The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation South Bay - Silicon Valley
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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.

2020-12-08 A Householder's Vinaya 52:35
Allan Cooper
Author Allan Cooper speaks on making lay life one’s practice instead of trying to fit practice into lay life. His book, The Householder’s Vinaya, is an accessible step by step ‘how to’ manual for anyone wishing to create an everyday life of meditative development. These new ways help cultivate and deepen meditative wisdom and establishes a deeper and more textured baseline when returning to the retreat center or monastery.

2020-10-27 Confidence, Uncertainty and the Five Aggregates 46:00
Maria Straatmann
In times of uncertainty we tend to reinforce those things that lend themselves to feeling safe and familiar, usually by reaffirming a sense of self that says, “This is right; this is who I am; this is how things should be.” The way we do this is described in Buddhism with the five aggregates, the ways we experience, perceive, and interpret reality. We will discuss understanding and seeing clearly these ways of experience and how awareness of them may lead to freedom from suffering.

2020-10-20 Real Wealth 28:28
Kim Allen
What kinds of wealth are most sustainable in times of loss? The Buddha defined five kinds of wealth that are especially appropriate for lay practitioners to develop: confidence, ethical conduct, learning, generosity, and wisdom. The inclusion of “learning” is interesting and not often emphasized. We will explore these five qualities in the context of our current times, considering how they can serve both ourselves and others.

2020-09-29 The Present Moment is Not the Goal 34:41
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
There’s a common understanding that the purpose of meditation is to fully arrive in the present moment. However, the Buddha taught people to focus on the present moment not as a goal, but as a place where work is to be done to go beyond the present. This talk, based on the essay, “The Karma of Now” will explore the Buddha’s understanding of the present moment, and the implications of that understanding, not only for the practice of meditation, but also for Buddhist practice as a whole.

2020-08-25 From Scarcity to Generosity: An Exploration of the “Comparing-mind” From Economic and Buddhist Perspectives 37:27
Kelli Schonher
In this talk, we compare and contrast economic and Buddhist teachings regarding concepts of prosperity, poverty, wealth, and generosity. Practical steps toward applying these ideas to our relationships with money and livelihood are emphasized.
Attached Files:
  • From Scarcity to Generosity: Kelli Schonher by Kelli Schonher (PDF)

2020-07-21 Healing the Heart: Reconciliation & Metta 49:26
Bob Stahl
As our meditation practice matures, we may see the importance of relinquishing grudges, judgments and resentments through honest reconciliation. Through these practices we may discover the liberating experience of authentic reconciliation that may lead to greater peace and forgiveness.

2020-07-07 The Four Great Efforts 26:18
Melissa McKay
The Buddha’s path teaches wise use of energy in life. Wise meaning the energy that will lead to the greatest benefit for ourselves and others and the least amount of suffering. He taught the Four Great Efforts as practical tools and ways of practicing and training the habits of our mind.

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