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Insight Hour Podcast by Joseph Goldstein

Insight Hour Podcast

by Joseph Goldstein

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Joseph Goldstein has been a leading light for the practice of Insight and Loving Kindness meditation since his days in India and Burma where he studied with eminent masters of the tradition. In his podcast, The Insight Hour, Joseph delivers these essential mindfulness teachings in a practical and down to earth way that illuminates the practice through his own personal experience and wonderful story telling.


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Ep. 35 - The Eightfold Path: Right Thought and Renunciation


Tue, Apr 18, 2017


Continuing his series on the Four Noble Truths, Joseph begins a discussion of the second step on the noble Eightfold Path, Right Thought, and offers a fresh look at the practice of renunciation. Joseph discusses the role of Right Thought in our practice. He looks at the how freedom from attachment is integral to Right Thought and the power of renunciation in doing so.

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Ep. 34 - The Eightfold Path: Practicing Right View


Wed, Mar 29, 2017


Joseph continues his series on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. This week: Practicing Right View. Right view is the beginning and end of the path of awakening. Joseph discusses how practicing right view is essential to the realization of the Four Noble Truths.

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Ep. 33 - The Eightfold Path: Worldly Right View


Wed, Mar 08, 2017


Joseph continues his series on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. This week: Worldly Right View. Right View consists partly of the beliefs which will help one towards enlightenment, but also of a full understanding of those beliefs and realization of their full implications. It enables us to understand how the other limbs are helpful and to judge what is correct practice. Joseph discusses the aspect of Right View most important to us laypeople, that of Worldly Right View.

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Ep. 32 – The Four Noble Truths: The Cessation of Dukkha


Wed, Feb 15, 2017


Joseph continues a five-part series on the Four Noble Truths. This week: The Cessation of Dukkha. The third of the Four Noble Truths is the cessation of dukkha, which is how to end our suffering by letting go of attachment. Joseph explains the teachings of the Buddha on the cessation of dukkha and how to apply them in our practice.

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Ep. 31 – The Four Noble Truths: The Origin of Dukkha


Wed, Jan 25, 2017


Joseph continues a five-part series on the Four Noble Truths. This week: What is the origin of Dukkha? The second of the Four Noble Truths is the origin of Dukkha, which is craving. Joseph explores the three kinds of craving. He shares how practice can help us let go of this craving.

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Ep. 30 - The Four Noble Truths: Dukkha


Wed, Jan 04, 2017


Joseph begins a five-part series on the Four Noble Truths. This week: what is Dukkha?   The first of the Four Noble Truths is that Dukkha exists. Joseph dives deep into the true meaning of Dukkha, which is the foundation of the Buddha's teaching.

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Ep. 29 - Cutting Through Identification with Consciousness


Wed, Dec 14, 2016


Joseph talks about the concept of self and what we can do to move past the identification with our consciousness that keeps us in our loop. The idea of self is the root of much suffering. Through practice, though, we can find ways to free ourselves of the 'I' and helps other to do the same.

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Ep. 28 - Ten Unwholesome Actions


Wed, Nov 23, 2016


Joeseph shows us how we can be happy in our lives by understanding the ten unwholesome actions which, according to the Buddha's teachings, are the cause of suffering.   How can we manifest our intentions of goodwill and loving kindness in our lives? The question is really about how to connect our meditation practice in everything that we do.

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Ep. 27 - Transforming Afflictive Emotions


Wed, Nov 02, 2016


This week, on Insight Hour, Joseph discusses the Buddha's lesson of the Luminous Mind and how it is obscured by our afflictive emotions.   How is it that the natural clarity the mind can become so easily clouded? Joseph goes deep in exploring the three steps essential to overcoming these afflictive emotions in which we all get caught up.  

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Ep. 26 – The Four Mind Changing Reflections


Thu, Oct 06, 2016


Joseph asks, "How can we wake up from the dream of our normal waking state and come into a true wakefulness?" In this episode of, Insight Hour, Joseph gives discusses Bardo and delivers an insightful lesson on The Four Mind Changing Reflections. "When we are just resting, the empty, open, aware nature of the mind becomes evident. The non-clinging nature of awareness reveals itself in these Bardo moments." - Joseph Goldstein  

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Ep. 25 - The Gift of Awareness


Tue, Sep 06, 2016


There are a variety of motives that bring one to the meditative process, but for all of us the journey really begins with the simple steps of calming the mind and collecting our attention. We can never underestimate the value of seeing the mind in its unadulterated state of hurried distraction and unconscious reaction. Without this basic insight into how often we are lost in thought, there will be little motivation to wake up from it. We have to observe before we can begin to understand. A crucial step comes in reframing the moment we wake up into, in order to have delight in our return, rather than judging ourselves for being lost. We then start to truly appreciate the opportunity that arises in coming back to our center. This is the joy in learning to accept the gift that is present moment awareness. In deepening our practice, we increase the spaciousness necessary for further exploration. We begin to directly experience what it’s like to be us. This is done by moving from an abstract sense of the body to a genuine mindfulness of the actual sensations that we are feeling in any given moment. The shift from the conceptual model to the energetic field is a profound step on the path to conscious development. With this foundational approach, Joseph offers practical methods for maintaining a continuity of awareness that promotes joyful and sustainable dedication to the practice of mindfulness.   “How we relate to our own bodies can often reveal how we relate to the world”

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Ep. 24 - Ill Will and Wrong View


Thu, Aug 11, 2016


Joseph examines some of the common unskillful actions of mind that tend to enable and perpetuate much of the suffering we experience. All of the expressions of these qualities are conditioned responses to what we find unpleasant, arising in situations where we don't get what we want, or do get what we don't want. The strength of our mindfulness is what determines how long we remain consumed by our aversions. Our practice must therefore include the willingness to open equally to the pleasant and unpleasant aspects of our lives.

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Ep. 23 - Liberation Through Non-Clinging


Thu, Jul 14, 2016


Joseph explores the fundamental question of what it is that will actually free the mind and heart, not just from the delusions of waking life, but from the root of all suffering. The great realization comes in understanding that the art of non-clinging is not to be viewed as some far off, distant state of being that we must strive for, but is rather an immediate moment practice. We are reminded that all of the mindfulness teachings are ultimately in service of this quality of freedom from attachment. Joseph then elaborates on the obvious next question regarding how we might go about integrating this work into our daily lives.

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Ep. 22 Clear Comprehension


Wed, Jun 29, 2016


Our Dharma practice can be broadly understood as the process of learning to live in harmony with the fundamental truths of nature and our place within it. The objective precision of the Buddha’s teachings provides a powerful framework for an investigation into the heart of these experiential matters. Joseph explores the quality of mind known in Pali as Sampajanna, highlighting its ability to add the dimensions of investigation and wisdom to the practice of mindfulness. The ability to clearly know what is taking place is as essential as it is profound   

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Ep. 21 - Karma


Thu, Jun 02, 2016


A welcome exploration surrounding the question of how we can bring happiness into our lives. Joseph explains that the Buddha’s teachings on karma and emptiness provide a bridge between our meditative insights and the manner in which we live. When we understand and fully absorb the idea that the unfolding of our lives begins in our minds, we are informed and empowered to make the decisions necessary to reduce the suffering befitting ignorance   

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Ep. 20 - Art, Science and the Meditative Journey


Thu, Apr 21, 2016


A discussion of the creativity and methodology involved in the meditative journey. We are all artists creating our lives on the canvas of the world, and the voyage of discovery is learning to see in a new way. Developing awareness of the present moment is a crucial first step in the creative act. In quieting the mind, we increase our sensitivity to ourselves and our environment, allowing insight and inspiration to synergistically flow through us.

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Ep. 19 - The Cultivation of Metta


Wed, Mar 23, 2016


“I make my mind my friend” A sound endorsement for the continual cultivation of good will, benevolence, and loving kindness throughout our lives. In recognizing that what we frequently think about becomes the inclination of the mind, we quickly see the value in bringing this practice to the forefront of our lives. A framework is offered for both the integration and sustainability of this profound method of relating to ourselves and the world we inhabit.

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Ep. 18 - Clarifying Terms


Thu, Feb 25, 2016


An informative and detailed explanation of commonly used terms, including consciousness, perception, mindfulness, and wisdom, particularly as they apply to our meditation practice. These terms are sometimes lost in translation, from the original Pali language to their Western interpretations. Joseph conveys the true meaning of these words, while offering additional translations that may help bring their essence to light.

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Ep. 17 - The All


Wed, Feb 10, 2016


An investigation of the six sense spheres, known in Buddhism as “The All,” which form the basis for understanding everything we know and how we know it. All further elaborations of the Buddha’s awakening have their basis in this pragmatic and verifiable teaching. As complicated as our lives may seem, everything we experience can be traced to one or more of these fundamental principles. In turning our attention to the senses, we find that these very ordinary aspects of our daily lives contain subtle and profound truths that point us toward liberation.

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Ep. 16 - Worldly and Unworldly Feelings


Fri, Jan 29, 2016


Vedana is the Buddhist term for the pleasant, unpleasant or neutral sensations that arise when our internal sense organs interact with external sense objects and the associated consciousness. Joseph explores this concept, explaining the Buddha’s heavy emphasis on establishing this form of mindfulness to better understand how are lives are unfolding on the path of awakening. In first recognizing, and subsequently investigating the origins of these feeling tones, we begin to decondition our deeply habituated tendency to grasp, avert or tune out to a given stimulus. Through practice, we gain ground on the reactive mind and further align ourselves with our true nature.

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Ep. 15 - The Kind Heart


Wed, Jan 13, 2016


Joseph describes the expansive power of Loving Kindness and its unique capacity to embrace each and every being that we encounter. Loving Kindness does not make distinctions and is therefore referred to as one of the boundless states. The cultivation of Metta serves as a crucial reminder that we ourselves are the final arbiters in determining how we feel. This quality can and must inform our mindfulness practice in order to effectively tune our inner environment to that place of genuine purity and peace.

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Ep. 14 - Working with Fear


Wed, Dec 30, 2015


Joseph offers a timeless discussion of the conditioning nature of fear, and possible methods for transforming that constricting energy into genuine freedom. Our fears are often revealed as we progress along the path, stepping out of our personal comfort zones in an effort to expand our spiritual boundaries. In recognizing that these experiences are an inevitable part of life, and are therefore a response to an ultimate truth, we come to understand the value in opening to every aspect of our unfolding lives.

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Ep. 13 - Equanimity: The Gateway to Enlightenment


Wed, Dec 16, 2015


From one perspective it can be said that the entire spiritual path rests on the development and cultivation of a particular mind state known simply as equanimity. When highly developed, equanimity brings about an unshakable quality of mind that allows us to ride the inevitable changes of the human experience with balance and ease. We must be careful to not confuse the neutrality of equanimity with a sense of disconnection or indifference toward ourselves and others. As Joseph explains, this universal mental factor is present in every wholesome state of mind, making it difficult to overestimate its value in cultivating spacious impartiality.

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Ep. 12 - Right View


Wed, Dec 02, 2015


‘There is no single factor so potent in promoting the good of beings as right view’ - Buddha Joseph describes the wisdom factor of mind that is Right View and the function this understanding serves in illuminating both the causes, and the means for cessation, of suffering. Our actions are often rooted in the unwholesome thoughts that stem from a false view of the Self. Acting in a manner that serves and enhances the right view of non-self is the underlying context for all of our practice. It is the beginning and the end of the path, to understand the truth of Dukkha and abandon all of its causes.

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Ep. 11 - The Art of Renunciation


Wed, Nov 18, 2015


 ‘The mind free of desire is a greater pleasure”   An enlightening discourse on the often confounding subject of renunciation, and the ways in which we might find value in this practice. Joseph draws on initial inquiries from the Buddha in determining the drawbacks of pleasure seeking-behavior in relation to the potential benefits of what he calls the ‘non-addictive’ state. Understanding the roots of our thoughts and desire systems is the first step in bringing greater awareness to our actions and the karma that unfolds therein    

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Ep. 10 - Dukkha and Non-Self


Wed, Nov 04, 2015


What is it that we actually learn from being mindful? What wisdom emerges from the practice of awareness that has the power to liberate our hearts and minds from the suffering we experience? Joseph explores this question in depth, highlighting the Buddha’s instruction to abandon that which does not belong to us. The goal becomes clear, but the means for accomplishment are often less obvious. Insights are offered in an effort to help cut though our layers of identity, and to the sense of self to which we have become so attached.

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Ep. 09 - Sampapalapa: Useless Speech


Wed, Oct 21, 2015


Joseph is joined by long-time friend and fellow MPN ambassador, Raghu Markus, for an in-depth discussion about the value of kindness in our speech. How we say what we are feeling is often as important as what we are saying. Additional topics covered include how we relate to pleasure (distinguishing between love and desire), recognizing our conditioning, and the significance of right view in daily life as we attempt to fully embody the law of Karma, understanding that what we do, moment-to moment, matters

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Ep. 08 - Intrinsically Empty, Naturally Radiant, Ceaselessly Responsive


Wed, Oct 07, 2015


“When compassion and emptiness are both present, enlightenment is unavoidable” A lucid discourse on the virtues of emptiness, awareness, and compassion, and the fundamental role these qualities play in the unfolding of the spiritual path. The heart-mind of awakening, known as Bodhicitta, is explored on its relative level of compassion, and its more ultimate level relating to the empty and aware nature of the mind itself.

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Ep. 07 - The Buddha's Journey


Wed, Sep 23, 2015


Joseph outlines the life and times of the Great Sage, highlighting the relevance of his path with that of our own. On an archetypal level, the Buddha’s life serves to illuminate the aspirations and struggles that we experience in our modern existence. It is possible to connect the Buddha’s journey with our own, finding the deeper meaning and purpose within the unfolding events of our lives. His questioning of values led him to the analytical process that would eventually bring about his enlightenment. We too carry this potential, to thoughtfully evaluate our predicament and implement the changes necessary to promote a more liberated state.

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Ep. 06 - Working With Doubt And Aversion


Wed, Sep 09, 2015


Joseph discusses some of the more seductive energies highlighted by the Buddha. These energetic fields operate on a broad spectrum, from the subtle identification with consciousness itself to the full on emotional breakdown. Learning to recognize the basic nature and allure of these qualities through practice is crucial in successfully changing our relationship to them. An attitude of genuine interest and exploration promotes both the discovery and understanding of these hindrances. The cultivation of mindfulness brings space and stability to an otherwise volatile dynamic.

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Ep. 05 - Achieved is the End of Craving


Wed, Aug 26, 2015


“Realized is the unconditioned, achieved is the end of craving” Can we really even imagine a mind that is free of craving, free of desire? We might occasionally glimpse this potential but often view it as something far off in the future, to be discovered only when we have mastered our minds. Joseph discusses both the possibility and the practice for bringing an end to craving in the moment. The process begins with the recognition of our arising desires and their ability to obscure our clarity and natural openness of mind. We can then be aware of the quality of mind in the absence of these desires. By closely and consistently observing this transition we are examining the very nature of its energy, and moving that much closer to the understanding and lessening of its influence.

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Ep. 04 - Viriya - Energy, Strength and Courage


Wed, Aug 12, 2015


“It’s not difficult to be aware, it’s difficult to remember to be aware.” Joseph explores the quality of mind known in Pali as Viriya, and explains the variety of ways that it can be experienced. In its basic form the term refers to the energy that allows us to engage with the world around us. The art of meditation involves learning how to cultivate this quality in an effort to apply it in useful and appropriate ways. Wisdom comes through a gradual process, requiring a steady flow of energy to be both initiated and sustained. Viriya provides the crucial factor needed for wisdom to continue to grow throughout our lives.

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Ep. 03 - Merging Awareness and Expression


Wed, Jul 29, 2015


Our thoughts and emotions have the unique ability to condition both our suffering and our well-being. A deeper investigation regarding the relative versus ultimate truths of our experience becomes crucial in learning to work more skillfully with these predominant aspects of our lives. A natural balance is necessary in the application of this deeper knowledge; to both prevent attachment to or avoidance of any one modality of thinking. This merging in awareness of our emptiness and our soulful expression is a profound step in the maturation of spiritual practice.

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Ep. 02 - The Wisdom of Impermanence


Sun, Jul 19, 2015


“Everything changes.” - Suzuki Roshi Our awareness alone is not sufficient in the search for liberation. We must learn to become present in order to question and further explore the nature of our existence. Investigation becomes a crucial factor in both the cultivation and application of true wisdom. One of the most accessible methods for the development of this wisdom is to practice an increasingly refined awareness of impermanence. This assimilation must move beyond the conceptual knowledge into a realm of direct and immediate experience. The closer we are to the experience of change the more the mind is able to let go.

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Ep. 01 - Zero Centre of Emptiness


Tue, Jul 07, 2015


In Joseph's first podcast for the Mindpod Network he clearly brings to light the sometimes very difficult convoluted notion of emptiness. As the high Lama Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says,"When you recognize the empty selfless nature of phenomena the energy to bring about the good of others dawns uncontrived and effortless."

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