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trauma

Ancestral Trauma & the Insight into Previous Births

The Buddha’s insights into the nature of identity and its relationship with pain and distress are expressed in three important concepts: Dependent Origination (paṭiccasamuppāda), wandering (saṃsāra), and selflessness or insubstantiality (anattā). These are among the most challenging teachings in the tradition partly because they are based in phenomena that few practitioners can observe directly: past lives, the process of cause …

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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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