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Dharma Talks
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2021-09-23 Seeing Beyond the Mask: Looking Past Our Assumptions 53:33
James Baraz
In his teaching on the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha describes in the Second Noble Truth four kinds of attachments that cause suffering. One of these is attachment to ideas and opinions. We explore this topic of looking beyond our views and opinions that are causing so much divisiveness and separation in these pandemic days.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

2020-11-28 Living Dhamma 39:34
Ajahn Sucitto
As a result of the pandemic, we are experiencing the frailty of our systems and structures. Awareness is the only constant resource we have. It can be trained and purified to bring loving careful attention to all that we meet.
Cittaviveka At Home with the Homeless: Ajahn Sucitto Locked Down

2020-11-07 Resetting during the Pandemic 22:32
Amita Schmidt
This is the introduction to a retreat on Finding a True Refuge During Times of Trauma. This introduction is about helping your nervous system reset in the pandemic. It was part of zoom retreat with a film clip so if you want to see the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlA1_m33BQ4&list=PLRGY6UiIOqoB-qwIQX53J-Bb5RH7T9FIs&index=1
Mariposa Sangha

2020-10-07 Deepening Our Practice in the Pandemic 9--Wise Speech 6--Practicing with Difficult Speech Situations 4 49:00
Donald Rothberg
We focus, in the context of difficult or challenging communication, on the integration of individual, inner practice and skillful speaking. After a review of eight general guidelines for skillful speech and how we do inner practice related to, but separate from, such challenging communication, we look at ways to bring inner practice in speaking and relating. We also focus on several more "outer" skillful ways of speaking to bring about mutual understanding, including using relatively neutral observations free of interpretations, and cultivating the practice of empathy. We then look at how to integrate more inner and more outer dimensions of practice in the context of several challenging situations.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

2020-09-30 Deepening Our Practice in the Pandemic 8: The Foundations of Wise Speech 5: Becoming More Skillful with Difficult Speech Situations 3 1:11:01
Donald Rothberg
We review eight important capacities that help us to be skillful in difficult and challenging situations involving speech and communication. We then continue to explore how we might combine more "inner" and more "outer" responses, here focusing especially on "inner work" with difficult emotions (we look at working with anger and fear), thoughts and narratives (we look particularly at those connected with the judgmental mind), and body states. A discussion follows the talk.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

2020-09-23 Deepening Our Practice in the Pandemic 7: The Foundations of Wise Speech 4: Becoming More Skillful with Difficult Speech Situations 2 1:10:06
Donald Rothberg
After a brief review of the foundations of wise speech and the eight guidelines for skillful speech when there are difficult or challenging situations, we explore the connection of inner practices with such situations. We look at two dimensions of such practice: (1) looking at and transforming conditioning that makes it hard to engage in such situations, such as related to negative views about conflict and anger, and discerning when there is spiritual bypassing in relationship to difficulties; and (2) bringing mindfulness, inquiry, and investigation to difficult emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, etc.,and to thoughts and narratives (especially generated by the judgmental mind). We will continue this exploration, including of difficult body states, next time..
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

2020-09-16 Deepening Our Practice in the Pandemic 6: Wise Speech 3: Practicing with Difficult Speech Situations 68:21
Donald Rothberg
After reviewing three foundations of Wise Speech--the four ethical guidelines for skillful speech, presence and mindfulness during speech, and the practice of empathy--we explore, on the basis of these foundations, how to be skillful during difficult or challenging situations of speech and communication, whether involving two individuals, a group, or a larger society. We identify eight perspectives, practices, and capacities that support skillful speech during such difficult situations.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

2020-08-26 Deepening Our Practice in the Pandemic 5: The Foundations of Wise Speech 2: Empathy (continued) and the Buddha's Ethical Guidelines for Skillful Speech 1:11:13
Donald Rothberg
After a brief review of the previous talks in this series, and a clarification of the different dimensions of our practice, we continue to explore the foundation given last time--empathy practice and the intention to understand and connect with another. We work with two brief exercises which point to ways of practicing empathy. Then we examine the four guidelines for wise or skillful speech given by the Buddha--for our speech and communication to be truthful, helpful, kind and loving (even when saying difficult things), and timely.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

2020-08-19 Deepening Our Practice in the Pandemic 4: The Foundations of Wise Speech 1: Cultivating Empathy 66:30
Donald Rothberg
We start with a brief review of the three previous talks on deepening practice during the pandemic (and other crises), including clarifying three broad areas of practice: Formal meditation practice, daily life practice, and work, service, and/or activism as practice. In this session, we explore the foundations of Wise Speech as practice, mentioning three foundations. The first two include (1) the ethical guidelines given by the Buddha regarding skillful speech, and (2) developing presence and mindfulness during speech (including listening). We focus most of the time on the third foundation of cultivating empathic connection with another, clarifying the difference between empathy and compassion, giving some of the findings of studies in neuroscience about empathy, and examining what blocks empathy. We then work with a simple (yet powerful) empathy practice of tuning into (1) emotions, and (2) what matters, and move into a period of discussion.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

2020-08-16 Impermanence 45:31
Kate Munding
Navigating the concept of a "new normal" at this point in the pandemic brings us into contact with impermanence. There isn't suffering with change itself, there is suffering in resistance to change and there is friction between our clinging to a rigid sense of self and our world of "should". We can't hide from change. In our practice and in the triple gem of Buddha, dharma and sangha helps us create refuge when it's not easily found.
Assaya Sangha Assaya Sangha Dharma Talks

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