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Various's Dharma Talks at Insight Meditation South Bay - Silicon Valley
2018-04-24 Goals in Meditation 3:05:54
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!
Commitment to Enlightenment 30:23
  Shaila Catherine
Shaila Catherine gave the first talk in a speaker series titled "Goals in Meditation." Shaila explored the question of what are the aims of our practice. We can easily fall into the trap of being satisfied with our deceptive attainments, such as joy, calmness, and concentration. For these are not the ultimate goal of this path of liberation. If we become attached to these states, no matter how praise-worthy, they become impediments to reach the ultimate goal of awakening.
Nurturing the Process 35:23
  Kim Allen
Kim Allen gave the second talk in a speaker series titled "Goals in Meditation." Kim advised that instead of spending time wishing for attending some future goals, we can just do the practice. When we develop and nurture the process of the liberating path, it will naturally lead us to the goal of the path.
Cooling the Fire 43:32
  Andrea Fella
Andrea Fella gave the third talk in a speaker series titled "Goals in Meditation." Andrea pointed out that the Pali word that the Buddha used to describe his awakening is "nibbana." This word literally means "cooling." In other words, awakening is not about gaining something; rather it's about cooling the fire of greed, hatred, and delusion in our minds. indeed, we can experience nibbana in this life time, when we let go of greed, hatred, and delusion.
Not Make Things Worse 34:21
  Tony Bernhard
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.
Milestones on the Path to Freedom: Assessing Progress in Practice Wisely 42:14
  Dawn Neal
Dawn Neal gave the last talk in a speaker series titled "Goals in Meditation." Dawn offered a perspective on how to relate to assessments of practice in day-to-day practice, as well as over the arc of a practioner's journey. Beautiful experiences in practice, including great sits, concentration states, and even insight, can be celebrated, and assessed in ways that can nourish confidence in the Dharma and increase spiritual maturity. The same milestones can also become impediments -- dead-weight on the spiritual journey -- if clung to or identified with in an unhelpful way.

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