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Tony Bernhard's Dharma Talks at Insight Meditation South Bay - Silicon Valley
Tony Bernhard
Tony Bernhard first encountered the dharma in 1965 and became one of Spirit Rock’s first community dharma leaders in 1999. He currently sits on the board of the Sati Center, trains inmates and staff at Folsom Prison in mindfulness and dharma, leads sitting groups in Davis, and regularly teaches in a handful of venues in and around Sacramento and the Bay Area. He primarily focuses his practice on study of the dharma teachings in the earliest texts.
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2019-08-06 Dukkha as a Chronic Illness, with Tony Bernhard 48:26
Tony covers the four noble truths and the 8-fold path with many modern metaphors. He suggests the dharma is like an inoculation against the suffering we tend to add on top of the inevitable pain that comes with living a human life. He describes how a vedana meter can be a useful means of bringing attention to the range of feeling tones evoked by experiences and thereby sharpening insight into the way things are.
Saturday Talks
In collection: Meditation in Hard Times
2019-07-16 Meditation in Hard Times 3:42:31
with Diana Clark, Misha Merrill, Nikki Mirghafori, Shaila Catherine
An IMSB series dealing with stress, life transitions, traumas, and tragedies.
2018-05-15 Not Make Things Worse 34:21
Tony Bernhard gave the fourth talk in a speaker series titled "Goals in Meditation." Tony explained that the Buddha's insights is captured in the Four Noble Truth. The First Noble Truth points out suffering or dissatisfaction we experience in life. Unfortunately, we make things worse by complaining when we experience things as unpleasant, or wanting more of things that are pleasant. This is the Second Noble Truth, which explains the origin of suffering, namely our clinging and aversion. The Third Noble Truth tells us that we don't have to make things worse for ourselves. And the Fourth Noble Truth tells us how not to make things worse by follwoing the Noble Eightfold Path.
In collection: Goals in Meditation
2018-04-24 Goals in Meditation 3:05:54
with Andrea Fella, Dawn Neal, Kim Allen, Shaila Catherine
We invited several local teachers to share both the personal aims that guide their practice and their understanding of the goals of the Buddhist Path. We asked them the following questions: What is the goal of Buddhist practice? What do you personally hope to achieve through your practice? What is a reasonable way to assess our progress – how can we tell if we are on track? How can we work skillfully with goals in the context of mindfulness-based practices that emphasize present moment awareness? This series will explore both the ultimate and relative goals of Buddhist practice. It will address the benefits and limitations of having goals, and explore some related practice issues: comparing, expectations, craving for attainments, inspiration, and the potential for discouragement. Join us for an illuminating look into some aspects of your practice you may never have considered!
2016-04-26 Lessons from the Quarrel at Kosambi 39:23
Tony Bernhard gave the third talk in a seven-week series on lesser known Buddhist teachings titled "Thus Have I Heard." This talks discusses the problems surrounding quarrels and disputes, and the suffering that results from clinging to views.
In collection: Thus Have I Heard
2016-04-12 Thus Have I Heard 5:01:05
with Andrea Fella, Diana Clark, Kim Allen, Nona Olivia, Sean Feit Oakes, Shaila Catherine
The Pali Canon includes over 5,000 discourses that document conversations and encounters that occurred during forty years of the Buddha's ministry. Over the centuries, certain teachings have risen to the surface with popularity and come to characterize our impression of what the Buddha taught. However, the vast collection of source material reaches beyond these well known teachings. For this speaker series, IMSB has invited teachers to focus on teachings that have been largely neglected by contemporary Buddhist groups. Each talk will share a lesser-known teaching, event, or instruction that will enrich our comprehension of what the Buddha taught. We will discover whether broadening our source material reinforces the dominant view of Buddhist practice or paints a different picture of meditation and the path of liberation.
2016-01-26 Recollection of the Dhamma 45:46
This is the second talk in a speaker series titled "Recollective Meditations." According to Tony Bernhard, the Noble Eightfold Path is the essence of the recollection on dhamma. Each path factor leads to the cessation of suffering, and thus, to the goal of liberation.
In collection: Recollective Meditations
2016-01-19 Recollective Meditations 3:35:53
with Dawn Neal, Shaila Catherine
The Buddha taught a broad range of meditation practice -- far more extensive than simply observing sensations and breath. Practitioners can use six classic meditation subjects to nurture calmness, focus attention, inspire patience persistence, gain confidence in the efficacy of the path, and contemplate the nature of kamma, action, and mind. The six recollections are: Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, Virtue, Generosity, and Heavens.
2015-08-04 Refrain from Stealing 45:15
This is the third talk in a speaker series titled Ethics, Action, and the Five Precepts. How does the training precept of refraining from stealing differ from the Biblical Commandment of “thou shall not steal?” The precept of not to steal is based on the Buddha’s teaching of ending suffering. Instead of a black and white rule, this precept is meant to protect our mind from impulses to take what is not freely given. At the deepest level, this precept is designed to end tanha, our thirst, our grasping, our greed. It is a raft that carries us to liberation, rather than a rule to be clung to.
In collection: Ethics, Action, and the Five Precepts
2015-07-21 Ethics, Action, and the Five Precepts 3:26:01
with Jason Murphy, Shaila Catherine, Sharon Allen, Steve Gasner
This series explores virtue as the indispensable foundation of Buddhist practice. It is structured according to the five training precepts. These precepts are not rules to be followed obediently; rather, they serve as guidelines for the intentional development of compassion, mindfulness and wisdom. These five precepts offer us a joyful method to cultivate the heart, nurture harmony in our relationships, and free the mind from inner forces of greed and hatred that if left unrestrained might cause suffering for ourselves and others.

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