Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 153 – Ardor and the Path to Freedom

Joseph Goldstein explores the path to freedom that the Buddha laid out for all of us and talks about the importance of developing and sustaining the quality of ardor in our practice. 

This dharma talk from September 27, 2004, was originally published on Dharma Seed.
Joseph Betterhelp

“What is ardency? I think we all have some sense of it in our very worldly lives. Just think of the feeling of ardor in the great love of your life, or in the first days of the great love of your life. What is that feeling of ardor like? There’s this powerful and sustained energy that is just so full in us. And it’s characterized by tremendous warmth of feeling and passion and enthusiasm and interest. That’s what ardor means. So can we cultivate that kind of ardor in our love of the Dhamma? In our love of the truth? That’s the quality that the Buddha is saying we need that, we need that passionate interest, that passionate energy to explore and discover.” – Joseph Goldstein

In this episode, Joseph talks about:

  • The path to freedom that lies in Vipassana practices and how these practices are rooted in the Buddha’s discourse, the Satipatṭhāna Sutta
  • The deeper meaning of some of the Pali words used in that discourse and why the Buddha frequently repeats some phrases
  • The importance of developing and sustaining the quality of ardor in our practice
  • How reflecting on the preciousness of human birth and understanding impermanence can help cultivate ardor
  • How Metta practice works together with Vipassana practice
  • How we begin to see that practice is not just for ourselves, but for the benefit of the whole world
Lama Rod Owens offers a guided benefactor practice in BHNN Guest Podcast Ep. 130

About Joseph Goldstein:

Joseph Goldstein has been leading insight and loving kindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a co-founder 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.

Listen to more from Joseph:

In the search for liberation, we must explore the nature of our existence. Joseph investigates the wisdom of impermanence in Insight Hour Ep. 2.
There are deeper levels of truth about reality. Joseph explores different ways of freeing the mind by understanding the habits of preference and the emptiness of thoughts in Insight Hour Ep. 41.
There are many nuances to the concept of Right Effort. Joseph explains how that effort can help us build real momentum in our spiritual practice in Insight Hour Ep. 83.
It’s possible to smile at the antics of one’s own mind. Joseph offers responses to questions about selflessness, shame, cravings, and more in Insight Hour Ep. 111.
Metta practice can penetrate deeply. Joseph explores how love, kindness, gratitude, and friendship can revolutionize our lives in Insight Hour Ep. 117.

Photo via Svetlana Lukienko