Dharma Talks with Michael Stone

Dharma Talks with Michael Stone


The Dharma Talks podcast is the heart of the Community Library. Talks are on a wide-range of topics, including bringing mindfulness and meditation practice into daily life; personal and community issues regarding mental health; and social change. The podcasts are recorded at live events so you might hear coughing, airplanes, cars, sirens, laughter, and peoples’ questions—all part of the intimate experience. Michael Stone is often described as a cross between a spiritual teacher and public intellectual. His ability to integrate traditional contemplative teachings from his studies in yoga, Zen and Vipassana, with the insights of Western psychology, gives him a unique voice for a new generation of students integrating mindfulness with the demands of their busy lives. He is the author of numerous books, he teaches internationally and lives in Canada.


Thinking Is Optional  

How to work with your thoughts through labeling practice. Meditation Facilitation Program, London, 40 min. michaelstoneteaching.com

The Unnecessary Suffering We Cause Ourselves  

Using mindfulness of thinking to hold mental states more lightly. Meditation Facilitation Program, London, 50 min. michaelstoneteaching.com

Letting Go of Expectations & Having the Last Word  

Michael begins teaching concentration technique by aligning attention and the body. Recognizing expectations we have for ourselves and others and how grasping creates suffering. Not allowing others to change. The more you seek enlightenment the further it goes away.  Meditation Facilitation Program, London, 50 min. michaelstoneteaching.com

Blending Traditions: Yoga & Buddhism  

A community talk at Tassajara Monastery with Michael Stone & Zen teacher Paul Haller. They each share some of their biography and field questions about practice. Paul shares from his 40 years of Zen practice. Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, California. 60 min.

The Deep Request: 30 min. Guided Meditation with Paul Haller  

Followed by a talk on how meditation unfolds, and how to use the space of meditation to investigate experience. Recorded on retreat co-taught with Michael Stone, Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, California. 60 min.

30 min. Guided Meditation with Paul Haller  

Zen teacher Paul Haller guides a gentle and clear meditation on noticing what it is to attend to experience. Recorded on retreat co-taught with Michael Stone, Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, California. 30 min.

No Attributes: How Do You Know If Someone Is Awake? (Diamond Sutra 6 of 6)  

Because the Self is absent when we are awake, we cannot know if we are awake because we are one with our activity. So how do we know when someone is awake? Isn't it all projection? Spirit Loft, Toronto, 30 min.

Letting Go of Control (Diamond Sutra 5 of 6)  

There are hungers we just can't satisfy. So how can we open to desire without grasping? There’s no satisfaction at the end of the money or fame path. Meditation is controlling your posture and mind in order to let go of control. Spirit Loft, Toronto, 20 min. 

Labeling Thoughts & Acknowledging What's Present (Diamond Sutra 4 of 6)  

Michael talks about wedding Vows in community, labeling our thoughts so we can honour them, and how generosity is about the way we give our attention. The most profound gift we can give others is our attention. It’s a form of love. Spirit Loft, Toronto, 30 min.

Attuning to Ourselves & Others (Diamond Sutra 3 of 6)  

The benefit of our practice must be wider than the benefit to our body. How wide do you draw the circle of self? Self-soothing. Michael talks about “a secure base” and how to manage reactivity that’s both inside and outside. Spirit Loft, Toronto, 30 min.

How Does a Buddha Stand, Walk & Control Thoughts? (Diamond Sutra 2 of 6)  

What does being alive feel like? Michael tells the story of Subhuti and the questions he asks the Buddha about how to practice. Haven’t we been blessed with greatest of trusts? Aren’t we all blessed? Isn't meditation learning how to trust? Spirit Loft, Toronto, 28 min.

The Diamond of Practice (Diamond Sutra 1 of 6)  

Michael speaks on 3 aspects of the ourselves we can let go of through practice: Possessiveness (This is mine); Conceit (This me); and Beliefs about what the self is (This is what I am). He connects this to both meditation practice, daily life, and the teachings of the Diamond Sutra.  Mental states are not inherently fixed, and you can hold them much lighter than you are now. Spirit Loft, Toronto, 1 hour.

Can You Return to the Breath?  

As the breath becomes smooth and slow, the mind settles and we become less interested in wanting “an experience.” Be kind to yourself, cultivate an un-agitated heart, and live a life that connects. London, 50 min.

Anxiety & Meditation  

Michael explains how we can cultivate a field in which anxiety can arise and change, surrounded by spaciousness. We have forces of good inside us, we aren't fated to live out our history, and we are loveable just as we are. London, 55min.

The World Is Its Own Magic  

Michael talks about the magic mantra that ends the Heart Sutra. Transforming fear, cultivating compassion, not-knowing, how mantras work. London, 1 hour.

Labeling & Noting Thoughts  

How to meditate when your are thinking a lot. Michael also explores language and emotions in children and how this gets internalized in adults. A very clear talk on mindfulness practices for transforming overthinking and identification with thoughts. Vancouver, 55 min.

The Ego, The Self, and the Existential Dimensions of Settling the Mind  

Drawing on Freud, Jung, and the Buddha, and various ways of understanding what the ego is, how it develops, and why working with settling thoughts becomes a spiritual practice over time. Vancouver, 30 min.

Not Identifying With Your Moods  

How to become interested in how the mind functions rather than being caught in the content of our stories. Meditation is a physical practice and we use breathing to settle the mind and heart. 40 min. Vancouver.

25 min. Guided Meditation  

Shift away from the content of the mind to the process of thinking. Mindfulness of thinking while sitting like a mountain. Vancouver, 25 min.

Guided Corpse Pose for Safety  

If you feel unsafe or unstable, this is a gentle 10 minute guided meditation in corpse pose, for taking care of yourself. Vancouver, 20 min.

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