Archive of Talks

Gratitude, Gladness, and Unifying the Mind

During the Thanksgiving holiday season, we might be contemplating the role of gratitude in our lives, and wondering how Buddhism can help us navigate the experience of pleasure. Guided by Sarah, this week’s sangha discussion included a recent talk by Jill Shepherd on Muditā, or gladness, as a way of exploring of samādhi, unification of mind, and […]

Doubt

In this time of ongoing uncertainty and perpetual transitions, it would be no surprise to notice the fifth Hindrance of “doubt” creeping its way into our lives. With Andrea guiding the session, this week’s sangha discussion centered around talks by Sharon Salzberg and Tara Brach to explore the presence of doubt in our practice and […]

Deep Listening

How do we listen to the pulse of the world?  How do we listen to one another?  Our capacity for deep listening can be the source of healing, for others, and for ourselves. This week Stephanie shared with us the reflections of Jack Kornfield as he explored the path to healing, especially through the deep listening that […]

Assumptions and Views

This Sunday Jeff H guided our Sangha as we listened to a very powerful talk by James Baraz titled “Seeing Beyond the Mask: Looking Past Our Assumptions”. In his teaching on the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha describes in the Second Noble Truth four kinds of attachments that cause suffering. One of these is attachment […]

Finding Faith in the Dharma

The meaning of “faith” is complex and, for many of us, strongly colored by past experience. In Buddhist philosophy, the word is sometimes translated as “trust” and is based solely on our own experience. We have “faith”, after all, that the sun will rise because we’ve seen it happen so many times. It is not […]

Here in the dragon’s jaws—many exquisite jewels

Our perceptions shape our lives. Fortunately, with a little practice, we can perceive how we shape our own perceptions, and realize we are making our situations better or worse by how we perceive them. Then our whole understanding can be stood on its head, transformed: “Here in the dragon’s jaws—many exquisite jewels,” says the Blue […]

The natural world, environmentalism, and buddhism

After leaving his cushy palace home in search of deeper insight into life, the Buddha spent most of his life in the outdoors, walking the roads, living in forests, sitting at the edges of rivers.  Most of the instructions on how to meditate begin with the direction to find the base of a tree at […]

Perpetual change and letting go

Perhaps the easiest fundamental of the Dharma for almost everyone to agree with is anicca – that everything changes. On the surface, at least, it seems like common sense.  But if that is the case, why do we find it so difficult to let go of our preferences, attachments, and long-held ideas?  Sam guided our reflections on this conundrum […]

The Eight Worldly Winds, and how to navigate with them

This Sunday Margaret guided our reflections on the Buddha’s advice about how to deal with what he called the eight “worldly winds,” which are often paired as gain and loss,pleasure and pain,praise and blame,fame and shame. “Wind” is a wonderful characterization for these circumstances, because they are as much beyond our control as is the […]

Grace

Last week Ginny led us in reflection on why we practice.   Lorilee built on that theme today, with a teaching on developing gracefulness in the face of suffering.  “Dukka is part of the deal,” states Eugene Cash. Buddhism teaches to become “bigger containers” for this world’s challenges.  Suffering itself can call forth a grace in […]

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