Listen to a dharma talk I gave at Marin Sangha on November 5, 2017 on Bodhicitta: the dedicated, heart-felt desire to fully awaken for the benefit of all other beings. Bodhicitta reminds us that every moment is an invitation to awaken all beings by motivating ourselves to engage in other-regarding behaviors. This is how we take on the responsibility of decreasing the mass of human suffering by seeding the world with at least one more quiescent, wise and compassionate person who moves through their life awakened and present to suffering and non-suffering. Enjoy!
The practice of non-hatred may be the most difficult of the Buddhist precepts to apply as a Buddhist practitioner/householder living in a world characterized by a mass of human suffering arising from hatred, greed and ignorance. This talk had particular significance as it was delivered two weeks after the horrific events that transpired in Charleston. I consider this dharma talk a follow-up to my last talk on the Skillful Means of Recognizing Empty Appearance.
Download this talk: Download mp3
Listen to it on iTunes: iTunes podcast
Clair Brown, an economist at UC Berkeley and a practicing Buddhist, has developed a holistic economic approach, where the economy delivers a high quality of life in a sustainable world. Buddhist economics integrates sustainability, equity, and compassion. While teaching her sophomore seminar at UC Berkeley, Professor Brown learned, “You don’t have to be a Buddhist to embrace a Buddhist approach to economics. You need only share the Dalai Lama’s belief that human nature is gentle and compassionate and embrace the idea that economics can be a force for good, one that goes beyond self-centered materialism.” Clair is one of the most humble, loving people I have ever met. Her new book, Buddhist Economics is a treasure.
My recent talk on how to apply the Dharma in difficult or challenging relationships is now available for download. The sangha members at Insight Meditation South Bay generated insightful questions and interesting dialogue. I hope you enjoy these teachings.
Download Free mp3
Download iTunes podcast
Buddhism teaches the interdependence and transparency of all phenomena, all experience. As trauma therapist, it may seem counterintuitive to hear me say that over-identifying with anything, including grief and trauma, is an invitation to become lost in the delusion of self-cherishing. I choose instead to wield the sword of discerning wisdom and fierce compassion. To face my complicity in the disintegration of American Democracy through my own complacency, blindness and incorrect assumptions. I choose to engage fearlessly in clear-minded, open-hearted uncompromising actions to support the wave of Americans willing to ensure American Democracy survives the coming onslaught of American Demagoguery.
No matter how the electoral college votes, my responsibility is to recognize and seek to end suffering wherever it may reside: to no longer get sidelined by feelings of shock, anger and overwhelm. I am not that. I am nothing more than the luminous awareness in which those feelings and all other phenomena arise, exist and cease. Awakening, standing up for and speaking truth are the ultimate rebellious acts. This is where I choose to put my efforts and energy as we go forward.
Here is the link to an excellent dharma talk on climate change given by Jennifer Dungan, a longtime NASA Ames scientist/researcher on climate change.
Her description of the talk is, “We are facing global warming and drastic global climate change. The resulting disruption in the seasonal patterns and the extreme weather events pose threats to all living beings. Jennifer Dungan explores how the concept of non-harming, right action, Brahma Vihara, and the three marks of existence can help a world in which activities that involve fossil fuel perpetuate or worsen climate disruption.”