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The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
James Baraz's Dharma Talks
James Baraz
I try to convey that the wisdom and compassion we are looking for is already inside of us. I see practice as learning how to purify our mind and heart so we can hear the Buddha inside. In doing so, we naturally embody the dharma and help awaken that understanding and love in others we meet.
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2024-02-10 Wise Effort: Balance and Cultivating Wholesome States (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 63:13
Wise Effort points to the importance of balance as well as the weakening unwholesome and cultivating wholesome states. This talk explores both aspects of this key practice issue.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Insight Meditation Retreat--1 Month
2024-02-04 Opening to the Whole Show (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 58:27
The Journey of Awakening is a process of discovering all the beautiful qualities that are uniquely expressed through you--the Buddha within that you take refuge in. It also involves understanding all the habits of mind that get in the way--including our fears, resistance, and identification with our experience. This talk describes the importance of opening to all of these places we usually hide from and the beneficial qualities that support that journey.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Insight Meditation Retreat--1 Month
2024-02-01 Sudden Awakening, Gradual Cultivation: The Process of Purification 52:56
Sometimes it feels as if our practice is taking one step forward and two steps back. Or two steps forward and two steps back. In this talk I want to explore the process of awakening in the context of understanding the trajectory of practice. Even though it might not seem as if much is happening or that you're truly growing, it's happening anyway. However, there are some things to know about how the process works that can help you develop patience, confidence and inspiration.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2024-01-18 On Having No Head: A Simple, Effective Anatta Practice 53:07
We all know the unpleasant feeling of self-consciousness. It is one thought away from self-judgment, self-criticism and a whole spectrum of “Selfing” thoughts. This week I want to share with you a simple and effective practice to cut through this painful negative mental habit which, when utilized, takes the “self” out of self-consciousness.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2024-01-04 Your Heart Was Made For This 55:30
with James Baraz, Oren Jay Sofer
Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed an uplifting transition to 2024. I'm delighted to invite you to join me in welcoming author and Dharma teacher Oren Jay Sofer for an evening of online practice and exploration based on his new book, Your Heart Was Made For This: Contemplative Practices to Meet a World in Crisis with Courage, Integrity, and Love. What does the contemplative path have to offer our aching hearts in a rapidly changing world beset with challenge? What can our practice offer beyond personal benefits?
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2023-12-28 End of Year Reflection: Honoring this Moment Together 54:14
As we come to the last gathering of the year, join us online as we will reflect on this moment together--looking back at the past year, seeing where we are right now and getting in touch with our vision for the upcoming year. We will mark this time together with an end-of-year ritual and support each other in our intentions for the New Year. Please bring a candle, some pare and a writing implement.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2023-12-22 The Light Inside the Darkness: A Winter Solstice Reflection 56:55
This Thursday our meeting will take place just as we arrive at this year's Winter Solstice (7:27pm Pacific Time). This longest night of the year has given rise to many holidays of light (Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Soyal, the winter solstice celebration of the Hopi Indians, and many others). We will explore accessing the light within as we experience the solstice and navigate the shadow within us and in the world.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2023-11-17 Changing the Channel - Letting in the Good 46:10
The barrage of frightening headlines every day often leave us with feelings of despair, hopelessness and negativity. While it's important to feel connected to the suffering all around us, it is equally important to nourish ourselves by opening to the goodness in life--both inside and around us. This helps us skillfully create a larger container so that we are not overwhelmed by the dukkha but rather can process it with balance and skill.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2023-11-09 Fnding Refuge - Skillfully holding it all 52:06
Refuge is a word that is often used in Buddhist teachings. We long to feel safe and protected from inner and outer harm. When everything seems out of control where can we find true refuge? How can the practice help us hold it all? This talk refers to a highly recommended conversation on the Mideast situation between two women (one Israeli, one German) who give communication trainings based on Nonviolent Communication:
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2023-10-19 Current Crisis in Israel and Gaza 1:33:07
with James Baraz, Stephen Fulder
Israeli Dharma Teacher Stephen Fulder joins James and shares about the current crisis in Israel and Gaza
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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