Archive of Talks

Buddhist practice and Nature

Having conquered all temptations, Siddhartha touched the ground with one hand and asked the Earth to be witness to his awakening. ~ The Buddha was born under a tree, first meditated under a tree, became enlightened under a tree, and died under a tree. His relationship with nature was profound and intimate, and guided him on […]

Planning versus Living

We often undermine our own possibility of happiness because we are living in future planning for it. This Sunday Wendy guided us as we reflected in depth on this question, drawing insights from a talk by John Peacock addressing our obsession with planning. The talk by John Peacock is “The present alone is our happiness”, […]

Reactivity

News of great anger, tragedy, and destruction of life and environment comes into our awareness from all directions in our modern world. Although this immediacy of information is incredibly useful, a lot of it is triggering to our sensitive hearts, and our heart wants us to react. Sometimes a piece of news can merit a […]

Varieties of Concentration, Focus, and Steadiness of Mind

Focusing attention on a single object is fundamental to meditation.  In fact the skill of focusing attention has two distinct applications in meditation practice.   One application is as the fundamental strategy of Samatha practice, which has as its aim the development of calm and tranquility, a “place to rest one’s mind”.   The other application is […]

Socially engaged Buddhism = Seeing the Interdependence of all life

Ginny guided our session this Sunday, drawing on readings and teachings from Thich Nhat Hanh and others on the importance of Socially Engaged Buddhism. The hour is striking so close above me, so clear and sharp,that all my senses ring with it.I feel it now: there’s a power in meto grasp and give shape to […]

The space of presence

A great gift of practice is the ability to cultivate presence, a space in which we can meet our experience with a real attention that brings deep connection and fulfillment. This Sunday, Andrea guided our reflections, drawing on Tara Brach’s exploration on this topic. Tara’s talk is available here: https://www.tarabrach.com/gift-to-the-soul-the-space-of-presence-4/ During the talk, Tara read a poem […]

Dharma in our wider world

Matters like COVID, political uncertainty, police violence and the like often seem remote from the meditation cushion and the world view of the Buddha. And yet the connections between dharma, pain, grief, effective action, and social challenges can be clearly drawn, as they are in an end-of-retreat dharma talk by Michele MacDonald and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey […]

Selfing – moment by moment creation

The Self, so often thought of as a thing, is, from a Buddhist perspective, an activity that arises under certain conditions, which can be seen and seen through.  Sam guided our reflections this week, and drew upon several teachers in the Early Buddhist tradition, including Andrea Fella, Guy Armstong, and Susie Harrington (who also offers  a guided […]

Buddhism, Racism, and Independence

This week Jeff H guided our reflections, returning to the topic of racial justice from a Buddhist perspective, and anchoring the discussions with a podcast titled “Racism and Independence” by Jack Kornfield that seems to have been recorded this year but was in fact from the 1990s. Jack starts with the context of our celebration […]

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