Ethics and Enlightenment

What is the relationship between ethics and enlightenment? Does enlightenment experience guarantee sound ethical conduct? How can ethics and wisdom diverge? During this talk, Matthew will explore these questions and consider how maps of spiritual maturity might evolve to encompass ethical goodness.


Matthew sits on the Teachers Council of Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. He was the Buddhist chaplain at USC for four years and teaches about the intersection of mindfulness and mental health at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center. He served as Program Director at Mindful Schools and continues to share mindfulness with adolescents. Matthew previously worked as a clinical social worker, supporting severely and persistently mentally ill adults. He subsequently earned a PhD from the Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at USC, completing a dissertation on the mechanisms of risk and resilience in maltreated adolescents. He spent years doing research on addiction treatment at the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine and continues to be interested in the unfolding dialogue between dharma and science.

The First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4190 Front St., San Diego, Bard Hall

Parking is validated in the ACE parking lot adjacent to the church. We encourage carpooling.


Date & Time:

Friday, July 6, 2018

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Additional Info:

Please contact Nina at with any questions.

Matthew Brensilver will also be leading a non-residential weekend retreat on the Seven Factors of Awakening the weekend of July 7 & 8, 2018.



Following a 2,500 year tradition in which the community financially supports the offerings provided, the teachings in this dharma talk are offered on a generosity (Dana) basis. No one will be turned away because they cannot give. Insight San Diego and dharma teachers are solely supported by the generosity of attendees. At the end of the talk, you will be given the opportunity to offer dana. We are encouraging attendees to give what their budget and hearts of generosity allow. Insight San Diego also accepts donations online on our donations page.

Matthew Brensilver Dharma Talk
Registration Form

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