Tue, 21 December 2010
In this talk “Loving What Is” Vajrapriya shares his own nitty gritty practice of dealing with hatred, clearing the way for a more mettaful response. “Metta is what arises when you realize that being human isn’t easy.” With an introduction by Jnanavaca. To read about some of our volunteers who helped make this talk available, please see our post on Triratna News.
Fri, 10 December 2010
In this talk, “Demon of Choice” Aryadhara works with a team from the Young People’s Group in Cambridge (England) to give a series of short talks under the theme “Taming the Demons of the Modern World” in celebrating Padmasambhava, the Great Guru of Tibet. Choice is something we all have – we have the choice to act the way we act, the choice in the way we live our lives, which is very positive. The Demon of Choice is more about consumerism which can alienate us from our deeper selves. This type of choice keeps us in a superficial state of alienation preventing us from asking deeper questions such as what gives our lives meaning? Transforming the Demon of Choice involves overcoming doubt, the practice of renunciation, and living simply.
Tue, 23 November 2010
In “What Do We Really Know About the Buddha?” Dhivan delivers a lovely talk with the odd surprise as he considers the relationship between what we think we may know about the Buddha, and what the historical evidence suggests. As Dhivan sifts the information that’s come down to us, we meet several different versions of a human being as he blurs with the archetypal presence he has also come to represent. Yet whichever manifestation we prefer, more than anything this talk brings us face to face with the rich and moving legacy of a brilliant and truly compassionate individual changing the world he took part in, stepping out of history “with the walk of a lion, the walk of a swan.”
Thu, 11 November 2010
In this talk Subhuti gives a concise and inspiring account of the Honeyball Sutta. Starting with some background to his work in Hungary amongst the oppressed Gypsies there, he presents the Buddha’s understanding on the basis for civil, in fact all kinds of, strife.
The Buddha’s analysis takes the form of a nidana chain beginning with actual experience, that when we begin to proliferate or move away from facts to interpretations inevitably leads us into a secondary reality that easily leads to conflict with others, who have different versions of reality.
A brilliant talk, covering ground rapidly but concisely bring together the Buddha’s wisdom both in terms of transforming society and how we work within meditation, in fact we need to employ the same tools in both situations.
Sat, 6 November 2010
In this talk Jinananda gives us some practical tips on good communication and healthy relationships. He brings in the Buddha’s words from the Sigalaka Sutta to illustrate some of the ways relationships were managed in the Buddha’s time. Pointing out that different kinds of relationships require different sets of duties and dynamic ways of relating, he notes that we should be mindful of how we are fulfilling those relationships from our own end.
Jinananda discusses the fact that even Buddhists, who are supposedly always kind and helpful, are not always so, even in stories from the Pali Canon. He reminds us, however, that this is normal, and that relating skilfully to each other is a truly immense challenge – difficult for even the most experienced Buddhists and not to be taken lightly.
Talk given at the West London Buddhist Center
Thu, 21 October 2010
In this talk Saddhanandi draws on over 25 years of experience living and practicing in spiritual communities as she explores the conditions that she trusts give rise to Wisdom Beings.
We live in a culture that encourages us to look out for the individual – just look after yourself and never mind about others.
Collective practice, the practice of community, has a dynamic alchemy all of its own – like a coral reef lots of creatures live in it, and it is very susceptible to pollution. The development of the Individual is the development of the Sangha, and the development of the Sangha is the development of the Individual.
Fri, 24 September 2010
In this talk ‘Ksanti (Patience)’, Satyaraja beautifully explores how friendship is probably the main way we exemplify the altruistic dimension of the spiritual life. Ksanti, often translated as Patience, is one of the Six Perfections practiced by the Bodhisattva, one in whom the Bodhicitta, the Awakened Heart, has arisen.
Patience is explored here in three aspects: with ourselves, with other people, and in spiritual receptivity. One needs to learn patience when working with other people to help build a spiritual community. Not in the sense of endurance, ksanti in its true form is an aspect of metta, of love. Loving people for who they actually are, not who we would like them to be. Friendship really starts when you meet bits in others you don’t like and you keep going, deepening your connection.
Talk given at the Stockholm Buddhist Centre in February 2010.
Mon, 13 September 2010
Nagabodhi’s account of his visits to see Dhardo Rimpoche, the great Tibetan teacher based in Kalimpong, is by turns moving, funny and revealing. The story of a remarkable man – someone who embodied the spirt of the Bodhisattva – who continues to inspire practitioners the world over years after his death. A rare opportunity to hear from someone who spent time with Rimpoche at his famous school, whose motto says it all: “Cherish the Doctrine, Live United, Radiate Love”…
Talk given at Windhorse:Evolution, Cambridge, UK
Tue, 17 August 2010
In ‘Everything Matters – Turning Consumerism on its Head’, Vajradarshini points out that we live in a world of things and there’s a world of practice in things. As consumerism is defined as ‘to destroy’, we are challenged to find ways to turn consumerism on its head and find the Truth in our relationship to Things. Accompanied by Kavyasiddhi reading both poetry and prose, this beautiful Dharma gem is worth hearing again and again.
Talk given at the 2010 International Sangha Retreat.
Thu, 24 June 2010
This podcast talk by Dharmavadana is a great exploration of how poetry can be an ally in the spiritual life, and analyzes the ways in which it occupies a similar atmosphere to meditation.
Talk given at West London Buddhist Center
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Fri, 28 May 2010
This fantastic talk by Akuppa, given at the 2006 Buddhafield Festival, focuses on how Buddhist practice weaves together with social awareness, and what an Earth Community built on sustainable values might look like.
(Please note: there are a few minutes missing at the start, and the original recording was very poor. But it’s worth it!)
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Tue, 25 May 2010
In ‘Mindfulness of Reality’, the excellent Kulananda (Michael Chaskalson) brings a welcome compass to the maze of Buddhist teachings around the nature of existence itself. After all, it’s not easy, is it? Impermanence, dependent arising, becoming, etc. – it’s enough to make anyone think twice. Or a thousand times. And still get nowhere. But fear not – this is a clear, concise, eminently human and straightforward tour of the last of the traditional four levels of mindfulness. And Kulananda’s approach is born of his experience of over twenty year’s teaching on just this kind of thing. Ready? Then in we go…
Kulananda/Michael Chaskalson has published widely on many aspects of Buddhism and meditation, and runs a variety of mindfulness-based stress reduction programmes for use in personal and business life.
Talk given at Cambridge Buddhist Centre, 2000
Wed, 12 May 2010
Pain and Suffering is the first of two talks that Ratnaguna gave earlier this year at the Stockholm Buddhist Centre. He explores the whole area of feeling, both pleasant and painful, but especially the pain side of the spectrum. Using storytelling, poetry, and clear Dharma teaching, Ratnaguna asks, “What kind of life are you living if you are not really in your body? When you resist the pain, you resist everything.” When we face our own suffering, then we find something else… a deep sense of wisdom and kindness.
Coming up next week… Part II Pleasure and Happiness by Ratnaguna.