Category Archives: Podcasts

ISmile343 – Checking ID

This evening’s discussion centers around Michael’s proposal that our identification with ideas, objects, feelings, our bodies, our histories and our perceived destinies will always block any kind of stable awakening. Tweet

ISmile344 – Zen, Sin, Jihad and Other Stickiness

In this talk, Michael describes ways that our walk along the path can get difficult. But this difficulty can be met with our full heart and mind if we meet our challenges with care. Even when we miss the mark, or sin, as Michael points out, we are provided with a perfect opportunity for practicing [...]

ISmile342 – The Qualities of Awakening

In this evening’s talk, Michael describes the benefits of sangha as a shortcut to uncovering our pre-existing enlightened mind. He further goes into the ways that Awakening manifests in each of us as a series of qualities that show up as being at once conscious and, at the same time, spontaneous. In other words, this [...]

ISmile341 – No Such Thing as a Mistake

Ultimately, according to Michael’s talk, given at a recent one-day retreat, there are no mistakes. There are, rather, only opportunities that the mind evaluates. If we can short-circuit this addiction to evaluation we can begin to approach the way we meet the world differently. Shifting from a position where life is filled with problematic situations [...]

ISmile340 – Like Your Own Eyes

In this mashup of two talks, Michael uses the phrase from Dogen Zenji’s instructions to the cook, where he suggests that each grain of rice be handled carefully, “as if it were your own eyes.” Treating our lives this way helps us awaken to the truth that any Tathagatha, or person who actually sees reality, [...]

ISmile339 – Dealing With Conflict

What happens when we are in the midst of disagreement?  This can apply to a marriage, a friendship, a community or (perhaps especially) a legislative debate or an election. The Buddha had some thoughts on this as noted in the famed Quarrel of Kosambi, where he offers some guidance. Engaging in the practice of right [...]

ISmile338 – If It’s Generous It’s Love

Michael asks the audience in this week’s talk, what it is they think that enlightenment will bring them. He then goes forward to suggest that enlightenment will bring nothing to our experience that we don’t already have. But its realization can fundamentally alter the course of our lives. Weaving this in to the beauty and [...]

ISmile337 – David’s First Talk

While several of Michael’s students have gone through the trials and tribulations of going through the shuso ceremony, where students offer up (among other things) their first Dharma talk, David Fitzgerald was the first to have his inaugural talk to the community recorded. An artist, a father, a retired informational technologist, a poet (as you’ll soon [...]