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Donald Rothberg's Dharma Talks
Donald Rothberg
Donald Rothberg, PhD, has practiced Insight Meditation since 1976, and has also received training in Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra practice and the Hakomi approach to body-based psychotherapy. Formerly on the faculties of the University of Kentucky, Kenyon College, and Saybrook Graduate School, he currently writes and teaches classes, groups and retreats on meditation, daily life practice, spirituality and psychology, and socially engaged Buddhism. An organizer, teacher, and former board member for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Donald has helped to guide three six-month to two-year training programs in socially engaged spirituality through Buddhist Peace Fellowship (the BASE Program), Saybrook (the Socially Engaged Spirituality Program), and Spirit Rock (the Path of Engagement Program). He is the author of The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World and the co-editor of Ken Wilber in Dialogue: Conversations with Leading Transpersonal Thinkers.
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2017-02-01 A Life of Integrity 1 66:56
We explore some of the different dimensions and meanings of integrity in our practice at this time, including looking at some of the challenges to integrity and how we work with such challenges. We continue to keep the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as one reference point in our inquiry into integrity, and include an audio excerpt from his final speech, in Memphis in 1968.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2017-01-18 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Buddhist Practice, and the Needs of Our Times 2: What Does A Life of Integrity Mean in Our Times? 65:06
We review the deep intention of both Buddhist practice and the life and work of Dr. King to bring wisdom, love, and skillful action to all parts and all moments of our lives. We then look at how this results in a life of integrity, of wholeness, in terms of the Noble Eightfold Path, on the one hand, and the extension of the "love ethic" to the social and political dimensions of life by Dr. King, on the other. We look at the challenges of Dr. King's stance on Vietnam, and listen to an excerpt from his "Beyond Vietnam" speech at the Riverside Church in New York on April 4, 1967.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2017-01-11 The Spirit of Metta Practice and the Challenges to Practicing Metta 55:03
Metta practice offers a radical approach: To bring the wise, kind, and embodied heart to every moment and to every situation, even when things are difficult. Yet there are a number of challenges to such practice. These challenges are identified, and suggestions are given on how to work with these challenges.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center January Metta Retreat
2017-01-11 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Buddhist Practice, and the Needs of Our Times 1: Bringing Wisdom and Love to All Parts of Our Lives 61:11
We explore the shared heart of the approaches of Buddhist practice and of the life and work of Dr. King (playing a recording of Dr. King reading "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"), pointing to how their integration is crucial to respond to the needs of our times.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2016-12-19 Practicing with Darkness and Light at the Winter Solstice 60:17
This time of greatest darkness is a time, when we may, like the earth, stop much of our outward activity, going inward for the sake of renewal and return. As we settle our minds, bodies, and hearts, we open to the generative and fertile darkness and stillness of the unknown and the difficult, and to the gifts, insights, and light that manifest through such opening.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Insight Meditation Solstice Retreat
2016-12-14 The Calling of the Bodhisattva 2 - Vow and Ritual 68:13
After a talk continuing to explore the need for contemporary versions of the Bodhisattva, we engage in reflection and ritual, developing personal vows for ourselves as Bodhisattvas in training, and expressing them before the group (the latter is not in the recording).
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2016-12-07 The Calling of the Bodhisattva in Our Times 65:26
We explore the contemporary need for a new kind of Bodhisattva, one dedicated both to awakening and to helping others. We examine the Bodhisattva's resonance with the indigenous shaman and the Jewish and Christian prophets, and identify some of the qualities and capacities in which the contemporary Bodhisattva trains.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2016-12-01 From Samadhi (Concentration) and Insight Practice to Awakened Awareness 66:14
We first explore further the "three ways of seeing that free" (examining the "three characteristics" of phenomena), with particular emphasis on a practically-based overview of anatta (not-self). We then see how samadhi practice and insight practice develop, as they progress, toward a third mode of practice--opening to "awakened awareness" or "radiant mind." We look at the nature of awakened awareness, and point to several practical methods of accessing awakened awareness.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center From Mindfulness Breath to Radiant Mind
2016-11-30 Samadhi: Practice Instructions 3: Working with Intentions, Working with Challenges in Practice 41:01
Spirit Rock Meditation Center From Mindfulness Breath to Radiant Mind
2016-11-29 The Art of Samadhi Practice 64:52
We explore the nature and importance of samadhi (or concentration) practice in the context of the sequence of the three core practices of the retreat—samadhi practice, insight practice, and opening to “radiant mind.” We also examine a number of ways to engage skillfully in samadhi practice, including in the context of several core challenges to such practice.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center From Mindfulness Breath to Radiant Mind

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