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Retreat Dharma Talks at Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre

Transforming Fear into Fearlessness

A six-week study and practice course
The Four Noble Truths that form the heart of the Buddha’s teaching invite us to examine our relationship to dukkha: stress, distress, unsatisfactoriness, suffering. Most of us though, have an instinctive resistance to suffering, so we need to practice working skilfully with the different levels of fear that often show up along the path to freedom. As we learn how to release ourselves from the confines of these fears, we’re able to live with greater ease, happiness, and peace, and to connect with the wisdom and compassion that are our true nature.

2019-06-22 (37 days) Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre

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2019-07-14 12 talk: comparing mind (mana) and appreciative joy (mudita) 28:43
Jill Shepherd
Exploring the common tendency of the mind to get caught in comparing, and how the practice of mudita or appreciative joy can be both an antidote and an ally, that helps stop mana from arising in the first place
2019-07-14 13 guided meditation: dyad practice, exploring gratitude and mudita for oneself 23:56
Jill Shepherd
Working in pairs, contemplating gratitude for aspects of one's life, then a short written exercise exploring one's own good qualities
2019-07-20 14 guided meditation: relaxing the body, stilling the mind 14:56
Jill Shepherd
A short guided meditation beginning with a brief body scan to relax tension, then using the breath to help steady and calm the mind
2019-07-20 15 talk: wisdom and the three universal characteristics 29:54
Jill Shepherd
How seeing the three universal characteristics of anicca-dukkha-anatta (impermanent, imperfect, impersonal) can support the releasing of anxiety and fear
2019-07-20 16 guided meditation: dyads, exploring fearlessness 25:00
Jill Shepherd
Working together in pairs, taking turns to describe a time of feeling ease, calm, confidence, courage, and noticing the effect this has on the body, heart, and mind
2019-07-27 17 talk: fear of freedom 36:07
Jill Shepherd
Acknowledging that change itself can cause anxiety; exploring some different definitions of Nibbana; and a few suggestions for navigating fear if/when it arises in meditation practice
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