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The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
James Baraz's Dharma Talks
James Baraz
I try to convey that the wisdom and compassion we are looking for is already inside of us. I see practice as learning how to purify our mind and heart so we can hear the Buddha inside. In doing so, we naturally embody the dharma and help awaken that understanding and love in others we meet.
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2021-08-12 The Buddha's Teaching on How Practice Unfolds: The Five Spiritual Faculties 54:11
The Five Spiritual Faculties is a central teaching of the Buddha that explains how the practice develops and unfolds: This classical list of five qualities expresses both the importance of balance as well as a natural progression of development with one quality leading to the next.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-07-29 Different Lenses, Different Realities 46:36
When people ask, "How are you?" it depends on what lens we're looking at life through. The personal lens evokes a very different response than the societal one. This talk explores how we can hold different realities in our minds and hearts at the same time. Also the compassion that comes from understanding that each person has their own reality that makes sense to them.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-07-15 Accessing Your Triggers for Insight 51:41
Have you ever had a profound meditation experience and tried with frustration to recreate it?This is a common experience for many practitioners. Just as trauma can be triggered in our body and mind, the same is possible with positive experiences that we've gone through. This talk explores how this works and how we can access those profound moments and the wisdom that they've awakened in us.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-07-01 The Buddha's Pithiest Teaching: Bahiya Sutta 55:59
The Buddha's pithiest and shortest teaching, his teaching to Bahiya (Bahiya Sutta). Although only a few short sentences it was enough to result in complete Enlightenment.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-06-03 Divisiveness in the Buddha's Community: The Quarrel at Kosambi 52:18
One of the greatest challenges today in the US is divisiveness within the country. However, the Buddha faced the same problem right within his community! The Quarrel at Kosambi tells the story of his sangha dealing with a bitter argument that almost created a schism in the sangha. And the Buddha had a very difficult time trying to bring peace between the two factions. We will discuss this story and the lessons we can learn that can be applied in today's time.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-05-27 Not Seeing Dukkha is Dukkha 51:30
This talk is based on a teaching from Joseph Goldstein: "Not seeing dukkha is dukkha." It's humbling to realize that we are creating much of our suffering. But it's through clearly seeing this that we also create the possibility of truly waking up. We can change our whole relationship to seeing how we get caught by old habits and thought patterns from self-judgment to compassion and liberation.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-05-13 Forgiving the Unforgivable: Angulimala Sutta (MN #86) 55:45
Angulimala was a feared serial killer who was the scourge of the land--until he met the Buddha. We will explore his story and its relevance for our practice in learning to keep our hearts open to those who cause great harm. Why does the Buddha find it beneficial and how is this possible?
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-05-06 Saying Goodbye: When a Friend Dies 60:25
This past week James felt very fortunate to be with one of his dearest friends in his final days died. This talk explores that life passage. How can we say goodbye to a loved one and grieve fully with the understanding that death is a natural part of the life cycle? How can practice help us through that process?
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-04-08 Death and Dying 57:42
with Sylvia Boorstein
Sylvia and James will have a conversation about death and dying something they have both been recently practicing with in their personal lives.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley
2021-03-28 Befriending Ourselves Daylong 4:26:41
James Baraz and Eve Decker When we develop a basic kindness towards ourselves we not only learn to accept the difficult parts, but in the process embrace our humanity and see more clearly the beauty that's inside. As we do that we allow our goodness and True Nature to shine through. This becomes a gift to everyone we meet, a healing energy that awakens the goodness in others as well.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley

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