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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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2022-04-29 Five Dharma principles that are needed for our shift of consciousness 11:45
London Insight Meditation James Baraz – The Dharma as Medicine for Our Planet
2022-04-29 Reflections on your practice not being just for you 22:13
London Insight Meditation James Baraz – The Dharma as Medicine for Our Planet
2022-04-21 Gratitude for Our Home: Celebrating Earth Day 51:34
This Earth Day week we share an evening of gratitude and celebration for our natural world. When we get in touch with our love for something we are more motivated to care for it. Rather than going into the dire situation that most of us are all too familiar with, we can get connected with the beauty of the world that is our home We share a clip on the natural world and the experience of gratitude, which starts with an adorable little girl talking about the wonder of exploring nature instead of watching a screen followed by Brother David Steindl-Rast on gratitude. Although it is audio only you can still here the magic in the words. To see the video here is the link:
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
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 60:30
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

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