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Retreat Dharma Talks

Maranasati: Mindful of Death, Awakening to Life

The Buddha encouraged maraṇasati practice—mindfulness of death—as part of living an awakened life. This practice supports our appreciation of the preciousness of human birth and the development of equanimity with the difficulties of existence. It helps us gain freedom from rigidity and clinging through a more expansive perspective of the inevitable and natural process of letting go.

Maraṇasati matures our insight into impermanence and change, nourishing a skillful orientation to both life and death. In the retreat we will utilize the skills of loving awareness, compassion, and investigation in sitting meditation practice. In addition to silent practice, there will be one period of interactive contemplative inquiry each day to help metabolize our understanding of death.

2023-10-01 (6 days) Spirit Rock Meditation Center

2023-10-02 You Are All Going to Die (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 50:15
Pamela Weiss
A talk on the truth of impermanence and mortality, arising and passing, and making the unwanted wanted.
2023-10-03 Instructions on the Arising and Passing (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 51:45
Pamela Weiss
“Whatever comes let it come. Whatever goes let it go. And see what remains.”
2023-10-03 The 5 Recollections, Samvega and Karma (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 59:18
Gullu Singh
In this talk, Gullu reflects on the ancient practice from the Buddha of the 5 subjects for frequent recollection which invites us to contemplate that we are of the nature to age, get sick, to die and be separated from all the dear to us (one way or another) and yet, we have agency to develop qualities of mind and heart that allow us to move through these innate difficulties of life with more grace. Awareness of death can bring a sense of spiritual urgency (samvega) which is useful in cultivation practice.
2023-10-04 Living, Dying & Letting Go (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 55:29
Eugene Cash
Buddhist teachings on Death & Letting Go – Highlighting the sutta: Advice to Anathapindika. Appreciating his dying gift to us across time and space.
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