Spring 2011 Shamatha Retreat

01 Introduction to Shamatha: Mindfulness of Breathing

10 Apr 2011

In this morning session, Alan Wallace leads a guided meditation and introduction to the practice of shamatha; the first stage of mindfulness of breathing. He teaches the cultivation of a deepening se…

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02 Introduction to Loving-Kindness

11 Apr 2011

This afternoon session is a 24-minute guided meditation on the practice of loving-kindness, followed by question and answer with the group.

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03 Mindfulness of Breathing, the Second Stage

11 Apr 2011

In this morning session, Alan Wallace gives a guided meditation of mindfulness of breathing, the second stage, focusing on the balance of relaxation and stability.

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04 Loving-Kindness for Self and Others

12 Apr 2011

In this afternoon session, Alan Wallace teaches a guided meditation of loving-kindness, beginning first with one’s self, then moving outwards to others. He reminds us that loving-kindness is not an e…

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05 Mindfulness of Breathing, the Third Stage

12 Apr 2011

In this morning session, Alan Wallace gives a 24-minute guided meditation on the third stage of mindfulness of breathing. He also describes the preliminary signs of progressing along the path of sham…

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06 Loving-Kindness in All Directions

13 Apr 2011

In this afternoon session, Alan Wallace gives a 24-minute guided meditation on loving-kindness as it extends out in all directions: a wave of benevolence. He also describes the distinction between se…

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07 Settling the Mind in its Natural State

13 Apr 2011

In this morning session, Alan Wallace guides us in a 24-minute meditation on ‘settling the mind in its natural state’ using the domain of phenomena, or the space of the mind, as the object of meditat…

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08 Compassion

14 Apr 2011

This afternoon session is a guided meditation on the second of the four immeasurables: compassion. In following question and answer period, Alan answers the following questions: 1. What should one…

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09 Settling the Mind in its Natural State: The Foreground

14 Apr 2011

This morning session includes a guided meditation on the practice of settling the mind in its natural state, focusing on the foreground and the distinct events that are arising within the mind.

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10B Compassion and the Suffering of Change

15 Apr 2011

This session is the continuation of “10A Compassion and the Suffering of Change” and includes the 24-minute guided meditation on compassion, focusing on the suffering of change. During the followin…

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10A Compassion and the Suffering of Change

15 Apr 2011

This is a 20 minute introduction to the practice of compassion that follows in the next podcast, “10B Compassion and the Suffering of Change”. Alan Wallace describes the second type of suffering, the…

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11 Settling the Mind in its Natural State: The Background

15 Apr 2011

In this morning session, Alan Wallace guides a 24-minute meditation on settling the mind in its natural state, highlighting the background of the space of the mind, paying attention to the intervals…

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12 Compassion and the Suffering of Conditioned Existence

16 Apr 2011

After a brief introduction, Alan Wallace guides us in a 24-minute meditation on compassion, focusing on the suffering of conditioned existence and our fundamental vulnerability to suffering. During…

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13 Shamatha without a Sign

17 Apr 2011

In this 24-minute guided meditation, Alan Wallace teaches the third method of shamatha, awareness of awareness, or shamatha without a sign.

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14 Empathetic Joy

18 Apr 2011

Alan Wallace guides a 24-minute meditation on mudita, or empathetic joy, focusing first on oneself, then spreading outwards to others. During the following question and answer period, Alan answers t…

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15 Shamatha without a Sign: The Next Phase

18 Apr 2011

In this morning session, Alan Wallace guides a 24-minute meditation on shamatha without a sign, focusing on probing into the nature of the mind and looking for the referent of the mind.

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16 Empathetic Joy as an Aspiration

19 Apr 2011

In this afternoon session, Alan Wallace guides us in a 24-minute meditation on mudita, or empathetic joy, from the perspective of mudita as an aspiration that all sentient beings never be parted from…

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17 Shamatha without a Sign: Awareness of Awareness

19 Apr 2011

In this morning session, Alan Wallace guides a 24-minute session of shamatha without a sign, or the awareness of awareness. During the introduction, he speaks about the clear light of death, the bard…

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18 Equanimity: A Theravaden Perspective

20 Apr 2011

Alan Wallace teaches on the immeasurable of equanimity, or uppekha, focusing on a Theravaden perspective. This can be described as even-mindedness or emotional equilibrium. During the following ques…

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19 Awareness of Awareness: Stretching

20 Apr 2011

In this morning session, Alan Wallace guides us in a 24-mintute meditation on shamatha without a sign, or awareness of awareness, focusing on stretching this awareness in different directions: left,…

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20 Equanimity Focused on Sentient Beings

21 Apr 2011

In this afternoon session, Alan Wallace guides a 24-minute meditation on equanimity, focusing on the expression of equanimity for oneself and other sentient beings, including a dear friend, neutral p…

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21 Back to Basics: Mindfulness of Breathing

21 Apr 2011

We return to the beginning of our 10-day cycle, starting again with mindfulness of breathing. Going to what Alan Wallace refers to as ‘the infirmary,’ this 24-minute guided meditation on the breath e…

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22 Loving-Kindness: Visualizing One's own Happiness

22 Apr 2011

The immeasurable of loving-kindness is guided through a 24-minute meditation which focuses on envisioning the causes and conditions for one’s own happiness, achieving this happiness, and then sharing…

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23 Mindfulness of Breathing: Grounding

22 Apr 2011

This 24-minute guided meditation on mindfulness of breathing focuses on the tactile sensation of the breath in the abdomen, balancing stability and relaxation.

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24 Loving-kindness for Self and Others

23 Apr 2011

Alan Wallace guides a 24-minute meditation on loving-kindness, first for oneself, and then ultimately in all directions without barriers. He discusses the catalyst for the aspiration of loving-kindne…

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25 Mindfulness of Breathing: The Classic Approach

24 Apr 2011

Alan Wallace guides a 24-minute meditation on mindfulness of breathing, focusing on the balance between increasing vividness and maintaining the stability of the mind, also without the loss of relaxa…

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26 Loving-Kindness Spatially

25 Apr 2011

In this 24-minute guided meditation on loving-kindness, Alan Wallace focuses on sending this aspiration spatially, or through space in all directions, beginning with ourselves, and then out to those…

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27 Settling the Mind in its Natural State

25 Apr 2011

In this 24-minute guided meditation, Alan Wallace teaches us to view our own minds, including the whole space of the mind and all of the events that arise within that, from the perspective of the sub…

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28 The Common Ground of Compassion

26 Apr 2011

Alan Wallace guides a 24-minute meditation on compassion, asking the question, “How can we be free from suffering?” He teaches the use of a visualization of a radiant orb of light at one’s heart, met…

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29 Settling the Mind it its Natural State: Body to Mind

26 Apr 2011

During this 24-minute guided meditation, Alan guides us in the practice of settling the mind in its natural state, beginning with the space of the body and moving to the space of the mind. The guide…

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30 Compassion and the Suffering of Change

27 Apr 2011

Alan Wallace guides us in a 24-minute meditation on compassion, furthering this aspiration to recognize a deeper dimension of suffering — the suffering of change. This type of suffering is brought a…

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31 Settling the Mind in its Natural State

27 Apr 2011

We explore the practice that Alan Wallace considers analogous in terms of understanding the mind to the telescope in terms of understanding what is in the heavens. We will focus on the relative dharm…

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32 Compassion at the Deepest Level

28 Apr 2011

Today’s teaching is presented by Michelle Seaver, guest teacher and student of Alan Wallace, while Alan is out of town for 24 hours. Alan will return to his regular teaching schedule Saturday morning…

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33 Awareness of Awareness: Inversion

28 Apr 2011

This morning’s teaching is presented by Michelle Seaver, guest teacher and student of Alan Wallace, while Alan is out of town for 24 hours. Alan will return to his regular teaching schedule Saturday…

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34 Effusion of Empathetic Joy and Gratitude

29 Apr 2011

This afternoon’s teaching is presented by Michelle Seaver, guest teacher and student of Alan Wallace, while Alan is out of town for 24 hours. Alan will return to his regular teaching during the next…

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35 Awareness of Awareness

29 Apr 2011

Alan Wallace guides a 24-minute meditation on awareness of awareness, teaching us to invert the awareness deeply, attending closely to the evidence of someone - an agent - in one’s mind that stands a…

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36 The Roots of Empathetic Joy

30 Apr 2011

This afternoon’s guided meditation on the immeasurable of empathetic joy focuses on cultivating the underlying causes of genuine happiness and flourishing. Alan Wallace reminds us that Tsongkhapa sai…

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37 The Observer and Awareness of Awareness

01 May 2011

During this morning session with Alan Wallace, we are led in a guided meditation on awareness of awareness. Within this context, we probe deeply into our experience of being the observer, and ask the…

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38 Cultivating Equanimity Towards All

02 May 2011

In the initial guided meditation on equanimity, Alan Wallace encourages us to use wisdom to discern the difference between behavior and the person expressing that behavior. The guided meditation beg…

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39 Stretching Awareness of Awareness

02 May 2011

This morning, Alan Wallace guides a meditation on the awareness of awareness, teaching us to expand and stretch this awareness spatially, literally increasing the space of the mind. The guided medit…

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40 Equanimity, Loving-Kindness, and Compassion

03 May 2011

During the first part of this podcast, Alan Wallace guides us through a meditation on equanimity, blending the other immeasurable of loving-kindness and compassion to create a beautiful trio. The gu…

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41 Settling Body, Speech and Mind in their Natural State

03 May 2011

We return again to the beginning of the 10-session cycle of guided meditations on shamatha with settling the body, speech and mind in their natural state. Guided meditation begins at 10:50 in the re…

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42 Imagining Loving-Kindness for Oneself

04 May 2011

Alan Wallace guides us through the immeasurable of loving-kindness, leading us to imagine our own happiness both on a hedonic and a deeper level. The guided meditation begins at 9:50 in the recordin…

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43 Grounding in Mindfulness of Breathing

04 May 2011

In this session, Alan Wallace guides us through the second method of mindfulness of breathing, which focuses on grounding one’s attention in the sensations of breath in the abdomen. He reminds us tha…

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44 Breaking Barriers with Loving-Kindness

05 May 2011

In this guided meditation, we follow in the footsteps of Buddhaghosa, expressing loving-kindness sequentially, from ourselves, to a very dear loved one, a more casual loved one, and then out and out…

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45 Increasing Vividness with Mindfulness of Breathing

05 May 2011

Alan Wallace guides in the third phase of mindfulness of breathing, which focuses on enhancing vividness without sacrificing stability. During this meditation, we place our awareness on the sensation…

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46 Boundless Loving-Kindness

06 May 2011

This simple approach to loving-kindness was taught by the Buddha himself. We will be extending the awareness out spatially in all directions — without bounds — but first requesting that we be free…

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47 In The Seen, Let There Be Just The Seen

06 May 2011

We return to the practice of settling the mind in its natural state. In the guided meditation, we bring the quality of quiet, bare attention to the visual, auditory, tactile, and then the mental fiel…

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48 Compassion and Freedom from Blatant Suffering

07 May 2011

Alan Wallace begins today’s teaching with a 40-minute dharma talk that could be titled, “Retreat and Expedition Approaches to Freedom from Blatant Suffering.” In this engaging talk, Alan surveys the…

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49 Settling the Mind in its Natural State

08 May 2011

Alan Wallace guides a 24-minute guided meditation on settling the mind in its natural state. He first introduces the practice of applying this quality of awareness to our experiences engaging with ot…

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50 Attachment and Compassion

09 May 2011

Today’s session begins with an inspiring and lucid twenty-minute dharma talk about the four noble truths, particularly the first three noble truths. This is followed by a guided meditation on the imm…

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51 Observing the Space of the Mind

09 May 2011

We continue to practice setting the mind in its natural state, today focusing on observing the space of the mind without alteration. The guided meditation begins at 9:20 in the recording.

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52 Wisdom and Compassion

10 May 2011

In this teaching, Alan Wallace guides a meditation on compassion for the deepest kind of suffering: the suffering of conditioned existence. He informs us that the cultivation of wisdom from insight i…

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53 Awareness of Awareness

10 May 2011

We again begin to explore the practice of awareness of awareness in this teaching and guided meditation with Alan Wallace. He speaks for a short while before the guided meditation about the significa…

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54 Taking Delight in Good Fortune

11 May 2011

In this session, Alan Wallace guides a meditation on mudita, or empathetic joy. He first speaks for some time about the opportunity of a precious human birth, and the power contemplating this opportu…

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55 The Second Phase of Awareness of Awareness

11 May 2011

In this morning session, we follow Padmasambhava’s teachings in this second phase of the awareness of awareness practice. Our quest is not to look and find nothing, but rather to look for something t…

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56 Empathetic Joy for the Causes and Fruits of Happiness

12 May 2011

In this session, Alan Wallace guides a meditation on empathetic joy, emphasizing taking delight and joy in both the causes of genuine happiness and the material fruits of this happiness. In his intro…

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57 The Witness of Awareness (of Awareness)

12 May 2011

In this morning session, Alan Wallace guides a meditation of awareness of awareness, focusing on the lived sense, the actual sense one has, of being the witness, or observer, of all that is 'over the…

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58 Emotional Equilibrium and Mental Imperturbability

13 May 2011

Alan Wallace begins this afternoon’s session with the question, “When a desire arises, how does one know whether it is desire (wholesome) or craving (unwholesome)?” He explores practical answers to t…

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59 Expanding One's Awareness of Awareness

13 May 2011

In this morning session, Alan Wallace guides a meditation on the awareness of awareness practice. Today, we intentionally send our awareness above, to the right, to the left, below, to the heart cent…

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60 Even-Heartedness for All Sentient Beings

14 May 2011

In this session, we approach the immeasurable of equanimity from a Mahayana perspective, using the practice of tonglen (sending and receiving) to attend to individual sentient beings. The guided med…

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61 The Cultivation of Relaxation

15 May 2011

The next three morning sessions will be unguided meditations on the first three stages of mindfulness of breathing. This morning, Alan first speaks briefly about the importance of the cultivation of…

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62 Sleepitation, Loving-Kindness, and Q&A

16 May 2011

In this afternoon’s session, Alan first gives advice on the sleep imbalances that can arise during retreat (or outside of retreat) and introduces us to the practice of “sleepitation” to ground onesel…

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63 Mindfulness of Breathing, Phase Two

16 May 2011

This morning, Alan first reviews the practice of mindfulness of breathing, the second phase, with its emphasis on the somatic sensations of the breath in the abdomen, while maintaining relaxation and…

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64 Loving-Kindness and Q&A

17 May 2011

This afternoon we continue with unguided meditations. Alan first reviews the meditation on loving-kindness for others in the tradition of Buddhaghosa, first for oneself, then a dearly loved friend, t…

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65 Vivid Mindfulness of Breathing

17 May 2011

This morning, Alan first reviews the instructions for the third phase of mindfulness of breathing, with the attention placed on the sensations of the breath at the aperture of the nostrils. We then s…

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66 Loving-Kindness and Feelings of Separation

18 May 2011

Another unguided meditation this afternoon, first introduced with a description of the obstacle of feeling separate from others, and how this impedes the flow of loving-kindness. The unguided medita…

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67 Settling the Mind in its Natural State

18 May 2011

This morning continues with unguided meditations. Alan first speaks briefly about the tendency to identify with the body and mind as oneself. This practice is particularly effective in eradicating th…

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68 Gaining Understanding, Insight, and Confidence

19 May 2011

Alan begins this afternoon’s session with a lengthy dharma talk on cultivating confidence in the practices, now that we have two full weeks of silent retreat remaining. He also sets up today’s medita…

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69 The Power of Settling the Mind

19 May 2011

Alan first speaks for 15 minutes about the benefits of the practice of settling the mind in its natural state and its use in freeing ourselves from our habitual propensities of craving, aversion, and…

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70 Responding to the Reality of Change

20 May 2011

This afternoon, Alan first gives a lengthy Dharma talk about different methods for responding to the reality of change. He contrasts the materialistic and Buddhist views, and goes into detail about h…

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71 Settling the Mind, Phase Three

20 May 2011

This morning, Alan first reviews the practice of settling the mind in its natural state, both in theory and in practice. This is followed by an unguided meditation that begins at 12:00 in the recordi…

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72 The Origins of Suffering

21 May 2011

This afternoon, Alan first gives a Dharma talk relating to the deepest type of suffering to which we are vulnerable: the pervasive suffering of composite, or conditioned, existence. He asks the quest…

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73 Pure Being

22 May 2011

In this morning’s session we return to the practice of awareness of awareness. Alan first introduces the technique of oscillation between withdrawal from all appearances and release into space, or no…

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74 Contentment and Mudita

23 May 2011

This afternoon’s session begins with a 50 minute Dharma talk in which Alan Wallace invites us to consider whether we are content, satisfied, perhaps even willing to rejoice in the current trajectory…

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75 Shamatha Without a Sign

23 May 2011

This morning Alan Wallace again introduces the practice of shamatha without a sign, or awareness of awareness, as taught by Padmasambhava. We are instructed to look right into our actual sense of bei…

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76 Virtue and Mudita

24 May 2011

This afternoon Alan Wallace again sets up an unguided meditation on mudita, or empathetic joy. He first gives a 40 minute dharma talk about skillfully attending to one’s own virtues without reifying…

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77 Breaking Through: Awareness of Awareness

24 May 2011

This morning we continue with the practice of awareness of awareness. Alan first gives an introduction, then brief final remarks after the unguided meditation. The unguided meditation is not included…

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78 Equanimity and Imperturbability

25 May 2011

This afternoon, Alan Wallace sets up a meditation on equanimity, or uppekha, in two parts. First, bringing to mind situations in our lives that arouse aversion and craving, then imagining maintaining…

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79 Spatial Awareness of Awareness

25 May 2011

This morning we return to the final phase of the awareness of awareness practice: exploring this awareness spatially. Alan first reviews the technique for the practice. The unguided meditation is not…

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80 Equanimity and Rigpa

26 May 2011

Alan begins this afternoon session with a profoundly wise and skillful dharma talk on the deepest kind of equanimity: that which is viewed from the perspective of rigpa. This 55 minute talk is follow…

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81 Morning Q&A

26 May 2011

This morning’s session is an unguided open practice, followed by brief Q&A. The meditation period is not included. Alan answers these questions: 1. In awareness of awareness, how can I most effecti…

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82 Vipashyana

27 May 2011

This afternoon, Alan ventures into the realm of vipashyana with an introductory teaching. He draws from Padmasambhava’s “Natural Liberation” and instructs us on a basic vipashyana technique. The open…

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83 Morning Q&A #2

27 May 2011

We will continue to go right into unguided meditation sessions in the morning (not included in the recording), followed by brief Q&A. This morning Alan answers one question: 1. In awareness of aware…

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84 Vipashyana: Searching for the Mind

28 May 2011

This afternoon Alan continues with a second method of vipashyana, “Engaging in the Search for the Mind,” again from Padmasambhava’s “Natural Liberation,” with reference as well to Tsongapa’s teaching…

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85 Releasing the "Shoulds" and Relaxing

29 May 2011

This morning, Alan reminds us to continue to “downshift” and loosen up if we find we are unsatisfied with the quality of our meditation. This brief introduction is followed by an unguided meditation,…

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30 May 2011

This afternoon, we review the teachings from Saturday afternoon (#84) and practice in the same way. The unguided meditation is not included. There is no question and answer; instead, Alan gives some…

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87 Vipashyana: Identifying Rigpa

31 May 2011

In this afternoon session, (today’s morning session did not include any guidance or teachings and was not recorded) Alan Wallace continues to teach on vipashyana. We begin this afternoon with a 24-mi…

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88 Evaluating Practice

31 May 2011

This morning, Alan speaks about skillful means for evaluating our practice and determining whether our aspirations are being fulfilled or not. The following unguided meditation is not included.

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89 Integrated Vipashyana

01 Jun 2011

This afternoon Alan leads a guided meditation [6:25] that integrates the three different methods of vipashyana as taught by Padmasambhava. After the guided meditation [31:40], Alan talks about the h…

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90 Morning Q&A #3

01 Jun 2011

This morning we begin with an unguided meditation (not included in this recording) and then Alan answers the following questions from the group: 1. Could you clarify the terms mind, awareness, and c…

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91 Final Afternoon Session: The History and Development of Buddhism

02 Jun 2011

Although there are two more days of retreat, this is our last afternoon session. Alan begins by jumping right in to a guided meditation in which he “puts us through the paces” of the three types of m…

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92 Easy Comings and Goings

02 Jun 2011

This morning, Alan first speaks about Dharma practice during periods of transition. This is followed by an unguided meditation, which is not included.

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93 Integrating Into the Outside World

03 Jun 2011

Editor’s Note: Due to multiple recording errors, this afternoon’s podcast is an optimized recording from an iPhone. Because of this, it is difficult to hear clearly. My very sincere apologies. If any…

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94 Finishing with Loving-kindness

04 Jun 2011

In this final session, Alan brings us back to the first immeasurable of loving-kindness with a guided meditation which focuses on loving-kindness first for oneself, and then spreading out to all begi…

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