Guest Talks

Guest Talks

Various locations | Jan 2016

From time to time IMCW invites guest teachers and speakers to teach at our Wednesday Bethesda class, and occasional at other classes as well.  We offer the audio and video of these talks here.

Talks in this series

  • Wisdom Through Relaxing Into the Flow of Nature

    by Pat Coffey | Dec 30, 2011

    Wisdom is more of a verb than a noun. It is the continual refinement of perspective and understanding. As you practice moment to moment the laws of nature are gradually revealed and freedom is realized.
  • 9.11 Weekend: Experience How Mindfulness Cultivates Equanimity, Wisdom and Compassion

    by Sylvia Boorstein | Sep 10, 2011

    On the 10th Anniversary of 9.11, BuddhaFest offered "A Weekend of Peace, Compassion & Forgiveness," to "honor the victims of 9.11 and the subsequent wars by gathering in community to remember what has happened, and to explore how each of us can develop more love, patience, peace, compassion and forgiveness in our lives."

    Sylvia Boorstein explains how Buddhism teaches that the possibility of the mind and heart to remain clear and cordial is not contingent on events. The Buddha’s Third Noble Truth, “Peace is Possible,” assures us that in spite of the inevitable challenges that life presents, our own heart-mind can remain grounded in wisdom, and inclined towards benevolence. What is required of us is intention, diligence and practice.



    The 9.11 Weekend was co-sponsored by IMCW and Tricycle Magazine.
  • The Practices of Effortless Mindfulness and Heart Mindfulness - Part 1

    by Loch Kelly | Sep 14, 2016

    Meditation is a stepping stone leading to awakening. Our awake nature is already here, and learning to live from this awake awareness is the next natural stage of human development for us all.

    With deliberate mindfulness, we begin by meditating to calm and focus your mind. In effortless mindfulness, we will learn to intentionally shift into spacious awake awareness, which is already calm, stable, and able to effortlessly focus. In heart mindfulness, we will discover that awake awareness is embodied and that it is possible to know from open-hearted awareness. In deliberate mindfulness we have an insight into who we are not; in heart mindfulness we discover the empty awake compassion that is who we’ve always been. Suffering, ignorance and confusion will begin to liberate and all experiences and emotions are welcomed. Having dropped from self-centeredness to heart-mind we can live from a deep sense of well-being, creativity and unconditional love.

    The video contains both Parts 1 and 2.

    You are also invited to read Loch’s new book, Shift Into Freedom.

    Link to Part 2

  • 9.11 Weekend: Holding On, Letting Go: Freeing Heart & Mind

    by Ruth King | Sep 10, 2011

    On the 10th Anniversary of 9.11, BuddhaFest offered "A Weekend of Peace, Compassion & Forgiveness," to "honor the victims of 9.11 and the subsequent wars by gathering in community to remember what has happened, and to explore how each of us can develop more love, patience, peace, compassion and forgiveness in our lives."

    In Ruth King's talk, she discusses how our impulse to retaliate when our hearts are broken is a natural human experience—however these impulses are worthy of compassionate investigation. In this interactive exchange, we examine the grip of the judging mind and its tendency to create an “us” and “them.” We will also explore together how to let go, forgive, and embrace the sorrows and joys of the world with an open heart.



    The 9.11 Weekend was co-sponsored by IMCW and Tricycle Magazine.
  • The Practices of Effortless Mindfulness and Heart Mindfulness - Part 2

    by Loch Kelly | Sep 14, 2016

    Meditation is a stepping stone leading to awakening. Our awake nature is already here, and learning to live from this awake awareness is the next natural stage of human development for us all.

    With deliberate mindfulness, we begin by meditating to calm and focus your mind. In effortless mindfulness, we will learn to intentionally shift into spacious awake awareness, which is already calm, stable, and able to effortlessly focus. In heart mindfulness, we will discover that awake awareness is embodied and that it is possible to know from open-hearted awareness. In deliberate mindfulness we have an insight into who we are not; in heart mindfulness we discover the empty awake compassion that is who we’ve always been. Suffering, ignorance and confusion will begin to liberate and all experiences and emotions are welcomed. Having dropped from self-centeredness to heart-mind we can live from a deep sense of well-being, creativity and unconditional love.

    The video contains both Parts 1 and 2.

    You are also invited to read Loch’s new book, Shift Into Freedom.

  • 9.11 Weekend: Disarming the Angry Heart: Catch Yourself Before Things Catch You, Part 1

    by Lama Surya Das | Sep 10, 2011

    Lama Surya Das speaks to us on the enlightened quality of patience—the ability to stay positive in the face of adversity. By cultivating tolerance, forbearance and acceptance—including mindful anger management—we develop strength of mind and heart. This enables us to respond to the challenges of life with clarity, composure and serenity, rather than anger and aggression.
  • Meditation: Mindfulness of the Breath

    by Sharon Salzberg | Sep 7, 2016

    Insight meditation cultivates our natural wisdom and compassion. Meditation practice develops concentration, which allows us to calm and steady the mind.
  • Living in Buddha Standard Time

    by Lama Surya Das | Jul 13, 2011

    Lama Surya Das discusses how his new book Buddha Standard Time: Awakening to the Infinite Possibilities of Now" can help us overcome today's time-sickness, for it's not time we lack but focus and attention. He shares the wisdom of Applied Buddhism: how timeless wisdom -- including mindfulness, centering and nowness-awareness-- can assist us in fully inhabiting the wholly Now.
  • Real Love Daylong: Concentration Meditation

    by Sharon Salzberg | Mar 12, 2016

    Fundamentally, there is only one kind of love-- real love – trying to come more fully alive in us despite our limiting assumptions, the distortions of our culture, our sense of unworthiness,  and the habits of fear, self-condemnation and isolation we tend to acquire just by living a life.  Real love can manifest towards ourselves, towards another, towards all beings, and towards life itself.

    This workshop will explores the role of mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation practices in nurturing our capacity for real love.

  • Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows

    by Olivia Hoblitzelle | May 4, 2011

    This talk brings uplifting perspectives to the subjects of aging, mental diminishment and loss, and illustrates how Buddhist teachings sustain and inspire us in times of great challenge. We discover how practice provides the foundation for negotiating difficult circumstances, providing equanimity, strength and wisdom. Major parts of the talk appear in Olivia's book, Ten Thousand Joys & Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple's Journey Through Alzheimer's.
  • Real Love Daylong: Walking Meditation Instructions

    by Sharon Salzberg | Mar 12, 2016

    Fundamentally, there is only one kind of love-- real love – trying to come more fully alive in us despite our limiting assumptions, the distortions of our culture, our sense of unworthiness,  and the habits of fear, self-condemnation and isolation we tend to acquire just by living a life.  Real love can manifest towards ourselves, towards another, towards all beings, and towards life itself.

    This workshop will explores the role of mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation practices in nurturing our capacity for real love.

  • On Meditation/PBS interview segment

    by Sharon Salzberg | Feb 2, 2011

    Sharon spoke to Religion & Ethics News Weekly at PBS in February. She talked about the benefits of meditation: "I think there's something beautiful and magnificent in silence."

  • Real Love Daylong: Guided Lovingkindness Meditation

    by Sharon Salzberg | Mar 12, 2016

    Fundamentally, there is only one kind of love-- real love – trying to come more fully alive in us despite our limiting assumptions, the distortions of our culture, our sense of unworthiness,  and the habits of fear, self-condemnation and isolation we tend to acquire just by living a life.  Real love can manifest towards ourselves, towards another, towards all beings, and towards life itself.

    This workshop will explores the role of mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation practices in nurturing our capacity for real love.

  • Real Love Daylong: Mini Talk

    by Sharon Salzberg | Mar 12, 2016

    Fundamentally, there is only one kind of love-- real love – trying to come more fully alive in us despite our limiting assumptions, the distortions of our culture, our sense of unworthiness,  and the habits of fear, self-condemnation and isolation we tend to acquire just by living a life.  Real love can manifest towards ourselves, towards another, towards all beings, and towards life itself.

    This workshop will explores the role of mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation practices in nurturing our capacity for real love.

  • Pocket Peace

    by Alan Lokos | Jul 14, 2010

  • Real Love Daylong: Short Meditation

    by Sharon Salzberg | Mar 12, 2016

    Fundamentally, there is only one kind of love-- real love – trying to come more fully alive in us despite our limiting assumptions, the distortions of our culture, our sense of unworthiness,  and the habits of fear, self-condemnation and isolation we tend to acquire just by living a life.  Real love can manifest towards ourselves, towards another, towards all beings, and towards life itself.

    This workshop will explores the role of mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation practices in nurturing our capacity for real love.

  • Happiness

    by Anh-Huong Nguyen | May 5, 2010

  • Real Love Daylong: Lovingkindness Meditation Instructions

    by Sharon Salzberg | Mar 12, 2016

    Fundamentally, there is only one kind of love-- real love – trying to come more fully alive in us despite our limiting assumptions, the distortions of our culture, our sense of unworthiness,  and the habits of fear, self-condemnation and isolation we tend to acquire just by living a life.  Real love can manifest towards ourselves, towards another, towards all beings, and towards life itself.

    This workshop will explores the role of mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation practices in nurturing our capacity for real love.

  • Ten Tips for Spring

    by Cheri Maples | Apr 14, 2010

  • Real Love Daylong: Closing Talk and Q&A

    by Sharon Salzberg | Mar 12, 2016

    Fundamentally, there is only one kind of love-- real love – trying to come more fully alive in us despite our limiting assumptions, the distortions of our culture, our sense of unworthiness,  and the habits of fear, self-condemnation and isolation we tend to acquire just by living a life.  Real love can manifest towards ourselves, towards another, towards all beings, and towards life itself.

    This workshop will explores the role of mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation practices in nurturing our capacity for real love.

  • Awakening Joy

    by James Baraz | Mar 10, 2010

  • Waking Up from War

    by Joe Bobrow | Jan 20, 2016

    War, like all trauma, is a great teacher, if we can learn from it. For some years now I’ve listened to stories of war and come to know the people who tell them: Veterans, their family members and children, and their care providers. I want to share with you their voices, their anguish, and what I’ve learned about the remarkable process of coming back to life.

    The ingredients veterans need to transform war trauma, and how, in a healing community characterized by unconditional compassion without judgment, veterans turn haunting ghosts into ancestors, usable memories which allow them to learn from experience. Since they and their families and care givers can do this, so can we all: ordinary citizens, our institutions, and our leaders. We can wake up from the dissociative fog of war, face its terrible costs together, heal, uproot our penchant for war and violence, and build communties of peace.

    Your support will enable us to continue to offer these talks freely. If you value them, I hope you will consider offering a donation at this time. Visit: imcw.org/Giving.aspx.  With thanks and love, Tara

  • Engaged Buddhism and the Role of Individual Spirituality in Working for Justice

    by Cheri Maples | Jul 29, 2009

    Cheri had a passion for justice from a very early age. She started out as a social worker and community organizer before working in the criminal justice system as a cop for 20 years, then for the Department of Corrections, and finally as an Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice. She was introduced to Buddhism in 1991 with Thich Nhat Hahn and was attracted to his push for social action and Engaged Buddhism.
  • Insight Meditation

    by Pat Coffey | Dec 29, 2008

    New Year's retreat evening talk
  • Healing Rage

    by Ruth King | Sep 10, 2008

  • Mindfulness

    by Anh-Huong Nguyen | Jan 23, 2008

  • Wisdom and Compassion

    by Pat Coffey | Jan 16, 2008

  • Leaving the Familiar

    by Dori Langevin | Jun 20, 2007

  • All About Me

    by Larry Yang | May 16, 2007

  • The Deepest Love

    by Pat Coffey | Feb 22, 2012

    Romantic love can be beautiful, profound, enchanting and energizing, but some aspects of it are limiting.  In this talk romantic love is explored in juxtaposition with a deeper form of love.  A love without discrimination or bounds of any kind.
  • Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living

    by Alan Lokos | Feb 15, 2012

    In this talk, Allan Lokos speaks about developing a depth of patience with one's self, loved ones, friends, and in the workplace. His new book, Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living is available at all bookstores and online sources.
  • A Mindful Nation - with Congressman Tim Ryan, Guest Speaker

    by Congressman Tim Ryan | Apr 11, 2012

    One of the great sources of hope is the "quiet revolution" of mindfulness that is appearing in schools, hospitals, prisons, the military, corporate settings and the lives of millions of people around the world. In this talk, US Congressman Tim Ryan points to highlights of this revolution--which are reviewed in his compelling new book, A Mindful Nation. He shares about his own personal experience with mindfulness practice and his commitment to seeing the mindfulness and compassion at the center of our work for a better future.

  • Open Heart, Open Mind

    by Tsoknyi Rinpoche | Apr 18, 2012

    Tsoknyi Rinpoche (in conversation with Tara Brach) - In talking about his new book, Tibetan teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche describes the layers of self that cover over our "essence love," and the way that mindfulness reconnects us to our true nature. His stories, humor and teachings are vibrant and inspiring!