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Recordings - Thursday Dharma Talks

I have been leading a regular Thursday evening Sangha since near the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, starting April 19, 2020. These talks are from that Sangha. Some of those talks were instructional, teaching meditation practcices. They can be found on the Meditation Instructions page.

2021

What the Buddha Taught
and How It Is Still Relevant Today
A Weekly Online Sangha

The Satipatthana Sutta Refrain - June 17
There are 13 sections of mindfulness instructions in the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha's primary instructions on mindfulness. After each of these sections the Buddha repeats these same general instructions, like the chorus in a song. Why this refrain, why is it repeated so many times, and what exactltly does it say?
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Do We Need an Attitude Adjustment Towards Practice - June 10
At the very beginning of the Satipatthana Sutta the Buddha gives clear instruction on how we need to adopt a certain attitude as we approach our practice. We need to be ardent, clearly knowing, mindful and free from desires and discontents.
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Six Talks on the Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths are the central teachings of Buddhism. I think it is important that they be taught once a year, both so new students can hear them for the first time, and exoerienced students can be reminded of their importance and see deeper meanings.

The First Noble Truth - April 29
The truth about the nature of life/reality and how we must see it clearly if we want to break free from the continous unsatisfactoriness of how we live and think.
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The Second Noble Truth - May 6
Grasping/clinging is the root of suffering
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The Third Noble Truth - May 13
The way to true happiness is through ending grasping.
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The Fourth Noble Truth Part 1 - May 20
THe Eightfold Path - The way to the end of suffering. You need to begin by setting off in the right direction.
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The Fourth Noble Truth Part 2 - May 27
Practice in the everyday world.
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The Fourth Noble Truth Part 3 - June 3
Practice on the Cushion - Wise Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.
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The Five Factors of Concentration - Part 2 - April 15
This talk is a continuation of the talk given on April 8 and adds in the final three factors of concentration.
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The Five Factors of Concentration - Part 1 - April 8
The mental formation of concentration is key to the development of the practice of meditation. The Five Factors are a progressive process to cultivate deeper concentration.
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The Buddha's Advice on How to Approach Practice - April 1
In many different suttas in the Samyutta Nikaya the Buddha offers advice on how to aprroach our practice and our life.
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The Simile of the Raft - March 25
This talk is based on a classic simile found in MN22, v.13
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The Four Messengers - March 18
What Motivated the Buddha to leave his home and begin his life as a renunciate? What lessons can we learn from that in our own lives?
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How to Stay Awake - March 11
This talk is based on "This is Water", by David Foster Wallace
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The Wilderness of Doubt and the Shackles of Craving - March 4
This talk is based on the Cetokhila Sutta, MN 16
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The Three Modes of Practice - February 25
What does it mean when we say "Practice All the Time"? How can we possibly do that?
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Karma and Rebirth - February 18
These two interrelated topics are some of the most difficult for western minds to understand. This talk aims to dispel many common misunderstandings and to explain what the Buddha taught.
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The Eight Pillars of Joy - Part 2 - February 11
This talked is based on the book The Book of Joy, a series of dialogues between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The last four heart or outer pillars are forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and generosity.
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The Eight Pillars of Joy - Part 1 - February 4
This talked is based on the book The Book of Joy, a series of dialogues between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Te first four mental or inner pillars are perspective, humility, humor and acceptance.
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The Five Aggregates of Clinging - January 28
The Buddha's many teachings on the Five Aggregates of Clinging are one of the primary ways he tries to lead us to an understanding of not-self.
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The Simile of the Saw - January 21
This is based on a sutta (MN 21) where the Buddha uses a variety of stories and similes to explain how to practice right action and right speech.
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The Three Layers of Delusion - January 14
Craving and Aversion are relatively easy to notice and note, especially if the associated emotions and body reactions are strong. What about delusion? The problem is we are often too deluded to notice. Learning to recognize the varoius forms delusion takes is an important first step.
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The Benefits of Restraint - January 7
We don't often see the words "restraint" and "benefits" pair together. We usually think of restraint as something unpleasant, to be avoided. The Buddha lays out 5 benefits of restraint in the Dhammadayada Sutta - Heirs to the Dhamma.
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2020

Sutta Study
A Series of Talks Exploring the Majjhima Nikaya (MN) given during my regular Thursday evening Sangha in the summer of 2020.

Alagaddupama Sutta - MN 22, v13-14 - Crossing the Flood - June 25.
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Culavedalla Sutta - MN 44, v1-8
The Five Aggregates of Clinging - July 2
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Vatthupama Sutta - MN 7 - The Simile of the Cloth - July 9.
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Culasihanada Sutta - MN 11
The Shorter Discourse on the Lion's Roar - July 16
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Culadhammasamadana Sutta - MN 45
The Shorter Discourse on Ways of Undertaking Things - July 23
More Suffering or More Happiness?
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Sabbasava Sutta - MN 2
All the Taints - July 30
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Kalama Sutta - from the Anguttara Nikaya
Is That Right? - August 6
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Vitakkasanthana Sutta - The Removal of Distracting Thoughts - MN 20
I Can't Meditate, I'm Too Distracted! - August 13
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The Ten Paramis - The Path to Perfection
A series of five talks on the "perfections of the heart/mind" in the late spring of 2020..

Dana and Sila - Generosity and Virtue - May 21
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Renunciation and Wisdom - May 28
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Energy and Patience - June 4
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Truthfulness and Resolve - June 11
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Loving-Kindness and Equanimity - June 18
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Other Recordings

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