Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 148 – Refraining From Unwholesome Activities

Joseph Goldstein explores the 10 unwholesome activities and actions of the body, speech, and mind that the Buddha advises us all to refrain from for our own happiness and well-being.

This dharma talk from October 29, 1995, at the Insight Meditation Society, was originally published on Dharma Seed.

“The whole path of practice of understanding is realizing that we actually have choices all along the way. We don’t simply need to be acting out the patterns of our conditioning. And this is the great gift of awareness, it gives us the possibility of choice.” – Joseph Goldstein

In this episode, Joseph explores:

  • How the Buddha’s motivation was compassion for all beings, and how this led to him explicitly spelling out the 10 unskilled and unwholesome actions to refrain from
  • The four unwholesome actions of the body: killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct
  • The four unwholesome elements of speech: lying, harsh speech, gossiping, and frivolous and useless talking
  • The three unwholesome activities of the mind: covetousness, ill will, and wrong view
  • How the great power of awareness is the way to work with all of these actions and activities as they arise
Mingyur Rinpoche talks about having present-moment awareness in BHNN Guest Podcast Ep. 83

About Joseph Goldstein:

Joseph Goldstein has been leading insight and loving kindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the organization’s guiding teachers. In 1989, together with several other teachers and students of insight meditation, he helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Joseph first became interested in Buddhism as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand in 1965. Since 1967 he has studied and practiced different forms of Buddhist meditation under eminent teachers from India, Burma and Tibet. He is the author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, A Heart Full of Peace, One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism, Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom, The Experience of Insight, and co-author of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom and Insight Meditation: A Correspondence Course.

“I have two main aims in teaching. The first is to spread the dharma as widely as possible, offering it to as many different people as I can. The second is to teach a smaller number of people over sustained periods of time. This in-depth teaching engages my tremendous love for intensive, long-term meditation practice, where people can immerse themselves in the retreat experience and see how it transforms their understanding.” – Joseph Goldstein

Art via Jorm Sangsorn