Sam hosted this session on Freedom, with differing perspectives offered by three dharma teachers: Jack Cornfield, Tara Brach, and Christina Feldman.
“A Taste of Freedom”, Christina Feldman, 12-27-08, [0:00—1:38 and 9:38-19:37].
“The Great Perfection: The Taste of Freedom”, Tara Brach, 10-5-99, [0:00-22:01].
“Freedom and the Way it is…”, Jack Kornfield, 9-6-10, [10:53-15:52].
Michael guided our reflections today with a talk on Stream Entry, the first definitive stage of Awakening, after which there is really no turning back.
A variety of canonical readings on Stream Entry can be found at
The story of Siddhartha’s bowl floating upstream can be found in
The Buddhacarita or Acts of the Buddha, Asvaghosa,
available on line at
The Hungry Tigress, Buddhist Legends and Jataka Tales, Rafe Martin, (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1990)
Zac guided us through multiple avenues of reflection on vedana or the feeling tone of our experiences…pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Recognizing these dispositions as they arise and breaking off the automatic clinging or rejecting or ignoring can help us step out of a downward spiral.
Wendy Guided our reflections this morning, anchoring the discussion in Tara Brach’s talk “Freedom from Addiction.” As Brach sees it, Addiction is a version of the Tanha or Thirst or Craving that the Buddha identified as the cause of suffering in the Second Noble Truth. We reflected on addictions from email checking to substance abuse, and explored the relation of psychology to dharma.
To access Tara Brach’s talk, which includes two guided meditations, click
As our sangha met for the first time in our new location in the Lojong Space, Payton guided our reflections on Sangha, the sense of community that spreads from those seriously committed to the Buddhist path out to include all those we interact with, and finally to a sense of connection with the population of the world at large. Serving to center the discussion were excerpts from a talk by Oren Sofer on a visit to Vermont, titled “Sangha Refuge and the Relational Field of Practice. This talk can be found at
In our final meeting at Nancy’s Studio, Margaret guided our reflections on the twinned themes of Generosity and Gratitude. These were, needless to say, deeply appropriate themes, since the sangha is deeply grateful for Nancy’s generosity in providing this beautiful space in which our sangha has met for the last several years. Our reflections were enhanced by excerpts from a talk by Kamala Masters, which you can access here
Though we may imagine that conflict and awakening are opposites, perhaps even mutually exclusive, Joey guided our explorations of how fully experiencing Conflict itself can lead to Awakening. Central to the presentation was a talk by Tara Brach, which can be accessed here:
Michael guided our reflections today, centering on a Dharma talk by artist and dharma teacher Marcia Rose, from the Forest Refuge, in which she explored the elusive and central experience of Not-Self in Buddhist practice. Each time we look at this topic, different perspectives seem to be revealed, which is perhaps why Rose titles her talk “Through the Looking Glass.”
Rebecca guided our reflections on the Third Noble Truth and Nirvana, drawing on Joseph Goldstein’s “Mindfulness,” thus connecting with last week’s exploration and offer new perspectives as well.
The topic today was Nirvana, and Sam guided our reflections on this topic which, by definition, is beyond words and thoughts. Still, we had a fruitful exploration, as Sam shared excerpts from several different dharma teachers and sages on the topic, including
“Nirvana and Transcendence” by Rob Burbea
“Your Original Face” by Stephen Batchelor (4/19/2013).