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Portland Insight Meditation Community Dharma Talks

Mar 16, 2018

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Using his own experience as a teacher and activist, Robert asks us to consider how our constant focus on accomplishment causes us to deplete ourselves by ignoring our need for rest and self-care.

Recorded February 11, 2018 Portland Insight Meditation Community

Book and video references:

“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”

-Thomas Merton-

Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (

Joanna Macy Video: The Story of the Shambhala Warriors

No Hard Feelings, by the Avett Brothers "Over whatever you have to do, even if it be very urgent and demands great care, I would not have you argue or be agitated. For rest assured , everything you do, be it great or small, is but one eighth of the problem, whereas to keep one’s state undisturbed even if thereby one should fail to accomplish the task, is the other seven-eighths. So if you are busy at some task and wish to do so perfectly, try to accomplish it—which constitutes one eighth. If, however, in order to accomplish your task you would inevitably be…


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