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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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2011-11-30 Mindfulness and Ethics 63:03
In the context of the accelerating application of mindfulness in "secular" settings, we can ask questions about whether mindfulness is sometimes presented as a mere technique. We look at the nature of "nature" or "right mindfulness" (samma sati) and the importance of connecting mindfulness to the awakened heart, wisdom, and to ethics. In this talk, we focus especially on mindfulness and ethics.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2011-11-09 Getting Down to Direct Experience V: And practicing with views, concepts, and stories. 60:28
We again review briefly the meaning of "getting down to direct experience" and then explore how to use concepts and views skillfully as we are somewhat away from direct experience.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2011-11-02 Getting Down to Direct Experience IV: How Can We Relate Skillfully to Thinking? 58:49
After reviewing the emphasis on grounding in more direct experience, we explore how to be skillful as we move away from indirect experience with our thinking, focusing on (1) having our thinking connected with direct experience and (2) using "views" wisely. Includes Q and A.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2011-10-26 Getting Down to Direct Experience III 63:07
Building on the last two sessions, we explore three inter-related aspects of ignorance or confusion: 1. How we move away from direct experience, especially because of reactivity. 2. How we develop, personally and collectively, unconscious material;and 3. How we do not fully understand impermanence, the roots of suffering and the nature of the self. We suggest ways to practice with all three forms of ignorance.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2011-10-19 Getting Down to more Direct Experience II 57:42
We look further at the mechanisms by which we move away from direct experience. unskillfully, driven by reactivity and papanca (conceptual proliferation). We point to practices of tracking thoughts, emotions, reactivity-that help us ground in more direct experience, leading to greater freedom and responsiveness-personally interpersonally, and collectively.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2011-10-05 Getting Down to Direct Experience 59:47
The essence of our practice is to learn ever better to respond rather than react to experience. Using the model of the "Ladder of Inference," we see how we, when reactive, move away from more direct experience-personally, inter personally and socially. We then explore practices to help us "get down."
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2011-09-14 Dharmic Reflections on the 10th Anniversary of September 11th, Part II--Wisdom, Compassion and Courage in our inner and outer lives 66:13
Howard Thurman, the great African American activist, mystic, and theologian, once said: “Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” In the spirit of this guidance, we continue exploring how to understand and respond some of the core issues related to the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. We are further guided by (1) understanding the inter-relationships between individual, relational, and collective domains of practice; and (2) taking wisdom, compassion, and courage (and responsiveness) as three touchstones of our practice, both more inner and more outer.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2011-09-11 Wise Speech in Groups, Part 2: Becoming More Skillful in Challenging Group Situations 3:22:40
We begin with a review of what was covered in Part I (July 10, 2011), covering the importance of speech practice, the basics of Wise (or “Right”) Speech practice, what this practice looks like in the context of small groups, and the basics of how to approach speech practice in challenging situations. We then bring in new materials, using short presentations and exercises, that expand our capacities to respond skillfully in challenging situations. We first examine how to direct mindful attention to emotions and underlying interests or values both in ourselves and in others (using some of the models from Nonviolent Communication and the Harvard Negotiation Project on "Difficult Conversations"). We also bring attention to our stories and narratives, using the model of the "Ladder of Inference" to help clarify how we often go very quickly to stories (particularly self-centered ones, often way beyond the "data") in challenging situations. We then develop further our capacities to use these tools and perspectives in situations in which we are triggered, and to respond more skillfully.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2011-09-07 Dharmic Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of September 11 63:40
Guided by several key teachings, particularly how we might bring together wisdom, compassion, and courage, we explore some of the issues raised in reflection on the last ten years. A focus is the parallel between personal practice and responding to larger social issues.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2011-08-03 Freedom in Awareness V--Accessing Extraordinary Mind 63:05
After a review of the material of the last weeks, we explore, partly experientially three methods of accessing extraordinary awareness: 1) dropping ordinary constructions 2) exhausting the ordinary mind 3) touching pure awareness
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

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