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Retreat Dharma Talks

Monday and Wednesday Talks

Regular weekly talks given at the lower Spirit Rock meditation hall

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

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2024-05-15 Guided Meditation: Developing Concentration (Samadhi) 36:25
Donald Rothberg
At the beginning, there is a short discussion of the nature and importance of cultivating concentration or samadhi, followed by practical meditative guidance at the beginning and during the session.
2024-05-15 Developing Concentration (Samadhi) 1 64:02
Donald Rothberg
There are two main forms of meditation as taught by the Buddha: Developing concentration and developing insight. We explore how they go together, the nature of concentration (samadhi), and the different ways of developing samadhi. We also look at some of the typical challenges of developing samadhi, particularly over-active minds, sleepiness and low energy, and over-efforting. Throughout there is an emphasis on finding ways to integrate active effort with ease and relaxation. The talk is followed by discussion.
2024-05-20 Equanimity: Resting the Mind before it falls into Extremes 1:29:46
Kamala Masters
Includes meditation & dharma talk
2024-05-22 Guided Meditation: Developing Concentration (Samadhi) 2 35:36
Donald Rothberg
After a short overview about the nature of concentration (samadhi), there is basic guidance on cultivating samadhi along with some more advanced instruction in the last third of the guided meditation.
2024-05-22 Developing Concentration (Samadhi) 2 65:57
Donald Rothberg
We review some of the main themes from last week's talk on developing concentration (samadhi), including the importance of such practice for the Buddha and his teachings; without samadhi, the Buddha says, there is no freedom. We examine ways of practicing (including outside of formal meditation) and look at some of the factors that indicate a deepening of samadhi (the jhanic factors). We then review the main challenges of developing samadhi, particularly over-active minds, sleepiness and low energy, and over-efforting. We also explore further challenges to the development of samadhi, including working with background thoughts, the ways that more unconscious material can surface in cultivating samadhi, and attachment to concentrated states. The talk is followed by discussion.
2024-05-27 Memorial: Precious Human Birth–– Being Fully Human Now 1:26:21
Eugene Cash
2024-06-10 Wisdom, Nature and the Divine Feminine 1:19:40
Leslie Booker
2024-06-12 Practicing with Views, Beliefs, and Positions 1 61:19
Donald Rothberg
2024-06-19 Guided Meditation: Practicing with Views 36:07
Donald Rothberg
After initial instructions in developing stability and concentration, and then mindfulness, there are further instructions, given after 10 and after 20 minutes, on developing more mindfulness of views, stories, and narratives (related to the talk given after the meditation). At the end, there is an invitation to reflect on views or stories that have been prominent in the last few days.
2024-06-19 Practicing with Views, Beliefs, and Positions 2 63:52
Donald Rothberg
We start with a brief reflection on today's holiday, Juneteenth. Then we review last week's initial exploration of practicing with views, including (1) identifying the main teachings on views given by the Buddha, and (2) three basic ways to practice with views, including developing mindfulness of views, inquiring when there is a charge related to another's view, and developing careful listening. This review is followed by bringing in several further ways to understand and practice with views, including working with a specific teaching and letting the "view [coming from the teaching] be the meditation," exploring how sometimes to rest in a kind of unknowing, and then how awakening lies beyond views and concepts. The talk is followed by discussion.
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