Kim Allen has been practicing Insight meditation since 2003, and has trained intensively in the U.S. and Asia with cumulative years of silent retreat. She has practiced with primary teacher Gil Fronsdal and other Western teachers, Theravādan monastics, and a few Mahāyāna teachers, and now offers retreats, sutta study, and experiential Dharma engagement. A teacher and author, Kim aims to bring classical Dharma to a modern context and to encourage lay practitioners in fully living a life of Dharma. Her education includes a PhD in physics and a master’s degree in environmental sustainability, and her website is https://www.uncontrived.org.
Kim Allen gave the second talk in the eleven-week series "Ten Perfections." She discussed loving-kindness, or Metta, a strength of heart we develop through goodwill, both inner and outer. We develop goodwill through interpersonal relationships, and also through complete acceptance of all aspects of ourself. The path to complete Metta is inward through the heart.
Kim Allen gave the fourth talk in a seven-week series on lesser known Buddhist teachings titled "Thus Have I Heard." This talk explores how practice can be difficult, especially when it helps us become aware of the dark corners of our minds such as fear and dread. Fortunately, the Buddha taught us to train our minds so we won't give in to those tendencies, and instead live a skillful life with wholesome qualities such as generosity, virtue, and loving kindness.
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.
This is the third talk in a 5-part speaker series titled "Balanced Practice". Kim Allen speaks about practice on the meditation cushion and in the world. In the Pali tradition, training in behavior, view, and intention precedes meditation. Hence the transition between the two worlds flows naturally. In the West, we tend to go straight to meditation, and hence ask, "How can I bring cushion practice into the world?" As we balance our practice, we discover how cushion practice can enhance our activities in the wider world and vice versa.
This is the second talk in a 5-part speaker series titled "Balanced Practice". Kim Allen discusses cultivating and letting go, and the need for balancing of both to progress on the path. These factors are like two sides of the same coin; cultivating non-clinging leads to letting go.
The art of Dhamma practice includes engaging skillfully with complementary aspects of practice. Sometimes we are called to actively cultivate qualities, while at other times, letting go is more appropriate. We use both our head and our heart; we engage both inwardly and in the outer world; we need both restraint and boldness. Sometimes qualities that at first appear to be in opposition, are actually inseparable -- like the front and back of a hand. This speaker series explores potential paradoxes and complimentary forces in meditation, as we learn to develop a balanced practice.
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.
Buddhist tradition offers a rich tradition of wisdom teachings. This series focuses on the philosophy, principles, practices, and instructions that are fundamental to developing a meditative or Buddhist practice. It is intended as an introduction to Buddhism series, with an emphasis on the primary teachings that guide meditators to a liberating understanding of the mind, world, and life.
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.