Archive of Talks

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is both possible and necessary. It is never too late to find forgiveness and to start again.  Buddhist psychology offers specific teachings and practices for redemption and the development of forgiveness.  Like the practice of compassion, forgiveness does not ignore the truth of our suffering.  Forgiveness is not weak.  It demands courage and integrity.  Yet only forgiveness and love […]

The Three Keys

At the heart of the Buddha’s understanding and practice are the Marks of Existence, the three characteristics that are true of all things: the normality of suffering, the pervasiveness of change, and the absence of an enduring individual self.  As excerpts from several talks selected by Sam demonstrated this Sunday, we can return to these insights again […]

Equanimity, further developed

Last week’s three short talks by Matthew Brensilver presented new perspectives on topics such as delusion and clinging, and engendered a very fertile discussion. Equanimity is not about the future or the present, but about accepting what has already come to pass without distorting it with the delusion that disguises our strategies of evasion. This […]

Equanimity – Beyond Balance, into Something New

Equanimity comes at the end of several key lists in Buddhism and is considered a culminating practice by many. However, a strategy of waiting until you nearly reach the end of the path to develop equanimity may not yield the greatest fruit. Jeff led our continued exploration of cultivating equanimity featuring excerpts from three short […]

The Physical Path to Equanimity

Equanimity is clearly an important aspect of dharma practice – it’s one of the four Brahma Viharas, and is the seventh Factor of Awakening. We often seek a mental path to arrive at this state of being – attempting to reason ourselves into balance and non-reactivity. But a more direct way is available, through looking deeply […]

Deeper than Reason: Intuition, Buddha Nature, and Choice

Sometimes we approach puzzling or difficult situations with logical reasoning – often with only middling results.  But we can also draw upon the wisdom of our Buddha Nature, if we can begin to learn to recognize it. During our session this Sunday, Michael and our gathered friends explored this second approach in a simple, non-threatening and non-verbal […]

Appreciating our own joy

Our minds tend naturally toward critical thoughts, always on the lookout for what’s wrong and what can be fixed. This is often even more pronounced in relation to ourselves. The Buddha spoke about Mudita, or “appreciative joy”, as one of the core practices we can use to stabilize our reactive tendencies, but when it’s discussed […]

The Gift of Impermanence

Most people see impermanence as an unfortunate fact that we must deal with; or, when things are difficult, on the contrary, we might be grateful to think the situation will inevitably change.  From the Dharmic point of view, however, both these attitudes fail to grasp the rich value of a true understanding of anicca, impermanence, perpetual […]

The sense of lack

Consumerism, the “never enough” ideology, body image – how does living within a culture that highly values these concepts shape our thoughts and minds? Do we propagate them ourselves unintentionally? Are we doing this “life” thing right? Don S. guided our Sangha this week on the sense of “lack” in our practice, drawing on a talk by Brian […]

Emptiness and Art

It has been said that there is no such thing as an exceptionally creative human; all humans are exceptional because it is our nature to be creative.  If there is truth in this, is it surprising that the Buddha taught little to  nothing about art or creativity?   How do we consider art and the creative […]

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