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The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
James Baraz's Dharma Talks
James Baraz
I try to convey that the wisdom and compassion we are looking for is already inside of us. I see practice as learning how to purify our mind and heart so we can hear the Buddha inside. In doing so, we naturally embody the dharma and help awaken that understanding and love in others we meet.
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2022-09-03 Metta Instructions (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 32:10
Some aspects of metta practice along with metta for self, loved one, neutral and all beings
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Labor Day Insight Meditation Retreat
2022-09-02 Morning Sit with Instructions (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 63:15
Opening the meditation filed to include breath, sensations and sounds
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Labor Day Insight Meditation Retreat
2022-09-01 Five Spiritual Faculties (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 61:06
A description of how the meditation practice unfolds
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Labor Day Insight Meditation Retreat
2022-06-16 Amazing Grace: Why Do Some People Turn Their Suffering into Compassion While Others Become Embittered? 50:41
In one discourse the Buddha taught that suffering can be a causative factor for faith to arise. However, that is not always the case. In fact, often suffering leads to bitterness, fear, and ill will. Why is it that, for some people, suffering is the catalyst to begin their spiritual journey and for others it's leads to negative patterns that contribute to a society filled with divisiveness, fear and "othering." We'll explore this mysterious process
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2022-06-12 The Five Daily Reflections 52:53
A follow up to a recent talk that focused on death and dying. This talk explores the other four of the Five Daily Reflections (also known as the Five Remembrances): aging, illness, loss and karma. It includes practices and discussion on how we can include them regularly in our Dharma practice, which the Buddha highly recommended.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2022-06-09 5 Methods to Work with Troublesome Thoughts: MN #20: Vitakkasanthana Sutta 49:43
The Buddha gave a teaching on five different methods he recommended to work with disturbing thoughts. When we are mindful of the thinking process it's possible to see thoughts simply as mental fabrications. However, when we get caught in them and the body gets activated, we spin out in the story and are caught in a negative emotional response. We become identified with those mental formations and can more easily get lost. When that happens, the Buddha offers these five strategies as skillful techniques to deal with the confused mind.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2022-05-30 Metta for Self (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 38:01
Sometimes the hardest person to send metta to is oneself. This guided meditation invites us to see ourselves through a loved one's eyes to see who we really are.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Awakening Joy and Wellbeing
2022-05-29 Including body sensations and sounds in the field of awareness. (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 57:58
After establishing our anchor or home base in the meditation we can expand the field beyond the breath to skillfully include other body sensations and sounds.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Awakening Joy and Wellbeing
2022-05-28 Awakening Joy as a Practice (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 58:17
In his teaching on The Four Wise Efforts, the Buddha taught us to maintain and increase wholesome states (kusala) when they arise. This talk explains how to make that a central part of our practice.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Awakening Joy and Wellbeing
2022-05-19 The Problem with Resisting Reality: The Possibility of Real Freedom 52:21
As much as we would like things to be a certain way, we have limited control over the way things are. Even though that may be apparent to all Dharma students who have some practice under their belt, the mind still gets caught in the habit of attachment to things being a certain way. This week we will explore what gets in the way, how we can open to the way things really are and the radical shift that can occur within us when we see through this self-created prison.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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