The greatest gift is the
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Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation South Bay - Silicon Valley
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2015-10-13 Nondual Mindfulness 42:34
  Ronald Purser
In this talk, Ron Purser presents that there is an original wholeness in our true nature. However, because of our dualistic thinking, we suffer from the sense of self. This creates a sense of separation from our original wholeness. Seeing things as they really are is to see, embody, and actualize this original wholeness.

2015-09-24 Voices for a Contemplative Life in Silicon Valley 29:35
  Shaila Catherine & Pastor Erik Swanson
Pastor Erik Swanson and Shaila Catherine discuss how we can nurture sacred and contemplative lives in the midst of the pressure and demands that are characteristic of Silicon Valley. They share their experiences in Christian and Buddhist traditions of contemplation, meditation, and prayer.

2015-09-09 Working with Pain and Suffering 35:24
  Philip Jones
Pain and suffering are common occurrences during retreats. How do we respond to mental, emotional, and physical pain and what alternatives does the practice offer us to deal with pain? The common pattern is to seek escape from pain through pleasant sense experiences. The effort to escape and find sense pleasure leads to suffering. The practice offers practical methods for cultivating wholesome pleasant feeling in response to pain, especially the development of detachment and equanimity.

2015-09-09 Equanimity: Equally Close To All Things 48:22
  Shaila Catherine
Equanimity allows us to remain present and awake with the fact of things—equally close to the things we like and the things we dislike. Shaila Catherine describes the importance of developing equanimity in two arenas: 1) in response to pleasant and painful feelings, and 2) regarding the future results of our actions. Equanimity develops in meditation and in life. We can use unexpected events that we cannot control to develop equanimity. Our job is not to judge our experiences, but to be present and respond wisely. Equanimity is a beautiful mental factor that can feel like freedom, but if "I" and "mine" still operate, there is still work to be done. This talk includes many practical suggestions for cultivating equanimity.

2015-09-06 Abandoning the Unwholesome, Developing the Wholesome 53:28
  Philip Jones
Knowing what is unwholesome and what is wholesome allows us to cultivate the mental qualities that lead to greater peace and harmony in our lives. The Abhidhamma helps us recognize unwholesome and wholesome mental factors. Practical methods for abandoning unwholesome thoughts and cultivating wholesome factors are explored.

2015-09-01 Make Me One with Everything 59:50
  Lama Surya Das
Lama Surya Das speaks about his most recent book, “Make Me One with Everything, Buddhist Meditations to Awaken from the Illusion of Separation.” Becoming one with everything, by seeing through separateness, is the heart of what Lama Surya Das calls “co-meditation.” “Co” means with. So, co-meditating is not just meditating with other people, but with everything that arises. This opens the door to what Buddhists call “everyday Dharma,” which integrates mindful Dharma into daily life. Everything is the object of our meditation; there are no distractions. When we co-meditate, we are being one with everything, not against it nor apart from it. This is the meaning of “inter-being.” This is also the answer to our great loneliness and the alienation that we feel today.

2015-08-25 Refrain from Taking Intoxicants 23:19
  Jason Murphy
This talk by Jason Murphy is the sixth in the speaker series Ethics, Action and the Five Precepts.The five training precepts are not commandments nor are they a list of “don’t dos.” Instead, they have an over-arching principle of ahimsa, or do no harm. In other words, following the precepts can be seen as a way to stop us from spilling our suffering onto the rest of the world. In addition, the aim of observing the precepts is to allow practitioners to be blameless and at ease, thereby preparing their minds for meditation. The fifth precept deals with not taking alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants that will lead to heedlessness. This precept is really about seeing clearly: we cannot see clearly and develop our wisdom when we intoxicate our mind.
In collection Ethics, Action, and the Five Precepts

2015-08-18 Refrain from False Speech 24:16
  Steve Gasner
This talk by Steve Gasner is the fifth in the speaker series titled Ethics, Action, and the Five Precepts. The training precept of refraining from false speech is one of the components of Right Speech in the Noble Eightfold Path. The other three components of Right Speech include refraining from harsh speech, divisive speech and idle chatter. (The other four training precepts fall under Right Action.) Although virtue (sila) will enhance our meditation, unfortunately, we have a tendency to lie, especially telling white lies. We may think white lies are not harmful, however they could create basic trust issues in relationships, because someone is always fooled. So one of the general rules that the Buddha gave is to speak truthfully, usefully and timely.
In collection Ethics, Action, and the Five Precepts

2015-08-17 Ignorance and Delusion 28:12
  Shaila Catherine
Shaila Catherine discusses how ignorance (sometimes referred to as delusion) is the root of all unwholesome activities. Ignorance is present any time that we fail to see the three characteristics of experience: impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and non-self. The wisdom that develops through insight meditation practice can overcome and uproot even deeply conditioned ignorance. Wisdom helps us to understand suffering and the cause of suffering, and awaken compassion for ourselves and others who suffer due to ignorance.

2015-08-13 Emptiness and Non-Self 54:40
  Renee Burgard
This is the sixth talk in a speaker series titled Fundamental Buddhist Principles 2015. In this talk, Renee Burgard explores how beings are empty of a separate self; there is nothing to attach to.

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