Insight Hour with Joseph Goldstein

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Joseph Goldstein has been a leading light for the practice of Insight and Loving Kindness meditation since his days in India and Burma where he studied with eminent masters of the tradition. In his podcast, The Insight Hour, Joseph delivers these essential mindfulness teachings in a practical and down to earth way that illuminates the practice through his own personal experience and wonderful story telling.

  • 1 hour 45 minutes
    Ep. 203 – Ask Joseph: Questions From Student To Teacher

    Responding to student questions, Joseph Goldstein invigorates listeners to have faith and confidence in dharma practice.

    This special group mentorship program recording was originally published on Dharmaseed

    This week on Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein answers questions on: 

    • Mental noting throughout meditation
    • Working with a greedy mind
    • Dukkha and craving as the fundamental cause of suffering
    • Small moments of renunciation
    • The deepening of concentration over time and why practice is non-linear
    • Keeping confidence in the dharma
    • Doubt as the most problematic feeling within practice
    • Dealing with shame, depression, unworthiness, and other painful mind-states
    • Balancing self-knowing and deepening insight into non-self
    • Fear of impermanence and attachment to things staying the same

    “We really just need to continue doing the practice and have that trust that the dharma will lead us onward, which it does. I’ve seen it in myself and I’ve seen it in thousands of yogis. I have a lot of confidence in that.” – Joseph Goldstein




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    13 June 2024, 3:16 pm
  • 1 hour 4 minutes
    Ep. 202 – The Subtlety of Practice

    Explaining the subtleties of practice and the energy between mind and body, Joseph Goldstein offers both insight and humor to his students.

    This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/insighthour and get on your way to being your best self.

    This time on Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein :

    • The variety of practice ways to strengthen concentration
    • Animals and questions on karma in the natural world
    • Free our minds from fear when nearing the end of our lives
    • Watching the mystery of life unfolding
    • The wholesome and unwholesome actions that determine our rebirth
    • Habitual karma and having a place of refuge from repeated practice
    • Humility and the understanding of selflessness
    • Cultivating relationships of equanimity
    • The ongoing discovery of the mind-body energy system
    • Sexual desire and the refinement of our sensations
    • Why neutrality is better than pleasure
    • The unhelpful ways that we relate to pain
    • How practice helps with boredom and restlessness
    • Keeping an effort to pay close attention
    • Using our precious lives very well

    This 1990 recording was originally published by Dharmaseed

    “Each of these practices not only addresses a particular conditioning of the mind, they all very much strengthen the power of concentration. It’s just to see how through many different doors we can enter the realm of understanding, taming the mind, coming to a place of stillness where we can really see the essential nature and come to freedom. There are many ways depending on temperament.” – Joseph Goldstein


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    6 June 2024, 12:49 am
  • 32 minutes 15 seconds
    Ep. 201 – A Guided Practice on Working with Thought and Emotions

    Highlighting the impermanence of experience, Joseph Goldstein leads a practice in noticing mental and physical sensations.

    This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/insighthour and get on your way to being your best self.

    This time on Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein offers a guided practice on: 

    • Working with thought and emotion
    • Full body awareness without effort or struggling
    • Noticing the breath and other sensations
    • Being aware of thoughts just as they are arising
    • Opening up to the fullness of experience
    • The power of naming emotions
    • Sensing the impermanent nature of all things
    • Moving from the conceptual into direct experience
    • The seduction of our thoughts

    This 2018 recording from an Insight Meditation Retreat was originally published by Dharmaseed

    “We don’t have to do anything to make things change. The very nature of whatever is arising, whether it’s in the body or the mind, the very nature is that whatever arises will also pass away.” – Joseph Goldstein

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    22 May 2024, 4:40 pm
  • 37 minutes 1 second
    Ep. 200 – Getting Insight On The Nature of Thought

    In a dharma talk on working with thoughts and emotions, Joseph Goldstein explains the impersonal and empty nature of the mind.

    This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/insighthour and get on your way to being your best self.

    This week on Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein teaches us about: 

    • Observing how mind states and thoughts mutually condition each other
    • The way that thoughts carry us away into different emotional states
    • Looking at the direct nature and meaning of thought
    • Noticing the difference between being lost and being awake
    • Viewing our thoughts just as they arise
    • Not overthinking and focusing on the simplicity of a practice
    • The six things that are ever arising or passing: our senses
    • Maintaining open awareness and experiencing the flow

    “Well, what is a thought? It’s quite remarkable because when we look at that level, not on the level of the story or the content, but thought as a phenomenon, we see that it is barely more than nothing. It is so phenomenal. These thoughts arise, and the content can be so compelling, but as a phenomenon, as the nature of thought, it’s just this little energy blip in the mind. If we’re not getting hooked by the content, it has no power at all.” – Joseph Goldstein


    This 2019 dharma talk from Insight Meditation Society was originally published by Dharmaseed


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    16 May 2024, 7:55 pm
  • 52 minutes 18 seconds
    Ep. 199 – Self And Selfless

    Joseph Goldstein meets us at the constellation of self, the duality of self, and the need for mindfulness.

    This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp. Give online therapy a try at betterhelp.com/insighthour and get on your way to being your best self.

    This time on Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein gets into: 

    • Duality and how it relates to our meditation practice
    • The fundamental split of object and subject
    • Limitations from perceiving ourselves as separate
    • Persona and the identification we have with the world
    • The progression from fullness/oneness to constriction
    • Having compassion for the shadow side
    • How fear desire, and attachment, make us more attached to our sense of self
    • Being imprisoned and conditioned by dualistic perception
    • The integration of mind and body and love for all experience as the connector
    • From the ego center to the zero center
    • Being totally honest with what is happening
    • Mindfulness as the tool to stop identification
    • The power of renunciation and restraint

    This 2005 dharma talk was originally published by Dharmaseed

    “As long as we are identified with that sense of self in the mind, that identification creates fear, attachment, separation, comparing. If there’s an “I”, if there’s a self, then we have to defend it, we have to protect it, we have to gratify it, and our whole lives revolve around this particular identification.” – Joseph Goldstein


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    2 May 2024, 6:14 pm
  • 1 hour 1 minute
    Ep. 198 – Facing Our Fears

    Joseph Goldstein discusses how working with fear is absolutely essential in our practice of understanding, opening, and accepting.

    This 1983 dharma talk was originally published on Dharmaseed.

    This week on Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein teaches us about: 

    • Releasing tension through awareness
    • The body as an energy system
    • Opening up to the Buddha nature
    • Working with fear and emotional pain
    • Resistance and unwillingness to be uncomfortable
    • Becoming open to pain and discomfort
    • Insecurity and the fear of being judged
    • How the fear of feeling certain emotions keeps us bound to negative habits
    • How openness allows our hearts to be touched
    • Death and fear of the unknown
    • Being okay with being afraid
    • Having space for fear without demands
    • Lovingkindness as the antidote for fear

    “What we’re doing in our practice is learning how to work with those experiences which often cause trouble, which often cause resistance, which we’re afraid of.” – Joseph Goldstein

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    25 April 2024, 4:57 pm
  • 37 minutes 29 seconds
    Ep. 197 – Flavors of Loving-Kindness

    Offering instruction for metta practice, Joseph Goldstein explains the many flavors of loving-kindness that we can try.

    This 2018 talk was originally published on Dharmaseed.

    This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Click to receive 10% off your first month with your own licensed professional therapist: betterhelp.com/insighthour

    This time on Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein explicates: 

    • The unconditional quality of metta
    • Helping each other see our individual loveliness
    • Using mantra to evoke the feeling of loving-kindness
    • Metta as a tool for deep concentration
    • Experimenting with the different ways metta can be applied in meditation
    • The three aspects of practicing of loving-kindness
    • A 12-minute guided metta practice to settle into the feeling of well-wishing

    “There are two main purposes for doing metta meditation. One is metta, or loving-kindness, which can be used as a vehicle for developing concentration. So, not only for the metta quality itself, but it is a technique or a method for developing strong concentration, even to the point of absolution.” – Joseph Goldstein


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    10 April 2024, 1:46 pm
  • 26 minutes 40 seconds
    Ep. 196 – Guided Meditation: Busy Life, No-Self

    Guiding us in three short, guided meditations, Joseph Goldstein helps us break down our identification with the body and the self.

    This talk from the Insight Meditation Society was originally published on Dharmaseed.

     In this episode of Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein guides us in: 

    • Accessing deeper meditative states outside of a retreat
    • Turbo-charging our practice through shorter meditations we can do in our daily lives
    • Finding the mental areas where our mistaken sense of self is created
    • Listening to sounds and considering the ‘knowing’ rather than being a “knower”
    • Breaking through the identification we have with the body
    • Directly experiencing bodily sensations and their changing nature
    • Watching our thoughts and being aware in their moment of arising
    • Enlivening our understanding of the Buddha’s teaching through a combination of practices

    “This exercise allows us to see the selfless nature of thought and gives us the ability to choose which are helpful, which are not. Which do I act on, which do I let go of.” – Joseph Goldstein

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    28 March 2024, 1:03 am
  • 1 hour 1 minute
    Ep. 195 – Approaching Suffering without Reactivity

    Focusing on equanimity and compassion, Joseph Goldstein teaches about staying open and responsive to collective and individual suffering.

    This talk from the Spirit Rock Meditation Center was originally published on Dharmaseed.

    This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Click to receive 10% off your first month with your own licensed professional therapist: betterhelp.com/insighthour

    This time on Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein divulges : 

    • How to stay open and responsive while experiencing both individual and global challenges
    • Compassion and equanimity as tools to work with difficulties
    • The definition of equanimity and seeing all things as a whole
    • Equanimity as the basis of wise discernment and skillful responsiveness
    • Re-framing difficult experiences as an opportunity to practice openness
    • An invitation to look within rather than blaming outside forces
    • Examining what emotions are underneath our reactions
    • Letting go of the illusion of being in control
    • Accepting our feelings instead of allowing them to limit us
    • Freeing ourselves through the awareness of impermanence
    • How compassion arises out of our willingness to come close to suffering
    • Sorrow as the near enemy of compassion
    • Having humility on our path to explore equanimity and compassion

    “Equanimity gives us the foundation, the ability to approach the suffering without reactivity. And compassion, precisely arises out of the willingness to come close to suffering.” – Joseph Goldstein


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    20 March 2024, 5:32 pm
  • 1 hour 2 minutes
    Ep. 194 – The Buddha’s Sacred Journey

    Joseph Goldstein describes the steps along the Buddha’s path to awakening, helping us see the significance of the Buddha in our own lives.

    This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Click to receive 10% off your first month with your own licensed professional therapist: betterhelp.com/insighthour

    This dharma talk from The Insight Meditation Society was originally published on Dharmaseed.

    In this episode, Joseph Goldstein lectures on:

    • The sacred journey of the Buddha’s life
    • The Buddha as a universal archetype for awakening
    • Connecting the Buddha’s journey with our own journey
    • Materialism and the wheel of becoming
    • Discovering the real value in our lives
    • Reflecting on the inevitability of death
    • The uncertainty of the time of death
    • What actually matters when we reach our end
    • Our own calls to destiny
    • Giving up a conventional way of viewing things
    • Our own power over the way we are
    • Confronting the forces of Mara
    • Relative and absolute bodhicitta

    In order to awaken to the hidden possibilities of life, we need to renounce, we need to be willing to give up our ordinary or conventional way of viewing things. Things are often not what they seem to be. If we stay just on the surface, we are often living in ignorance and illusion.” – Joseph Goldstein

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    14 March 2024, 5:01 pm
  • 57 minutes 23 seconds
    Ep. 193 - Sudden Awakening, Gradual Cultivation

    Explaining the ways our minds can be seduced, Joseph Goldstein teaches us how to let go into non-clinging.

    This 2007 talk was originally published on Dharmaseed.

    This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Click to receive 10% off your first month with your own licensed professional therapist: betterhelp.com/insighthour

    In this episode, Joseph Goldstein teaches listeners about:

    • Letting go into the wisdom mind of non-clinging
    • Awakening to the nature of the mind
    • Working with the hindrances of mind
    • Noticing how the mind can be seduced
    • Skeptical doubt and being frozen in indecision
    • The ways that doubt can masquerade itself as wisdom
    • Telling ourselves that it is okay not to know
    • Resting in experience rather than being caught in thought loops
    • Investigating our aversions and their hold on the mind
    • Seeing everything with perfect wisdom
    • Transforming our attitudes about our aversions
    • Being inclusive to our difficult experiences

    “Struggle is a great feedback because it signifies non-acceptance of something. Because if we were accepting, we wouldn’t be struggling. Whenever we’re in that sense of striving, of struggle, of tension, take that as a feedback, not as a problem. That’s telling us something. That’s saying something is going on in the body, in the mind, in the emotions, in the thoughts, in our external experience, something is going on that we’re not open to, that we’re trying to exclude, and that’s why we’re struggling.” – Joseph Goldstein

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    1 March 2024, 4:01 pm
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