1. Birthing the Heart: Mudita

    59:46

    from Seattle Insight Meditation / Added

    75 Plays / / 0 Comments

    With Rodney Smith. Please note: This video is out of focus, due to technical difficulties. The Brahma Vihara practices try to pierce the many ways we resist love. Two of the ways we block love are through jealousy and envy. Mudita attempts to balance this dark contracted energy with perceptions of abundance. We can chose to see life from either angle, tightly drawn and very personal where every variance is an indication of our troubled relationship with life, or wide open where there is enough for all and deep gratitude for the abundance available. Often our childhood pain will indicate which direction we chose. If we grew up with harsh judgment and self-criticism, likely we will express jealousy when other succeed and have a strong competitive relationship with others. But regardless of our existing pain body, we can always make a choice to step out and away from selfishly quantifying the forms of life. Mudita is love of another’s success and represents the joy intrinsic to love. To access this love look directly into the pain that remains in your heart when it is closed, and ask yourself, “What is blocking my joy?” and, “Why am I invested in this story?” Challenge your thoughts; challenge anything that stands in the way of your heart. Homework: This week watch your reaction to the success or failure of others: A friend closes the deal on a new house, another parent’s child succeeds in a way your child has not, a co-worker is praised by the boss. Watch what impedes your joy: the feeling of envy, jealousy, and comparison. Feel the sense of disconnection when those emotions are acted upon. Watch your need for recognition and success and how it feeds upon your deprivation of spirit. Repeat the phrases, “Your joy is my joy. May your good fortune never leave you. May your happiness continue.” This will help open the heart beyond self-interests.

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    • Birthing the Heart: Metta

      59:12

      from Seattle Insight Meditation / Added

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      With Rodney Smith. The Buddha said, “One who knows love is very close to the truth.” As we practice, and identification with appearances diminishes, we will find ourselves from time to time suddenly surrounded by great space. The great space seems to have come from nowhere. Maybe it came from the relaxed way we were observing, or out of a momentary respite from self-indulgence. It does not matter how it came, only that it came. The space reassures us that love is there, and even when it seems to be hidden, it lies in wait for our acknowledgment. If we look through that space focusing on objects, love will be missed. If we abide within the space itself and rest there, then our actions will come from its power and grace. Homework: Notice the relationship between love and belonging. Love is dependent upon knowing your location moment after moment and belonging to that location. Start this process when you get out of bed in the morning. When one foot touches the floor, say to yourself, “I have arrived,” and when the other foot touches, “I am at home.” Throughout the day, walking, riding the bus, standing still, or waiting in line, confirm that you have arrived and are at home regardless of your physical location. Now from this exact location warm your heart to whatever surrounds you regardless of whether it is pleasant or not. I belong within these sights and sounds, within these tastes and smells. Again notice that unless you feel that you completely belong, love will feel abstract.

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      • Birthing the Heart: Perceptions from Love

        46:13

        from Seattle Insight Meditation / Added

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        With Rodney Smith. The practice of metta is not the state of metta. Metta is unconditional love and the practice of metta attempts to nudge the mind in the direction of unconditioned love by showing how the opinions we hold of ourselves and each other create separation and distance. It is our perceptions that need to be changed and the key to doing that is questioning deeply the opinions we hold. We think our opinions are the truth, and we can be very reluctant to change them. But opinions are just circumstantial emotions that have been conditioned onto a person, place, or thing. To live under the influence of our opinions is to live enslaved to our thoughts and feelings. Opinions can and do change but they need our intention to look from a different perspective. That is what metta practice attempts to do. It works because we begin to appreciate the state of connected love we fall into when we release our opinions, but our convictions come back very quickly if we have not explored the false nature of all assumptions. Homework: Work with the practice of metta as a way of changing your perceptions so you no longer see through your opinions. As you work from self, to benefactor, to friend, neutral person and difficult person, actually spend time questioning the opinions you hold within each category. For example your perceptions of yourself have been hardened by all the experiences you have had that have led to conclusions and assumptions about your worth. What would you be like if you released those assumptions and simply did not conclude? Try on this new perception of an unfixed sense of yourself. Be very watchful of how the old conditioned beliefs resurface. When they do, pause, drop your opinions, and start fresh.

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        • Faith in a Seed

          01:04:29

          from Seattle Insight Meditation / Added

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          With Keri Pederson. In the suttas the quality of faith, or saddha, is often compared to a seed, and the process of awakening is likened to the maturation and full flowering of that seed. This talk explores various ways that we can understand and nourish this important quality, coming to appreciate its capacity to generate energy and empower us on the path.

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          • Birthing the Heart: Nothing Special of Practice

            44:00

            from Seattle Insight Meditation / Added

            220 Plays / / 0 Comments

            With Rodney Smith. There is a kind of clamor we make when we are pushing ourselves forward trying to accomplish spiritual objectives. We keep ourselves pumped up in an excitable state and busily looking toward the results of our efforts. But the direction the heart takes is in the opposite direction. The heart moves toward nothing special, simplicity, and a full embrace of the here and now. We can rediscover the refuges we take in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha when we pair the refuges with the true direction of the heart. The Buddha is stillness, the Dharma is discovering that stillness in all things, and the Sangha is the intimacy shared when two or more people can be safely quiet together. The heart flourishes within these refuges and intimately connects with the nothing special here and now. Homework: Silence is the shared link among the refuges. See if you can tie your practice through the refuges and into silence. (1) Refuge in the sangha is unforced interconnection and abiding with others in the silence of your heart. (2) Refuge in the Dharma is entering fully into what exists here and now without adding any noise. (3) Refuge in the Buddha is believing in your intrinsic nature more than your self-doubt, and taking refuge in your natural quietude. Which of the three is the strongest refuge during this phase of your practice? How are you working with it to strengthen your relationship with silence?

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            • Carrying the Gold for Another: The Three Wholesome Exchanges

              01:19:01

              from Seattle Insight Meditation / Added

              60 Plays / / 0 Comments

              With Phillip Moffitt. As we move along the path of our inner journey, sometimes we are on a solo trip and sometimes we have the company of others. The role that others play in our journey can have a profound impact on our personal and spiritual development. The Three Wholesome Exchanges are specific ways in which we interact with others that can bring about transformative change in them and in ourselves. In this dharma talk, Phillip explores some of the mysteries that propel our movement along the path toward peace and freedom.

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              • Liberating the Mind: Working with Greed, Hatred and Delusion

                01:03:22

                from Seattle Insight Meditation / Added

                122 Plays / / 0 Comments

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                • Birthing the Heart: Relinquishment

                  58:47

                  from Seattle Insight Meditation / Added

                  301 Plays / / 0 Comments

                  With Rodney Smith. Spiritual practice is all about unburdening our lives, which depending upon the circumstances, can be called surrender, renunciation, letting go, simplicity, or relinquishment. Suffering is the process of adding to the nothing we are. Every psychological, material, and spiritual layer we add on, ultimately weighs us down, narrows our options, and ties us to its limitations. For example when we define ourselves, we are forced to live as if the definition were true and deny a range of qualities that do not fit our image. At some point the burden of these add-ons become overwhelming, and we then become willing to surrender everything that we have artificially imposed upon us. Relinquishment is returning to our natural state by releasing our accumulations. This process can go as fast or take as long as we wish it to take. The more we are accountable to the burdens we bear, the more willing we become to relinquish that unneeded weight. The timing is ours alone, but the process of relinquishment is very simple and straightforward. Homework: The spiritual side of the holiday season is about simplicity, love, and connection. It is a good time to ponder where you are and where you intentionally want to go. Is your life working in a more worldly or spiritual direction, and is that satisfying? Does the speed and direction of your life deprive you of a deeper love and connection with nature, family, yourself? Relinquishment is not backing away but pausing and examining what is pushing you forward. This week live with the conflict between what you deeply cherish and whether you are living counter to that purpose.

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                  • Turning Toward the Difficult

                    58:40

                    from Seattle Insight Meditation / Added

                    170 Plays / / 0 Comments

                    A dharma talk with Tim Geil.

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                    • Birthing the Heart: Resolve

                      49:47

                      from Seattle Insight Meditation / Added

                      259 Plays / / 1 Comment

                      With Rodney Smith. What inhibits our resolve to show up for our life? What are the competing motivations that keep us looking toward the future for fulfillment instead of surrendering to the present? Do we take our personal agenda so seriously that we lose the value of being present? Seriously ask whether the actual payoff of our agenda is as fulfilling as the expectation. In the rare moments when we are connected, quiet, just being, without any motive whatsoever, what is that like? We have to acquire a taste for the present and at first it feels too normal and unexciting, but if we hold the stillness of the moment there will come a deep serenity and depth of connection and aliveness that is beyond the ordinary. From here we may well state, “Nothing is missing and there is no where to go.” Homework: In your dharma practice have you noticed a competing intention that interferes with the resolve of your heart? What worldly intention(s) take you away from the quiet and simplicity of your heart? Perhaps a fear of failure that says: “What if I try dharma practice and fail.” Or maybe you would like it both ways: “I am willing to try but want to hold something back in case this proves too difficult.” See if there is a self-assumption that keeps you from a full resolve, such as: “I have caused so much harm, I can’t get over my regret and guilt.” Get to know these competing intentions and resolve to be free of them.

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