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Retreat Dharma Talks

Settling, Seeing, and Luminous Awareness

We will train in three inter-related modes of practice. First, we will settle and stabilize our minds and bodies, becoming more concentrated, through both sitting and moving forms of meditation, including regular Qigong. As we settle, we then become better able to examine closely both our experiences of our bodies, thoughts, and emotions, and the general patterns of experience, both more personal and more universal. We see more clearly when we are reactive, when we suffer, when there is a thick sense of self, and we learn to be more with the impermanent flow of experience. We can also tune in more, as we settle and see, to an increasingly unconfined and luminous awareness beyond reactivity, that is a source of freedom, wisdom, and compassion, both in retreat practice and daily life. Prerequisite: Completion of a class or retreat in mindfulness practice and a regular mindfulness practice.

2021-11-03 (8 days) Spirit Rock Meditation Center

2021-11-04 Evening Dharma Talk #1: The Nature of Samadhi and Samatha Practice (Retreat at Spirit Rock) 59:12
Donald Rothberg
We explore further the nature of samadhi and samatha practice, cultivating samadhi, pointing to the importance of samadhi and samatha practice, the different ways of practicing, and some of the challenges of such practice. We identify five main challenges and suggest some of the ways of working with the challenges.
2021-11-07 Guided Meditation on Anatta 55:39
Devon Hase
Brief overview of insight practice looking through the lens of not-self. Includes investigation of body sensations, emotions, and seeing meditation, using the Anatta-Lakkhana Sutta.
2021-11-07 Introduction to Awakened Awareness 63:37
Donald Rothberg
In concentration practice and insight practice, some of the structures of ordinary experience are deconstructed, including the separation of knower and known, the solidity of the object, and the will (which is absent in choiceless awareness). We then explore the nature of awakened awareness with references to how this appears in the teachings of the Buddha, the Thai Forest tradition, and the Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra traditions. Finally, some of the main accessing techniques to open to awakened awareness are described.
2021-11-08 Awakened Awareness 61:12
Devon Hase
A talk exploring the nature of the mind, including stories, comments on aspiration and compassion.
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