Dharma Talks

Studying the Dharma yields insights into the conditions that limit your experience of life. Listening regularly to audio Dharma talks can provide inspiration for integrating the Buddha’s teachings in daily life. The Dharma Wisdom audio archive contains more than 200 talks.

Dharma Talk: Navel Gazing

Dharma Talk: Navel Gazing

It’s easy to confuse mindfulness and “navel gazing.” Mindfulness is contemplation, inquiry, and self-reflection.

Recommit To Your Practice

Recommit To Your Practice

Trust your capacity to practice and find liberation for your mind/heart. Commitment collects and unifies the mind.

Letting Go

Letting Go

The practice of letting go is very effective for minds obsessed by compulsive thinking. You simplify your meditation practice down to two words: let go.—Ajahn Sumedho

The Empowerment of Equanimity

The Empowerment of Equanimity

Equanimity is a key concept in vipassana practice. When the mind has equanimity and something pleasant arises, you experience the moment without trying to hold onto it and creating tension.

Dharma Wisdom – Talk

Dharma Wisdom – Talk

In this audio talk, Phillip Moffitt explains the meaning of the term “dharma wisdom.” Dharma means “truth” or “the way things are” and also refers to the teachings of the Buddha.

Disappointment

Disappointment

How can we live with disappointment? Moffitt details how the dharma is helpful when we are experiencing the three fields of disappointment: when we anticipate disappointment, when it has arisen, and when we are living with the after-effects of disappointment.

Doubt

Doubt

Doubt is the fifth of the Five Hindrances, which the Buddha taught. Moffitt considers doubt to be the most devastating of the hindrances because when it arises and overwhelms the mind, the mind ceases to work to understand itself.

The Hindrances As Allies

The Hindrances As Allies

The Hindrances are mental states that obstruct our ability to practice. In various distinct ways, they disrupt concentration and distort awareness so that when they occur we are unable to see things as they are.

Making Changes

Making Changes

At the start of a new year, an appropriate question is: how should we view the desire for change in the context of a mindfulness practice? Is this desire for change legitimate, or is this just another form of grasping?

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

What is forgiveness? Can one cease to feel resentment? When we are unable to forgive we create a self that suffers.

Compassion

Compassion

Karuna, or compassion, is a state of mind/heart that can be cultivated as a practice. Compassion is an intuitive response to someone else’s suffering, or your own. In this talk, Phillip introduces how to do compassion practice.

Trust

Trust

We may not recognize doubt’s presence because it is so interwoven into our experience. If it is so strong that we’re caught in it, we are frozen in place.

Papanca Mind

Papanca Mind

In the Theravada tradition, papanca mind refers to proliferation of thought or reactions, or the expansion of thoughts, reactions, and diffuseness. While papanca is neutral (impersonal), its effect on us is unwholesome.

Many Faces of Doubt

Many Faces of Doubt

We may not recognize doubt’s presence because it is so interwoven into our experience. If it is so strong that we’re caught in it, we are frozen in place.

Reconciliation Practice

Reconciliation Practice

Reconciliation is a beginning point in a process, not the end point. While we may not be able to shift our view, we can have the intent to reconcile. We begin by noticing the differences and saying, “Despite these differences, may we be reconciled.”

Misunderstanding Martyrdom

Misunderstanding Martyrdom

Easter was the impetus for this talk in which Moffitt defines different types of martyrdom and uses the Christ story as a way for us to look at martyrdom in ourselves.

Working with Personal Defeat

Working with Personal Defeat

This talk specifically looks at personal defeat in your life. This could be a past or present situation in which you had the capacity to bring about a desired outcome but were unable to do so.

Starting Over – Dharma Talk

Starting Over – Dharma Talk

Life contains suffering, which is caused by our clinging and grasping. However, we are free in each moment to change our relationship to suffering.

Mindfulness of the Body Dharma Talk

Mindfulness of the Body Dharma Talk

The body offers many ways for increasing our awareness, thus becoming a vehicle for transformation. Through the body we get to know our breath and learn to feel it in many locations. The body also affords us a chance to practice compassion for ourselves and others.

The First Foundation of Mindfulness

The First Foundation of Mindfulness

In this talk on discovering the “felt sense” of mindfulness in the body, Moffitt likens the body to a storehouse. The idea behind mindfulness of the body is not to fix the body but rather to develop deep acceptance.

Living with Difficulty

Living with Difficulty

How can we deal with difficulty when it manifests in our lives? Possible responses include collapse, denial, restlessness, worry, fear, and self-blaming.

Softening into the Moment

Softening into the Moment

Learning how to relax the attention in meditation can be challenging for many people. Using the language of “softening into the moment,” Phillip explains how to fully receive and investigate experience without immediately interpreting it and reacting.

Three Kinds of Happiness

Three Kinds of Happiness

The Buddha identified three kinds of happiness: dukkha-sukkha, or happiness that’s dependent on the conditions of your life; anicca-sukkha, or happiness that is based on our mind state; and sukkha-sukkha, happiness that’s independent of the conditions of your life or your mind state.

Why Change is Difficult

Why Change is Difficult

Why is it so difficult to change in relationship something that is causing us to suffer? This talk focuses on nama rupa (mind-body) as the basis for inquiry into why it is so difficult to make a change in our lives.

Three Types of Selfing

Three Types of Selfing

Moffitt describes three types of “selfing” that undermine our integrity: selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-referencing. Selfishness is when you focus on your own advantage at the expense of others.

Relaxing into Surrender

Relaxing into Surrender

When you’re caught in personality view (sakkaya-ditthi), your life is harder because you get caught in wanting things to be other than they are. The antidote is surrendering your “view” to what is true right now.

Renunciation Practice

Renunciation Practice

Practicing renunciation can change our relationship to fear, enhance our clarity, offer relief, and empower us by freeing us from the tyranny of the ego.

Body Meditation

Body Meditation

This meditation increases our embodied awareness — knowing self through the experience of being in the body.

What Mindfulness Is and Is Not

What Mindfulness Is and Is Not

Every moment offers an opportunity for practice. We can notice the pleasant and unpleasant in every moment as well as whether our minds are being reactive or responsive when we are stressed.

Preparing for Transition

Preparing for Transition

When making a transition, it is important to examine clinging: What are we clinging to? Is it the right time to make the transition?

Working with Our Inner Gold

Working with Our Inner Gold

We sometimes project admirable traits onto others that we can’t yet claim for ourselves. The Jungian psychologist Robert Johnson refers to these admirable traits as “inner gold.”

Developing Intuitive Awareness

Developing Intuitive Awareness

Presence of mind is required for us to clearly comprehend our intuitive awareness, or wise understanding, which can arise through any sense gate.

The Distinction between Wisdom and Knowledge

The Distinction between Wisdom and Knowledge

According to the Buddha, wisdom is a kind of knowledge that is insight-based and frees the mind. Dharma study provides knowledge and teaches us how to apply that knowledge, which is wisdom. There are ways by which we can cultivate wisdom.

Self-Discovery through Poetry

Self-Discovery through Poetry

It takes courage to be happy, to accept the way things are. We tend to forget that dukkha, or suffering, is an unavoidable part of conscious existence.

Ambivalence

Ambivalence

Ambivalence can arise whenever desire is present, but it is not problematic unless it becomes the predominant experience. Then ambivalence paralyzes us. It has myriad causes and can manifest in many ways.

Ambiguity

Ambiguity

Our inability to comprehend clearly the way things are can cause suffering for ourselves and others. It can show up in our communications, in our relationships, and in our spiritual practice.

Sangha: The Third Jewel

Sangha: The Third Jewel

The Buddha taught that Three Refuges support us in our practice: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. In the sangha, the Third Jewel of these Three Refuges, we can reflect and find inspiration. In sangha, our minds become harmonized, our bodies are invigorated, and our hearts are warmed.

Meaning of Sangha

Meaning of Sangha

We, as a sangha, support one another in our own practice. And, we reside, as a community, through our commonality of the dharma.

Equanimity: Vital for Freeing the Heart

Equanimity: Vital for Freeing the Heart

Equanimity is a balanced state of mind that is characterized by a benevolent attitude toward all beings as well as an accepting attitude toward the ever changing conditions of life.

Two Aspects of Forgiveness Practice

Two Aspects of Forgiveness Practice

Practicing forgiveness is not about being able to forgive in the moment; it is about having the intention to forgive, even if our ability to forgive right now is lacking. Why do we resist forgiveness?