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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

2022-01-27 Tenderness and a Tribute to Thich Nhat Hanh 1:11:38
Sylvia Boorstein
2022-02-02 A Guided Meditation in the Manner of Thich Nhat Hanh 36:47
Donald Rothberg
A 35-minute or so guided meditation in the manner of Thich Nhat Hanh (connected with the talk honoring Thich Nhat Hanh). The guided meditation is mostly silent, with three short periods of guidance, using these words: (1) Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out. Breathing in, I calm myself. Breathing out, I feel at ease. (2) Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment. Bring body and mind back to the present moment. So that you do not miss the appointment with life. (3) Breathing in, I see myself as a flower. Breathing out, I feel fresh. Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain. Breathing out, I feel solid. Breathing in, I see myself as still water. Breathing out, I reflect all that is. Breathing in, I see myself as space. Breathing out, I feel free.
2022-02-02 Honoring the Great Teacher of Interbeing and Engaged Buddhism, Thich Nhat Hanh 65:44
Donald Rothberg
There is weaving together in the talk of several areas, including (1) Donald's stories of his encounters with and learning from Thich Nhat Hanh, starting in 1987; (2) the life story of Thich Nhat (1926-2022); and (3) exploring Thich Nhat Hanh's core teachings, including his teachings about "interbeing," engaged Buddhism, mindfulness, and "being peace." There is a slide show of Thich Nhat Hanh's life shown during the talk available as a pdf file. The talk is followed by the first 3 minutes and 19 seconds of a video of Thich Nhah Hanh talking about "War and Peace Within" ( and a period of discussion.
Attached Files:
  • Slide Show on the Life of Thich Nhat Hanh by Donald Rothberg (PDF)
2022-02-09 Donald Rothberg and Yassir Chadly in Dialogue on Buddhist and Sufi Perspectives and Practices: A Gathering of Wisdom, Love, and Respect 66:34
Donald Rothberg
Yassir Chadly, a long-time friend of Donald's who is a Sufi teacher, musician, and former Olympic swimmer, originally from Morocco, is in dialogue with Donald, and then, during the last part of the session, with the whole group. We explore Yassir's background, the three main levels of practice in Sufism, practicing in Sufism with what arises in the heart, parallels between Sufi and Buddhist practice, how to make sense of how and why some act negatively in the name of a religion (we discuss Islam and Buddhism), the unity of traditions in their deep mystical expressions, and the need to work together across traditions in our current world.
Attached Files:
2022-02-23 Ne stressez pas! (Don't make things more complicated.) 1:27:54
Sylvia Boorstein
2022-02-28 A Peaceful Heart In A Time Of War And The Legacy Of Thich Nhat Hanh | Monday Night Talk 54:40
Jack Kornfield
Tonight I had planned to talk about Thich Nhat Hanh, the great and wise Zen master and teacher who died recently at age 95. But it seems critical to also acknowledge the grief of the war in Ukraine. As it says in the Buddhist teachings (and in other wisdom teachings), in this world, hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed. There has to be a better game than war for human beings. We have to look at the war within ourselves as well. Thich Nhat Hanh’s instruction was to stop—stop making enemies. Make prayers. Make blessings. This is our moral task.
2022-02-28 Compassion in a Time of War Meditation | Monday Night 25:27
Jack Kornfield
May your struggles and sorrows be eased. May you hold yourself in great compassion. May you be safe and protected. May your heart be at peace. May your life be at peace.
2022-03-02 Balancing the Mind in the Middle of Sorrow 1:28:18
Sylvia Boorstein
2022-03-17 The Prelude to Compassion is the Willingness to See 67:56
Sylvia Boorstein
2022-03-24 Embracing Strong Emotions, Part 1 (6 Step Vagal Nurturing Sequence) 7:24
Kaira Jewel Lingo
Credit for Polyvagal Nurturing based on Dr. Marti Glenn's work & research. Kaira Jewel also offers this video as an aid for Vagal Nurturing:
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