The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
Oren Jay Sofer's Dharma Talks at Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Oren Jay Sofer
Developing a clear understanding of the teachings and learning to fully inhabit the body have been core parts of my Dhamma practice. These areas, as well a strong emphasis on the heart, inform and shape my teaching. The few years I spent training as an Anagarika in the Thai Forest monasteries broadened my understanding of the Buddha's teachings and instilled a profound respect for the Bhikkhu and Bhikkhuni Sangha. All along the way, I've been particularly interested in how other modalities like Nonviolent Communication and Somatics can support our growth in awakening.
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2021-12-03 Wisdom and Insight 56:01
As the path unfolds, mindfulness and concentration lead naturally to the development of wisdom. Wisdom understands the difference between what is skillful and unskillful, perceives things as they are and knows suffering and its end.
Concentration and Insight
2021-11-30 Guided Meditation: Anchoring Attention and Settling (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 1:13:47
Morning instructions of Day 1 offering an overview of how and why to use an anchor to support settling and collecting
Concentration and Insight
2020-02-24 Form and Spirit: Meditating Outside of the Box 57:47
Monday Night Dharma Talk at Spirit Rock
2019-12-17 Mindfulness is Intimacy with Life (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 47:12
This talk explores different aspects of mindfulness and qualities that support it as well as offers encouragement on the first day of the retreat.
Insight Meditation Winter Solstice Retreat
2019-03-24 Renunciation: The Freedom of Non-Grasping (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 59:38
The entire path can be understood as a cultivation of the ability to let go. In this talk, we explore this core quality of renunciation in Buddhist practice: What it is and what it isn't, what we let go of and how, what supports the maturing of renunciation. We include some specific suggestions for ways to practice renunciation in lay life as well.
March Insight Meditation 1-Month
2019-03-17 Right Understanding (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 60:57
For the practice to be effective we must integrate the proper understanding, known as "Right View." This talk explores right view in three ways: as a foundation for the practice through understanding our everyday life, as a view of all events as a natural unfolding of causes and conditions, and as the liberating understanding of the Four Noble Truths.
March Insight Meditation 1-Month
2019-03-11 Confidence in the Path: Learning to Trust (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 53:31
Faith (Saddha) is an essential quality on the path to awakening. This talk explores how we can understand this factor, cultivate it, and make use of it in our practice.
March Insight Meditation 1-Month
2019-03-06 Balanced Energy, Wise Effort (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 57:00
Meditation practice is a process of cultivating healthy, skillful qualities in the mind. This talk explores two essential factors for the practice: balanced energy, and wise effort through the lens of the “Four Great Efforts.” How we practice is often more important than what technique we use. What qualities are you bringing to bear on your experience as you practice?
March Insight Meditation 1-Month
2019-02-04 Sustaining the Heart: Energy on the Spiritual Path 57:30
(Part 2) This Monday Night Dharma Talk explores the role of energy on the path as well as in our daily lives. In what ways do we waste energy? How do we cultivate and sustain energy? And how we can learn how to steward energy more wisely?
2019-01-28 Susaining the Heart: The Foundations of Contemplative Practice 55:57
(Part 1) This Monday Night Dharma Talk explores five foundations for spiritual practice: safety, groundedness, friendship, kindness and interest. Without these factors in place, it's difficult to engage in meditation.

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