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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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2020-12-17 The Choice is Ours: Wise Relationship to Our Experience 49:07
These days have even more ups and downs than usual. For many it's both a time of sorrow and a time of joy. The mind can easily get caught in the difficulties when it's contracted by stress. But our Dharma practice shows us we have a choice how to wisely relate to our experience.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2020-12-10 Gregory Kramer on his book “A Whole Life Path" a fresh exploration of the 8-Fold Path. 63:42
Many lay Buddhists struggle to carry the benefits of their studies and meditation practice into their twenty-first-century lives. How might our daily experience of both life and the Buddha’s teachings shift if there were no separation between them? Gregory speaks about the realistic and comprehensive vision that arises when we ask this question: If every moment of my life is Path, then what does each path factor need to cover for this to be true in a grounded, practical way?
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2020-12-03 Three Pillars of Dharma 52:14
This is a continuation of the theme of the process of purification that leads to awakening. An exploration of what Joseph Goldstein calls "Three Pillars of Dharma." These are three spheres that we can cultivate which lead to supportive conditions for us to practice and then realize the fruits of practice. Includes Eve Decker offers a song on the theme.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2020-11-19 Transformation is Possible 50:20
When we start the spiritual journey we see that our mind is filled with unskillful habits of thought, colored by attachment, aversion and confusion. The Buddha described the process of purification that enables us to purify and transform first our outward conduct, then our thoughts and finally our subtle spiritual aspirations. This purification process leads ultimately to full awakening. The talk includes the Buddha's teaching of how this process works through the simile of the "Refinement of Mind."
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2020-11-12 Across the Great Divide: What the Dharma Can Offer for Healing Our Country 52:09
However you feel about the outcome, the presidential election has underscored the polarization that currently exists in our country. As long as each side mistrusts and fears the other, we cannot truly have peace and work together to make this a better society. What does the Dharma offer to help heal this divide? How can our practice support us individually and collectively to open our hearts with compassion and bridge the gulf with those who seem so different from us? How can we create better understanding and cut through "othering" so that each of us can contribute to greater healing rather than more divisiveness?
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2020-11-05 Letting Go of Knowing 50:00
The election and its aftermath has been quite a roller coaster ride. Can we find balance and patience with all feelings that arise while allowing the unfolding to happen in its own time? We explore this theme and offer some practices going through these uncertain times.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2020-10-29 A Time For Equanimity 60:45
We are in a unique moment in time for the United States and the world. How can we stay centered and even cultivate equanimity? Is it possible to hold a positive vision without getting caught in extra anxiety about the outcome? Can we allow for things to unfold as they will while having a clear focus of what we want to help create? Equanimity includes surrendering attachment while being inspired by gratitude, awe and possibility.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2020-10-22 Brahma Viharas - Eve Decker 51:11
Eve Decker, dharma teacher, singer-songwriter explores the Brahma Viharas much needed medicine for this time along with a song for evoking each one.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2020-10-15 Choosing Earth Pt. 1 with Duane Elgin and Friends 62:34
The second of two talks with wisdom teacher Duane Elgin and friends sharing Elgin's realistic, sobering but ultimately hopeful vision of where we could be heading the next fifty years. His book Choosing Earth: Humanity's Great Transformation to a Mature Planetary Civilization discusses the possibilities that lie ahead and the vision for how we can use this time to wake up as a species. A brief recap of previous talk with additional comments, Then an exploration of how to hold the unfolding from a psychological and Dharma perspective.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2020-10-08 "Choosing Earth" with Duane Elgin and Coleen LeDrew Elgin 64:28
James' special guests are wisdom teacher Duane Elgin (author of the classic Voluntary Simplicity) and his partner, Coleen LeDrew Elgin, share his realistic but hopeful vision of where we could be heading the next fifty years. His new book Choosing Earth: Humanity's Great Transformation to a Mature Planetary Civilization discusses the possibilities that lie ahead and the vision for how we can use this time to wake up as a species.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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