When conviction is developed, we make an effort to follow the path. In the end, we must develop conviction in ourselves, in our goodness, in our innate wisdom, in the dharma inside us. This talk on "Conviction in Yourself" was given in December 2011 at the Downtown Meditation Community weekly Sunday night class.
We shape our lives through the decisions we make from day to day, moment to moment. It's through the practice of heedfulnes that we're able to make decisions and take actions - big actions and subtle actions - that will lead us to true happiness in this life. This talk was given in 2014 at the Downtown Meditation Community Sunday night class.
"Just as the footprints of all legged animals are encompassed by the footprint of the elephant, and the elephant's footprint is reckoned the foremost among them in terms of size; in the same way, all skillful qualities are rooted in heedfulness, converge in heedfulness, and heedfulness is reckoned the foremost among them."
What lies on the other side of wanting? As human beings, we're involved, it seems, in an incessant process of wanting: wanting what we don't have, wanting things to be different than what they are. Dharma practice leads us to know the other side of this painful wanting. The talk was given by Peter Doobinin in 2014 at the Downtown Meditation Community weekly Sunday class.
Having a daily meditation practice is a foundational component as we make our way along the Buddha's path. In this dharma talk, Peter Doobinin discusses what it means to have a daily practice. The talk was given in New York City at the Downtown Meditation Community Sunday Night class in the summer of 2016.
When things are difficult, in dharma practice and in life, our tendency may be to doubt ourselves. This self doubt - and doubt in dharma practice - is a profound impediment to our ability to move forward as dharma students. For this reason, it's essential that we learn to be mindful of doubt and to see into its empty nature. In this talk, given on March 23, 2008, Peter Doobinin describes how we practice this important mindfulness. The talk was givein at the Downtown Meditation Community Sunday Night Meditation class.
The dharma student is a happy warrior. The practice requires effort and determination, it's often difficult, there are many ups and downs ... but when we practice skillfully, with compassion and lovingkindness, the practice is joyful. Our hearts are open and we understand that, although the road is long, we're moving toward a greater happiness in our lives. Our effort, then, is joyful. The talk was given at a Downtown Meditation Community retreat in 2013.
Compassion is one of the sublime abidings of the heart. As dharma students, we seek to open the heart and connect to the quality of compassion. But ultimately compassion informs action. As one of the primary skillful intentions - the other is lovingkindness (metta) - we seek to cultivate action that is driven by compassion. We learn to do this in meditation and this skill is one that we take with us as we go through our days and nights. The talk was given in Berlin in the winter of 2020 at the Wednesday Night Meditation class in Mitte.
In order to know happiness in this life, we need to keep ourselves in the present moment. But how do we do that? The Buddha gave clear and specific instructions for keeping present, not just in meditation but all the postures of our lives. In this talk, Peter describes elements of the skill for learning to keep present. This talk was given at the Berlin Dharma weekly class in the winter of 2020. May all beings be at ease and live with joy!
Association with wise beings - teachers and fellow meditation students - is an integral element of the path to awakening. As Peter explains, developing a relationship with wise beings and being part of a community is a skill that we learn to cultivate. The dharma talk was given in May 2015 at the Downtown Meditation Community weekly Sunday Night Meditation class.
There is path to the end of suffering. It's a path on which we learn to acknowledge the truth of our suffering. It's a path that we follow by developing certain skills. Most importantly, the skills of jhana and heedfulness. In this dharma talk, Peter Doobinin describes this path that leads us to freedom from suffering and true happiness in our lives. The talk was given at Downtown Meditation Community in the summer of 2017.
"Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monks. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you."