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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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2021-10-14 Letting Go of Knowing: Loving The Mystery: 49:08
This talk explores the freedom that comes from letting go of our attachments to ideas. As the 3rd Zen Patriarch of China said, "Do not search for the truth. Only cease to cherish opinions." What benefit can there be when we truly let go of thinking we know how things really are?
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-10-07 Emptiness and the Big Perspective 50:29
The Heart Sutra teaching famously states: "Form is Emptiness Emptiness is Form." This liberating perspective is the gateway to understanding the inter-connectedness of all phenomena and the spaciousness and freedom that comes from seeing our place in the bigger scheme of things. The talk includes a recording of Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweikart's moving account of the profound shift he experienced upon seeing the Earth from outer space.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-09-23 Seeing Beyond the Mask: Looking Past Our Assumptions 53:33
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
2021-09-16 Anything Can Happen at Anytime: Working with Uncertainty 49:16
We explore the topic of dealing with uncertainty. Although we never know what lies ahead, at this time the feeling of uncertainty is highlighted in a more acute way globally than ever before. What will happen next with the virus and its variants? Will people get vaccinated or will the anti-vax information continue to influence people's choices? What about climate disruption? Will we collectively wake up to the reality in time to keep from heading over the cliff of self-destruction? What does the Dharma offer us to wisely work with this unknown reality?
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-08-12 The Buddha's Teaching on How Practice Unfolds: The Five Spiritual Faculties 54:11
The Five Spiritual Faculties is a central teaching of the Buddha that explains how the practice develops and unfolds: This classical list of five qualities expresses both the importance of balance as well as a natural progression of development with one quality leading to the next.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-07-29 Different Lenses, Different Realities 46:36
When people ask, "How are you?" it depends on what lens we're looking at life through. The personal lens evokes a very different response than the societal one. This talk explores how we can hold different realities in our minds and hearts at the same time. Also the compassion that comes from understanding that each person has their own reality that makes sense to them.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-07-15 Accessing Your Triggers for Insight 51:41
Have you ever had a profound meditation experience and tried with frustration to recreate it?This is a common experience for many practitioners. Just as trauma can be triggered in our body and mind, the same is possible with positive experiences that we've gone through. This talk explores how this works and how we can access those profound moments and the wisdom that they've awakened in us.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-07-01 The Buddha's Pithiest Teaching: Bahiya Sutta 55:59
The Buddha's pithiest and shortest teaching, his teaching to Bahiya (Bahiya Sutta). Although only a few short sentences it was enough to result in complete Enlightenment.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-06-11 Awakening Joy: Last Seven Wholesome States to Cultivate Joy 1:13:21
Understanding the trajectory of developing wholesome states to awaken joy.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Awakening Joy: Opening to Your Natural State of Well-Being
2021-06-11 Everything is held in Awareness 46:10
Guided "Big Mind" Meditation to perceive Awareness as the space in which all experience arises and passes away.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Awakening Joy: Opening to Your Natural State of Well-Being

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