Tag: Diane Wilde (page 1 of 2)

08/17/2017 “Karma and Rebirth – continued” with Diane Wilde

Karma and Rebirth (continued) 

Why the emphasis both in meditation and daily life on the present moment? And why is it so difficult to maintain our focus on what is happening in the present moment? Yet this is the core instruction we are continually reminded of as we navigate the Buddha’s path to awakening. The present moment is the only place where we have the liberating opportunity to create our own karma, thus creating a future of much more ease and contentment. By remaining oblivious to the present moment, we stay in delusion…continuing our habitual reactivity mentally and to the episodes in our lives which perpetuates discontent and unhappiness. We might consider that each moment we are “present” is an opportunity for rebirth… to “wake up” to our lives.

The Buddha provided a check-list of sorts which helps us focus on what is taking place. This list is the ten unwholesome actions — in thought, word, and deed — and their counterparts, the ten wholesome actions. As you read them, you may notice a category or categories in which you struggle — or have ignored — which has caused unhappiness for yourself and others. We will discuss these “wholesome and unwholesome actions” and how effectively to work with them.
In preparation for the evening’s discussion, please read “V. The Way to a Fortunate Rebirth” Chapter 2 (page 156 – 161) in Bhikkhu Bodhi’s book, “In the Buddha’s Words.”

  • To review Diane’s previous talk on this topic, click here.

If you would like to download this talk, please right click and select “save as” here.

07/06/2017 “A Fortunate Rebirth” with Diane Wilde

A Fortunate Rebirth… A talk and discussion on what rebirth means, both in the future and in this lifetime, with Diane Wilde.

Raphael Calix will share his own story of rebirth as a former “lifer” in prison and the changes that came with his mediation practice.
Diane Wilde will lead a Dharma talk/discussion on rebirth, both from the orthodox viewpoint, as stated in the Pali Cannon, and as the rebirth of our authentic selves when we courageously look at our lives. We will discuss the importance of recognizing what is “kusala” (skillful) and what is “akusala” (unskillful) karma, and the importance of investigating our lives on and off the cushion.

Raphael Calix has been invited to share his own story. Raphael was an inmate at San Quentin prison until January 2017. As a “lifer,” he was told he would never be released. He created his own akusala karma as a young man, and yet found “freedom” with his mediation practice while incarcerated. As he pursued meditation and daily mindfulness practice, he began courageously facing the harm he caused others, as well as his own self-hatred. His story is a profound statement on the changes that can take place when each of us we are able to investigate ourselves with “scales falling from our eyes.”
If you are so inclined, please read pages 145 – through the first paragraph on page 147 In Bikkhu Bodhi’s book “In the Buddha’s Own Words”; the chapter on “The Way to a Fortunate Rebirth.” Please read the first sutta, “The Law of Karma” on page 155-156.

If you would like to download this talk, please right click and select “save as” here.

06/08/2017 “Becoming Authentic” with Diane Wilde

Part 1 of 3 in a series.

How often have we said to ourselves, “If I could only be ME!  If I didn’t have to play a social roll, pretend I am someone I am not, and could be authentic — my life would be so much easier!“ Too often we create endless identities which hide the authentic person we feel inside.

Yet, we continue to conform, continue to hide the depths of our true feelings, and too frequently are unable to experience — both in ourselves as well as externally— the freedom of being “real.”

In this three part series, we will look at what it really means to be authentic, both to ourselves and in the society which we live. We will discuss what authenticity means, and the steps — often challenging— that we need to take to allow ourselves to be truly seen, both internally and externally.  The first in this series will investigate what we mean by “becoming authentic”. The second in this series will address bringing authenticity into the world… especially at this time when it is so needed.  The third in this series will be a community conversation of our own experience with the topic.

If you would like to download this talk, please right click and select “save as” here.

Here is a home practice that was given out after the talk:

  • During a meditation, ask the question, “Who Am I?” As your mind slips away, keep coming back to this question.
  • What have you discovered about the small self in meditation and in your daily life? Be specific.
  •  When have you had the experience of authenticity in meditation and daily life? What took place?
  • How honest are you with yourself during meditation?

03/30/2017 “What about God???” with Diane Wilde

It seems appropriate to discuss god and its compatibility — or not — with the holiest seasons in the Judeo-Christian calendar approaching in April. In the West, there is a widespread assumption that you can’t be a Buddhist and believe in a supreme being.
At prison, inmates — especially people who are new to the practice —frequently ask about Buddhism and its teachings on god. Underlying this question is a concern about being cajoled to “convert to Buddhism.” (As I have stated numerous times to inmates, the only conversion is the desire to investigate your own mind.) At SIM as well, practitioners often embrace the Buddha’s path and simultaneously maintain a strong allegiance to a belief system which defines “God” as the supreme being. Tonight we will discuss the “gods” that were an important component of the Buddha’s culture, as well as the Buddha’s teachings on god. For many westerners, reconciling a belief in god while following the Buddha’s path of alleviating suffering can cause confusion. For others there is no problem at all, with a comfortable marrying of both.
Should make for a lively discussion!

If you would like to download this talk, please right click and select “save as” here.

03/16/2017 “I’m right, you’re wrong…end of discussion” with Diane Wilde

During this historic and volatile period in our nations’s history, it is helpful to return to the guidance provided by the basic principles of this practice — Right View or Wise View, “samma ditthi.”  All of us across the political and social spectrums are tenaciously clinging to our views which we summarily declare as “truth.” Too often fear, anger, resentment and even hatred are propelling us in one direction or another.  If we take the time to take inventory, we might discover which closely-held views are wise and compassionate and which promote ignorance and cruelty.  Looking at these beliefs in our lives is practicing Skillful or Wise View in daily life. Clearly seeing how things are is a formidable task, yet this is what is asked of us if we truly desire to decrease, and hopefully eliminate, suffering in our lives.

If you would like to download this talk, please right click and select “save as” here

02/09/2017 “When Is Anger Skillful?” with Diane Wilde

When Is Anger Skillful?

Is anger an empowering and appropriate response to suffering and injustice, or does it only cause more conflict? Is it skillful or unskillful? Does it help or hurt? With so many bad things happening in the world these days, there’s a lot of debate about the proper role of anger. The answer may lie in the fundamental distinction Buddhism makes between anger and aggression. We’ll discuss how to channel anger appropriately as taught in the Pali Cannon, as well as reflections from other teachers and sangha members.

If you would like to download this talk, please right click and select “save as” here

11/03/2016 “Friendship” with Diane Wilde

Friendship… the friend we are to others and the friendships we cultivate.    Our new home and the first SIM Dharma sitting practice and discussion at the Sacramento Dharma Center is a wonderful opportunity to look at friendship in this new, expansive and beautiful venue… our new home. What kind of friends do we cultivate? What kind of friend are we to others? What hinders us from being a friend and why do some of us shy away from developing friendships? What can we learn from those whom we consider “difficult”? With three sanghas coming together in our shared space, it is a timely topic.
All of us who practice and study the Buddha’s teachings at the Sacramento Dharma Center will all be asked to help and support our new home. This is a wonderful opportunity to deepen old friendships and cultivate new ones. The Buddha offered wise and compassionate advise which couldn’t be more relevant then right now.

If you would like to download this talk, please right click and select “save as” here

10/13/2016 “Better Than, Worse Than, The Same As” with Diane Wilde


Better than, worse than, the same as…

The habit of fault-finding and comparison is part of a larger pattern of insecurity in which we always feel the need to judge ourselves in regards to other people. It is as though we need to convince ourselves that we are okay, which we can only do indirectly, in comparison to people who we feel are superior, are less okay or just like us.

The point is not to dwell on our own faults—or our own virtues, for that matter. It is to see ourselves and others in a clear and unbiased way. It is to see, but not to dwell on the seeing. The first step in this practice is awareness of what we are doing, actually seeing and experiencing the discontent of the comparing mind! We will discuss the judging mind and the Buddha’s advise on how to abandon it.

If you would like to download this talk, please right click and select “save as” here

SIM 2016 Residential Retreat

SIM 2016 Residential Retreat with Dennis Warren, Diane Wilde, and Rich Howard.2016 SIM Retreat Summary

** If you would like to download any of the following dharma talks, please right click on the talk’s link “talk x of y” and select “save as”.

“An integrated path of practice (1)” – talk 1 of 7 with Dennis Warren

“Metta” – talk 2 of 7 with Diane Wilde

“Compassion” – talk 3 of 7 with Rich Howard

“An integrated path of practice (2) Key elements” – talk 4 of 7 with Dennis Warren

“Sympathetic joy” – talk 5 of 7 with Diane Wilde

“Equanimity” – talk 6 of 7 with Rich Howard

“An integrated path of practice (3) Spiritual and Daily Life” – talk 7 of 7 with Dennis Warren


07/21/16: “Four Personality Types,” with Diane Wilde

Have you ever wondered why there are people who, though born in poverty and deprivation, yet managed to evolve as wise and compassionate people, seemingly content with very little, while others, born with privilege and wealth, seem to require more and more “stuff” and often succumb to cruel behavior towards themselves and others. The Buddha had something to say about these “four types of people” in the Tamonata Sutta:

“There are these four types of people to be found existing in the world. Which four? One in darkness who is headed for darkness, one in darkness who is headed for light, one in light who is headed for darkness, and one in light who is headed for light.” The Buddha did not speak in riddles. His teaching is clear and well-explained. Whenever he said something that people might not understand properly, he explained it immediately. What is darkness? What is brightness? How does one keep on running from one to the other?

If you would like to download this talk, please right click and select “save as” here

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