Posts Tagged ‘Insight Meditation Center’

Om Mani Padme Hum has always had special meaning to me.  It was probably the first Buddhist mantra/chant I was introduced to, in the early 1970’s.  We meditated to this mantra when I was in Kathmandu in 1976.

Om Mani Padme Hum is the mantra of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion.

This YouTube video is one of the most melodic and beautiful versions I have heard.

(If the YouTube video is not visible here, you can find it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eygz-RJ3bR4.)

I do not use a mantra as part of my regular practice.  Yet sometimes Om Mani Padme Hum will arise spontaneously in my mind, especially if my mind is extremely agitated.  To me, there is a strong connection between compassion and patience, both of which I find essential in being with my mind.

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As part of my practice, I listen to Dharma talks.  It’s hard to do that in person, given how far we are from any center.  We are able to have occasional weekend retreats by various teachers—our sangha invites Rodney Smith and other guest teachers for weekend retreats once or twice a year.  For longer retreats, Teresa and I can go to Cloud Mountain or other retreat centers.

On a more daily basis, I turn to Dharma talks on the web. As you might guess from my earlier post about my problems with listening, I find recorded talks helpful as I can listen to them again and again to hear those parts my mind skipped over the first time!

The quantity and variety of talks available on the web is increasing rapidly. Every time I search the web for Dharma resources, I find more sites I hadn’t seen before and existing sites that have more and better organized information. My focus is on Insight Meditation/Vispassana and the Theravada Forest Tradition. There are extensive resources for other Buddhist traditions but this is the one I follow.

The first teacher I sat with regularly was Gil Fronsdal of the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA.  So that’s where I look first for talks, and IMC’s Audio Dharma library is extensive.  The largest online collection is probably the Dharma Seed library, with talks from 1974 to the current time.  The Seattle Insight Medication Society is the center closest to us and they have a collection of talks by Rodney Smith and guest speakers on their web site.

In the Theravada Forest Tradition, the teacher that I have been most attracted to is Thanissaro Bhikkhu of the Metta Forest Monastery.  The monastery has a large collection of his talks, although I prefer the audio quality of his talks in the Insight Meditation Center’s library.

To help people find talks, I have compiled this list of the sites I have found most valuable.  In the list of pages on the right, click on Dharma on the Web for list of sites and links to them.

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