~ Talks & Meditations ~
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In the Footsteps of the Buddha 4: Ajanta, Ellora,
and Nalanda (50 mins)
This video is the fourth and final video that describes my pilgrimage to India and Nepal in February 2023. The series tells the story of the Buddha's life and my pilgrimage experiences, illustrated with photos that I took. This fourth describes the rock-cut monasteries and temples at Ajanta and Ellora, and Nalanda, the first residential university. It concludes with some reflections on the notion of pilgrimage and what this one meant to me. April 6, 2023
In the Footsteps of the Buddha 3: Shravasti, Rajgir, Vaishali, and Kushinagar (53 mins)
This video is the third in a series of four that describes my pilgrimage to India and Nepal in February 2023. The series tells the story of the Buddha's life and my pilgrimage experiences, illustrated with photos that I took. This third video describes sites around Shravasti, Rajgir, Vaishali, where the Buddha meditated and taught, and Kushinagar where he died. March 30, 2023
In the Footsteps of the Buddha 2: The Pragbodhi Cave, Bodhgaya and Deer Park in Sarnath (51 mins)
This video is the second in a series of four that describes my pilgrimage to India and Nepal in February 2023. The series tells the story of the Buddha's life and my pilgrimage experiences, illustrated with photos that I took. This second video describes the Pragbodhi Cave, where Gautama engaged in self-mortification practices, Bodhgaya, where he attained awakening, and the Deer Park at Sarnath, where he gave his first teaching. March 23, 2023
In the Footsteps of the Buddha 1: Introduction, Lumbini and Kapilavastu (1 h 10 mins)
This video is the first in a series of four that describes my pilgrimage to India and Nepal in February 2023. The series tells the story of the Buddha's life and my pilgrimage experiences, illustrated with photos that I took. This first video provides an introduction and describes the Buddha's birth at Lumbini in Nepal as well as his early life in Kapilavastu. March 16, 2023
Introduction to the Therigatha and Dantika's Poem
In this talk, I offer an introduction to the Therigatha - an anthology of poems composed by the first Buddhist nuns. I also explore Dantika's poem about using gentleness to tame our minds. This talk was presented to the Bellingham Insight Meditation Society on January 10, 2023.
Wise View (20 mins)
Wise view is seeing life just as it is – beyond our beliefs, stories and interpretations. This includes seeing everything as fleeting and impermanent, seeing that suffering is inevitable, and seeing that we are all interdependent and connected with each other.
February 17, 2022.
Making Friends with our Minds (19 mins)
This talk explores how we can make friends with our minds, including checking in our mental states, getting curious about our experience, not judging ourselves, savoring our strengths and qualities, and being warmhearted towards ourselves, especially when we feel down and life isn't going well. February 10, 2022.
The Power, Purpose & Practice of Intentions (21 mins)
In this talk, I explore what intentions are and why they can be helpful, how to set them, some different levels of intention, and lastly how to cultivate them. September 30, 2021.
Befriending the Inner Judge (22 mins)
We all have an inner judge or critic in our minds who judges us, other people and situations very harshly. This has the effect of separating us from other people and from parts of ourselves. But we can make friends with the inner judge by recognizing when it is active in our minds and what feeds it, as well as investigating it with kindness, and offering it our love and compassion. September 23, 2021
Two Qualities of Mindfulness Meditation (29 mins)
There are two basic qualities of mindfulness meditation: samatha or calm, abiding meditation, and vipassana, or clear seeing, insight meditation. This talk describes both approaches and their benefits. September 16, 2021.
How Can I Help? Part 2 (21 mins)
In this talk, I explore the inner spiritual work needed to be truly present with the suffering of others. Emphasizing developing the capacity to be with our own suffering with awareness and self-compassion, I discuss the value of equanimity. May 20, 2021.
How Can I Help? Part 1 (21 mins)
In this talk, I suggest that helping others requires compassion and that this involves bearing witness to others' suffering, walking with them in their suffering, weeping with them by sharing their burden, waiting with them, responding to them, and rejoicing with them. May 13, 2021
The Practice of Generosity (16 mins)
In Buddhism, generosity is a spiritual practice because it offers immense benefits to the giver as well as the receiver. In particular, resistance to generosity reveals our clinging and how we hold onto what we deem to be ours. By letting go and being generous, we can open our hearts and minds and feel freer. (02/09/21)
The Perfection (Parami) of Determination (24 mins)
In his teaching on determination, the Buddha said that there are four helpful types: the determination to be discerning and wise, the determination to be truthful about one's own experience, the determination to relinquish obstacles, and the determination to be tranquil and calm. (11/17/20)
The Perfection (Parami) of Truthfulness (21 mins)
Truthfulness is about not telling lies to ourselves or others. But at a deeper level, it is about being being authentic and expressing the truth of our experience. This talk considers the power of truthfulness and its relationship with peace. (11/10/20)
The Perfection (Parami) of Patience (24 mins)
We have an opportunity to learn patience whenever we feel impatient. To cultivate patience, it can be helpful to recall its three main qualities: gentle self-restraint, bearing the unpleasant thoughts/emotions of impatience, and being willing to accept things as they are. (11/03/20)
The Perfection (Parami) of Effort (18 mins)
The perfection of effort is not about over-striving or forcing yourself to do something; rather it is an eager or enthusiastic energy. Traditionally in Buddhism, it has three features: persistent courage, taking responsibility for oneself and one's spiritual journey, and working to alleviate the suffering of others. (10/27/20)
The Perfection (Parami) of Wisdom (22 mins)
This talk explores three types of wisdom, including learned wisdom, reflective wisdom, and wisdom of spiritual realization. It goes on to discuss the wisdom of seeing things as they truly are - empty and interdependent, an how this relates to awakening. (10/20/20)
The Perfection (Parami) of Renunciation (22 mins)
Renunciation isn’t about forcing ourselves to give up things; it’s more about seeing what is getting in the way of living a spiritual life and letting go of it, because we value spirituality more than the obstacles to it. (10/13/20)
The Perfection (Parami) of Morality (23 mins)
This talk explores the three parts of any moral or ethical action. It also discusses the five Buddhist precepts for lay people and Thich Nhat Hanh's corresponding five trainings in mindfulness. (10/06/20)