Archive of Talks

The wholesome and the unwholesome

As we practice living our lives, we are beset with the constant need to wisely discern which actions to take, and which to refrain from. In the historical teachings of the Buddha, we find a number of examples of people asking for instruction on how to make the correct choice. Most of the time the […]

What do we intend? How do we act?

Most of us have experienced the frustration of the disconnect between our intentions, and the way our days and lives actually unfold. In our gathering this Sunday Margaret guided our exploration of the connections between intention and citta. Citta is the third foundation of mindfulness in the Satipatthana Sutta.  Citta is sometimes translated as “heart-mind”, or […]

The Value of the Undependable

Even when we seem to pay objective attention to the flow of our experiences, we often impose a scale of value upon them — pleasing or unpleasing, likable or not — as if this will usher us toward a more pleasant existence. The inconstancy and undependability of phenomena are not our focus. Yet giving our attention […]

The Pitfalls of Mindfulness Practice, the Promises of Making Mistakes

What are the ways in which some Mindfulness trainings conflict with others?  How can confusion bring clarity, even as clear ideas can lead us so deep into tangles?  Many of us were taught to meditate in quiet environments by teachers whose teachers’ teachers were Forest Monks, practicing in the blooming buzzing confusion that wild nature […]

The Here and Now

Ever since the publication of Ram Dass’s “Be Here Now” in 1971, most everyone with a spiritual inclination has assumed that here and now are where and when we want to be as fully as possible.  It’s also true that these terms can be quite nuanced, even surprising.  Sam guided our reflections on this terrain […]

Complex connections; a heart at peace

This week Eveline focused our attention on ways to avoid being overwhelmed as we open our awareness to the wide and intricate webs of connection that unite us, finally, with the whole world.  Excerpts from Sebene Salassie and Nina Wise served as sources with which we can access the wisdom that can keep us grounded […]

Exhaustion

This week, Payton guided our Sangha on the wide topic of Exhaustion. What is it to be exhausted? I think we all know the feeling. Physical exhaustion is a fairly gross sensation, where the body just doesn’t quite operate the way we want it to, and we may find it actively seeking rest. Exhaustion of […]

Luminous awareness and the ground of Mind

Typically, we approach the Buddha Dharma with the intention of gaining something: a quiet mind, a lofty insight, a new sense of identity.  With luck and a supple frame of mind, we can learn to observe what is actually currently happening in this mind of ours, which is both vast and tranquil and leaping from […]

Radical Self Honesty: The Joy of Getting Real

“Remove the veil, so that I may see what is really happening here, and not be intoxicated, by my stories and my fears” Elizabeth Lesser Teaching through stories and a deep understanding of human psychology, Tara Brach describes how our brains are wired to turn away from what is truly happening and fixate on anything […]

Right Speech – the Ideal Off-the-Cushion Practice

Practice “off of the cushion” is every bit as instructive as quiet sitting.  So for this week’s discussion, Andrea presented one aspect of the eightfold path that’s a clear call to apply mindfulness in our daily lives: right speech (also sometimes translated a “wise” speech).  We also broke into pairs in which members of the sangha were […]

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