Audio Dharma Talks

Gregory Pai, Ph.D.

Gregory Pai, Ph.D.

Click on the blue titles to listen to the dharma talks.

Understanding Donald Trump from a Dharma Perspective

Experiencing the Beauty of Joy and the Joy of Beauty in the Meditation Process

FOUR FOUNDATIONS OF MINDFULNESS SERIES

Foundation Concepts

  1. Introduction
  2. Definition of Important Terms
  3. Importance of Spiritual Urgency
  4. Understanding Impermanence and Change
  5. Clear Comprehension and Reflections on Mindfulness
  6. Mindfulness and Bare Attention
  7. Review of the Concept of Mindfulness
  8. Finding Joy in Meditation
  9. Developing Samadhi
  10. Tools for Developing Samadhi
  11. Understanding Nibbana (Nirvana)
  12. Understanding the Difference Between Conceptual and Experiential Knowledge
  13. Understanding Self and Other
  14. Impermanence and Nonself
  15. Impermanence and Spiritual Liberation
  16. Impermanence and the Sixteen Stages of Awakening
  17. Content and Process in Meditation and the Law of Impermanence
  18. Four Levels of Awakening and the Ten Fetters
  19. Lay Perspective on the Enlightenment Process
  20. Understanding Stream Entry from a Lay Perspective
  21. Bare Knowing
  22. Bare Knowing and Continuous Mindfulness
  23. The Separation of the Knowing from the Known
  24. Perception, Language and Cognition
  25. The Process of Noting in Meditation
  26. Perception and Noting, Concept and Reality in Meditation
  27. Importance of Sustained Focused Awareness in Meditation
  28. Understanding Gratitude in Terms of the Truth, Beauty, and Joy of our Everyday Lives
  29. Finding the Balance of Mind and Heart in the Spiritual Journey
  30. Understanding Craving and Clinging
  31. Craving and Clinging in a World of Conditioned and Unconditioned Reality
  32. Craving and Clinging in Our Daily Lives
  33. Reflections on Buddha Nature and the Craving for Sensual Pleasures
  34. The Craving for Continued Existence
  35. The Craving for Existence–Dependent Origination and Absolute Reality
  36. The Craving for Non-Existence–Self and Non-self
  37. The Dream of Self
  38. The Cosmic Dance of Shiva–Illusion and Reality, Self and Non-Self

FIRST FOUNDATION OF MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness of the Body

  1. Mindfulness of the Body
  2. Mindfulness of the Body–Posture
  3. Mindfulness of the Body–Breath
  4. Mindfulness of Breathing Part 2
  5. Mindfulness of Breathing Part 3
  6. Mindfulness of Posture
  7. Mindfulness of Posture–The Process Nature of Reality
  8. Mindfulness of Posture–Experiencing Pure Awareness
  9. Mindfulness of Posture–Understanding Flow and Nonself
  10. Mindfulness of Posture–The Three Characteristics of Existence
  11. Mindfulness of Posture–Bringing Enlightenment into Our Everyday Lives
  12. Mindfulness of Posture–Four Forms of Clear Comprehension
  13. Mindfulness of Posture–Contemplation of Body Parts
  14. Mindfulness of Posture–The Four Elements
  15. Mindfulness of Posture–Parts of the Body
  16. Conventional and Ultimate Reality
  17. Distinguishing Conventional and Ultimate Reality

SECOND FOUNDATION OF MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness of Feelings

  1. Mindfulness as a Feeling-Based Practice
  2. The Classical Teachings
  3. Recognizing Likes and Dislikes
  4. Sources of Our Likes and Dislikes
  5. Identification of Feelings and the Illusion of Self
  6. Finding Our Feelings
  7. Unworldly Feelings
  8. The 25 Beautiful Mindstates
  9. Cultivating Unworldly Feelings
  10. From Health and Wellness to Freedom From Suffering

THIRD FOUNDATION OF MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness of Thought

  1. Mindfulness of Consciousness
  2. Consciousness of Thought
  3. Consciousness of Meditative States
  4. Consciousness of Awakening
  5. Consciousness of Self and Other
  6. Consciousness of Reactivity
  7. Consciousness of Impermanence
  8. Impermanence and the Path of Awakening
  9. Impermanence and Bare Awareness

FOURTH FOUNDATION OF MINDFULNESS

  1. Introduction to the Five Hindrances
  2. Five Hindrances and Neuroplasticity
  3. Overcoming the Hindrances
  4. The Five Hindrances and Personal Transformation
  5. Five Hindrances: Aversion
  6. Five Hindrances: Physical Pain
  7. Five Hindrances: Emotional Pain
  8. Five Hindrances: Understanding Aversion
  9. Five Hindrances:  Working with Emotional Pain
  10. Five Hindrances:  Wise Reflection
  11. Five Hindrances: Loving Kindness
  12. Five Hindrances:  Sloth and Torpor

Understanding Afflictive Emotions and Suffering: A Dialogue

THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS SERIES

  1. First Noble Truth:  The truth of suffering
  2. First Noble Truth, Part 2: The truth of suffering 
  3. Second Noble Truth: The cause of suffering
  4. Second Noble Truth, Part 2: The cause of suffering
  5. Second Noble Truth, Part 3: The cause of suffering
  6. Second Noble Truth, Part 4: The cause of suffering
  7. Third Noble Truth: The cessation of suffering
  8. Third Noble Truth, Part 2: The cessation of suffering
  9. Fourth Noble Truth: The Eightfold Noble Path
  10. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right View 1
  11. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right View 2
  12. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right View 3
  13. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right View 4
  14. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right View 5
  15. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Renunciation 1
  16. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Renunciation 2
  17. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Renunciation 3
  18. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Lovingkindness 1
  19. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Lovingkindness 2
  20. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Lovingkindness 3
  21. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Lovingkindness 4
  22. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Lovingkindness 5
  23. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Lovingkindness 6
  24. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Compassion 1
  25. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Compassion 2
  26. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Thought–Compassion 3
  27. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Speech Part 1
  28. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Speech Part 2
  29. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Speech Part 3
  30. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Action Part 1
  31. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Action Part 2
  32. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Action Part 3
  33. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Action–Sexual Misconduct
  34. Fourth Noble Truth:  Eightfold Noble Path: Right Livelihood
  35. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Effort Part 1
  36. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Effort Part 2
  37. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Effort Part 3
  38. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Effort Part 4
  39. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Effort Part 5
  40. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Effort Part 6
  41. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Effort Part 7
  42. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Mindfulness Part 1
  43. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Mindfulness Part 2
  44. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path:  Right Concentration Part 1
  45. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Concentration Part 2
  46. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Concentration Part 3
  47. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Concentration Part 4
  48. Fourth Noble Truth: Eightfold Noble Path: Right Concentration Part 5

Mindfulness and Personal Transformation: The levels of personal behavioral transformation 

THE SEVEN FACTORS OF AWAKENING SERIES

  1. MindfulnessThe first factor to cultivate on the journey to spiritual awakening
  2. Mindfulness Part 2In-depth explanation of mindfulness
  3. InvestigationHow wisdom develops when we investigate our minds
  4. Investigation Part 2Understanding the motivations and intentions behind our actions
  5. Investigation Part 3The nature of the enlightened mind
  6. EnergyWhat animates the practice and powers the mind for wise use
  7. Energy Part 2–Reflections to cultivate energy
  8. RaptureWhat it is and how to feel it in meditation
  9. Rapture Part 2The transformative effects of rapture and bliss
  10. Rapture Part 3Reflections to evoke rapture
  11. TranquilityUnderstanding and managing calmness
  12. Tranquility Part 2Its role in seeing the changing nature of ultimate reality
  13. ConcentrationIts evolution from the time of the Buddha up to the development of the Mahasi lineage in the 20th Century
  14. Concentration Part 2–Leading to steadiness, ease, and steadfastness
  15. Concentration Part 3Finding the beautiful breath
  16. Concentration Part 4Understanding awareness of awareness itself
  17. EquanimityAn ecstatic embrace of reality as it is
  18. Equanimity Part 2The difference between Buddhist and western definition of equanimity
  19. Equanimity Part 3Sixteen stages of insight wisdom as taught by Mahasi Sawadaw
  20. Equanimity Part 4Bringing equanimity into our daily life

The Healing of the EgoHow we can see the world in a different way

Anatta and the Power of BodhicittaEnlightenment as a disappointment to the ego

THE FIVE AGGREGATES SERIES

  1. The Five Aggregates of ClingingNonself and Nibbana
  2. The Five Aggregates of ClingingNonself Part 2
  3. The Five Aggregates of ClingingNonself Part 1
  4. The Five Aggregates of Clinging Part 2Impermanence and Suffering
  5. The Five Aggregates of ClingingUnderstanding Physical and Mental Phenomena

The Fundamentals of Vipassana MeditationMaking the practice your own

The Power of MindfulnessA different kind of joy

The Law of KarmaOne of the fundamental laws of the universe

THE FIVE HINDRANCES SERIES

The following five talks are about the mental factors that disturb our meditation and obscure insight

  1. Sensual DesireThe first hindrance
  2. Ill WillThe second hindrance
  3. Sloth and Torpor-The third hindrance
  4. Restlessness and RemorseThe fourth hindrance
  5. DoubtThe fifth hindrance

The Buddha on PBSComments on the documentary about the Buddha’s life and teachings

Some Comments on BreathingA short talk on the importance of the breath during meditation

The Relationship Between Christian Prayer and Buddhist MeditationA historical perspective on the evolution of mindfulness meditation

Finding Freedom in our Afflictive EmotionsAccessing our subconsciousness, experiencing our emotions and attaining insight

BUDDHIST VIRTUES, TEN PARAMIS SERIES

The following series of talks concern ten qualities of mind that support and encourage us in our path to spiritual awakening.  They also represent qualities of mind that develop as we deepen in the practice and strengthen each other in a cumulative fashion.  They are commonly known as virtues or “paramis” and are:  Generosity, Morality, Renunciation, Wisdom, Energy, Patience, Truthfulness, Determination or Resolve, Lovingkindness and Compassion, and Equanimity.

  1. Introduction to Buddhist Virtues- Ten Paramis
  2. Buddhist Virtues-Generosity — The delusion of self and other
  3. Buddhist Virtues-Morality — Historical evolution of the concept of self and other
  4. Buddhist Virtues-Renunciation — Emancipation through awareness of suffering
  5. Buddhist Virtues-Wisdom Part 1 — Wisdom as content and wisdom as process
  6. Buddhist Virtues-Wisdom Part 2 —Wisdom at the conventional level and wisdom in terms of absolute reality
  7. Buddhist Virtues-Wisdom Part 3 — Non-self and the neural mechanics of “selfing”
  8. Buddhist Virtues-Wisdom Part 4 — The relationship between wisdom and meditation
  9. Buddhist Virtues-Wisdom Part 5The relationship between meditation and wisdom- The classical teachings
  10. Buddhist Virtues-Energy and Patience — Energy and patience and the attainment of enlightenment
  11. Buddhist Virtues-Truthfulness — The relation between meditation and seeing the truth of our lives
  12. Buddhist Virtues-Truthfulness Part 2 — Moving from conceptual wisdom to embodied knowledge
  13. Buddhist Virtues-Truthfulness Part 3 — The Two Truth Doctrine: The relation between conventional and absolute reality
  14. Buddhist Virtues-Truthfulness Part 4Embodying sacred reality in our everyday lives
  15. Buddhist Virtues-Resolve, Lovingkindness and CompassionWhat does it take to change my life?
  16. Buddhist Virtues-Lovingkindness and CompassionCultivation in everyday life
  17. Buddhist Virtues-EquanimityThe culmination of the virtues
  18. Buddhist Virtues-Equanimity: The classic Theravada presentation

Apathy, Cynicism, Hopelessness, and DespairFace to face with the decline and end of our lives, do we meet it with a wisdom born of experience-based knowledge or with faith and beliefs? 

What Remains When We Die?

Mindfulness Practice- Working with Negative Emotions and ThoughtsEncountering negative emotions in meditation is actually a good thing

Understanding the Unfolding of Karma Through Mindfulness- the Wisdom Path How mindfulness allows us to see the process of cause and effect   unfolding in our lives leading to deeper understanding, wisdom, and compassion

The Concept of Anatta- Who Is Aware Of My Self If There Is No Self? What is the nature of ego in the conventional sense and what is the meaning of   non-self in Buddhism?

Meditation Is Not Mind ControlIs meditation about “mind control”?  What is the purpose of meditation?

What You Can Expect When You MeditateWhat are the benefits and pitfalls of the meditative path?

PROMISE OF REDEMPTION SERIES

This four-part series is focused on issues of faith and belief and their relationship to experience and knowledge.  These questions relate to our sense of personal agency and responsibility for our actions and are reflected in the historical evolution of Buddhist thought.  They are also reflected in our capacity to understand and accept recent developments in cognitive neuroscience.  

  1. Promise of Redemption vs. Power of Mindfulness Part 1
  2. Promise of Redemption vs. Power of Mindfulness Part 2
  3. Promise of Redemption vs. Power of Mindfulness Part 3
  4. Promise of Redemption vs. Power of Mindfulness Part 4

DEPENDENT ORIGINATION AND ANATTA SERIES

The question is:  How can I realize my full potential as a human being if the Buddha teaches that there is no self?  The answer delves into the understanding of karma and the Buddhist concept of non-self.  

  1. Dependent Origination and Anatta-Who’s Living My Life Part 1
  2. Dependent Origination and Anatta-Who’s Living My Life Part 2
  3. Dependent Origination and Anatta-Who’s Living My Life Part 3
  4. Dependent Origination and Anatta-Who’s Living My Life Part 4

EMPOWERMENT SERIES

How can meditation help us to realize our fullest potential as human beings?  This series examines concepts of self fulfillment and actualization from western psychological perspectives and  Buddhist teachings.  It emphasizes the importance of integrating our conscious and sub-conscious minds through the process of mindfulness and, in doing so, accessing the full range of our potential as human beings.

  1. Empowerment: The Process of Self Actualization from Buddhist and Western Perspectives Part 1
  2. Empowerment: The Process of Self Actualization from Buddhist and Western Perspectives Part 2
  3. Empowerment: The Process of Self Actualization from Buddhist and Western Perspectives Part 3
  4. Empowerment: The Process of Self Actualization from Buddhist and Western Perspectives Part 4