakening
2023-01-13 Self-Compassion 1:16:35
Kevin Griffin
2023-01-13 The Only Response to Suffering is Compassion 41:43
Sylvia Boorstein
The first noble truth is really true, or the principal beneficiary of well wishing is the wisher. Or the only response to suffering is compassion!
2023-01-13 Day 3 Reflections on Mettā, Equanimity & Purification in Metta Practice (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 58:34
Gullu Singh
This talk explores the intersection of mettā practice and equanimity, in particular how the mettā training process creates and impartiality of mind that is the cornerstone of equanimity. The talk also explores the Buddha's teaching that with the cultivation of mettā no limiting action remains and how the practice naturally reveals the places where the heart is limited and the fruitfulness of investigating the energies in this so-called purification process.
2023-01-14 Day 4 Morning Sit with Instructions: Mettā for the Neutral Person (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 53:47
Gullu Singh
Some reflections about working with the neutral person, also refetred to as the stranger or the friendly stranger.
2023-01-14 Day 4 Metta and Compassion, the Activity of Wisdom (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 47:11
Beth Sternlieb
Metta is more than a feeling. it is an intention that arises from wisdom... the understadning of inter-being and cause and effect..
2023-01-15 Day 5 Brahmavihara Practices: Mudita Appreciative Joy (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 32:02
Beth Sternlieb
Gratitude and Joy nourish us on the Path.
2023-01-15 Day 5 Evening Talk: Metta Practice and the Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 63:28
Donald Rothberg
On Dr. King's birthday, we explore three broad areas connecting metta practice, Buddhist wisdom teachings, and other heart practices, with the life and approach of Dr. King: (1) the deep resonance between metta practice and the grounding in love and the beloved community that is central for King; (2) the close parallels between the development of non-reactivity aiming at the end of dukkha in Buddhist practice and the teachings and practices of nonviolent action; and (3) the other aspects of the awakened heart central for Dr. King, including empathy, compassion, forgiveness, joy, and equanimity. Included is the playing of three short recordings of Dr. King speaking.
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