The Noble Eightfold Path to the End of Dissatisfaction: Part 1, Right View

A new dive into the Noble Eightfold Path (8FP), the Buddha’s brilliant scaffolding for integrated individual and collective liberation. We start, as is traditional, with Right View: the turning of the heart toward reality and away from delusion. Right View is both the prerequisite for wisdom to arise and the manifestation of wisdom when it matures. It is described many

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4 Modes of Attention

One way to think about mindfulness and effort in meditation practice is to imagine a graph where the X axis is volition (doing things on purpose), and the Y axis is consciousness, or being aware of what’s happening. Here’s a talk on this model, some pictures, and a handout to put on the fridge. Meditation: stillness of body, stillness of

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Samadhi & Nervous System Health

A talk I gave at Insight Meditation South Bay on samādhi in the context of the 7 Awakening Factors. After the cornerstone Factor, Mindfulness, this list is divided into 3 energizing Factors: Investigation of States, Energy, and Rapture; and 3 calming Factors: Tranquillity, Focus (samādhi), and Equanimity. If we read the list as a sequence as well as a set,

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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

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A new meditation and yoga retreat format

If you’ve sat a meditation retreat at Spirit Rock, IMS, Insight Retreat Center, or any of the other Insight Meditation spots around, you know the standard retreat schedule well: basically a day of alternating 45 minute sitting and walking meditation periods, dharma talk in the evenings. All in silence except for a 15 minute check-in with a teacher every other

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The practice of meditation

A series of talks looking at the practice of meditation in detail. We discuss different types of instructions, what’s happening in the nervous system, how to work with emotion, thought, and sensation, how the practice develops, and more. Part 1: Two broad styles of meditation instruction that differ in how we use our attention, and have different results. And an

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Buddhist & Hindu Yogas are less separate than you think

A month of talks exploring the relationship between Buddhism and Yoga, or between the many “Buddhist and Hindu Yogas” plural. I wove in some history, but tried to stay close to actual practice issues. 1. Embodiment. Meditation: Orientation through the senses 2. Focus & tranquillity: the practices of jhāna/samādhi, and the pleasure of Rapture (pīti). Child Gotama under the rose-apple

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