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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.
2009-11-02 Mindfulness - What It Is and What Makes It Difficult 64:30
On this first evening of the retreat, we explore the nature of mindfulness in general and how we practice mindfulness of the body in particular. We then examine the five "difficult energies" (nivarana or "hindrances"), and how they make mindfulness difficult and how to practice when they are present.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Cultivating Clear Seeing, Opening the Heart
2009-10-28 Emptiness & Compassion Part II 64:52
We first review basic perspectives on emptiness and compassion and then explore three basic ways to access emptiness: 1) being with inner flow of experience and seeing where self and fixation occur, 2) opening to the "flow experience" in activities and relationships and 3) cultivating a sense of interconnection
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-10-21 Emptiness and Compassion Part I 48:00
We examine the teaching of seeing the emptiness of self and things and how this, in its mature expression, is compassionate activity. We suggest simple practices to explore this sometimes confusing teaching, and everyday examples of how emptiness and compassion come together.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-09-30 Service and Work as Practice III: The Centrality of Intention 58:16
In the context of previous talks, we explore intention practice in three ways: 1.) understanding the importance of intention in our practice and in life 2.) cultivating intention as aspiration- being in touch with deeper intentions, and 3.) working with intentions moment to moment and in specific activities.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-09-23 Work and Service as a Path of Practice, II Aspects of the Path 56:36
We continue to look at work and service as a path, naming some key aspects of this path: 1. general intention that our work and service be practice for ourselves and others, 2.connecting inner and outer practice, 3. identifying core challenges and "obstacles", 4.developing awakened qualities and 5. establishing community support for this path.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-09-16 Service as a Path of Practice, Pt 1: Challenges and how to work with them 53:57
We may understand and express our spiritual practice as helping others. What does such a path look like? What are some of the challenges and issues? We name burnout, self-righteousness, being overwhelmed, attachment to outcome, etc. and begin to explore how to work with these challenges.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-08-05 Practicing with the Eight Worldly Winds, pt 2 58:33
We continue to explore 1) being mindful when a wind is present; 2) the nature of the winds; 3) responding skilfully. We add an emphasis on resting in what is deeper and examine several issues that arise in practicing with the winds
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-07-29 The 8 Worldly Winds, I 59:06
An examination of how we practice with pleasure and pain, gain and loss, fame and disrepute, praise and blame; with stories referring to Buddha's teaching + discussion.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-06-27 Service as a Path of Practice 45:25
How do we take our service as a path of practice? Most basically, we take helping others as the center (or a major part) of our lives, and we examine, in our service, what helps develop “selfless” service and the barriers to such service, especially a sense of duality between self and other. We explore how a connection between “inner” and “outer” practice structures a life of service, and how such practice can also be understood as the development of particular qualities—we focus on the development of (1) clarity of intentions, (2) generosity, (3) gratitude, and (4) compassion, and on some of the challenges that arise when cultivating such qualities, and in service generally.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Volunteer Appreciation
2009-06-23 The Awakening Prophet 63:39
One interpretation of Jewish mindfulness connects mindfulness with the Jewish prophetic tradition. This suggests an understanding of spiritual practice as involving both "inner" transformation toward liberation and "outer" transformation toward a liberated society; actually, the two are intimately connected. We first explore, partly through music, the prophetic tradition. We then examine how both our inner and outer practice can be understood in similar ways, following the core principles, in terms of development in wisdom and mindfulness (the mind), compassion and love (the heart), and courage and skillful action (the body).
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Jewish Mindfulness

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