The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks Access for Retreatants at Insight Meditation Society - Retreat Center

Monday and Wednesday Talks

Regular weekly talks given at the lower Spirit Rock meditation hall

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

  
2022-04-20 Awakening and Liberation: Buddhist Practice, Passover, Easter, and Ramadan 67:08
Donald Rothberg
At this time of the confluence of Passover, Eastern, and Ramadan, we look at their core messages of liberation, going beyond death, and spiritual purification, and the links of such messages to Buddhist practice, with the aid of images and music.
Attached Files:
  • Awakening and Liberation: Buddhist Practice, Passover, Easter, and Ramadan by Donald Rothberg (PDF)
2022-04-25 Opening the Heart Meditation | Monday Night 26:56
Jack Kornfield
Let yourself settle here on the Earth. Feel how the Earth can completely support you. You can let go. Let the heart be soft to receive whatever arises with compassion. Invite presence. Acknowledge the waves of experience.
2022-04-25 Tending the Garden of the World, Tending the Garden of the Heart | Monday Night Talk 55:26
Jack Kornfield
What kind of seeds are you planting and tending with your words and your deeds? Every seed watered can become something that changes the world. If you want to practice, take a walk and look at the buds on the trees in the spring. Each bud is an answer to despair or apathy. You start to sense you are part of something so much bigger. Feel the survival of thousands of years of ancestors in your bones supporting you. “Though I do not believe a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”—Thoreau
2022-04-27 Practicing with Fear 1 65:30
Donald Rothberg
After a brief review of last week's exploration of the relationship of Buddhist practice to Passover, Easter, and Ramadan, we explore a theme that is part of those holidays, and central to our practice--how we work with fear and anxiety. We look at the centrality of such practice, and the different types of fear, distinguishing the unskillful aspects (such as confusion, reactivity, and the continual repetition of negative narratives) from the at times skillful aspects (such as recognizing danger). We then suggest ways of bringing mindfulness to fear, as well as ways of understanding and responding to fear.
2022-05-04 Integrating Change as a Path to Wholeness 1:27:07
Heidi Bourne
2022-05-11 Wise Understanding and Wise Intention 1:25:37
Sylvia Boorstein
2022-05-16 Here and Now Meditation | Monday Night 28:20
Jack Kornfield
Let yourself be settled. Turn your attention to here and now, and the present experience. You can rest on the Earth with ease and trust in this moment. With this embodied presence, begin to notice the experiences here and now. There will be sensations of the body, sounds, emotions, feelings. A parade of images and thoughts will come and go. You can take your seat just where you are, in the midst of these rising and passing experiences.
2022-05-16 The Most Basic Truths: Gateways to Freedom | Monday Night Talk 53:39
Jack Kornfield
When I first entered the monasteries in Thailand and Burma, I was taught everything is anicca (impermanent), dukkha (unsatisfactory), and anatta (no-self). The reason these were repeated over and over again is because if you see these, you see with the eyes of wisdom. Because everything is changing, the more you cling and hold on, the more you suffer. To free ourselves, we need to quiet the mind through some mindfulness in meditation. Then, instead of identifying with the changing conditions, we learn to release them and turn toward consciousness itself, to rest in the knowing. My teacher Ajahn Chah called this pure awareness, "the original mind," or resting in "the one who knows." As the Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “It is the truth that liberates, and not your efforts to be free.” With practice, we discover the selflessness of experience; we shift identity. We can be in the midst of an experience, being upset or angry or caught by some problem, and then step back from it and rest in pure awareness. We let go; we release holding any thought or feeling as "I" or "mine." We release the whole sense of identification, and the conditioned world is just anicca (impermanent), dukkha (unsatisfactory), and anatta (empty of self) -- it has nothing to do with our true nature. We learn to trust pure awareness itself. This is one of the ways Ajahn Chah taught about liberation. Awakening is always here and now. Practicing this way, your life is transformed.
2022-05-18 Practicing with Fear 2 68:32
Donald Rothberg
We review briefly some of what we covered in the last session (April 27) on practicing with fear. We then explore the various types of fear reported in the group, what we find bringing mindfulness to hear, particularly what's experienced in the body and in the mind, and the importance of having antidotes to fear, when the level of fear is at a high level and our usual practices are not effective. We also point to the way that as we develop and move into new areas of learning, we also often open up to new fears that are part of the new territory. We close with a period of questions and sharing.
2022-05-25 Practicing with Fear 3 66:03
Donald Rothberg
We start by acknowledging the mass shooting in Texas that occurred yesterday, in the context of our practicing with fear, following up an earlier guided meditation and sharing (not recorded) related to the shooting. We then look generally at the three core ways of practicing with fear, going into some depth on each: (1) cultivating mindfulness and clear seeing (wisdom), (2) working with the heart practices, and (3) acting skillfully. We then focus on how the process of awakening typically involves at each new stage an opening to fear, and also mention some of the dynamics of the "Dark Night of the Soul." Lastly, we look at how to explore and work with fear related to our social world, in terms of the three ways of practicing with fear. There follows a period of discussion.
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