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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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2020-04-08 Practicing with the Pandemic 2: Cultivating Compassion and Equanimity 65:20
After a brief review of some of the suggested ways to practice with the pandemic given last week, we explore two key capacities for our times: Compassion and equanimity. We look into the key aspects of compassion and equanimity and also how to cultivate them. For each of the two qualities, we also have songs inspired by and inspiring the qualities, from Eve Decker. A period of discussion, including questions and responses, concludes the session.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2020-04-01 Practicing during the Pandemic: Perspectives, Practices, and Suggestions 2 21:26
Questions and responses, as well as suggestions and shared insights from the group.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2020-04-01 Practicing during the Pandemic: Perspectives, Practices, and Suggestions 1 30:39
A talk giving a number of ways to approach this time of "sheltering-in-place" in terms of perspectives, intentions, core practices, and skillful actions, seeing the crisis as a great opportunity as well as a challenge.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2020-03-04 From the Ordinary Habitual Mind to the Buddha Mind 16: Working with Our Psychological Conditioning 3 62:28
We begin by pointing to how combining traditional Buddhist training with transforming psychological and social conditioning and unresolved material suggests the contours of a contemporary path of awakening. We then identify some of the main areas of the contemporary “shadow,” of unconscious, unresolved conditioning and developmental wounds, such as anger, fear, death, shame, conflict, trauma, grief, sexuality, and so on. We then give a “map” of four stages in the transformation of the shadow (particularly in a meditative context), starting with finding ways to access the shadow, then learning to be with and explore the shadow, then transforming the shadow, and then integrating the shadow work with daily life.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2020-02-26 From the Ordinary Habitual Mind to the Buddha Mind 15: Working with Our Psychological Conditioning 2 52:45
We continue to explore the role of working with transforming psychological conditioning and unresolved material (incomplete developmental tasks, developmental wounds, trauma, limiting beliefs, etc.) in a contemporary path of awakening. Using the concepts of unconscious material and of the “shadow” (individual and collective), we point to how the Buddha faced his own shadow (the four heavenly messengers that he found outside of his conditioning in the palace). We then explore some tools and ways to open to and work with unconscious or shadow aspects of ourselves, both in and out of formal meditation.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2020-02-19 From the Ordinary Habitual Mind to the Buddha Mind 14: Working with Our Psychological Conditioning (Talk Begins at 57:07) 2:00:51
In this session, we explore first in a more general way the complex relationship between transforming our psychological conditioning (including any residues of trauma) and meditative training, pointing to a kind of emerging contemporary map of how these practices come together (and how this map relates to more traditional maps). Near the end of the talk are inquiry questions to help us explore our own unresolved issues of a more psychological nature.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2020-02-13 Exploring Time and the Timeless 56:49
Four Practices
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2020-02-06 Transforming Our Experience of Time 2:05:02
A guided meditation exploring the nature of our experience of time, followed by a talk and discussion.
East Bay Insight Meditation Community
2020-02-06 Transforming Our Experience of Time 53:57
A guided meditation exploring the nature of our experience of time, followed by a talk and discussion.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley IMCB Regular Talks
2020-01-29 From the Ordinary Habitual Mind to the Buddha Mind 13: Exploring Our Experience of Time 4 64:24
We focus in this session on four ways of practicing that help us to transform our conditioning in relationship to time: (1) opening to the present moment, as in our core practice of mindfulness; (2) exploring impermanence reflectively and experientially in several ways; (3) accessing, at least briefly, a timeless awareness, and learning to live from this awareness more and more; and (4) noticing and examining our various forms of conditioning around time. The first three ways of practicing correspond to the guided practices in the earlier guided meditation. For the fourth, we look especially in this session at the powerful ways that our cultural and social conditioning operates, comparing some of the main aspects of conditioning in the mainstream U.S., with its emphasis on future planning, productivity, and busyness, among other orientations to time, with how some other cultures experience time.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

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