The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Sally Armstrong's Dharma Talks at Insight Meditation Society - Retreat Center
Sally Armstrong
Sally Clough Armstrong began practicing vipassana meditation in India in 1981. She moved to the Bay Area in 1988, and worked at Spirit Rock until 1994 in a number of roles, including executive director. She began teaching in 1996, and is one of the guiding teachers of Spirit Rock's Dedicated Practitioner Program.
2017-09-24 Standing Meditation 48:08
Three-Month Retreat - Part 1
2017-09-18 Mindfulness Of Emotions 48:43
Three-Month Retreat - Part 1
2017-09-17 The First Foundation of Mindfulness 61:11
In the Satipatthana Sutta on the foundations of mindfulness, the first area of practice is the body. The Buddha gives us many different practices and ways to investigate the body. This talk explores these practices, beginning with the breath, but going on to other practices that we don't often teach, such as the four elements, the 32 parts of the body, and corpse contemplations. Each of these practices can be a powerful doorway to wise seeing and freedom. This talk is the first of a series of four on each foundation of mindfulness.
Three-Month Retreat - Part 1
2016-10-20 The Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness 59:51
The Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta (usually translated as the Foundations of Mindfulness) offers a complete description of the practice of mindfulness, beginning with the direct awareness of the breath and the body, progressing through mindfulness of vedana or feeling tone, to the more subtle object of the Third Foundation, mindfulness of mind states. The Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness represents the culmination of this series of practices, and can be seen as a direct pointing, again and again, to the possibility of freedom through direct awareness of where we get caught, and how to turn the mind towards liberation. This talk is an overview of the practices of the Fourth Foundation, which can be seen as both the last in the sequence of practices, and as a progression in itself. It also covers how the Fourth Foundation can be skillfully interwoven into our practice of the other foundations.
Three-Month Part 1
2016-10-13 Kamma and equanimity 57:58
There are two main aspects to mental factor of equanimity. The first is a vast and spacious mind, within which all experiences can arise and pass without disturbance. The other is understanding deeply the nature of reality and experience, so the mind is steady in the face of changing conditions. In Buddhist teachings this includes the understanding of kamma, the teachings of cause and effect. This important teaching is not about blame and judgment, but rather an empowering instruction on the possibility of understanding the natural laws of cause and effect, and how to train the mind and heart to reduce suffering and increase well-being for oneself and for others.
Three-Month Part 1
2016-10-07 Steadying the Mind, Opening the Heart 58:41
There are five factors that are supported for deepening concentration, known as the jhana factors. These factors are developed in any kind of intensive meditation practice, but are particularly supportive for the development of samadhi. They also serve to counterbalance the hindrances. When the hindrances are not active, the mind and heart can be buoyant and open, allowing concentration and insight to deepen.
Three-Month Part 1
2016-09-29 Clinging 61:13
Though the 2nd Noble Truth points to craving as the cause of suffering, clinging – upadana – is inextricably woven into the experience of suffering. With craving we are reaching towards the object or experience, in clinging we are trying to hold onto it, and make it I, me or mine. Clinging is central to how we create a sense of self through the five aggregates, as pointed to in the first noble truth. We can bring awareness to the process of craving leading to clinging leading to the creation of a sense of self as depicted in the teaching on Dependent Origination, as it is often accompanied by physical energy we can recognize and certain types of thinking. Being mindful of this process allows us to respond wisely, decreasing or abandoning the clinging, and therefore not getting caught in the delusion of self.
Three-Month Part 1
2016-09-22 Three kinds of intention. 58:29
To develop any skill, to fully cultivate any qualities in our lives, particularly on the Buddhist path, we need to engage with three kinds of intention that operate on different time frames. Cetana is the moment to moment intention, the urge to do, that we can bring into the field of our mindfulness practice. The next level, Adhitthana, is usually translated as resolve or determination, and is one of the paramis. The highest level is Samma Sankappa, usually translated as right or wise intention. This is the second path factor, after right view, so it is the kind of intention developed by right view. There are three kinds of Right intention - the intention towards renunciation, non-ill will, and non-harming. These skillful intentions can then inform our choices and actions (Adhitthanas) , which we keep in mind through awareness of moment to moment intentions, or cetana.
Three-Month Part 1
2016-09-15 Living In Samsara 56:30
We live in an imperfect unfixable world, which we constantly try to fix or correct– This leads to suffering! One of the ways we obsess is through a type of thinking called papañca.
Three-Month Part 1
2015-10-19 The Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness 57:05
The Satipatthana Sutta (usually translated as the Foundations of Mindfulness) offers a complete description of the practice of mindfulness, beginning with the direct awareness of the breath and the body, progressing through mindfulness of vedana or feeling tone, to the more subtle object of the Third Foundation, mindfulness of mind states. The Fourth Foundation of Mindfulness represents the culmination of this series of practices, and can be seen as a direct pointing, again and again, to the possibility of freedom through direct awareness of where we get caught, and how to turn the mind towards liberation. This talk is an overview of the practices of the Fourth Foundation, which can be seen as both the last in the sequence of practices, and as a progression in itself. It also covers how the Fourth Foundation can be skillfully interwoven into our practice of the other foundations.
Three-Month Retreat - Part 1

Creative Commons License