The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation South Bay - Silicon Valley
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2018-03-13 Equanimity 44:51
  Oren Jay Sofer
The series on the Seven Awakening factors concludes with Oren J. Sofer’s talk on the quality of equanimity. Sofer tells us that this quality develops slowly among the other factors and is considered one of the highest attainments in Buddhist practice. The fore-taste of evenness and balance can be considered a glimpse into the mind of an awakened being.
In collection Seven Factors of Awakening

2018-03-06 Samadhi 44:20
  Sean Feit Oakes
Sean Feit Oakes speaks about the quality of samadhi as an awakening factor. This talk, the 8th in the series, examines samadhi as the framework of what must be cultivated in practice in order to ultimately aim for liberation. Because concentration arises when conditions ripen, this talk explores ways to develop these conditions so that samadhi and its benefits can manifest.
In collection Seven Factors of Awakening

2018-02-27 Tranquility 49:36
  Daniel Bowling
Daniel Bowling discusses the Seven Factors of Awakening, with an emphasis on the tranquility factor. The talk, the 7th in the series on the awakening factors, encourages us to mindfully, and with curiosity and joy, develop tranquility so that we can employ its benefits both on the cushion and in everyday situations.
In collection Seven Factors of Awakening

2018-02-20 Awakening Joy 43:55
  Misha Merrill
Misha Merrill gave the fourth talk in a speaker series titled "Preparing the Mind for Awakening: Cultivating the Seven Factors of Awakening." She explained that joy and happiness are not the same thing, because we can find joy even in the midst of difficulties. We can't put off practicing and experiencing joy until everything is just exactly the way we want it to be. In fact, to be able to experience joy at this moment, right here, right now, even when things are difficult, is the core of our practice. Misha then offered practices that can increase the possibility of joy in our lives.

2018-01-23 Mindfulness 38:59
  Chris Clifford
Chris Clifford gave the first talk in a speaker series titled "Preparing the Mind for Awakening: Cultivating the Seven Factors of Awakening." In this talk, Chris explored the Buddha's teachings on Mindfulness in order to understand how this mental factor differs from ordinary untrained consciousness, and how it supports the unfolding of the Seven Factors of Awakening.

2017-12-19 Feeling Emotions 41:31
  Shaila Catherine
Shaila Catherine discusses the importance of developing mindfulness of emotions and mental states. Human beings have the capacity to experience a wide range of emotions—they may be subtle or intense, unwholesome or wholesome. Working with emotions requires energy and courage to be willing to face the raw fact that this mental state is present. We can become aware of, and work skillfully with, any emotional state including anger, hate, gratitude, fear, sadness, calmness, insecurity, contentment, grief, tranquility, lust, compassion, loneliness, jealousy, envy, restlessness, peacefulness, faith, love. Emotions are changing mental states that arise in conjunction with every perception. When we are mindful of emotions we drop the conceptual narrative of the story line and investigate how the mind operates. What conditions nourish each mental state, and what conditions cause them to end? How do these mental states affect the clarity of our perception? We can observe the dynamic interaction of emotions and the body, and learn to work with emotions in conjunction with their somatic manifestations. We might gather ideas for investigation by reviewing the detailed Abhidhamma categories of mental states and the factors that constitute each state, or we might simply observe the arising and ceasing of mental states in activity and our meditation.

2017-11-21 Gratitude 33:02
  Shaila Catherine
In this Dharma talk given as Thanksgiving approaches, Shaila Catherine discusses the benefits of gratitude and a perspective of thankfulness. She notes that studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between gratitude and happiness, and awareness of well-being in life.

2017-10-17 Mahakaccana: Clarifying the Most Cryptic Teachings 42:18
  Shaila Catherine
Shaila Catherine concluded our lecture series on the Great Disciples, with a talk about the Venerable Mahakaccana. He was a monk famous for explaining difficult and perplexing teachings. The Buddha sometimes gave brief teachings that left the listeners confused. Sometimes the disciples did not ask the Buddha questions to clarify their doubt. Instead they sought out another monk to elucidate the matter and explain the detailed meaning. The Pali Canon preserves several insightful discourses in which initial enigmatic teachings by the Buddha are systematically explained by Venerable Mahakaccana. He addresses profound topics including the construction of I-making and mine-making, craving, conceit, views, mindfulness of sense perceptions, obsession with thoughts of past and future, and overcoming desire and lust. His methods of exposition became the basis of early commentary, and Mahakaccana became known as the first Buddhist commentator.
In collection The Great Disciples: People and Personalities in the Buddha's Community

2017-10-10 Rahula: Son of Buddha 39:47
  Margaret Gainer
In this fifth talk in a lecture series on the Great Disciples, the speaker, Margaret Gainer, describes the life story of Rahula, son of the Buddha. After meeting his father for the first time at the age of seven, Rahula became the first novice monk in the Buddha's Sangha. He is known as foremost in his eagerness in receiving training. The teachings that he received from the Buddha are still relevant to us today, more than 2,600 years later.
In collection The Great Disciples: People and Personalities in the Buddha's Community

2017-10-03 Kisa Gotami: Buddha's Deep Compassion Toward Women 40:55
  Ayya Santussika
In this fourth talk in a lecture series on the Great Disciples, the speaker, Ayya Santussika, tells the life story of two enlightened, fully ordained nuns. In fact, there were quite a few of enlightened, fully ordained nuns at the Buddha's time. The speaker also discusses how we can find the key to our own happiness in these nuns' stories, such as letting go, calming the mind, and realizing complete freedom from suffering. Finally, Ayya Santussika describes the Buddha's tremendous compassion for women. In his teachings, the Buddha acknowledged sufferings that were specific to women that are still relevant today.
In collection The Great Disciples: People and Personalities in the Buddha's Community

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