Archive of Talks

Awareness and Mindfulness

At the Sangha this week we explored the meaning of the terms consciousness, perception, mindfulness and wisdom, and reflected on their role in the dharma and Buddhist practice. The counterparts of these terms in Pali have very precise meanings. By way of contrast, there is no correlate in Pali for the word “awareness”, although it […]

The inflection point of freedom

Mindfulness, or sati, is a term that has saturated American society and beyond.  We as meditators may consider ourselves to have a deeper or more authentic understanding of what this term means, potentially even proclaiming it the driver of our practice.  When we find ourselves lost in the fast pace of modern life though, there […]

Doubt, Help or Hindrance

In some dharma teachings, doubt is seen as the great opportunity to plunge into awakening. In others, it is understood as the last obstacle to overcome. How do doubt, faith and perseverance show up in your own practice — a help or a hindrance? Can they be both? This Sunday, Jane presented a talk by […]

Sense of identity

What most importantly contributes to the story of ourselves which we are constantly telling ourselves, the story of who we are and our relation to the world around us? How is it made? Does it seem to shelter us, or open up wide open spaces? Drawing upon a talk by Ajahn Sucitto, Don S. framed […]

Joy

It’s a good bet that most of us seek after the experience of joy in our lives. The good news is, joy is inevitable! Narayan Liebenson addresses us from the Buddhist Forest Refuge to coach us to recognize, savor and cultivate joy in its various forms. Lorilee facilitated this Sunday’s topic by sharing Narayan’s talk, visual […]

The Comparing Mind

Most people probably consider ourselves open-minded, but all of us have hidden biases when it comes to viewing ourselves in relation to others or when viewing others in relation to ourselves. These sorts of mental formations appear only with the right trigger, and sometimes their effects are subtle enough that we are not even aware […]

Anger and reactivity

What makes it possible to respond rather than react in the face of a powerful emotion like Anger?  It’s not easy, and doesn’t come just by wishing for the better response.  Eric guided our investigation of reactivity and response, drawing on his own personal experience and practice as well as a dharma talk by Brian LeSage, with […]

Watering the good seeds already in our being

Thich Nhat Hanh’s iconic teaching about how we must water the “good” seeds in ourselves and others is exemplified all around us in nature. This is especially true during the height of summer, when gardens are bursting forth, the result of careful planting and tending. This week Ginny explored the work of tending to our own […]

Further footprints of emptiness

This Sunday, we continued our exploration of emptiness. Emptiness enables the wise heart to respond with fearlessness: without always protecting our own position, we can become deep listeners. Our being can be expansive and inclusive. Jeff shared a talk by Kittisaro “There Are No Footprints In The Sky” from a retreat at Spirit Rock in 2021. […]

Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form

The Heart Sutra, with its proclamation that Form and Emptiness are identical, is among the most famous, widely read and frequently chanted of Buddhist texts. Over the centuries, practitioners have found it both puzzling and inspiring. Steve guided our reflections on this powerful Sutra this Sunday, drawing on excerpts from a talk by Gil Fronsdal […]

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