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loving-kindness

Mettā is a Prayer for World Peace

A few days after the Pittsburgh Synagogue bombing by an anti-semitic white nationalist, we practice and discuss the radical communal prayer called mettā (Loving-kindness, benevolence, friendliness). How radiating mettā to All Beings, including the difficult ones, is the same as praying for world peace. Meditation: Breath, whole body, and radiating mettā to all beings (10.30.18) Talk: Mettā is a prayer …

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The Great Demons: Systemic trauma & social action

Based in our recent exploration of the Diamond Sūtra and the ideal of the Bodhisattva, we begin a series of discussions of what I’ll call the Great Demons, the systemic ills we struggle with and which so clearly are conditions for global suffering right now. We’ll work with three core models for understanding systemic ill, all of which I’ll explain …

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The Discourse on Loving-Kindness (Mettā Sutta)

I’ve been wanting to do this series for a long time. We’re taking several weeks to study our way slowly through the beautiful Mettā Sutta, the Discourse on the cultivation of Friendliness, or Loving-Kindness. It’s a joy to discuss, and we’re learning to chant the sutta as well. Here are the talks and meditations from each week of the series, …

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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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On romantic love & attachment

Immediately after giving this talk at Haas Business School on the historical issues and philosophical problems around the conception of mind and body as separate, I zipped on my bike over to Satsang and talked about romance and grasping. Bang! Pow! Meditation On intimacy

Mettā as Universal Love, and renunciation, as supports for tolerance

Part of a series on social justice issues, we look here at the profound virtue of tolerance, and how it can be developed through the practices of mettā and renunciation. Meditation I gave “basics” meditation instructions this evening:

10 Perfections (pāramī) to Cultivate on the Path

The doctrinal list known as the 10 Perfections, or pāramī, has only a small place in the earliest layer of the Buddhist teachings, but by the time the Pāli Canon was being fully assembled and the Mahāyāna revolution was well-underway, the list became one of the central frameworks for describing the qualities that aspiring Buddhas, or “Bodhisattvas” should cultivate. The Jataka Tales …

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Grief and Mourning, after the Oakland Ghost Ship fire

Here’s some background on this terrible fire that shocked our community. I knew someone who died in it, and people in the Satsang community also lost friends. The talk touches on grief and mourning, and the room was really heavy. I’m glad we had the space to gather.

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