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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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2022-04-14 Maranasati: Practice with Death and Dying 50:31
The Buddha suggested reflecting regularly on five aspects of life called the Five Reflections (also called the Five Remembrances). This talk focuses on what he called "the most supreme of all meditations": mindfulness of death or maranasati. Although contemplation of one's death might seem unsettling or scary, when undertaken as a conscious practice it can be extremely enlivening and even liberating.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2022-04-11 Your Practice is Not Just for You - Monday Night Dharma Talk 50:57
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2022-04-07 Clear Comprehension: The Buddha's Teaching on Four Different Elements of Practice 48:53
This talk explores the topic of Clear Comprehension (sampajañña in Pali) a powerful Dharma teaching on four different aspects of practice. In the Satipatthana Sutta the Discourse on the Four Foundation of Mindfulness, with regard to each foundation, the Buddha says the following: "Here, bhikkhus (practitioners), a bhikkhu (practitioner) lives contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending and mindful, having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief..." Clear comprehension means more than just having bare attention. Understanding and applying these four facets of Clear Comprehension can support a real deepening of our Dharma practice.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2022-03-17 Calming the Anxious Mind: Skillful Practices for Anxiety 52:02
Many people are experiencing stress and anxiety these days. Heartbreaking scenes of victims of the Ukraine invasion and other conflicts, potential escalation of war, political divisiveness or personal challenges all create an atmosphere of tension that is in the air. How can we use our practice to calm the mind and create space to hold it all without getting overwhelmed?
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2022-03-10 The Dharma of Good Leadership 57:27
When a leader has the welfare of the people as a priority the country prospers. When a leader cares only for themselves the country declines. This talk explores the Buddha's teaching on the qualities that make a good leader, the influence a leader has on the people and the story of an actual leader who underwent a transformation from a feared merciless ruler to one of great wisdom and compassion. We discuss how these teachings apply to our contemporary world.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2022-03-03 Sad Heart, Breaking Heart: Working with the Invasion of Ukraine 58:10
The news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is particularly sad and disturbing Although there are conflicts like this happening around the world, an unprovoked invasion from one of the strongest military countries in the world into a European country that could feasibly escalate into another world war is deeply unsettling. We explore as a community how our practice can help us hold all the feelings that may be arising. Includes a 7 minute clip of Joanna Macy explaining her Spiral from her "Work that Reconnects."
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2022-02-24 Your Practice is Not Just for You 60:46
Your practice affects everyone around you. When you see your practice in this wider context, it evokes a whole dimension of inspiration and “joyful responsibility“ to cultivate wisdom and compassion within us. In this world with so much suffering—including the climate crisis and injustice in the world—more than ever we need to keep this in mind and see ourselves as “bodhisattvas in training“.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Insight Meditation 1 Month Retreat
2022-02-21 Guided sit with brama vihara (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 55:54
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Insight Meditation 1 Month Retreat
2022-02-18 Equanimity 61:28
Equanimity is always the last on every list, which shows its importance as the culmination of the mind that can be with all things. Cultivating a balance and centeredness in the midst of our joys and sorrows, we can know the peace that the Buddha encourages us to experience.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Insight Meditation 1 Month Retreat
2022-02-15 Mudita Practice 48:27
Mudita for a friend who is having great happiness, self, benefactor, and neutral categories
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Insight Meditation 1 Month Retreat

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