Summary: Translator/teacher Ken McLeod provides spiritual practitioners with the essence of Buddhist practice. Ken is noted for his ability to present profound teachings and practices in clear straightforward language free from the myths and cultural overlays that make many Eastern teachings difficult to understand. These podcasts are a sampling of the 300+ recordings, some with transcripts, freely available at UnfetteredMind.org under Teachings. Our website also has dozens of original articles and translations of Buddhist texts.
Gift-giving; when one person has a practice and the other person doesn't; working with the sense of guilt; working with conflict; positive reinforcement
Meditating on your last breath. Is doing your best enough? Incorporating what arises in practice. The inevitability of death. But I am not really dying. Letting go of what you feel you're suppose to feel. Working with things you don't like.
Working with anger and hurt; Developing a path with depth; Intention, family, and holidays; Thoughts and resting with the breath; Frenetic energy and getting things done; How much should one practice
Why distinct thoughts can feel like random, chaotic chatter the longer one practices. The dynamics of balance. Exploring teacher-student interactions under the client model. Working with the emotions of intolerance and hatred; desire, attachment, frustration and action; anger, sadness, and loneliness.
Prayers and rituals to evoke the emotions of devotion, loving-kindness, and compassion in order to be clear, present, and open during meditation, the importance of intention, concluding meditation by letting go of judgement and attachment
Discussion and questions on the similarities and differences between prayer and meditation. Looking at the religious icons of Christ on the cross and the Buddha sitting in meditation. Descriptions of some different types of prayer - petitionary, centering, and unitive. Is meditation directed inward and prayer directed outward? Prayer as a way of building an emotional connection; meditation as a way of building capacity. Questions from participants.
How do I get rid of negative feelings and reactions? Do the efficacies of a teaching continue after a teacher is gone? If practice doesn’t change one’s reactions, can it change how you act? Coming to a crossroad in one’s practice. What is the boundary for sharing in relationships? Are guided meditations trying to control one’s experience? I don’t know how to respond when asked “How is your practice?” How can I forgive? How do I sit with physical pain? Are thoughts an ongoing reaction at the subconscious level? Are there Buddhist writings regarding the creative process?
How can I maintain a regular practice? How can meditation help me build good habits and maintain a sense of happiness? What is the difference between sitting meditation and moving meditation, and how do both relate to the instruction to ‘go to the body’? How do you meditate without goals? How should I do with thoughts that arise during meditation? Why can noting during meditation become an obstacle? What can I do about anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, and insomnia. Should I cultivate specific emotions, like loving-kindness, prior to meditating?
What is appropriate/useful to share in a relationship? What tools can I use to let go of unproductive emotions? Instruction on taking and sending. What is the point of resting with the breath? Prayer and meditation. Seeking clarity in relationships by listening to one’s heart. Working with self-hatred. Please note that due to technical difficulties the audio quality of this recording is uneven.
Meditation as a way to build abilities, distinguishing between thinking and thoughts, fundamentals of meditation practice, creating the right conditions for practice, resting in the experience of breathing
If being here “this way” is completely unacceptable, what are the alternatives? Being with resentment, victimhood, old habits, fear of change, and other stories we tell ourselves.
Recognizing and countering four forms of “mind killing” in which reactive patterns are used to induce us to act against our own interests; idol of the cave: attempts to replace our experience with others’ goals; idol of the marketplace: language is used to mislead us; idol of the theater: theories or philosophies are used to overwhelm us; idol of the tribe: more cohesion is assumed than actually exists.
Teaching as a role, not an identity; creating learning situations and deep listening; giving away positive virtues such as trust, generosity, etc.; distinguishing information and knowledge; learning how to learn; transmission; teaching as a shared aim relationship.
Uchiyama’s “How to Cook Your Life” as a commentary on the four immeasurables; equanimity through seeing life as no more and no less than what we experience; building capacity to relate to life in ways that end suffering (without afflictive reactions); experiencing completely can be painful but not disturbing; joy.
Practice of sky gazing; working with intense experiences; the five step practice (from the Anapanasati sutra); imagining experience at a distance -- and reeling it in slowly -- to attenuate painful intensity; taking and sending as a way of forming relationships with alienated aspects of ourselves; more on the three kayas.