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Retreat Dharma Talks

"July Lovingkindness Retreat" with Tempel Smith, Bonnie Duran, MPH, DrPH, John Martin, Sally Armstrong, Marcy Reynolds and Kristina Baré, MFT, SEP

Metta is the Pali term for friendship, goodwill or lovingkindness. In this retreat, we will develop metta as a meditation practice, which cultivates our natural capacity for an open and loving heart towards ourselves and all other beings. We will also develop the practices of compassion, joy, and equanimity. Metta practice leads to greater acceptance of ourselves and others, revealing our fundamental connectedness to all life.

2021-07-06 (8 days) Spirit Rock Meditation Center

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2021-07-07 Simple Metta Breathing and Metta Body Scan 40:12
Tempel Smith
To form the foundation for loving-kindness meditation we invite the attitude of kindness, calm, and simplicity to our breath and body awareness. For many, this is the most simple and suitable metta meditation, and once embodied this metta meditation becomes the basis for radiating healthy lovingkindness to our selves and all beings. This is also the meditative foundation to ripen the five jhana factors leading to full absorption.
2021-07-07 Metta/Lovingkindness from our Benefactors and Ancestors 39:45
Bonnie Duran
This is a guided meditation with Benefactors…..Lovingkindness is an important mental factor for our everyday lives and for Dharma practice. It promotes happiness in ourselves and those all around us. It is a mental attitude of enlightened beings… Non-duality- All my relations. Our ancestors wanted the best for us.
2021-07-08 Equanimity Brahma Vihara 45:36
Tempel Smith
Opening the heart and balancing with wisdom, the equanimity sacred dwelling becomes established as we relax the tightness of our preferences to be more intimate with how the world actually is moment to moment. Equanimity brahma vihara is a flow of sacred caring without reactivity or agitation to complex truths. Starting with the open heart we have in loving the natural world, we progress to bring loving equanimity to our personal lives. Through caring equanimity, we can discover how clinging to our preferences blocks deeper connection.
2021-07-08 Supports for Steadying the mind: The Jhana Factors 56:20
Sally Armstrong
There are five factors that are supported for deepening concentration, known as the jhana factors. These factors are developed in any kind of intensive meditation practice but are particularly supportive of the development of concentration. They also serve to counterbalance the hindrances. When the hindrances are not active, the mind and heart can be steady and open.
2021-07-09 Metta/Lovingkindness and Purification of negative mental factors 53:48
Bonnie Duran
Metta/Lovingkindness practice strengthens wholesome mental factors and allows us to see more clearly our negative mental factors. Seeing more clearly an important source of our suffering, hate/aversion, we are able to work more directly for our own and others' happiness.
2021-07-10 Pervading Love - Guided Meditation 40:21
Bonnie Duran
This is a guided meditation starting with Metta for ourselves, then easy people, and ending with neutral people.
2021-07-10 Metta Samadhi in Daily Life 65:49
Tempel Smith
The developed momentum of loving-kindness can become a stable flow of both happy contentedness and stability of attention. This is the unification and immersion (samadhi) cultivated through dedicated metta practice. Like a river unblocked by fallen trees and debris, the flow of the heart can reopen into a smoothly pouring stream called loving-kindness concentration or metta samadhi.
2021-07-11 Loving-kindness for Difficult Relationships 46:36
Tempel Smith
Our hearts' defenses might be most reinforced where there has been emotional pain. Using the previous practice of loving-kindness for easier relationships we can visit the places in our own hearts where we hold fear, hatred, resentment, and judgment. Relaxing these hard and painful places within us, by small, steady degrees, frees us from squandering our inner resources. Healing these places of pain can transform our understanding of how we can be in the world with a more open heart.
2021-07-11 Mudita practice 46:19
Sally Armstrong
The practice of Mudita or Appreciative Joy cultivates an open and joyful heart that naturally inclines towards connecting with what is uplifting and beautiful in others and in our own lives. It works to counteract the subtle or not-so-subtle tendency towards envy, which tells us that we are deficient in some way.
2021-07-12 Metta for All Beings: Instructions & Guided Meditation 49:18
John Martin
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