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Archive for the 'Dharma Talk' Category

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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?”

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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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6-21-20

In this talk, Dharma Teacher Fred Eppsteiner speaks about the importance of understanding collective karma and how it is an essential thing we have to acknowledge. We all have conditions watering our seeds. Political forces, social forces, and many other conditions that are reinforcing people's seeds. Each of us carry these social historical conditionings and do not know it. But as we practice we begin to know this. Because the whole idea behind Buddhist practice is to realize and come back to this original state. And to realize that all the conditioning, all the view, all the ideas I have are simply views which are conditioned. And when all of this is stripped away, one can realize and experience that everyone is just like me. We do not exist in separation and independence, but are interconnected and inter-are with everyone else in world.

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6-14-20

In this talk, Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner encourages us to turn our attention away from what is going on "out there," and instead look inward to see what is going on within our own minds. He explains how retreat is beneficial for developing clarity, wisdom and refining our patterns of thought as it gives us the time to do the work of looking inward without so many external distractions.

Retreat is a time of concentrated investigation into the nature of mind - of reality. It has many aspects: meditations to stabilize and calm the discursive mind; meditations to analyze the mental and sensory continuum; meditations to directly experience the mind nature; meditations to completely rest the mind. Retreat is disciplined experience so that our ordinary habits do not take over and it is rhythmic so that the work of mindfulness, concentration and insight can continue to be refined day after day.

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6-7-20

In this talk, Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner teaches us how to be a true and honest friend to all. Fred shows us how non-violence can be way of life. He explains how we relate to things, is how we relate to the world. And shows us how we can move about the world with a degree of ease and humility. He goes on to explain how to welcome everyone and everything with humble gratitude, including criticism; allowing us to take joy in all beings. And how only in the face of violence do we become nonviolent.

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Man is Not Our Enemy (2020)

5-31-20

In this talk at the Tampa Center, Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner explains Applied Buddhism through the compassionate eyes of Thich Nhat Hanh and other Bodhisattvas's wonderful poems and verses written during times of great suffering. As Thich Nhat Hanh wrote in his poem, A Prayer for Peace;

 

"Help us remember we are just one family...

Help us rekindle our compassion and brotherhood,

and transform our separate interests

into loving acceptance for all.

 

May your compassion help us overcome our hatred.

May Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva’s love

help the flowers bloom again in the soil of our country.

Humbly, we open our hearts to you,

so you may help us transform our karma and water the flowers of our spirits...

 

I am determined to cultivate only thoughts

that increase trust and love, t

o use my hands to perform only deeds

that build community,

to speak only words of harmony and aid."

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