Dharma Talks

Video teachings with contemporary Buddhist teachers

2018 Archive

How to Cultivate a Healthy Relationship with a Buddhist Teacher

Scott Tusa

Committing to a guru can involve considerable risks, but when approached with care, honesty, and critical discernment, the relationship can yield powerful insights. Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and meditation teacher Scott Tusa guides us through the benefits of having a spiritual teacher, and how to find and assess a teacher, and the role of devotion to your teacher plays Tibetan Buddhism.

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Embodying Compassion

Maria Reis Habito

maria reis habito dharma talk

Tap into an inexhaustible well of practice inspiration by following in the footsteps of Kuan Yin, who represents enlightened compassion in the Zen tradition. 

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Reshaping How We See Ourselves

Qalvy Grainzvolt

Everyone has a story about who they really are. Depending on how we write our stories, they can take a heavy toll on our mental and spiritual well-being—or they can liberate us. The Shinnyo-en Buddhist priest Qalvy Grainzvolt shares how the stories of those we look up to most—the Buddha, his disciples, or other role models—can help us inform and rewrite our self-narratives in ways that inspire confidence, compassion, and freedom from cages of our own making.

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Waking Up by Breaking Down Barriers

Kurt Spellmeyer

Meditation can be painful. Especially if it’s practiced for long hours in a Zen retreat. But that’s not why Rinzai Zen teacher Genki Roshi once described meditation to his student Kurt Spellmeyer as “dying on the cushion.” In this series, Spellmeyer, now a Zen priest, takes a closer look at what exactly “dies” on the cushion—our sense of self, the death of which allows us to exist in perpetual harmony with the surrounding world. When meditative insight rids the self of barriers, what remains is an open gate of awareness and communication.

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Training in Tenderness

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

We all have stubborn habits that are supposed to protect us from injury, upset, or failure. But in most cases, our defenses fail their purpose, instead preventing us from building meaningful connections and reaching true happiness. In this series, Tibetan Buddhist teacher Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche shows us how to reorient ourselves toward tsewa, the tender and open heart that is an innate human quality.

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Taking Vows, Attaining Nothing: A Zen Perspective on Personal and Social Projects

Julie Nelson

In this series, Julie Nelson, an economics professor and a dharma teacher in the Boundless Way Zen school, will talk about how the concept of nonattainment can transform the way we work with our desires, intentions, and deeply felt commitments, examining our longing for happiness and health and our aspirations for social, economic, and environmental justice.

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Practicing with Zen Koans in Your Everyday Life

Zen Master Bon Yeon

Our intellects can help us surmise that one plus one equals two, or that we need a key to start the engine of our car, but in the face of existential questions, ordinary understanding comes to a screeching halt. Master Bon Yeon (Jane Dobisz), the guiding teacher of the Cambridge Zen Center, says that koan practice begins in these “don’t know” spaces—the questions we can’t rationalize or figure out.

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Buddhist Teachings for Fools and Losers

Mauricio Hondaku

When we fail, it’s easy to feel bad about ourselves—after all, we live in a society that judges us for our material successes. But the most prominent Buddhist masters were people who failed badly: the Buddha failed in his ascetic practices; Shinran Shonin, founder of the Jodo Shinshu school of Buddhism, was exiled and defrocked early in his career. In this series, Jodo Shinshu Reverend Mauricio Hondaku will explain what Shakyamuni and Shinran’s failures can teach us about shedding social pressures, abandoning our masks, and ultimately finding peace with our imperfections.

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Tibetan Medicine: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health and Healing

Eliot Tokar

How can we adapt our diet, lifestyle, and behavior to achieve greater balance in our health and spiritual practice? Eliot Tokar, a traditional Tibetan medicine doctor who has been practicing in New York City since 1993, presents the basics of Tibetan medicine, an ancient system of medical science inspired by a dharmic view of life and health.

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The Dharma of Leadership

Anushka Fernandopulle

Are you a leader? Even if you don’t think so, it’s likely you assume leadership roles you wouldn’t have defined as such within your family, community, and daily life. In this series, meditation teacher and leadership coach Anushka Fernandopulle explains how dharma practice can help us awaken to the ways we manifest as leaders in the world, as well as how leadership development can help cultivate the Buddhist values of compassion, integrity, and wisdom.

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Everyday Buddhahood: Caregiving as Dharma Practice

Justin von Bujdoss

justin von bujdoss

When we raise children, assist our aging parents, or tend to a sick friend, caregiving offers an opportunity to transform our interactions with others into part of the Buddhist path. In this series, Repa Dorje Odzer (Justin von Bujdoss), a Buddhist teacher and Chief Staff Chaplain for New York City’s Department of Correction, presents advice from the 10th-century Buddhist master Tilopa.

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The Power of the Third Moment Method

Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche

trungram gyalwa rinpoche

We spend our days bombarded by emotions, and if we act on our negative ones, they threaten to derail us. Join Trungram Gyalwa Rinpoche, head of the Trungram lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, as he explains how to live a life with less fallout from anger, frustration, jealousy, and greed by looking more closely at our mental and emotional landscape.

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