The greatest gift is the
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Dharma Talks given at Insight Meditation South Bay - Silicon Valley
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2008-04-15 Intensive Retreat 53:10
Shaila Catherine
This talk explores the practice meditation in silent retreats. What are the reasons and benefits for attending a meditation retreat? How can one undertake retreat most effectively. Retreats offer opportunities for deep relaxation; time to set down our worldly identities; let go of the pressures we place upon ourselves to produce and perform; and deeply rest. In the silence of retreat we meet ourselves as we are; we see our patterns, habits, and tendencies; and we discover the causes of suffering and can glimpse the potential to end suffering. We become aware of subtle internal dynamics and thought patterns; we get to know our own minds. Shaila shares that some of the happiest moments of her life have been on retreat, content with little, present and aware of the simple things happening around her. Having spent more than 7 years in silence, Shaila offers helpful tips about what to expect on retreats regarding schedule, instruction, and interaction with the teachers; how to prepare for a retreat including what to pack or not pack; and how to transition back home after the retreat has ended and integrate the insights gleaned through intensive meditation into the complex encounters of everyday life.

2008-03-11 Politics & the Dharma 57:40
Tony Bernhard

2008-03-11 Death and Dying: Returning to the Source 48:26
Misha Merrill
Embracing Aging, Sickness and Death as Heavenly Messengers

2008-02-26 Re-imagining Aging: An Exploration of Possibility 47:58
Sandi Peters
Embracing Aging, Sickness and Death as Heavenly Messengers

2008-02-19 Heavenly Messengers—Aging, Illness, and Death 49:16
Shaila Catherine
We are all vulnerable to aging, illness, and death. Everything born will eventually die. How can we contemplate death in a way that brings us to realize the deathless liberation of mind? How can we go beyond birth and death by facing the reality of our existence? Reflecting on death is one traditional way to contemplate the nature of the body. These meditations include contemplating the decaying corpse, body contemplations, noticing that our friends and loved ones perish. We are all friends who share birth, old age, sickness, and death.
Tuesday Talks

2007-11-27 Faith & Interrelatedness : Practice in Action 43:50
Ajahn Metta

2007-11-13 Awakening the Heart: The role of trust and devotion in meditation practice 48:30

2007-10-16 The Hindrances: Doubt 41:30
Shaila Catherine
Doubt can be an obstacle to meditation or a form of healthy inquiry. It is helpful to ask questions, to ponder, and be willing to doubt our beliefs and opinions. Ask yourself: are my views true? We hold many unexamined beliefs—beliefs about self, about how things should be, about what other people should do. The Kalama Sutta encourages us to question what we think, and to not adopt beliefs based on hearsay or mere tradition. We can use our minds to critically inquire into how things actually are. Doubt as an obstacle, on the other hand, is a painful state that leads to confusion, fear, indecision, and uncertainty. It manifests as obsessive thinking, planning, and anxiety. The Discourse to Malunkyaputta (Middle Length Discourses, M. 63) proposes that if we indulge in speculative thinking we might miss the opportunity to free ourselves from suffering. Specific suggestions are offered for working skillfully with the hindrance of doubt.
Tuesday Talks

2007-10-09 Hindrances, Restlesness 44:05
Andrea Fella
The hindrance of restlessness and remorse is a fundamental hindrance out of which the other hindrances can arise. The importance of becoming familiar with restlessness, to see or understand its nature, is discussed. Through having a clear understanding of how it arises in the mind and in the body one can work with its various manifestations in practice.

2007-10-04 Big Mind Guided Meditation 45:42
Shaila Catherine
Guided meditation, meditation instructions
In collection Featured Guided Meditations

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