One of the reasons I upgraded my blog for audio capability was so that I could include talks by Gil Fronsdal. Along with Thanissaro Bhikkhu, he was one of the very first dharma teachers I listened to, and he had a huge impact on my understanding and practice of Buddhism. I’ll always be grateful to him for the solid start his wise and compassionate talks gave me, and his talks continue to inspire and support my practice.
Of course, if you know about Gil Fronsdal, you know that you can find literally hundreds of his wonderful talks at the Audio Dharma website:
The Audio Dharma website is, as it describes itself, “…an archive of Dharma talks given by Gil Fronsdal and various guest speakers at the Insight Meditation Center since 2000. Each talk illuminates aspects of the Buddha’s teachings. The purpose is the same that the Buddha had for his teachings, to guide us toward the end of suffering and the attainment of freedom.”
Over the years I have become familiar with many of these talks, though I certainly can’t claim to have listened to all of them! And so here at Metta Refuge, I will share those talks that I’m most familiar with and that have been especially helpful in my own dharma practice. You certainly should explore the Audio Dharma site for yourself. It’s an incredible treasure-trove of dharma talks and includes the talks of dozens of outstanding teachers besides Gil.
And so, without further ado, here is a wonderful 34 minute talk on metta, or loving-kindness, by a master teacher. This talk, entitled “Metta” on the Audio Dharma site, is still of the best explanations and introductions to metta meditation that I’ve ever heard. Listening to it again today, I was once again struck by its clarity and skill.
Background on Gil Fronsdal:
Gil Fronsdal (1954) is a Buddhist who has practiced Soto Zen and Vipassana since 1975, and is currently a Buddhist teacher who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gil was trained as a Vipassana teacher by Jack Kornfield and is part of the Vipassana teachers’ collective at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He was ordained as a Soto Zen priest at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1982, and in 1995 he received Dharma transmission from Mel Weitsman, the abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center.
He is the guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Center (IMC) of Redwood City, California. He is one of the best-known American Buddhists. He has a PhD in Buddhist Studies from Stanford University. His many dharma talks available online contain basic information on meditation and Buddhism, as well as subtle concepts of Buddhism explained at the level of the lay person. (Wikipedia)