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10-4-20

In this talk at the Tampa Center, Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner teaches us about the emotional pull of anger and how it is the source of so much suffering. Anger comes from the self, and reduces living beings to “enemies.” Fred explains wrathful compassion which arises through compassion and wisdom. This wrathful compassion is not self-concerned, and does not blame, separate, and hate others. It is out of concern for others, the world, and all living beings that this wrathful emanation arises.

Fred teaches how to navigate the world with so much emotionality in it, though cultivating stability and clarity by asking “Is it true?” Our practices of Dharma are not just “add ons” but are necessities for living a wholesome life. Fred encourages us to set up boundaries, for how we use technologies, devices, and media. We can as “is this nourishing me in wholesome ways?”

Fred explains how to ground ourselves in our present moment reality with our intentions and mindfulness. So that we can cultivate a peaceful and clear mind in which we can then use as the base for interactions in the world.

9-13-20

In this talk at the Tampa Center, Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner shows us how we can look at fire and the meaning of fire in a different way. Utilizing Dharma teachings such as the Fire Sermon from the Pali Canon, the Parable of the Burning House as presented in the Lotus Sutra, and from the Japanese Zen tradition, a story from Hakuin Ekaku of the 17th and 18th century.

In the Fire Sermon, the Buddha taught of the fire of desire and greed, the fire anger, the fire of ignorance, and the fire of anger. Fred asks us “Is it true that our mind is on fire?” and to investigate how we feed these fires in our real experiences, and shows us ways to no longer feed these fires which cause so much suffering in our lives and the lives of others. Are we cool or are we hot and burning?

9-20-20

During this Sunday at the Florida Community of Mindfulness, Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner answers questions from students.

Note: The beginning question was not recorded.

9-6-20

During this Sunday at the Florida Community of Mindfulness, Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner answers questions from students.

8-30-20

The Buddha’s teachings tell us that our belief in and identification with self as a permanent, solid entity inhabiting a world with other solid selves is a fundamentally mistaken view. Moreover, the identification with this fictional entity and our overriding concern with protecting and satisfying it is the major source of our dissatisfaction, confusion and affliction in life.

In this retreat talk, Fred teaches that by learning to remove self from the life equation, we can significantly diminish our experience of life through the distorting filter of self-absorption and ego-centeredness. A life of greater ease, openness and happiness now becomes possible.

8-9-20

Fred continues teaching on the sixth mindfulness training from the Order of Interbeing, “Taking Care of Anger.”

Fred shares with us the two-fold training. First, when anger arises, we take care of it. Secondly, we recognize and transform the seeds of anger that lie deep in our consciousness through the practice of looking deeply.

When we look deeply at anger, understanding has a chance to blossom. Understanding that everything is arising because of causes and condition. Out of that mind of understanding comes patience and freedom.

We look into the causes and conditions of the other person, we look deeply into their suffering, and with the eyes of compassion we ask “What can we do to relieve their suffering? How can we be of help?”

Fred encourages us to make an effort to transform the seeds of anger in us, and to be diligent in our practice to eradicate this destructive anger. We do not cultivate anger, nor do we nourish the anger in others and our society.

Fred 8-2-20

 

In this talk, Dharma Teacher Fred Eppsteiner continues with the talk from last week on Patience. Fred shares with us teachings from the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing by Thich Nhat Hanh; "Taking care of anger."

 

Fred encourages us as individuals and for society, to do our best to understand anger and make the commitment to give up anger, impatience, annoyance and take up the practice of love, compassion, and understanding.

 

By putting down our story, thoughts, and anger in this moment I am clear. There is space. And from here I can clearly look at the suffering of the other person. Without the filters and projections of our own “stuff.” Now we can be present to them, and just look with the eyes of compassion.

 

The Sixth Mindfulness Training: Taking Care of Anger

 

"Aware that anger blocks communication and creates suffering, we are committed to taking care of the energy of anger when it arises, and to recognizing and transforming the seeds of anger that lie deep in our consciousness. When anger manifests, we are determined not to do or say anything, but to practice mindful breathing or mindful walking to acknowledge, embrace, and look deeply into our anger. We know that the roots of anger are not outside of ourselves but can be found in our wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in ourselves and others. By contemplating impermanence, we will be able to look with the eyes of compassion at ourselves and at those we think are the cause of our anger, and to recognize the preciousness of our relationships. We will practice Right Diligence in order to nourish our capacity of understanding, love, joy and inclusiveness, gradually transforming our anger, violence and fear, and helping others do the same.”

7-26-20

 

Patience comes out of understanding that each person and each situation is the way they are due to causes and conditions. Once one understands that everything including ourselves is the product of causes and conditions, we have the freedom to do things another way. In this moment, we can accept this reality as it is. How this moment is showing up is due to causes and conditions. In this place of understanding and acceptance, now there is space. Space in which there is room to make change, to respond to the world with wholesomeness, and to heal and transform.

7-19-20 

 

In this talk, Dharma Teacher Fred Eppsteiner shares with us early teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh tells us “What we lack is awareness of who and what we are, and what our true situation in life really is. And by this awakening we will discover our human sovereignty. The way of salvation is through a new culture in which humanity can discover itself. ”

 

Fred continues to ask us “how can we create communities of resistance to this cause in which so much suffering manifests? How can our sangha manifest as a community of resistance in order to heal and transform the individual and society?”

7-5-20

In this talk, Dharma Teacher Fred Eppsteiner continues the topic of the importance of understanding karma and how it is the key to transformation. Fred shows us how to reflect on the teachings of karma; to reflect deeply on what is presented and ask ourselves “Is that true for me?”

All the things we dwell upon in our mind, are creating our experience of life. In the meditation hall, in our homes, in all our activities; are we aware that whatever we are “chewing on” in our mind is shaping our experience? Do I understand and believe this is true for me? Does it accord with my logic and experience?

Fred encourages us to spend time reflecting and looking deeply to see if we really do believe that I become what I think. I am the product of my thoughts and mind states. My experience of life is shaped by my mind. Is that true for you?

And if we have determined this is true for me, what does my mind dwell on all day? What do I think about all day? And is what I dwell on congruent with my aspirations for this life?

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