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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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2017-02-16 Equanimity: Bringing Balance to our Practice (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 62:41
Equanimity is the precursor to the awakened mind. It allows us to skillfully hold compassion, metta and joy in balance. It is the essential quality that allows us to go through life's ups and downs with wisdom and wise response.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Month-long Retreat
2017-02-10 Dharma Practice as a Path to Happiness (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 62:38
The Buddha said that cultivating wholesome states creates the conditions for awakening. He further said that when a wholesome state is here to maintain and increase that state. But how can we do that without it increasing attachment? This talk explores why the Buddha was called The Happy One and how to see this path not only as an end to suffering but as a deepening of true well-being on and off the cushion,
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Month-long Retreat
2017-02-05 Opening to Experience: How and When (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 61:03
One of the most profound gifts of retreat practice is learning to open to our experience. We develop confidence, courage, compassion and insight as we are willing to work with all the challenging and beautiful places the mind can take us to. And it's also good to know when it's more skillful to not open to those places if we need to have a stronger container to hold them. Qualities that support this opening such as forgiveness, patience, sense of humor, and self-compassion are explored.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Month-long Retreat
2017-01-30 Five Spiritual Faculties: Understanding how Intensive Practice Works (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 57:46
The list of the Five Spiritual Faculties provides a good explanation of how the process of intensive retreat practice unfolds.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center February Month-long Retreat
2017-01-26 "What Are You Going To Do Now?" 48:18
The swirl of political events with the new US administration have contributed to a culture of apprehension and anxiety for many as they adjust to this new reality. The question many practitioners are asking is what is the place of Dharma in this unfolding of events. What is Dharma and not Dharma? What is our responsibility? How does the political environment inform our Dharma practice? How does our Dharma practice inform our engagement in the world? The talk includes Bhikkhu Bodhi's essay Let's Stand Together that appears in the journals Lion's Roar and Buddhadharma.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2017-01-19 "Being a Sacred Warrior in These Tough Times" 49:13
Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." As we enter a time of uncertainty and, many are experiencing a swirl of emotions from apprehension and fear to anger and ill. How can we use our dharma practice to acknowledge and transform our negative emotions into wise effective response coming from understanding and love?
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2017-01-05 What Channel Are You Tuned To? (Note: This talk has some occasional sound distortion but it's worth it.) 50:52
As the Buddha said, "We are what we think. With our thoughts we make the world." Our minds can go to the the greatest places of fear, anxiety and ill will or understanding, compassion and peace. When we're lost in confusion we have in us the capacity to remember the goodness and wisdom that our hearts long to connect with. This talk is about remembering that possibility and cultivating access to that Buddha right inside, especially when the outside world is giving us very different messages.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2016-12-29 Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017: Reflecting on What We've Learned and Where We're Heading 59:14
As we leave 2016 and open to 2017, how can we learn and grow from what's past and set ourselves in the right direction as we face an uncertain future? This talk includes recent Spirit Rock's Statement of Values: Spiritual Sanctuary and Refuge and the teacher meeting out of which it came. James reflects on his recent Huffington Post article "Holding Hands Together: From Helplessness to Empowerment." Finally, there is a ritual for letting go of the past and creating a wise intention for the future.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2016-12-11 Spirit Rock - Equanimity: Finding Balance in Our Practice with James Baraz 5:31:45
Equanimity is a highly valued quality in Buddhist teachings. It is one of the Four Divine Abodes, one of the Seven Factors of Enlightenment, and one of the Ten Paramitas or Perfections.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2016-12-08 "The Power of Equanimity" 56:49
Equanimity not only helps us stay balanced in difficult times. It is a foundation for strong, effective response, especially in response to the forces of greed, hatred and power.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks

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