Kim Allen practiced with Gil Fronsdal for a dozen years, and now serves on the Teacher’s Council at Insight Santa Cruz. She has spent cumulative two years in silent retreat, and lived for another two years at the Insight Retreat Center. She has studied the suttas with Gil, Bhikkhu Bodhi, and Shaila Catherine, and offers classes for dedicated students. She has completed the Sati Center’s Buddhist Chaplaincy training program, and is the founder of the Buddhist Insight Network. Her teaching emphasizes the willingness to look truthfully at experience, and to soften in light of what is seen.
This is the first talk in a 5-part speaker series titled "Balanced Practice". In this talk, Kim Allen explores faith, trust, confidence, curiosity, inquiry and doubt, and how these factors relate to our practice.
This is the fourth talk in a speaker series titled Fundamental Buddhist Principles 2015. As we observe our daily and meditative experience, the mind naturally begins to notice "universal" qualities of experience: impermanence (anicca), unsatisfactoriness (dhkkha), and emptiness (anatta). These three - especially impermanence - are gates to spiritual freedom. It's how we relate and react to these three characteristics that determine whether we suffer or be at peace.
This talk was given as part of the series “Strengthening Mindfulness.” Dukkha, or suffering, includes pain, illness, and death; yet these are inevitable visitors to our lives. It is our practice to gently turn towards what’s difficult and painful in our lives, and understand truly these human experiences. When we are mindful, we become aware that there are the bodily sensations of pain and discomfort that we may not control, and there are our mind’s reactions to these sensations that we may observe and change. Mindfulness of death can lead us to a sense of spiritual urgency, and help us to cultivate compassion for this shared experience among all human kind. This knowledge of commonality can also help us to overcome fear.
Kalyana mitta, or spiritual friendship, is a foundation of the Buddhist path. Through examining a number of suttas related to friendship, we gain an understanding of the important qualities and ways of relating to wise friends.
Dukkha – variously rendered as suffering, unsatisfactoriness, stress, or struggle – is one of the three marks of existence. According to the teaching on the First Noble Truth, the task related to dukkha is to understand it. This talk examines what dukkha is and is not, and offers guidelines for exploring it deeply.
Right Livelihood, as the culmination of the virtue, or sila, steps of the Eightfold Path, concerns all aspects of how we sustain our life. It is far more than just our job. This talk examines how we can practice toward a fuller alignment of all aspects of our life.