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Retreat Dharma Talks

Three-Month Retreat - Part 1

This three-month course, including its six-week partials, is a special time for practice. Because of its extended length and ongoing guidance, it is an opportunity for students to deepen the powers of concentration, wisdom and compassion. Based on the meditation instructions of Mahasi Sayadaw and supplemented by a range of skillful means, this retreat will encourage a balanced attitude of relaxation and alertness, and the continuity of practice based on the Buddha’s Four Foundations of Mindfulness.

2010-09-11 (43 days) Insight Meditation Society - Retreat Center

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2010-09-12 Starting A Long Retreat 54:46
Guy Armstrong
In beginning a long retreat, it’s helpful to reflect on the inspirations that underlie our spiritual life and how they shape our aspiration. Our inner life emerges through the simplicity of the retreat environment in contrast to an increasingly complex outside world. By trusting in silence and presence we develop the key skills we need to live wisely in both retreat and daily life.
2010-09-14 Mindful Living 57:27
Sky Dawson
Developing Sila in practice and on retreat.
2010-09-15 Foundations Of Practice 59:34
Joseph Goldstein
An exploration of ardor, clean comprehension and mindfulness.
2010-09-16 Awareness Is The Path 52:30
Carol Wilson
2010-09-17 The Sources Of Happiness 57:52
Guy Armstrong
In the Buddha’s teachings, there are five areas of practice that lead to happiness: sense pleasures (for lay people), wholesome actions (or merit), concentration, insight and awakening. Each of these offers a more complete and reliable happiness than the one before it. The talk outlines the ways each of these areas contributes to our happiness.
2010-09-20 Am I OK? 54:16
Sally Armstrong
Though we receive lots of instructions for our meditation practice on retreats, let’s face it – we spend a lot of time thinking. What do we think about? At the heart of these movements of the mind is answering the questions, “Am I OK?”, “Was I OK?”, and “Will I be OK?” Our obsession with these questions is the cause of a huge amount of restlessness. Restlessness is one of the major hindrances to calming the mind and deepening our meditation, and can be seen as both the cause and the effect of all the other hindrances. The Buddha also talked about this kind of thinking, and called it unwise attention that leads to all kinds of suffering. We need to look at the core issues that lead us to dwell on these questions if we are to create a more skilful relationship to our thoughts.
2010-09-21 Morning instructions – Day 10 - Standing meditation 58:49
Sally Armstrong
The Buddha said that we should be mindful in all four postures – sitting, walking, standing and lying down. We talk a lot about sitting meditation, some about walking and very little about the other two. This session is a guided meditation on standing meditation. Standing can be used as a practice in itself, or as a way to balance energy, especially sleepiness.
2010-09-22 Mundane Right View 57:49
Joseph Goldstein
Wise understanding in the world.
2010-09-23 Working with Difficult Emotions 60:52
Guy Armstrong
There are four primal difficult emotions that come often in meditation and daily life: grief, anger, desire and fear. When we learn to relate skillfully to these emotions as they appear, there can be a great increase in the sense of freedom and ease in our life and practice.
2010-09-26 Acceptance 55:09
Melanie Waschke
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