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Weekly Talks 2013


The Dharma of Scrooge (2013)

Published on Dec 22, 2013

Dickens' wonderful tale, "A Christmas Carol," is a very human story that we can all relate to. Whether one is studying and practicing on a spiritual path or not, this story reminds us that in the end, life is really about human kindness and how we relate to one another. While Scrooge is an extreme character, a man totally lost in the world of himself, we all have seeds of Scrooge in us. To see this and leave the unhappy world of self for the joyous experience of practicing generosity with others is to truly awaken.

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Four Establishments of Mindfulness: Application in Daily Life

Published on Dec 2, 2013

Fred continues his teachings on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness, with particular attention to students' questions about the application of these practices in daily life. How does one practice while still establishing a basic level of concentration? In situations that bring up strong negative emotional mind states, what is the wise way to practice? And how does one inspire practice so that it doesn't feel like an exercise regime?

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Transformation in the Meditation Hall

Published on Nov 17, 2013

Our "Meditation Hall" is truly a "Transformation Hall," as Dharma Teacher Fred Eppsteiner explains in this talk with students of the Florida Community of Mindfulness. We practice as "companions" of Bodhisattvas, recognizing the value and importance of having spiritual friends to support our journey. And this journey is not about achievement as it is traditionally conceived, but discovering who we already are, and composting the muck of our lives into beautiful flowers.

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The Second Establishment of Mindfulness: Feelings (Vedana)

Published on Nov 3, 2013

Have you ever found yourself in an emotional state or other drama and wondered how in the heck did I get here? The Buddha experienced and taught that "vedana," roughly translated as "feelings" in English, is the missing link between the contact of our senses with an object, and the stories/emotions/actions that so often spring from that contact. Vedana is that very initial and immediate feeling tone of positive, negative or neutral that occurs when our senses make contact with an object. When we are mindful of our vedana, we can clearly see and wisely respond to life instead of being driven by our conditioning. Fred Eppsteiner introduces this very subtle but key foundation of mindfulness in this talk to the FCM sangha.

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The True Meaning of Mindfulness

Published on Oct 6, 2013

"Mindfulness" is becoming a popular topic in many parts of our western culture today. What does mindfulness really mean? What in fact is "the mind"? Why should one even care - what is the payoff of mindfulness? And how does one practice?

In this first talk of the fall 2013 Florida Community of Mindfulness series on "The Key Point of Practice: Mastering the Fundamentals," Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner explains the true meaning and benefits of living a mindful life.

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Dharma Q&As: Non-attachment, Self Judgement of Practice, Relaxing with Illness

Published on Sep 2, 2013

Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner answers students' questions about non-attachment (what does this really mean?), finding the right balance of compassion and clarity in judging one's spiritual practice, and "relaxing" when part of one's body or mind is injured or in pain.

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How will Technological Change Affect Our Spiritual Practice?

Published on Aug 12, 2013

Some say that computer "thinking" will be indistinguishable from human thinking within the next decade. How, if at all, will technological changes affect our spiritual practice? Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner talks about information versus connection versus wisdom in his answer.

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Patrul Rinpoche: Advice From Me to Myself (Parts 1 - 4)

Published on Sep 29, 2013

Patrul Rinpoche was one of the greatest and most beloved Tibetan teachers of the nineteenth century. In this recording, Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner concludes a teaching from one of Patrul Rinpoche's great writings, Advice from me to myself.

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How Can I Energize My Practice?

Published on Aug 12, 2013

Why can't I seem to meditate consistently? How can I practice mindfulness more consistently and better energize my practice? Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner teaches about the importance of making practice personal, asking deep questions about aspiration and intention, and following through.

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Buddhism: The Basics (Week 5 - 6)

Published on Aug 14, 2013

In this six-week class, Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner begins with the actual life of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, an archetype of a human being awakening to the true meaning and purpose of life. He then delves systematically into the fundamental teachings of the "path of awakening" that he promulgated during the course of his nearly forty-five years of active teaching. Finally, Fred examines the various practice and meditative paths that have developed within the Buddhist tradition over the past 2600 years.

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The Importance of Aspiration and Intention for Living a Meaningful Life

Published on Jul 28, 2013

Many of us embark on a spiritual path seeking to live a meaningful life. Have we deeply examined our aspirations and set an intention for how we wish to manifest in this lifetime? Are we constantly cultivating this intention or do we find ourselves blown about by worldly winds? Is our Dharma practice and our life one and the same? Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner talks to students about this fundamental point of practice.

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Dharma Q&As: Moving Beyond Conditioning to Freedom

Published on Aug 5, 2013

When we experience resistance to situations that arise in our lives, how can we use our practice of mindfulness to live in a way that is open, curious and free, rather than being driven by our conditioned, reactive mind? Dharma Teacher Fred Eppsteiner discusses this and more in response to students' questions.

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Dharma Q&As: Attachment, Impermanence, Hope (Fred Eppsteiner, July 7, 2013)

Published on Jul 8, 2013

Fred answers students questions about the nature of "seeds of anger"; attachment and non attachment, particularly with respect to finding "certainty" in one's life; the notion of impermanence; and how "hope" is viewed in a Buddhist context.

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Dharma Q&As: Thoughts and Discomfort; Mindfulness v.Concentration (Fred Eppsteiner, June 29, 2013)

Published on Jul 1, 2013

Responding to students' questions at a June 29 Day of Mindfulness, Fred talks about looking at thoughts versus "letting go" of them, being with discomfort, mindfulness versus concentration, and direct experience versus fabrication.

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Dharma Q&As: Meditation, Ensnarement, Compassion (Fred Eppsteiner, June 23, 2013)

Published on Jun 24, 2013

Dharma teacher Fred Eppsteiner answers students' questions about Meditation, Ensnarement, Empathy v. Compassion, and More (June 23, 2013)

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Practically Applying the Five Mindfulness Trainings in Daily Life (Fred Eppsteiner, May 26, 2013)

Published on May 27, 2013

As practitioners in the Buddhist tradition, many of us happily make a further commitment to learn and live the Dharma by taking vows to observe Buddhist ethical precepts. The first set, transmitted by ordained Dharma teachers to laypeople at retreats and days of mindfulness, is the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) developed these from the five ancient Buddhist precepts to not kill, steal, misuse sex, lie, or take drugs. In this talk, teacher Fred Eppsteiner answers students questions about how to practically apply these Trainings in daily life.

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Work Meditation as a Transformative Practice (Fred Eppsteiner, May 19, 2013)

Published on May 19, 2013

In this Dharma talk, Fred teaches that the practice of mindfulness means being present to whatever is in front of us right now, including work. We want to be fully present in our work, rather than approaching it as a "necessary evil" or something to be done with. Work provides us with an opportunity to practice letting go of preferences and judgements and to be of service in whatever way is beneficial to others.

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Dharma Q&As: Bringing Discipline Into My Practice (Fred Eppsteiner, April 28, 2013)

Published on Apr 28, 2013

Fred responds to a question of how to bring discipline into my practice and daily life. Also, how do I begin to follow my aspiration rather than wallowing in my negative habit energy?

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The True Meaning of Generosity (Fred Eppsteiner, Apr 28, 2013)

Published on Apr 28, 2013

Fred discusses the paramita of generosity. To practice true generosity is to move beyond our comfort zone. Rather than giving items that we no longer need or time that is not otherwise committed, our practice should be to offer to others what is of high value to ourselves. We should experiment with generosity, saying yes to being of service in any way that benefits others, without attachment to our personal preferences. Fred also discusses the opposite of generosity - greed - and how this is a manifestation of the "self."

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Short Commentary on Thich Nhat Hanh's Meaning of Tiep Hien (Fred Eppsteiner, Apr 18, 2013)

Published on Apr 23, 2013

Fred Eppsteiner meets with the Florida Community of Mindfulness Order of Interbeing members to offer a short commentary on Thich Nhat Hanh's Meaning of Tiep Hien, April 2013.

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The Six Realms (Mind States) of Existence (Fred Eppsteiner, March 31, 2013)

Published on Mar 31, 2013

Fred discusses the six realms of existence, six states of suffering that we cycle through throughout our lives. There is a path out of the realms, but many of us are bargainers who want to keep part of the realms. Our spiritual path provides the means for us to awaken from the dream and false promises of the six realms, to see through our conditioning and realize that who we are is so much more than a person endlessly driven by needs and drama. Fred reminds us that this is why we sit and practice mindfulness, so that we can see life clearly and connect with our authentic self, with others, and with our planet.

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Grow Up, Get Real, Connect with Life (Fred Eppsteiner, March 17, 2013)

Published on Mar 17, 2013

Fred continues the six-month Path of Awakening Series on letting go of self-centered living and living a path of selflessness. This week's topic explores the meaning of "Grow Up, Get Real, Connect with Life" in terms of spiritual development.

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The Real Life Challenges of Practicing Loving Kindness (FE, March 3, 2013)

Published on Mar 4, 2013

How does one take the practice of loving kindness into daily life in a wise and appropriate way? Fred responds to specific questions from students about how to practice metta/loving kindness in a variety of "real life" situations. How do we work with resistance and attachment when encountering individuals who we won't like and/or perceive as unkind to us? How can we be open and generous in a competitive work environment that rewards individual achievement? How do we practice without feeling like a "doormat," particularly when we feel taken advantage of?

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Building a Spiritual Community The True Meaning of Sangha (Fred Eppsteiner, Feb 24, 2013)

Published on Feb 25, 2013

Over 60 attendees gathered at the Tampa Practice Center on February 24th to hear Fred speak about building a spiritual community and the true meaning of sangha. Inspired by this weekend's Order of Interbeing retreat at the Center, Fred discussed how involvement in a spiritual community facilitates and supports our transformation from a sense of separateness to an authentic connection with ourselves, our families, our larger communities and the world.

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