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Rodney Smith's Dharma Talks
Rodney Smith
More and more, the teaching practice takes me into the community where I engage directly with students. My focus right now is on bringing the continuity of the Dharma into the market place. Although retreating is an important form for self-knowledge, I find myself less interested in the immediate results of a retreat and more interested in helping students investigate their relationship to the ups and downs of their everyday life.
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2013-02-05 Dependent Origination: Co-Dependent Arising (1) 56:50
Dependent Origination asks us to see the world from a vastly different perspective than our normal understanding. It exerts that fundamentally nothing exists independently, and everything is co-dependent upon everything else. Most of us do not see the world in this configuration. Normally we think of ourselves and all other objects as having separate existences. Let us loosen our grasp on seeing life as separately existing and ease ourselves into the symphony at play. Notice that coincidences and chance occurrences are part of the wonderment of inseparability. Nothing is happening randomly by accident. Although even a philosophical understanding of this eases our individual burden, it is the realization of tis fact that dramatically effects our lives. When we see we are not separate from the world around us, we release the need for a personal and binding narrative, and the formless sacred comes into view.
Seattle Insight Meditation Society
In collection: Dependent Origination
2013-01-22 Dependent Origination: Causality 60:56
Dependent Origination is the way the Buddha understood the arising of individuated forms in the world. The question D.O. attempts to answer is how the world and the sense-of-self come into existence. That is, what are the causal conditions of separation? Why do we see the world as we see it? The first two talks in this series are overviews of the sequential unfolding of D.O. and the remaining talks examine each of the twelve individual link within this chain. Conditioned causality is the fact that many conditions conspire to allow a single internal or external event to arise. Western thought usually focuses on a single cause, but with increased insight we see that causal factors are limitless. No one person or one event "made us angry," the whole universe was the reason that anger arose.
Seattle Insight Meditation Society
In collection: Dependent Origination
2013-01-22 Dependent Origination 19:25:54
Dependent Origination is the formative way that self and other arises in the world. When we look deeply at each of these twelve links we only discover emptiness and stillness. The question arises, how have we deceived ourselves to believe we and the world are formed and substantial? The answer the Buddha tells us is because we do not really look at all. We simply assume causes from previous conditions; we let our past decide the present. When we look, we see through this pretense into a world of mystery.
Seattle Insight Meditation Society
2013-01-08 Fundamentals of the Dharma: Embodied Action 45:09
Insights remain a dormant potential but not a formative actuality until they are put into action. Action validates the insight and establishes our intention to move in line with its truth. Action overcomes doubt and aligns our cognitive system with our spiritual transformation. It is the essential component for moving our spiritual journey forward. Too often our insights get lost within our conditioned habits and are never brought into the light of day, and therefore never fully position our mental and physical systems to the Dharma.
Seattle Insight Meditation Society
In collection: Fundamentals of the Dharma
2013-01-01 Questions and Answers 50:19
Rodney Smith answers questions from the sangha.
Seattle Insight Meditation Society
2012-12-11 Mirroring Meditation 50:59
Working with every image as it arises and shifts form into the formless.
Insight Meditation Society - Retreat Center Insight Meditation and the Heart
2012-12-09 From Form To Formless 48:45
The overall arching theme of the spiritual journey is the movement out of form into the formless.
Insight Meditation Society - Retreat Center Insight Meditation and the Heart
2012-11-23 Fundamentals of the Dharma: Appreciation 59:13
Many of us do not realize the accessibility of the heart. We think it is distant and attainable only through hard work. But it is as close as a pause in our thoughts, a hesitation in our busyness, and is the natural response of awareness to life. Our thoughts cover the heart with a foggy distraction, but when we interrupt the stream of our thinking the heart response with a gentle appreciation for living. In that moment life is acknowledging itself with gratitude. During this season of Thanksgiving, look deeply and silently to call forth this natural appreciation for living.
Seattle Insight Meditation Society
In collection: Fundamentals of the Dharma
2012-11-06 Fundamentals of the Dharma: Fear 57:08
Fear is the dominating emotion controlling the world of formations and forms the edge between the ideas that hold us together as a formed entity and the ever-present universe of mystery and wonder. Inevitably consciousness will be confronted by the fears it harbors. Fear is fear of something and that something has been conditioned into our minds as a threat. The threat is held within a narrative and the narrative warns us that if we do not contract back on ourselves a tragedy will occur. We take this narrative as a literal truth and find ourselves avoiding the feared event. All of this maneuvering keeps us formed as a person and separated from all internal and external objects that are potential threats. By avoiding the threats we never grow beyond ourselves as a formed entity, and thus we perpetuate fear.
Seattle Insight Meditation Society
In collection: Fundamentals of the Dharma
2012-10-23 Fundamentals of the Dharma: Love 61:12
Love throws many of us off a little. Some of us would like our path free oftenderness and caring because love involves a part of us that is not logical orrational. Love puts the world together in a way that can't be calculated orreasoned. The mind wants everything organized and direct, nothing cloudy orconfused, but the spiritual journey is intuitive and not mentally derived. Atsome point we must leave the crisp edges and clear surfaces of the mind and moveinto the wonders and mysteries of the heart, and love is the path that does justthat.
Seattle Insight Meditation Society
In collection: Fundamentals of the Dharma

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