The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation South Bay - Silicon Valley
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2021-05-11 Practical Dharma 42:19
Lila Kate Wheeler
The Buddha’s teachings are often compared to a finger pointing to the moon. Without that finger, we might never lift our gaze and see for ourselves. Tonight’s talk offers encouragement to stay present and awake as a lived experience so that we can lead a more centered, caring, ethical life. As Dharma practitioners, we make efforts to be more present for the experiences in ourselves and others. As we do so we’ll surely hear and see things we didn’t expect or want. Here, the teaching of the five hindrances supports us to shift our gaze yet again, recognize more clearly and respond differently when wisdom and caring are weakened. With these skills, we will know for sure there is no bad habit or difficult situation that cannot be softened and worked with—even liberated.
Tuesday Talks

2021-05-04 Emptiness and Suchness 43:09
Heather Sundberg
When we understand that direct experience is not solid/not separate, we can embrace experience in its changing conditionality with the heart of compassion and inclusion born of non-clinging. This is the inter-weaving of the teachings of emptiness and suchness, and the talk will explore teachings and practices which support us to live from this wiser view.

2021-04-20 Relating Wisely to this Sensual World 1:12:40
Mark Nunberg
The Buddha’s teachings encourage us to cultivate an intimate ongoing mindful presence, a deep respect for cause and effect, and a profound equanimity as we live our sensual embodied lives. The Buddha asks us to directly discern the very real experience of gratification, the inevitable stress that arises with any attachment to sensuality, and the deepening insight of the heart’s release from the burning of craving and dependence that we experience in our wiser moments.

2021-04-06 Refraining from Intoxication 22:44
Shaila Catherine
This talk explores the fifth precept: the commitment to refrain from intoxicating the mind through the use of alcohol, drugs, or addictive desires. Originally this precept highlighted the dangers of home-brewed alcohol, but can be expanded to address the many ways we may seek to excite, dull, distort, or intoxicate our minds. By working with this precept, we not only strengthen our capacity for restraint, but importantly, we investigate how the force of craving may be affecting our decisions and actions.

2021-03-23 Deepening in Emptiness 66:43
Guy Armstrong
Emptiness has been one of the most important themes in Buddhist teachings since their very beginning. This talk will explore how the realization of emptiness unfolds in us through dharma practice to lead to greater and greater degrees of freedom.

2021-03-09 Refraining from Sexual Misconduct 35:21
Shaila Catherine
This talk addresses the third ethical precept — refraining from sexual misconduct. Practicing with the precepts involves becoming mindful of our actions, recognizing the effects that our actions have on ourselves and others, learning to respond to our thoughts and feelings with wisdom, kindness, and restraint, and honoring our commitments. This precept provides opportunities to work with the movement of sexual desire and sensual lust. The views of sexuality that were prevalent in ancient India differ from contemporary norms, however, we can apply the underlying intention toward non-harming to contemplate and purify our own conduct. Shaila Catherine offers suggestions forgiving past unskillful actions, and strengthening our capacity for restraint.
In collection Ethics, Action and the Five Precepts

2021-02-17 Living a Dharma Life 32:37
Ying Chen
In this talk, we explore how walking the Dharma path involves all aspects of our lives. To engage in dharma practices is to live a Dharma life, nothing excluded. When we open our dharma practice up to include all aspects of our lives, our relationships, our work, our chores, our inner being and our outer being, we allow Dharma to guide us in life.

2021-02-02 Finding Freedom from Habitual Patterns 60:53
Robin Boudette
In the chaos of our everyday lives, we often run on auto-pilot finding ourselves caught in unhealthy habit patterns. In our attempts to help ourselves, we might watch too much news, plan for every possible situation, reach for our favorite comfort food or engage in other unhealthy behaviors, unwittingly feeding our anxiety and making things worse. Fortunately, mindfulness provides practices and skills that can help us change unhealthy habits and live in greater harmony with life. But how? The Buddha taught that disenchantment is key. In this evening session, we will explore self-reflections to illuminate habit loops and explore how we can tap into the direct experience of disenchantment.
Tuesday Talks

2021-01-26 Buddhist Insights from Encounters with Homelessness 35:25
Cathy Small
This talk looks at the intersection of practice and life through the issue of homelessness. Based on her book, The Man in the Dog Park, co-authored with a homeless man, Dr. Cathy Small (a cultural anthropologist and meditation teacher) explores how social issues can become part of our practice, and how her decade-long journey with people experiencing homelessness offered Buddhist lessons about love and fear, self and other, and compassion and equanimity.
Attached Files:
  • When We Meet Suffering by Cathy Small (PDF)

2021-01-19 Speech from the Heart 36:18
Kim Allen
From where does speech originate? How does our speech feed back to affect our own heart (in addition to other people)? These are worthy investigations in Buddhist practice. Speech ties back to the three unwholesome roots of greed, hatred, and delusion, as well as the three wholesome roots of non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion. Our choices in this realm have a major impact.

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