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Dharma Talks given at Assaya Sangha
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2022-07-27 Non-Harming and Abortion - It's Complicated! 52:06
Betsy Rose
An exploration of the complex emotional, medical, social and ethical issues surrounding reproductive justice. What did the Buddha actually teach about non-harming? How does heated public discourse create false binaries, and push people into extreme positions? What is the way of the compassionate and wise heart as we navigate this heart-wrenching and challenging life situation?

2022-03-30 Wise Compassion and its Near Enemies 43:13
Betsy Rose
Compassion (karuna) is an upwelling of tenderness and care in response to suffering. This beautiful quality of the heart has some "near enemies" that disguise as wise care, but cause our good intended words and actions to fall short, or even do more harm, to us and others. With song and story, this talk explores examples of near misses, and offers practices that allow wise compassion to emerge.

2022-03-08 Finding Love, Balance and Courage in a Time of War 13:27
Betsy Rose
As we witness and are deeply impacted by the eruption of a war of aggression in the Ukraine, we will reflect tonight on how these three paramis -- compassion, courageous energy and equanimity -- are visible both on the world stage and in our own lives and hearts.

2022-02-09 Stories and Songs Honoring Thich Nhat Hanh 16:40
Betsy Rose
I met Thay in 1987 and assisted him in many retreats and public talks, singing the songs I wrote inspired by his teachings and poetry. In this talk, I share some stories and songs from these early days that focus on his unorthodox, creative, intuitive, and courageous embodiment of dharma.

2022-01-19 Gifts of Uncertainty, with Joanna Macy 46:12
Betsy Rose
We listen to a 2009 talk by ecologist, Buddhist, and systems thinker Joanna Macy, on the 5 gifts of uncertainty -- gifts for these unstable and uncertain times. With further teachings from Betsy Rose on Martin Luther King and Gandhi, and these gifts manifest in their life work.

2022-01-12 Wise Hope 13:32
Betsy Rose
Wise Hope, as articulated by Roshi Joan Halifax, can be a wise practice for our times. Unlike "Ordinary Hope" it does not focus on a desired outcome, but is rooted in the sense of infinite possibility in the face of, and in fact BECAUSE of, the groundless and impermanent nature of reality.

2021-12-22 One Wild, Precious Life 36:39
Betsy Rose
This season is full of holidays! There is Solstice, celebrating the rebirth of the sun after the longest darkest night. There is Hanukah, celebrating the mystery of enduring, impossible light protecting the sacred. And there is Christmas, honoring the birth of the prophet and teacher Jesus (often called “The Light of the World”). Betsy reflects on the miracle of being born at all, against impossible odds, and how we are shaped by the causes and conditions we are born into. Darkness and Light, Joyful Existence and Dukkha- we’ll celebrate the whole mess!

2021-11-10 Mother Trees, Our Elders 43:25
Betsy Rose
The Buddha famously taught that the Sangha is the most important aspect of “the Holy Life”. And Indigenous wisdom (and recent biology) teach us that natural systems are also a sangha, a web of connection, kept healthy by reciprocity and generosity. Betsy reflects on the dharma of the “Mother Trees”, and how elders (and youth) feed the life of our human ecosystem.

2021-10-27 Interdependence vs. Codependence 37:34
Betsy Rose
The Buddha's teaching on "no separate, solid, permanent self" guides us toward our interbeing, as Thich Nhat Hanh names it. We are made of innumerable causes and conditions, and the "self" changes as those conditions change. This teaching is a valuable antidote to the illness of individualism that plagues many western societies, but for many women, it also has a "near enemy"-- codependence. How do we, as women, embrace and live this truth while not allowing codependence to drag us into unhealthy dependencies, and relationships where we feel overly responsible for others happiness? This talk explores the balance between interconnection, and healthy boundaries and non-harming of oneself through sacrificial self-denial.

2021-08-11 Finding Wisdom in Anxiety 47:15
Kate Munding
Dharma talk and guided practice. Anxiety is a contraction and therefore a form of suffering. Sometimes anxiety is the appropriate response to a situation, but there are skillful ways to navigate this experience. This talk and practice examines how we can learn to soothe the body and the mind using somatic exercises and our imagination to bring expansiveness to anxiety's contracted state.
Assaya Sangha Dharma Talks

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