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Seeking the Deathless: chanting & stories of the Buddha for Vesak 2018

Vesak is the celebration of the Buddha’s birth, liberation, and death, falling this year on the late May full moon. We took a break from the social justice series we’re in the middle of to chant and hear stories remembering the life and insight of Siddhartha Gotama (mostly from the Lalitavistara Sūtra), who became the Buddha of our age, 2500 …

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The [Poisoned] State of the Union

On the evening our beleaguered president gives his first State of the Union address, I give mine. I talk about the early Buddhist framework for understanding the world in terms of three interwoven causes of pain and unskillful action: The 3 Poisons of greed, hatred, and delusion. Meditation: the Central Column as felt alignment leading to Eliot’s “still point at …

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Impermanence

Three talks on the first of the 3 Characteristics, or Marks (tilakkhaṇa): Impermanence (anicca). As is our practice often lately, the meditations include the Refuge and Precepts pūja. A talk on the quality and practice of refuge, and how we both need a refuge from impermanence, and we take refuge in impermanence. Meditation: mindfulness of change A talk on mindfulness as memory …

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The Whole Path

Opening 2018 with a talk on the “Whole Path” of Buddhist purification and liberation. I used the verse that is often chanted as a summary of the path (Dhammapada 183) as the basis. sabba-pāpassa akaranam kusalassupa-sampadāsacitta-pariyo-dapanam etam buddhāna-sāsanam Do no harmful actions,do what’s skillful,purify your mind.This is the legacy of the Buddha. Meditation: Delight, deepening the breath, intimacy

Intervention vs Observation in Mindfulness Meditation

A short talk and discussion given at Spirit Rock during a Thursday morning yoga and meditation class. I talked about the difference between Bare Awareness styles of instruction and Cultivating Wholesome States styles, and how they relate to each other. Talked a bit about how understanding them as different ways of engaging in practice shines a light on some of …

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The 4 Divine Abodes (brahmavihāra), plus gratitude

The 4 blessed healing states known as the Divine Abodes, or Divine Abidings (brahmavihāra) are among the most beloved practices in the Buddhist system. We spent a month on them this summer, looking at the power of heart practice on the Liberation process. The meditations use a simple form of the “radiating” style taught by Ajahn Anālayo. We ended with …

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Five Hindrances to Deepening in Practice

A talk on the 5 great demons the Buddha described that haunt meditators and anyone who wants to do inner work (or maybe good work of any kind): Sense Desires, Hatred, Sloth & Torpor, Restlessness & Worry, and everyone’s [least] favorite: Doubt. They’re painful, but Mindfulness of them is central to the path. When you name Rumplestiltskin, his power over …

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The Nervous System in Meditation & Yoga

Four weeks of investigation of the relationship of the trauma physiology and resilience teachings of Organic Intelligence to the practices of meditation and yoga.1. Meditation: Orientation, Body Posture, Pleasure (6.6.17) Trauma Basics: Fight, Flight, Freeze (6.6.17) 2. Meditation: Mettā (Loving Kindness) for a Benefactor, with the breath (6.13.17) Trauma Basics: Activation-Deactivation (6.13.17) 3. Meditation: 3 Important Spectra/Qualities to Track (6.20.17) Trauma …

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The Noble Eightfold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path (ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo) is the core Buddhist framework that describes the path of practice toward Liberation from Suffering. It is divided into 3 sections: Wisdom, Action, and Meditation/Integration. The section on Wisdom (pañña) 1. Right (or Wise) View (sammā-diṭṭhi ) (2.28.17 on Suffering and 3.7.17 on Karma) 2. Right Intention (sammā-sankappa) (3.14.17) The section on Ethics …

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On Purification, Trauma, and the Nervous System

  A talk given at Insight Meditation South Bay on nervous system physiology and trauma. Discussed healing as purification. Meditation Orientation to the environment through the senses

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