Sati Center RSS

These pages contain selected recordings of past classes offered by the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies.

Fabrication (Sankhara) with Ajaan Thanissaro (Geoff)   RSS

Saturday September 5th, 2020 10 AM - 3:30 PM

The insights that free the mind from suffering revolve around the concept of fabrication (sankhara). They involve confirming the fact that we fabricate our experience through our intentions, and evaluating the value of fabricated experiences: to what extent they're worth the effort that goes into fabricating them and to what extent they're not. This course, based on the essay, The Mirror of Insight, explores how the Buddha analyzes different types of fabrication and how he recommends using them to develop the insights that arrive at an unfabricated goal.

Fabrication (Sankhara) - Part 1: Lecture
Ajaan Thanissaro 2020-09-05 32:13
Fabrication (Sankhara) - Part 1: Question and Answer
Ajaan Thanissaro 2020-09-05 46:23
Fabrication (Sankhara) - Part 2: Lecture and Question and Answer
Ajaan Thanissaro 2020-09-05 1:41:50
Skill In Questions with Ajaan Thanissaro (Geoff)   RSS

Saturday September 28, 2018 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

For the purpose of putting an end to suffering, the Buddha divided questions into four types: those that deserve a categorical answer, those that deserve an analytical answer, those that deserve that the person asking the question be cross-questioned, and those that deserve to be put aside. To know where a particular question falls within these categories, he said, is a sign of discernment. This day-long course looked at how the Buddha himself applied this scheme to the questions that other people asked him and to the questions he asked himself during his search for awakening. The purpose is be to gain a deeper understanding of the Buddha’s teachings by seeing what kinds of questions they were and were not intended to answer, and to gain a better sense of what kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves to guide our practice. Handout for the daylong can be found at Skill in Questions Sati Center

  • Skill In Questions by Ajaan Thanissaro (PDF)

Skill in Questions - Part 1
Ajaan Thanissaro 2019-09-28 1:45:19
Skill In Questions - Part 2
Ajaan Thanissaro 2019-09-28 1:17:58
Skill In Questions - Part 3
Ajaan Thanissaro 2019-09-28 1:20:36
Neuroscience and Early Buddhism   RSS

There is remarkable agreement between the early Buddhist view of the mind and the understandings emerging from modern neuroscience. The Buddhist concept of the aggregates (khandhas) could serve as a Table of Contents for a textbook on the human brain.

The day’s presentation reviewed the design and functions of the human brain by examining modern understandings of these phenomena within the framework of Buddhist teachings on the aggregates, emptiness, and the mysteries of “not self.”

The program included lecture presentations and times for questions and answers, handouts, and periods of silent meditation.

  • Neuroscience and Early Buddhism - Handout 1 by Rick Maddock (PDF)
  • Neuroscience and Early Buddhism - Handout 2 by Rick Maddock (PDF)

Neuroscience and Early Buddhism - Part 1
Rick Maddock 2019-08-31 50:50
Neuroscience and Early Buddhism - Part 2
Rick Maddock 2019-08-31 67:27
Neuroscience and Early Buddhism - Part 3
Rick Maddock 2019-08-31 1:39:11
Neuroscience and Early Buddhism - Part 4
Rick Maddock 2019-08-31 44:31
Sutta Study: The Metta Sutta   RSS

Loving-kindness or metta is one of the central practices taught by the Buddha. It is taught in the Discourse on Loving-Kindness (the Metta Sutta), a beautiful poem often chanted. In our time together we explored the verses, introduced to the chant, and learned how loving-kindness is related to living a wise life and meditation practice.

Sutta Study: Metta Sutta Pt1
Diana Clark 2019-04-13 59:58
Sutta Study: Metta Sutta Pt2
Diana Clark 2019-04-13 49:49
Sutta Study: Metta Sutta Pt3
Diana Clark 2019-04-13 45:32
Sutta Study: Metta Sutta Pt4
Diana Clark 2019-04-13 13:11
Clinging and Craving with Ajaan Thanissaro (Geoff)   RSS

The Buddha identifies four types of clinging as suffering, and three types of craving as the cause of suffering. But he also taught that, up to a point, clinging and craving play a role in developing the path to the end of suffering. In addition to exploring the role of clinging and craving in the first two noble truths, this daylong course focused on the strategic uses of clinging and craving in the fourth noble truth prior to their abandoning in the third.

  • Clinging and Craving by Ajaan Thanissaro (PDF)

Clinging and Craving - Part 1
Ajaan Thanissaro 2018-09-22 1:20:04
Clinging and Craving - Part 2
Ajaan Thanissaro 2018-09-22 1:16:46
Clinging and Craving - Part 3
Ajaan Thanissaro 2018-09-22 1:35:27
The Buddha's Teachings on Meditation   RSS

Exploration into the various ways samadhi (concentration) is presented in the foundational texts, the range of ways it is practiced and taught today, and how to incorporate it into our meditation practice.

The Buddha's Teachings on Meditation: Part 1
Richard Shankman 2018-07-28 1:10:18
The Buddha's Teachings on Meditation: Part 2
Richard Shankman 2018-07-28 1:28:00
The Buddha's Teachings on Meditation: Part 3
Richard Shankman 2018-07-28 1:15:41
The Buddha's Teachings on Meditation: Part 4
Richard Shankman 2018-07-28 29:49
Mindfulness in the Early Buddhist Teachings   RSS

Sati in the Suttas Pt 1: Definition of Mindfulness
Diana Clark 2018-07-14 1:30:30
Sati in the Suttas Pt 2: The Refrain
Diana Clark 2018-07-14 43:57
Sati in the Suttas Pt3: Four Establishments of Mindfulness
Diana Clark 2018-07-14 41:37
Sati in the Suttas Pt4: Mindfulness of the Body
Diana Clark 2018-07-14 31:52
Environmental Buddhist Chaplaincy Daylong   RSS

An exploration of the new field of Buddhist Environmental chaplaincy and ecological chaplaincy. Inspiration, personal connections with nature, unpacking the difficulties of intersectionality, and connecting with meaning and purpose.

with Kirsten Rudestam, Carla Brennan, Kyle Lemle, Bronte Velez, and Alexis Slutzky

Buddhist Environmental Chaplaincy Daylong Intro (with Kirsten Rudestam)
Gil Fronsdal 2017-10-14 1:16:37
A personal journey: considering eco-chaplaincy through the lens of ecopsychology
• Carla's journey through eco-psychology and Buddhist practice.
  • The Personal is Planetary by Carla Brennan (PDF)
Carla Brennan 2017-10-14 53:06
Possibilities for meaning and purpose that stem from connection with nature
• How connection to nature inspires Buddhist Environmental chaplaincy
Carla Brennan 2017-10-14 20:54
Reconciliation (with Bronte Velez and Kyle Lemle)
• For more information about Bronte and Kyle's environmental social justice work, see
Gil Fronsdal 2017-10-14 1:41:19
Going Forth (with Alexis Slutzky)
• Alexis's journey and the tenets of the practice of council
Gil Fronsdal 2017-10-14 24:19
Moving forward: ideas for next steps and closing (with Kirsten Rudestam)
• Possibilities for Buddhist Environmental Chaplaincy: concrete next steps. Day closing.
Gil Fronsdal 2017-10-14 22:40
The Ten Perfections with Ajaan Thanissaro (Geoff)   RSS
The Ten Perfections (pāramī) provide a useful framework for leading a meaningful life, especially for lay Dhamma practice. This course-- through readings in the Pali Canon and the teachings of the Thai Forest Tradition, along with talks, discussions, and meditations-- explored, ways in which these perfections can be pursued effectively in an imperfect world.
  • Ten-Perfections-Sati-Center-Class by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (PDF)

The Ten Perfections - guided meditation 1
Ajaan Thanissaro 2017-09-16 33:36
The Ten Perfections - discernment teachings
Ajaan Thanissaro 2017-09-16 1:29:44
The Ten Perfections - Metta
Ajaan Thanissaro 2017-09-16 1:26:23
The Ten Perfections - Truth and Virtue
Ajaan Thanissaro 2017-09-16 1:35:24
The Ten Perfections - Persistence and Giving
Ajaan Thanissaro 2017-09-17 1:19:37
The Ten Perfections - Renunciation, Endurance, Equanimity
Ajaan Thanissaro 2017-09-17 59:43
I Will Not Pass Away….Reinstating the Buddha's Vision of Gender Equity: A history of Bhikkhunis from the time of the Buddha - Ayya Anandabodhi and Mindy Zlotnick   RSS

The Buddha said he would not pass away until there was a well-established community (sangha) of male and female monastics and male and female lay followers.

This course offered a colorful and informative overview of the history of the Buddha’s vision of the four-fold sangha, and especially how women were an integral part of this vision. Because of political and cultural decisions, a strong female monastic presence, i.e., one part of the four-fold sangha, disappeared for almost 1000 years in the Theravada tradition. The revival of the Theravada bhikkhuni sangha began about 30 years ago and has spread throughout the world. After an overview of this history Ayya Anandabodhi and Mindy Zlotnick will talk about the movement of modern nuns, including how the nuns at the Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery are a local example of a group of pioneering women who are helping to revive the lineage.

Bhikkhuni History Part 1 - Ayya Anandabodhi and Mindy Zlotnick
Mindy Zlotnik 2017-08-19 1:47:35
Bhikkhuni History Part 2 - Ayya Anandabodhi and Mindy Zlotnick
Ayya Anandabodhi 2017-08-19 1:35:11
Theravada and Vajrayana - Ven. Ajahn Chandako and Ven. Tenzin Chogkyi   RSS

The Bodhisattva and the Arahant:

In this uniquely collaborative presentation, these two Sangha members and dear friends from the Theravada and Vajrayana traditions explored the common ground and differences between these ancient paths of practice. The teachers drew on their decades of experience to discuss approaches to the three refuges, ethics and vows, methods of meditation and what constitutes liberation. Ajahn and Tenzin demonstrate that the Buddhist path can be joyful as well as profound, so be prepared for much laughter!

Ajahn Chandako was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1990 in the lineage of Venerable Ajahn Chah. His interest in the teachings of the Buddha grew as he studied towards a BA degree in Religious Studies from Carleton College (1984). Following graduation, he began applying himself to training in meditation and subsequently went to Asia to find a monastery suitable for devoting himself fully to the practice. After training under Buddhists masters in the US and Asia for 20 years, Ajahn Chandako was invited to New Zealand in 2004 to begin Vimutti Buddhist Monastery, where he is currently the abbot.

Tenzin Choki became a student of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kirti Tsenshabe Rinpoche, and Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 1991. Tenzin was ordained by the Dalai Lama in 2004, and has served the director of Vajrapani Institute, and worked for the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. She has also spent a six years in retreat. Since 2006 she has been teaching around the world. She is currently the resident teacher of Vajrapani Institute.

Theravada and Vajrayana - Part 1
Ajahn Chandako 2017-05-27 54:31
Theravada and Vajrayana - Part 2
Ajahn Chandako 2017-05-27 65:39
Theravada and Vajrayana - Part 3
Ajahn Chandako 2017-05-27 52:28
Theravada and Vajrayana - Part 4
Ajahn Chandako 2017-05-27 27:04
Theravada and Vajrayana - Part 5
Ajahn Chandako 2017-05-27 56:49
The Noble Eightfold Path with Thanissaro Bhikkhu   RSS

The Noble Eightfold Path was the Buddha’s first and last teaching, the framework for everything else that he taught. This day-long course—through readings, talks, discussion, and meditation— focused on the useful things that can be learned by asking some very basic questions about this teaching: How is the path noble? Why is it called a path? What are its eight factors, and in what way are they “right”? How are they interconnected, and how do they aid in abandoning the causes of suffering?

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, also known as Than Geoff (born 1949), is an American Theravada Buddhist monk of the Dhammayut Order, of the Thai forest kammatthana tradition. He is currentliy the abbot of Metta Forest Monastery in San Diego County. Thanissaro Bhikkhu is also a translator of Pali Canon and other modern Buddhist works, and is the author of many Dhamma books and articles.

  • Eightfold Path Study by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (PDF)

The Noble Eightfold Path - Part 1
Ajaan Thanissaro 2016-09-24 1:29:38
The Noble Eightfold Path - Part 2
Ajaan Thanissaro 2016-09-24 1:25:28
The Noble Eightfold Path - Part 3
Ajaan Thanissaro 2016-09-24 1:25:37
Training on the Gradual Path - The Buddha's Description of Practice with Leigh Brasington   RSS

The “"gradual training”" is the path of practice taught by the Buddha that leads from first setting out on one'’s spiritual journey all the way to final liberation.

This day-long course took an in-depth and comprehensive look at the various texts in Pali Canon that speak to such gradual training; and how this training might resonate with our own journey on the path to liberation. Special attention was given to the Sāmaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Spiritual Life which discusses in detail the factors enumerating this training.

Training on the Gradual Path - Part 1
Leigh Brasington 2016-07-23 52:29
Training on the Gradual Path - Part 2
Leigh Brasington 2016-07-23 65:41
Training on the Gradual Path - Part 3
Leigh Brasington 2016-07-23 67:53
Training on the Gradual Path - Part 4
Leigh Brasington 2016-07-23 67:16
Samadhi: Exploring the Range of Teachings and Controversies on Concentration & Jhana with Richard Shankman   RSS

This day of practice and teaching explained the various ways samadhi is taught and clarified its place in insight meditation. After an in-depth examination of samadhi in the source texts, we discussed some of the most important questions, such as: Are insight and concentration two separate paths of meditation, or is there a single path that synthesizes the two into one practice? What is the nature of the deepest stages of concentration known as Jhana? Is deep concentration necessary for liberating insight? In answering these questions we compareed different views and approaches to samadhi.

  • Samadhi Daylong Student Handout by Richard Shankman (PDF)
  • Samadhi Daylong Student Handout by Richard Shankman (docx)

Samadhi: Exploring Teachings and Controversies - Part 1
Richard Shankman 2016-04-30 1:23:18
Samadhi: Exploring Teachings and Controversies - Part 2
Richard Shankman 2016-04-30 1:11:21
Samadhi: Exploring Teachings and Controversies - Part 3
Richard Shankman 2016-04-30 1:30:06
Samadhi: Exploring Teachings and Controversies - Part 4
Richard Shankman 2016-04-30 49:21
Women in Buddhism Symposium: In Honor of the Nuns of Aloka Vihara   RSS

On Saturday, November 14 the Sati Center hosted a symposium highlighting the accomplishments of women scholars in the early years of Buddhist Studies in the West, on the one hand, and portraits of women as presented in the scriptures of early Buddhist literature on the other. We celebrated the contributions of these women as part of a benefit to support the pioneering Theravada Buddhist nuns living at Aloka Vihara in the Sierra foothill

Women in Buddhism Symposium: Opening Remarks
Gil Fronsdal 2015-11-14 7:38
Women in Buddhism Symposium: Caroline Rhys Davids
Dawn Neal 2015-11-14 46:21
Women in Buddhism Symposium: I. B. Horner
Grace Burford 2015-11-14 56:05
Women in Buddhism Symposium: Laywomen in Pali Literature
Diana Clark 2015-11-14 36:59
Women in Buddhism Symposium: Nuns in Pali Literature
Xi He 2015-11-14 44:25
Women in Buddhism Symposium: Poems of Early Buddhist Nuns
Meg Gawler 2015-11-14 44:52
Women in Buddhism Symposium: Mahapajapati
Jan Nattier 2015-11-14 47:46
Women in Buddhism Symposium: Concluding Remarks
Kim Allen 2015-11-14 8:33
The Thai Forest Masters   RSS

The Thai forest tradition is well-known for the style of its teachings–direct, down-to- earth . . . but very little has been written about the content of its teachings: the positions it took on controversial issues regarding virtue, concentration, discernment, and release. This daylong focused on filling in this gap with reference to the recorded teachings of Ajaan Mun Bhuridatto, one of the founders of the tradition, as well as to the more systematic writings of two of his most articulate students, Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo and Ajaan Maha Boowa Nanasampanno.

The Thai Forest Masters - Part 1
Ajaan Thanissaro 2015-09-19 1:26:09
The Thai Forest Masters - Part 2
Ajaan Thanissaro 2015-09-19 1:23:00
The Thai Forest Masters - Part 3
Ajaan Thanissaro 2015-09-19 1:17:03
Overview of Buddhist Meditation   RSS

Meditation is one of the key practices taught at IMC. As a type of “technology of transformation” meditation has been taught for millennia as a method for training and developing the mind for the highest spiritual aim of awakening. More recently, meditation has also been extracted from its Buddhist framework in order to harness its benefits for a wide range of applications including simply managing daily tasks and problems. In this daylong we explored the different types of meditation practices presented in the earliest Buddhist texts and how they may be relevant for our own lives. We practiced and discuss vipassana (insight), samatha (calming), metta (loving-kindness) and anussati (recollection) meditations.

Overview of Buddhist Meditation Pt1
Diana Clark 2015-08-01 1:34:31
Overview of Buddhist Meditation Pt2
Diana Clark 2015-08-01 1:12:20
Overview of Buddhist Meditation Pt3
Diana Clark 2015-08-01 1:10:41
Overview of Buddhist Meditation Pt4
Diana Clark 2015-08-01 24:36
Life of the Buddha   RSS

The story and early myths about the Buddha’s life are important means for conveying central Buddhist teachings.This daylong class provided an introduction to the life of the Buddha that also served as a introduction to his fundamental teachings.The day consisted of lectures, discussion, and periods of meditation.

Life of the Buddha - Part 1
Diana Clark 2015-03-14 66:43
Life of the Buddha - Part 2
Diana Clark 2015-03-14 52:28
Life of the Buddha - Part 3
Diana Clark 2015-03-14 2:02:07
Buddhist Personality Types   RSS

In addition to a theory of personality types, Theravada Buddhism psychology has a well-developed description of the underlying factors and dispositions that influence us. Some of this is the result of how past experiences can remain present throughout our lifetime. The combination of underlying mental factors and past conditioning come together to condition the appearance of what we sometimes call the “self”. On this afternoon, we identified the underlying mental factors and past experiences that contribute to our sense of self. We also discussed the impact these have on our personality structures. After identifying our own elaborate “Personality Type,” specific dhamma practices were identified to assist each individual to further develop the mind. Included in the discussion were:

  • Parāmi profile: 10 wholesome qualities of mind to be developed
  • Index of Potential Problems: the qualities of mind that most cause suffering
  • Primary Mentality: the 6 foundations of identification <\ul>
    • Mental Legacies and Practices (PDF)
    • Buddhist Personality Types Worksheet (PDF)

Buddhist Personality Types
Steve Armstrong 2015-03-01 2:31:31

In this daylong workshop, scholar-practitioner Rita M. Gross presented an introduction to Vajrayana – the form of Buddhism most strongly associated with the Buddhism of Tibet. The day was meant for those curious about this valuable form of Buddhism but know little about it. She explained both those aspects of Vajrayana Buddhism that most distinguish it from other forms of Buddhism and its underlying similarity with better-known forms of Buddhism. Regarding what is most distinctive about Vajrayana Buddhism, she explained some of its most common rituals involving visualization practices and mantra recitation. She also explained its deeper teachings about the nature of mind and reality that Vajrayana shares with other forms of Buddhism. Furthermore, she explained how the two major aspects of Vajrayana Buddhism, often called the “development stage” and the “completion stage,” are linked with each other and provide an overarching path to awakening.

Introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism - Part 1
Rita Gross 2015-02-21 2:54:28
Introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism - Part 2
Rita Gross 2015-02-21 2:27:24
Renunciation in Lay Life: What, Why, and How   RSS

While renunciation is commonly associated with Buddhist monastics, a growing number of Western lay practitioners are interested in how to live a nourishing life of lay renunciation. This daylong explored the possibilities, benefits, and challenges of renunciation in lay life.

The idea of lay renunciation raises such questions as:

  • What kinds of renunciation are most conducive to Dhamma practice as lay people?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of a lay life that honors the intention to let go?
  • How have dedicated lay practitioners lived in Asian cultures?
  • What teachings and practices can guide a lay person seeking to live a simpler, non-grasping frame of mind?

The day included a number of guest speakers, group discussion, and sitting practice. It provided an opportunity to learn and share ideas about the topic.

Renunciation in Lay Life: Part 1 - Introduction
Kim Allen 2015-01-31 34:51
Renunciation in Lay Life: Part 2
Ruby Grad 2015-01-31 39:42
Renunciation in Lay Life: Part 3 - Anagarika
Kim Allen 2015-01-31 9:22
Renunciation in Lay Life: Part 4 - Munindra
Mirka Knaster 2015-01-31 36:15
Renunciation in Lay Life: Part 5 - Discussion
Kim Allen 2015-01-31 11:29
Renunciation in Lay Life: Part 6 - Benefit
Kim Allen 2015-01-31 26:44
Renunciation in Lay Life: Part 7
Oren Jay Sofer 2015-01-31 38:35
Renunciation in Lay Life: Part 8 - Challenge Aspiration
Kim Allen 2015-01-31 38:39
Romanticizing the Buddha   RSS

An important part of understanding Dharma is understanding what is not Dharma. A great deal of American not-Dharma—what passes for Dharma but actually isn’t—comes from the thought of the early German Romantics.

Even though their names are little-known in America, their ideas have had an enormous influence on Americans attitudes about spiritual life. When approaching the Dharma, we tend to view it in light of these attitudes, which in some ways are congruent with what the Buddha taught, and in many ways run directly counter to it. This daylong course—through talks, readings, and discussions—focused on understanding Romantic ideas about religious life and inspiration, the transmission of these ideas through American thinkers such as Emerson and James, their influence on modern American Dharma, and the ways in which this influence has seriously distorted our idea of what counts as Dharma and where Dharma practice leads.

Romanticizing the Buddha (Part 1)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2014-04-26 1:54:13
Romanticizing the Buddha (Part 2)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2014-04-26 1:20:58
Romanticizing the Buddha (Part 3)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2014-04-26 1:34:06
Paths of Practice   RSS

Paths of Practice in the Buddha’s Teachings with Diana Clark

The concept of a path of practice is one of the central features of the Buddha’s teaching. In addition to the well-known Eightfold Path, the Buddha described a number of other models of the Buddhist path to the end of suffering. These different models are useful descriptions that describe the path of practice through different perspectives. Join us as we explore and discuss three important paths of practice depicted in three different suttas from the Middle Length Discourses (Majjhima Nikāya, MN). We will study the “Gradual Training” from the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint (MN 27), the “Discovery of Truth” from the Cankī sutta (MN 95) and the “Practice that Makes One an [Arahant]” from the Greater Discourse at Assapura (MN 39). In addition to studying the paths themselves, we will explore the context in which the Buddha taught them, and the contexts in which they may be useful for modern practitioners. The day will include lecture and small group discussion.

Diana Clark has a Master’s Degree in Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley. She practices and occasionally teaches at IMC.

Paths of Practice - Part 1
Diana Clark 2014-03-22 31:13
Paths of Practice - Part 2
Diana Clark 2014-03-22 22:15
Paths of Practice - Part 3
Diana Clark 2014-03-22 62:21
Paths of Practice - Part 4
Diana Clark 2014-03-22 66:06
How Empty is Emptiness   RSS

This workshop will explore ideas and experiences of emptiness. We’ll begin by considering Buddhist concepts of emptiness from early Buddhism through the later Mahayana and beyond. Then we’ll take a brief look at echoes of emptiness in later eastern and western philosophies and religions before examining emptiness in the work of contemporary artists and practitioners.

Central to the day will be investigation of our own experience and ideas of emptiness. Hopefully we’ll discover how emptiness is far from the quality of lack often ascribed to it, and how a such a transformed understanding may enrich our daily lives and well-being. The day will include teaching, discussion and sitting.

How Empty is Emptiness (Part 1)
Gay Watson 2014-03-15 1:25:09
How Empty is Emptiness (Part 2)
Gay Watson 2014-03-15 1:37:43
How Empty is Emptiness (Part 3)
Gay Watson 2014-03-15 54:53
How Empty is Emptiness (Part 4)
Gay Watson 2014-03-15 56:51
The Women around the Buddha   RSS

THE WOMEN AROUND THE BUDDHA: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON EARLY BUDDHIST HISTORY AND MODERN PRACTICE Presented by Rita M. Gross Early Buddhist history and the legendary lives of Siddartha Gautama are important for and fascinating to Buddhists of all orientations. However, in many accounts, the stories of the women central to the Buddha, especially his foster-mother and his wife, are obscured or forgotten. A great deal of Buddhist story-telling has grown to fill out our impressions about the lives of these women. We will focus especially on these stories in this daylong workshop. This focus will also allow us to explore how historical memories are created, the importance of creative story-telling to a living religious tradition, and changing ideas about gender in early Buddhism. The day will end with an exploration of how the implicit and explicit views of men and women appear in the stories and the practice of people practicing Buddhism in our modern world. Known as a warm, humorous and very clear teacher, Rita M. Gross teaches with a rare combination of academic and dharmic perspectives. She is internationally known for her innovative work on gender and religion. She also has extensive training and experience as a professor of comparative studies in religion and is a Buddhist Dharma teacher, appointed to that position by Her Eminence Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche.

The Women around the Buddha - Part 1
Rita Gross 2014-01-18 2:16:37
The Women Around the Buddha - Part 2
Rita Gross 2014-01-18 1:44:20
The Women Around the Buddha - Part 3
Rita Gross 2014-01-18 64:24
The Brahmaviharas   RSS

The Brahmaviharas—attitudes of unlimited good will, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity—are useful tools for counteracting unskillful mind states, such as ill will and resentment, and for developing all three parts of the path to the end of suffering: virtue, concentration, and discernment. This day-long course will use readings, talks, discussions, and periods of meditation to explore the uses and limitations of these attitudes in the context of the total path.

  • Handout used with these talks: Brahamavihara (PDF)

The Brahmaviharas 1
Ajaan Thanissaro 2013-10-12 1:15:48
The Brahmaviharas 2
Ajaan Thanissaro 2013-10-12 1:32:44
The Brahmaviharas 3
Ajaan Thanissaro 2013-10-12 1:45:58
The Buddha's Teachings on Happiness   RSS

Bhante Piyananda has hundreds of stories to illustrate the Dhamma. In this daylong class, he will share the Dhamma of Family and Lay Life drawn from the Buddha’s teachings and 58 years as a monk, teaching and supporting countless families and lay practitioners.

The Buddha's Teachings on Happiness - Part 1
Bhante Piyananda 2013-08-03 1:37:21
The Buddha's Teachings on Happiness - Part 2
Bhante Piyananda 2013-08-03 1:20:41
The Buddha's Teachings on Personal Practice and the Public Good with Gil Fronsdal and Diana Clark   RSS
The Buddha addressed the social, political, and economic challenges of his time through mythic stories containing lessons as relevant for us today as they were in his time.

During this day we will explore three discourses from the Long Discourses of the Buddha which discuss the role both government action and personal transformation have in the well-being of our society. In the background of our exploration will be exploring the uses of stories to convey spiritual teachings. The day will involve an interactive combination of lectures, discussion and creative engagement with the Kutadanta Sutta, the Cakkavatti-Sihanada Sutta, and the Agganna Sutta (Digha Nikaya 5, 26, and 27). These suttas can be found at,, and

Sati Daylong: Personal Practice and the Public Good: Digha Nikaya Selections 1
Gil Fronsdal 2013-07-13 1:52
Sati Daylong: Personal Practice and the Public Good: Digha Nikaya Selections 2
Gil Fronsdal 2013-07-13 11:18
Sati Daylong: Personal Practice and the Public Good: Digha Nikaya Selections 3
Gil Fronsdal 2013-07-13 19:07
Sati Daylong: Personal Practice and the Public Good: Digha Nikaya Selections 4
Gil Fronsdal 2013-07-13 27:27
Sati Daylong: Personal Practice and the Public Good: Digha Nikaya Selections 5
Gil Fronsdal 2013-07-13 38:49
Sati Daylong: Personal Practice and the Public Good: Digha Nikaya Selections 6
Gil Fronsdal 2013-07-13 21:18
Sati Daylong: Personal Practice and the Public Good: Digha Nikaya Selections 7
Gil Fronsdal 2013-07-13 36:25
Sati Daylong: Personal Practice and the Public Good: Digha Nikaya Selections 8
Gil Fronsdal 2013-07-13 30:19
Sati Daylong: Personal Practice and the Public Good: Digha Nikaya Selections 9
Gil Fronsdal 2013-07-13 27:13
The Science and Practice of Compassion   RSS
What can science teach us about practice? This experiential workshop explores, through discussion, self-reflection, and meditation, insights into the process of cultivating self-compassion and compassion for others based on recent research on compassion training. Practices will include guided compassion meditations, gentle mindful movement, and simple breathing exercises
The Science and Practice of Compassion (Part 1)
Kelly McGonigal 2013-03-17 36:12
The Science and Practice of Compassion (Part 2)
Kelly McGonigal 2013-03-17 44:03
The Science and Practice of Compassion (Part 3)
Kelly McGonigal 2013-03-17 1:13:23
The Life and Teachings of the Buddha: An Introduction to Sutta Study   RSS
During this daylong we will be looking at short passages from the suttas to tell the story of the Buddha and to describe his essential teachings of the Dharma. A practical and experiential approach to sutta study will be given.
  • The Life and Teachings of the Buddha (PDF)

The Life and Teachings of the Buddha: An Introduction to Sutta Study (Part 1)
Jeff Hardin 2012-09-08 1:12:51
The Life and Teachings of the Buddha: An Introduction to Sutta Study (Part 2)
Jeff Hardin 2012-09-08 1:22:13
The Life and Teachings of the Buddha: An Introduction to Sutta Study (Part 3)
Jeff Hardin 2012-09-08 64:32
The Life and Teachings of the Buddha: An Introduction to Sutta Study (Part 4)
Jeff Hardin 2012-09-08 1:36:52
Introduction to Pali   RSS
A one-day introduction to the richness of the Pali language and its potential for complementing and enriching one’s meditative practice and deepening one’s relationship to the Buddha’s teachings. While the dhamma in its 84,000 parts lies in the heart and not on any printed page, the Pali language has been and remains a potent vehicle for those who would make use of it. Its texts are not only the closest approximations to the Buddha’s teachings in their original formulations, but also the concrete vestiges of those who have most thoroughly realized those teachings within their own body, speech, and mind. The workshop will incorporate both scholarly and experiential approaches as we learn, recite, and imbibe the Buddha’s teachings in their original wording and attempt together to evoke their living meaning.
Pali Workshop Part 1
Sean Kerr 2012-07-28 1:35:13
Pali Workshop Part 2
Sean Kerr 2012-07-28 1:14:42
Pali Workshop Part 3
Sean Kerr 2012-07-28 1:18:48
Pali Workshop Part 4
Sean Kerr 2012-07-28 53:16
Pali Workshop Part 5
Sean Kerr 2012-07-28 24:54
Papañca   RSS
When discussing the sources of conflict—inner and outer—the Buddha pointed to a type of thinking he called papañca. This term is often translated as “conceptual proliferation,” but a survey of how it’s discussed in the Pali Canon shows that it has less to do with the amount of thinking and more with the way thinking is framed. This daylong course will focus on understanding what papañca is, how it happens, when it has its uses, and how the need for it can eventually be overcome.
Introduction (Part 1)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2012-04-28 63:30
The Reading (Part 2)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2012-04-28 30:31
Reading - continued (Part 3)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2012-04-28 1:25:34
Reading - continued (Part 4)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2012-04-28 66:12
Spirit of the Buddha   RSS
During this daylong we will explore the spirit of the Buddha, characterized by kindness, creativity and questioning, through looking at discourses from the Pali Canon. We will use the prism of the eightfold path, as given in different suttas, to reflect on the path and develop it during the day. Together, we’ll cultivate some of the Buddhist meditation practices that were developed during and after the time of the Buddha. Through the use of such practices as questioning and mindfulness, we’ll reflect on each one of the eightfold paths to see what each means for us in our daily life.
Spirit of the Buddha - Part 1
Martine Batchelor 2011-10-29 38:49
Spirit of the Buddha - Part 2
Martine Batchelor 2011-10-29 51:57
Spirit of the Buddha - Part 3
Martine Batchelor 2011-10-29 34:53
Spirit of the Buddha - Part 4
Martine Batchelor 2011-10-29 67:46
Spirit of the Buddha - Part 5
Martine Batchelor 2011-10-29 1:13:39
The Basic Dynamics of Insight Meditation   RSS

Veneerable Analayo compares the three main insight traditions (Mahasi, Goenka, Pa Auk) and traces back similarities via the commentarial scheme of insight knowledges to a basic pattern of insight in the suttas.

Bhikkhu Analayo was born in Germany in 1962 and ordained in Sri Lanka in 1995. In the year 2000 he completed a Ph.D. thesis on the Satipatthana-sutta at the University of Peradeniya (published by Windhorse in the UK). In the year 2007 he completed a habilitation research at the University of Marburg, in which he compared the Majjhima-nikaya discourses with their Chinese, Sanskrit, and Tibetan counterparts. At present, he is a member of the Centre for Buddhist Studies, University of Hamburg, as a Privatdozent (the German equivalent to an associate professorship), and works as a researcher at Dharma Drum Buddhist College, Taiwan. Besides his academic activities, he regularly teaches meditation in Sri Lanka.

Dynamics of Insight of Meditation
Bhikkhu Analayo 2011-10-18 1:10:18
Protecting Oneself and Protecting Others Through Mindfulness   RSS
Based on the Acrobate simile in the Samyutta-nikaaya and its Chinese parallel Venerable Analayl discusses how mindfulness relates to developing oneself and at the same time taking care of others
  • Protecting Oneself and Others Slides (PDF)

Protecting Oneself and Protecting Others Through Mindfulness
  • Protecting Oneself and Others Slides (PDF)
Bhikkhu Analayo 2011-10-18 1:38:10
The Buddha’s Teaching on Loving-Kindness: A Mature Path to Awakening   RSS
In much contemporary Buddhist teachings, the paths of the heart are often relegated to second place behind the primacy of Wisdom on the path to awakening. In the earliest texts, however, the Buddha appears to consider the cultivation of kindness and compassion as a fully viable and equal path to awakening, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. This will be the premise of the morning’s discussion.
Metta as a Path to Awakening (Part 1)
John Peacock 2011-09-05 1:16:12
Metta as a Path to Awakening (Part 2)
John Peacock 2011-09-05 64:54
Buddhism Before the Theravada   RSS
The Buddha did not teach in a vacuum. His teachings were directed to those who shared the social world in which he lived. John Peacock, a British scholar who studies and translates in more than a dozen languages and is familiar with the philosophical environment of the Buddha’s day, maintains that by framing the Buddha’s teachings in their original context, it is possible to recover the original meaning of teachings that have been ignored and lost by later Buddhist schools—including the Theravada. This weekend class will examine many of the ways in which Buddhist practice was radically different from the Brahmanical and Upanishadic thinking of the time and, indeed, how it differs in substantive ways from much present day understanding of the Dharma. The exploration will detail the Buddha’s shift away from metaphysical thinking to a focus on internal experience and ethical activity. In the process there will be consideration of how the Buddha’s earliest teachings diverge from much of the western philosophical tradition, and often from what has become the traditional view of the Dharma today as well.
Buddhism Before the Theravada Part 1
John Peacock 2011-09-03 1:36:43
Buddhism Before the Theravada Part 2
John Peacock 2011-09-03 42:32
Buddhism before the Theravada Part 3
John Peacock 2011-09-03 1:53:13
Buddhism before the Theravada Part 4
John Peacock 2011-09-03 1:13:40
Buddhism Before the Theravada Part 5
John Peacock 2011-09-04 1:16:31
Buddhism Before the Theravada Part 6
John Peacock 2011-09-04 1:54:06
Socially Engaged Buddhism: Tradition, Innovation, and Contemporary Challenges   RSS

The Buddha guided us to study human experience carefully in order to develop the wisdom that brings liberation from suffering, and manifests as lovingkindness and compassion toward other beings and their suffering. In the last half-century, this basic approach has been extended, through what has been called “socially engaged Buddhism,” to responses to social issues. Socially engaged Buddhism has been articulated and embodied, both in Asia and in the West, by teachers and leaders such as Thich Nhat Hanh, the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Robert Aitken Roshi, and Joanna Macy. It has been expressed in a great variety of forms. Some have emphasized social service—working with those who are suffering or in need, developing compassionate programs and policies, bringing mindfulness into the workplace, or engaging in the helping professions. Others have connected their spiritual practice to attempts to end wars or oppression, change institutions, or address large-scale social, economic, political, cultural, or ecological issues. In this daylong, we combined periods of sitting and walking meditation with talks and discussion on four basic themes: (1) the roots of socially engaged Buddhism in the teachings of the Buddha, with a focus on those discourses relevant for social issues; (2) the history of socially engaged Buddhism, the forms that it has taken, and how it is both grounded in tradition and innovative (particularly in its connection with Western social justice traditions); (3) the nature of socially engaged Buddhist practices, how they might help constitute an engaged “path of practice” leading to both inner and outer liberation; and (4) some of the core issues and contemporary challenges related to socially engaged Buddhism.

  • Principles For Socially Engaged Buddhism by Donald Rothberg, Diana Winston (PDF)
  • Quotes On Socially Engaged Buddhism - Summary (PDF)
  • Quotes on Socially Engaged Buddhism (PDF)
  • Resources: Socially Engaged Buddhism (PDF)

Engaged Buddhism - Part 1
Donald Rothberg 2011-07-30 1:24:04
Engaged Buddhism - Part 2
Donald Rothberg 2011-07-30 68:58
Engaged Buddhism - Part 3
Donald Rothberg 2011-07-30 42:25
Engaged Buddhism - Part 4
Donald Rothberg 2011-07-30 26:31
Karma and Causality   RSS

The Buddha described only two of his teachings as categorical—i.e., as applicable across the board: the teaching on the four noble truths, and the teaching on the distinction between skillful and unskillful action. This second distinction is actually the more basic of the two, forming the framework for understanding all of this other teachings. This daylong workshop will focus on exploring the meaning of this distinction, its connection to the Buddha’s teachings on causality in general, and its implications for the practice: both on the cushion and in daily life.

The second part of the talk was not recorded.

Karma and Causality (Part 1)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2011-04-30 1:31:43
Karma and Causality (Part 2)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2011-04-30 0:00
Karma and Causality (Part 3)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2011-04-30 1:19:04
Day Long Exploration Of Dependent Origination   RSS
  • Mundane Dependent Origination
  • Trancendental Origination
  • Upanisa Sutta
  • Greater Discourse on the Destruction of Craving
  • and more

Dependent Origination Pt-1 Introduction and Q&A
Leigh Brasington 2011-03-19 66:31
Dependent Origination Pt2
Leigh Brasington 2011-03-19 31:18
Dependent Origination Pt3
Leigh Brasington 2011-03-19 69:46
Dependent Origination Pt4
Leigh Brasington 2011-03-19 1:10:25
Sutta Study: The Parinibbana Sutta: The Discourse On The Buddha's Last Day   RSS
One of the most important of the early Buddhist discourses is the one that narrates the last days of the Buddha's life. Knowing his death is approaching the Buddha gives some of his most significant and direct teachings.
Sutta Study: The Parinibbana Sutta Pt. 1
Gil Fronsdal 2011-01-21 1:17:45
Sutta Study: The Parinibbana Sutta Pt. 2
Gil Fronsdal 2011-01-21 1:18:03
Sutta Study: The Parinibbana Sutta Pt. 3
Gil Fronsdal 2011-01-21 59:37
Sutta Study: The Parinibbana Sutta Pt. 4
Gil Fronsdal 2011-01-21 30:27
The Dhammapada - Investigating the Best Known Collection of the Buddha's Teachings   RSS
The Dhammapada may well be the most widely read and most beloved collection of Buddhist scriptures presenting wisdom through vivid, poetic imagery and often blunt contrast. Its lesson goes to the heart of the Buddha's teachings. During this daylong contemplation and investigation of the Dhammapada verses, we will examine both their scope and structure and explore some of the most challenging of the Buddha's instructions. The primary translation used will be Gil Fronsdal's.
The Dhammapada - Part 1
Tony Bernhard 2010-12-04 2:41:10
The Dhammapada - Part 2
Tony Bernhard 2010-12-04 2:15:25
Sutta Study: First Three Discourses   RSS

The entirety of the Buddha's teaching is encapsulated in the first three discourses he delivered after his enlightenment. In this day of study we covered all three suttas in detail, exploring how they weave together to inform each other and create a complete description of Dharma teaching and practice.

Course Materials:
  • Sutta Study: First Three Discourses Handout; (PDF)

Sutta Study: First Three Discourses (Part 1)
Richard Shankman 2010-08-06 1:28:01
Sutta Study: First Three Discourses (Part 2)
Richard Shankman 2010-08-06 1:32:25
Sutta Study: The Supreme Net   RSS
During this class we studied the Brahmajala Sutta, the first discourse from the Digha Nikaya. In this profound discourse, the Buddha describes sixty-two speculative views about the nature of the self and the world. All these speculative views are shown to lead away from freedom; the Buddha points to the craving and agitation that underlie them. Finally, the Buddha teaches the way out of the net of speculative views through the development of wisdom. A translation of this sutta can be found online at: Access to Insight
Brahmajala Sutta Course Handouts:
  • Brahmajala Supplemental Handout: PDF
  • Brahmajala Sutta Translation: Rhys Davids: PDF

Sutta Study: Brahmajala Sutta (Part 1)
Andrea Fella 2010-04-30 1:25:19
Sutta Study: Brahmajala Sutta (Part 2)
Andrea Fella 2010-04-30 66:16
Mindfulness and Concentration   RSS
Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration, together with Right Effort, form the concentration-aggregate of the noble eightfold path. Although these factors are often discussed separately, the Pali discourses show that the Buddha meant for them to form a unified practice. This course through talks, readings, discussions, and meditation explored what these factors means and how they can be brought together in a mutually supportive and nourishing way.
Mindfulness and Concentration Course Handouts: : PDF

Guided Meditation
Ajaan Thanissaro 2010-04-17 31:54
Mindfulness and Concentration (Part 1)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2010-04-17 1:34:39
Mindfulness and Concentration (Part 2)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2010-04-17 1:16:34
Mindfulness and Concentration (Part 3)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2010-04-17 68:36
Mindfulness and Concentration (Part 4)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2010-04-17 33:51
Prison Chaplaincy by Paul Haller and Jacques Verduin   RSS
What does it mean to leave prison before you get out? What are the greater implications of teaching the experience of freedom not just as the other side of the gate but rather as a state of mind? This day-long training featured two dedicated professionals that aimed to share many years of service in the trenches of our prison system. The teaching addressed both specific questions related to Buddhist practice as well as how the dharma can be languaged and applied in practical ways to honor everyone's religious understanding. There was sharing of what language is conducive to teach meditation in prison, examples of exercises and discussion of prison related hindrances to practice. There was discussion on assembling a toolkit of useful applications of how the dharma informs violence prevention, skilful communication and conflict resolution. Paul Haller is a Zen Priest Co-Abbot of the San Francisco Zen Center. He was the head of Zen Center's outreach program and has spent many years teaching meditation in prisons. He is on faculty at the Zen Hospice Project and at the Sati Center for Buddhist Studies. Jacques Verduin is the founder and director of the Insight Prison Project, a non-profit that works in San Quentin State Prison. The project focuses on assisting prisoners in healing the pain that they lash out from by transforming the negative habit patterns that trip them up. IPP teaches 20 classes that serve 300 prisoners every week. Through its Insight Out Initiative trained former prisoners work in the East Bay School system to teach the skills that help prevent crime.
Prison Chaplaincy (Part 1)
Paul Haller 2010-01-29 1:35:12
Prison Chaplaincy (Part 2)
Paul Haller 2010-01-29 61:25
Prison Chaplaincy (Part 3)
Paul Haller 2010-01-29 1:13:28
Prison Chaplaincy (Part 4)
Paul Haller 2010-01-29 1:23:55
Deconstructing Buddhism   RSS

Based on an examination of early discourses found in the Buddhist Pali Canon, this class explored the question: "What did the Buddha teach that was distinctively and originally his own?" By differentiating the Buddha's Dhamma from the ideas of Indian religion and metaphysics that prevailed at his time this class sought to uncover a clearer sense of the Buddha's message and then considered what relevance it still has for people living in the modern world. The day was divided between talks, sitting meditation and discussion.

Stephen Batchelor was a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan and Korean Zen traditions. Known for his secular and agnostic approach, he teaches Buddhist meditation and philosophy worldwide. Author of the bestselling Buddhism without Beliefs, his most recent publication is Confession of a Buddhist Atheist.

Deconstructing Buddhism (Part 1)
Stephen Batchelor 2010-03-20 1:23:36
Deconstructing Buddhism (Part 2)
Stephen Batchelor 2010-03-20 34:26
Deconstructing Buddhism (Part 3)
Stephen Batchelor 2010-03-20 1:30:58
Deconstructing Buddhism (Part 4)
Stephen Batchelor 2010-03-20 39:05
Sutta Study: Fruits of the Contemplative Life   RSS
This class offered an in-depth study of an important discourse by the Buddha. In a dramatic narrative context, a king asks the Buddha about what benefits come from the religious life. The Buddha responds by describing the stages of Buddhist practice. The sutta is the second discourse in Long Discourses.
Samannaphala Sutta (Part 1)
Gil Fronsdal 2010-01-15 1:18:37
Samannaphala Sutta (Part 2)
Gil Fronsdal 2010-01-15 1:42:59
The Safety of the Island: Exploring the Nature of Nibanna   RSS
Beginning with an overview of the teachings on nibbana, Ajahn Amaro elaborated on definitions the teachings of 'non-self'. The afternoon addressed the essential themes of attending to the deathless, unsupported consciousness and the unconditioned and non-locality. He then discussed applications of the teachings to the Gradual Path, stream entry and the blessings of nibbana, followed by discussion.
Nibanna Course Handouts: (PDF).

Nibanna - The Island (Part 1)
Ajahn Amaro 2009-10-31 1:40:50
Nibanna - The Island (Part 2)
Ajahn Amaro 2009-10-31 1:40:52
Nibanna - The Island (Part 3)
Ajahn Amaro 2009-10-31 52:30
Introduction to Pali: Fred Porta and Baba Norihisa   RSS
This daylong class introduced the basics of Pali, the language of the Buddhist teachings in the Theravada tradition. Dr. Norihisa, a scholar of Pali and Sanskrit Buddhist texts, is on a one year term as visiting research fellow at Stanford to study Sanskrit Buddhist manuscripts and early Chinese translations. Dr. Porta is a lecturer at Stanford who, in addition to Pali language and literature, teaches Sanskrit, Greek and other classical language.
Pali Course Handouts:

Introduction to Pali (1 of 4)
Fred Porta 2009-08-22 54:45
Introduction to Pali (2 of 4)
Fred Porta 2009-08-22 1:19:14
Introduction to Pali (3 of 4)
Fred Porta 2009-08-22 1:42:15
Introduction to Pali (4 of 4)
Fred Porta 2009-08-22 21:53
Anatta: Selves and Not-Selves   RSS
The Buddha refused to state that the self exists or doesn't exist, yet he frequently used perceptions of self and not-self as skillful means in his teachings. This course, through readings, discusion, and meditation, explored the many meanings of 'self' in the Buddha's self strategies and not-self strategies for gaining freedom from clinging and suffering.
Anatta Course Handouts: (PDF).

Guided Meditation
Ajaan Thanissaro 2009-05-02 30:43
Anatta (1 of 3)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2009-05-02 1:57:25
Anatta (2 of 3)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2009-05-02 63:46
Anatta (3 of 3)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2009-05-02 45:04
Samadhi: Exploring the Range of Teachings and Controversies on Concentration & Jhana   RSS
There is a wide range of views and opinions on the various concentration practices in Buddhism, and on how they relate to insight meditation practices. We compared different views, including controversies, and considered how these views can inform and enrich our meditation practice. The day included some meditation practice periods.
Samadhi (1 of 4)
Richard Shankman 2009-03-07 1:33:05
Samadhi (2 of 4)
Richard Shankman 2009-03-07 1:22:07
Samadhi (3 of 4)
Richard Shankman 2009-03-07 51:42
Samadhi (4 of 4)
Richard Shankman 2009-03-07 1:19:30
Resting in Emptiness: The Evolution and Transcendence of the Self Rick Hanson and Rick Mendius   RSS

The Buddha taught that not-self was one of the three fundamental characteristics of existence, alongside impermanence and suffering. In this workshop, we examined self - and its release - in light of Buddhism, evolution, and modern brain science; these perspectives inform each other, and together they offer powerfully practical tools for deconstructing the apparent self.

In this workshop, we covered:

  • Buddhist perspectives on the interconnectedness of all things, and thus the emptiness of any apparent thing - including the personal self
  • How awareness and self evolved in animals, including humans
  • The costs and benefits of me, myself, and I
  • The distributed, variable, conditioned – thus “empty” – nature of creating self in the brain
  • A poignant consideration of narcissistic wounds; Non-dual perspectives on the oneness of self and world
  • Brain-savvy ways to relax the sense of self, take things less personally, feel more at peace with the world, and rest in the spacious awareness in which self activates and then disperses

Slides for this workshop can be downloaded here (pdf format).

More information and resources are available at

The Evolution and Transcendence of the Self (1 of 4)
Rick Hanson 2008-10-04 1:16:43
The Evolution and Transcendence of the Self (2 of 4)
Rick Hanson 2008-10-04 1:19:57
The Evolution and Transcendence of the Self (3 of 4)
Rick Hanson 2008-10-04 51:37
The Evolution and Transcendence of the Self (4 of 4)
Rick Hanson 2008-10-04 2:34:07
Radical Dharma: The Buddha's Teachings on Views and Desire - Verses from the Atthaka Vagga   RSS

The Atthaka Vagga (the Octet Chapter) of the Sutta Nipata contains sixteen poems on the subject of non-clinging. These teachings offer a radical and challenging approach to the liberative teachings of the Buddha, focusing most specifically on the subject of clinging to views and desire.

These verses may well contain some of the earliest teachings of the Buddha, since there are other discourses within the Pali Canon that refer to these teachings, and the language of these verses is more arachic than that of other discouses in the Pali Canon.

During this daylong, we explored this ancient text from different perspectives: as an internally consistent teaching that proposes a radical path of non-clinging, without reference to any metaphysical belief system, and as a teaching contained within the larger body of Buddhist literature, highlighting some apparent contradictions between the two, and possible ways to reconcile them.

Several versions of the Atthaka Vagga are available freely

Radical Dharma: Atthaka Vagga - Views and Desire (1 of 4)
Andrea Fella 2008-09-13 54:20
Radical Dharma: Atthaka Vagga - Views and Desire (2 of 4)
Andrea Fella 2008-09-13 1:40:25
Radical Dharma: Atthaka Vagga - Views and Desire (3 of 4)
Andrea Fella 2008-09-13 63:52
Radical Dharma: Atthaka Vagga - Views and Desire (4 of 4)
Andrea Fella 2008-09-13 1:17:32
The Satipatthana Sutta - Four Foundations of Mindfulness   RSS
The teachings on the Satipatthana Sutta is known in English as The Four Foundations of Mindfulness. This sutta contains the Buddha's basic set of instructions for Vipassana meditation. In it we find a step-by-step guide to Buddhist meditation that is both practical and direct. While the Satipatthana is wide ranging in its scope, it is very concise in its presentation. In this daylong class, Bhante Gunaratana discussed the various aspects of The Four Foundations of Mindfulness: Meditation on the body, on feelings or sensations, on mind states, and on mental objects.
Four Foundations of Mindfulness (1 of 4)
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana 2008-07-12 1:18:06
Four Foundations of Mindfulness (2 of 4)
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana 2008-07-12 20:21
Four Foundations of Mindfulness - Q & A (3 of 4)
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana 2008-07-12 1:16:15
Four Foundations of Mindfulness (4 of 4)
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana 2008-07-12 1:50:50
Buddhist Art as Buddhist Practice   RSS

Everyone is familiar with the image of the Buddha sitting in meditation. It is an icon which takes on the aesthetic of the culture which gave rise to it: from India to Tibet; from Japan to Southeast Asia. Most recently, we can see the influence of the Dharma in the art of the west.

The earliest Dharma images were of a wheel, an empty chair, a lotus. Later, images of the Buddha portrayed him most commonly as sitting in meditation. In Japan the dharma was inherent to the design of the tea house and in the practice of inkbrush painting. By the mid 20th century, the growing Western interest in the spirituality of the East began to influence American artists for whom pop art and abstract expressionism became a means of displaying both their understanding and practice of the dharma.

Joan DePaoli is an artist, art historian, author and lecturer, and is also a curator who, since 1970, has presented exhibitions of Buddhist art in both Thailand and the United States. The day was be devoted to reviewing how visual art has been used both to commemorate the Dharma and to facilitate its practice since the time of the Buddha. There was special attention given to the Dharma's substantial influence in contemporary modern art. In describing his own practice, 20th century artist Philip Guston said: "When you go into your studio to work, everyone is there, your friends, parents, teachers, then one by one they all leave. And when you're lucky, you do!"

Buddhist Art as Buddhist Practice (1 of 4)
Joan DePaoli 2008-01-12 53:45
Buddhist Art as Buddhist Practice (2 of 4)
Joan DePaoli 2008-01-12 1:32:24
Buddhist Art as Buddhist Practice (3 of 4)
Joan DePaoli 2008-01-12 58:29
Buddhist Art as Buddhist Practice (4 of 4)
Joan DePaoli 2008-01-12 66:44
The Neurology of Awakening by Rick Hanson, Ph. D. and Rick Mendius, M. D.   RSS

The latest brain research has begun to confirm the centrail insights of the Buddha. And it's suggesting ways you can help your brain to enter deeper states of mindfulness, quiet, and concentration. Suffering, joy, and freedom all depend on what happens within your nervous system. Skillful meditation practice thus means being skillful with your own brain.

This experiential workshop — led by a psychologist and a neurologist — offered user-friendly information about your brain and many practical methods to apply it to meditation practice. No prior background with meditaiton or brain science is necessary.

The Neurology of Awakening (1 of 5)
Rick Hanson 2007-12-01 59:05
The Neurology of Awakening (2 of 5)
Rick Hanson 2007-12-01 1:42:09
The Neurology of Awakening (3 of 5)
Rick Hanson 2007-12-01 38:36
The Neurology of Awakening (4 of 5)
Rick Hanson 2007-12-01 60:25
The Neurology of Awakening (5 of 5)
Rick Hanson 2007-12-01 1:13:25
Awareness is Not Enough   RSS

Steve Armstrong presents the teachings of Sayadaw U Tejaniya, who teaches that simply being aware of our experience is not sufficient for wisdom to arise. First we must understand how to practice correctly with the right attitude. Only then will wisdom and understanding arise out of practice.

The practice itself is an awareness of mind, inquiring into our experience with such questions as: What is the attitude I am practicing with? Is there a subtle defilement operating at the moment? What do I understand about my experience? Discovering the answers to these questions allows peace and happiness to arise in your heart.

Awareness of Mind (1 of 6)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-09 3:58
Awareness of Mind: Guided Meditation (2 of 6)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-09 34:35
Awareness of Mind (3 of 6)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-09 39:21
Awareness of Mind (4 of 6)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-09 8:30
Awareness of Mind: Guided Meditation (5 of 6)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-09 38:58
Awareness of Mind (6 of 6)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-09 62:30
Refined Knowledge, Subtle Wisdom   RSS

How we approach insight practice conditions what we discover. Coming to it for stress management brings one kind of result; seeking emotional intelligence and balance brings another. Buddhist insight (vipassana) practice was originally designed as a vehicle for liberation. To fulfill this potential, it helps to understand how it works as a practice of liberation.

One of the most profound teachers of insight practice in modern times was the Burmese teacher Mahasi Sayadaw. Most insight meditation taught in the world is derived from his teachings. This daylong class presented his teachings on the 'absolute view of reality' which is helpful for attaining liberation and as well as finding happiness in our busy lives. With refined knowledge of this view, we can realize for ourselves the subtle wisdom of the Buddha's liberation.

Refined Knowledge, Subtle Wisdom (1 of 5)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-08 44:07
Refined Knowledge, Subtle Wisdom (2 of 5)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-08 54:54
Refined Knowledge, Subtle Wisdom (3 of 5)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-08 57:08
Refined Knowledge, Subtle Wisdom (4 of 5)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-08 61:43
Refined Knowledge, Subtle Wisdom (5 of 5)
Steve Armstrong 2007-09-08 1:10:45
Not Two, Not Even "One": Non-Duality in Theravada and Zen Buddhism by Ajahn Amaro and Joseph Bobrow   RSS
Two teachers from the Thai Forest and Zen traditions explore the experience of non-duality in Buddhist practice and everyday life. Buddhist schools have diverse perspectives on non-duality: overlapping, complementing, and sometimes, through a playful exploration of differences, cross-fertilizing one another. A day of Dharma talks, meditation practice and dialogue.
Non-Duality - 5 Talk - (1 of 7)
Ajahn Amaro 2007-06-23 1:17:44
Non-Duality - 18 Talk - (2 of 7)
Joseph Bobrow 2007-06-23 57:09
Non-Duality - Morning Q and A - (3 of 7)
Ajahn Amaro 2007-06-23 33:17
Non-Duality - Afternoon Q and A - (4 of 7)
Ajahn Amaro 2007-06-23 31:09
Non-Duality - Afternoon Q and A - (5 of 7)
Ajahn Amaro 2007-06-23 43:29
Non-Duality - Meditation - Q and A - (6 of 7)
Ajahn Amaro 2007-06-23 45:27
Non-Duality - Q and A - Wrap Up - (7 of 7)
Ajahn Amaro 2007-06-23 51:56
Scouting the Terrain: Exploring Dependent Co-arising as a Guide to the Path   RSS
It stands to reason that a knowledge of the Buddha's map of the causes of suffering would give practical guidance in how to follow the path to the end of suffering. Among his most important teachings providing such guidance is that of Dependent Co-arising. By describing the conditions which give rise to suffering, Dependent Co-arising shows the way to the end of suffering. Through teachings, readings, discussion and meditation this day-long course focused on the important connections highlighted in Dependent Co-arising and their role in shaping the path of virtue, concentration, and discernment.
Sutta Text (PDF) | Audio Index (PDF)

Dependent Co-arising - Guided Meditation - (1 of 10)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2007-05-05 28:48
Dependent Co-arising - Introduction - Q and A - (2 of 10)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2007-05-05 21:15
Dependent Co-arising - Readings 1 to 2 - Q and A - (3 of 10)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2007-05-05 30:45
Dependent Co-arising - Reading 3 - Description and Analysis - (4 of 10)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2007-05-05 41:24
Dependent Co-arising - Readings 4 to 7 - (5 of 10)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2007-05-05 30:31
Dependent Co-arising - Reading 8 - Bodily Fabrication - (6 of 10)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2007-05-05 24:15
Dependent Co-arising - Readings 9 to 11 - (7 of 10)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2007-05-05 29:00
Dependent Co-arising - Readings 12 to 13 - Mental Fabrications - (8 of 10)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2007-05-05 28:39
Dependent Co-arising - Readings 13 to 23 - Consciousness - (9 of 10)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2007-05-05 38:52
Dependent Co-arising - Readings 24 to 28 - (10 of 10)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2007-05-05 23:11
Introduction to Buddhist Spiritual Care Steve Stuckey, Jaku Kinst, and Gayle Madison   RSS

Introduction to Buddhist Spiritual Care (Part 1)
Steve Stuckey 2006-11-11 45:26
Introduction to Buddhist Spiritual Care (Part 2)
Steve Stuckey 2006-11-11 38:41
Introduction to Buddhist Spiritual Care (Part 3)
Steve Stuckey 2006-11-11 1:13:43
Introduction to Buddhist Spiritual Care (Part 4)
Steve Stuckey 2006-11-11 1:33:32
The Life and Teachings of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu Santikaro   RSS
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu was one of the most influential Buddhist teachers in Thai history. As a forest monk he taught Buddhism as a practice of close alignment with the natural world. In this commemoration of his 100th birthday, we review his most significant contributions, the controversies that sometimes surrounded him, and how his teachings and social activism are relevant in today's West.
The Life and Teachings of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (Part 1)
Santikaro 2006-10-14 1:16:09
The Life and Teachings of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (Part 2)
Santikaro 2006-10-14 65:55
The Life and Teachings of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (Part 3)
Santikaro 2006-10-14 1:14:13
The Life and Teachings of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu (Part 4)
Santikaro 2006-10-14 1:26:24
The Breath: A Vehicle for Liberation   RSS
  • Transcript: The Breath - A Vehicle for Liberation (PDF)

The Breath: A Vehicle for Liberation (Part 1)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2006-05-06 1:14:45
The Breath: A Vehicle for Liberation (Part 2)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2006-05-06 1:10:36
The Breath: A Vehicle for Liberation (Part 3)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2006-05-06 68:39
Seeing the Path: The Buddha's Teachings on Right View   RSS
Seeing the Path: The Buddha's Teachings on Right View" was offered by Leigh Brasington on November 13, 2004.
Right View (Part 1)
Leigh Brasington 2004-11-13 43:47
Right View (Part 2)
Leigh Brasington 2004-11-13 26:57
Right View (Part 3)
Leigh Brasington 2004-11-13 44:29
Right View (Part 4)
Leigh Brasington 2004-11-13 42:02
Right View (Part 5)
Leigh Brasington 2004-11-13 25:31
Right View (Part 6)
Leigh Brasington 2004-11-13 35:13
Right View (Part 7)
Leigh Brasington 2004-11-13 45:22
As Large as Life: Zen Koans for Everyday Practice   RSS

Zen Koans (Part 1)
Norman Fischer 2004-08-28 40:23
Zen Koans (Part 2)
Norman Fischer 2004-08-28 41:28
Zen Koans (Part 3)
Norman Fischer 2004-08-28 24:03
Zen Koans (Part 4)
Norman Fischer 2004-08-28 44:20
Zen Koans (Part 5)
Norman Fischer 2004-08-28 24:05
Zen Koans (Part 6)
Norman Fischer 2004-08-28 49:58
Zen Koans (Part 7)
Norman Fischer 2004-08-28 26:10
Iddhipada: The Bases for Success   RSS

Iddhipada - The Bases for Success (Part 1)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2004-04-24 60:33
Iddhipada - The Bases for Success (Part 2)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2004-04-24 63:39
Iddhipada - The Bases for Success (Part 3)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2004-04-24 51:49
Iddhipada - The Bases for Success (Part 4)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2004-04-24 43:54
Iddhipada - The Bases for Success (Part 5)
Ajaan Thanissaro 2004-04-24 65:46


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