Category: Audio Dharma (page 1 of 14)

02/15/2018 “Resolving Conflicting Teachings – Part II” with Dennis Warren

Resolving Conflicting, Contradictory or Paradoxical Teachings –Part II
This is the second in a series of talks on the process of working through and unwinding confusion over what appear to be conflicting, contradictory or paradoxical teachings. What do we do? How do we do it? What are the conditions that need to be in place to help us do this exploration skillfully?
Dennis’ talk will use a number of specific, familiar situations as practical illustrations of the fundamental issues involved in working with issues from a Buddhist, rather than a conventional perspective.

Talk handouts:

To listen to Part I of this talk, click here.

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

02/08/2018 “Clear Comprehension” with Diane Wilde

Most of us consider ourselves rational, caring human beings who can be counted on to do the right thing. We rarely consider that this “rationality” is a bundle of views, opinion, experiences and even genetics! Without hesitation, we assume our actions, whether in personal relationships or large political movements, are wise and undertaken for all the right reasons. But are they? In an interesting commentary on the Satipatthana Sutta, clear comprehension in everyday life is addressed through a series of steps that are recommended to come to a rational, helpful solution to any situation. With this guidance we do our best to leave views and judgement behind and ACT with wisdom and compassion for ourselves and all other sentient beings.

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

02/01/2018 “Refinement of the Mind” with Rich Howard

Sometimes we forget that this path of awareness has been described as a “gradual training.” We get impatient or expect our progress to look a certain way and are disappointed when it doesn’t turn out that way. Tonight we will discuss a discourse that likens the refinement of the mind to the purification of gold. The Pansadhovaka Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya 3:100 1-10) makes it clear that this is a gradual training with many steps. We will look at how these steps relate to our householder practice and offer reassurance (if we can avoid comparing mind!) to keep on practicing without expecting results.

Please read the introduction to Text VIII,4 on page 260 of “In the Buddha’s Words” (ed. Bhikkhu Bodhi) and the sutta on pages 273-275. You may find a different translation online at Access to Insight (Pansadhovaka Sutta: The Dirt-washer).
If you would like to download this talk, please right click and select “save as” here.

01/25/2018 “Awareness, Insight & Liberation” with Steve Armstrong

Steve’s talk this evening with focus on the meditation instructions of Mahasi Sayadaw and Sayadaw U Tejaniya.

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

01/18/2018 “Resolving Conflicting, Contradictory or Paradoxical Teachings” with Dennis Warren

It is easy to view our perception that one teaching conflicts with, contradicts or is paradoxical to another teaching as an obstacle to our understanding, insight and progress on the path of practice. This perception is frequently a mis-perception based on uncertainty, confusion and doubt. When properly understood, the skillful resolution of such misunderstandings act as a doorway, rather than an obstacles, to the next level, stage or dimension of practice.

This will be the first in a series of talks and discussions about fundamental issues that shape our understanding of the dharma and practice, and have practical, profound implications for our awakening. This evening will focus on the process, the how, of resolving uncertainty, confusion & doubt regarding teachings that seem to be in conflict, contradictory or paradoxical.

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

01/11/2018 “Bringing Tranquility to the Land” with Rich Howard

For all his teachings on ultimate liberation, the Buddha offered many teachings to laypeople and rulers on practical matters. SIM Mentor Rich Howard has chosen the story of King Mahāvijita and his chaplain to illustrate the compassion of the Buddha towards humans struggling with every day matters. This short selection from the Kūtadanta Sutta (DN 5), offers a vision of society that may sound different from the approaches in current headlines. Our discussion will focus on how we can bring these principles into our every day lives.

In preparation, you may read the last paragraph of Bikkhu Bodhi’s introduction to Chapter IV of “In the Buddha’s Words” (page 114); the sutta selection is on pages 141-142.

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

01/04/2018 “Starting Over” with Laura Rosenthal

What does this phrase mean and what does it offer us as Buddhist practitioners? We habitually associate the concept of the new year with a “clean slate.” Perhaps we make resolutions, head back to the gym, or make amends for actions we regret. Yet our practice also teaches us that every moment of awareness and wholesome intention is a moment of renewal – at the same time that awareness brings us closer to an understanding of the ways past mental, verbal and physical actions condition present experience. For our first evening together after New Years Day, join long-time SIM participant Laura Rosenthal for a dharma talk and group discussion of this rich topic.

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

12/28/2017 “How do I get off this Cycle of Reactivity?” with Rich Howard

Our beginning classes offers an accessible approach to the profound core teaching of dependent origination called the Cycle of Reactivity. This evening, we will explore that very helpful teaching, with some deeper background drawn from the Nidanasamyutta, a chapter of the Samyutta Nikaya devoted to dependent origination. In preparation, you may read as much of Bikkhu Bodhi’s introduction to Chapter IX of “In the Buddha’s Words” as you wish; we will focus on page 315 through the first six lines on page 316. You may read all six suttas in Section IX(4)4; we will focus on two suttas on pages 355-357: IX(4)4(c) SN 12:33 and IX(4)4(d) SN 12:15.

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

12/21/2017 “Community Evening” with R. Howard and C. Vigran

As we approach the end of the year, SIM Mentor Rich Howard and SIM Board Member Cathy Vigran will host an evening of community discussion. We will invite participants to review their practice over the past year in terms of the “Three Pillars”: generosity, ethical living, and training the mind (dana-sila-bhavana). We will also encourage folks to share what SIM can do to support their aspirations for practice. Come prepared to speak from the heart and listen mindfully.

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

11/30/2017 “The Atthakavagga: Part 2” with Diane Wilde

The Atthakavagga: the original seeds that gave rise to Buddhist teachings – Part 2

“The wise person does not oppose any other person’s doctrine.” This is one of the reflections from one of the earliest books in the Pali Cannon, the Atthakavagga. Gil Fronsdal states in his introduction to his translation of the Atthakavagga: “Here we find the Buddhist teachings pared down to their most essential elements, free of the more complex doctrines often associated with Buddhism.” The poems and verses from this small collection reveal a pattern of teachings that are much different — in their directness and simplicity — from the later sutta collections. Verses in the Atthakavagga often have an almost koan-like quality, which often seem open to interpretation. We will discuss the exegesis of the Atthakavagga and our own interpretations of a few of its seemingly “simple” verses.

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

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