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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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2010-01-10 Opening to our Radiant Hearts 62:19
Lovingkindness practice ultimately works because we are evoking our deep nature - of kindness and love, the "brightly shining" citta associated with lovingkindness. We explore how we can open to our radiant hearts through (1) learning to lead with our hearts, (2) cultivating concentration, (3) evoking love and working through what blocks love, and (4) touching more and more our depths.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Metta Retreat
2009-12-21 Practicing with Darkness (and Light) at the Winter Solstice 55:46
The winter solstice in our culture sometimes is close to busy and even frenzied times, yet in most cultures has been a time of deepening, stillness, and silence, like the earth. We explore four ways to practice with the darkness of the time: 1) Through stopping and stilling our habituated minds; 2) Through opening to the unknown; 3) Trhough being with what is painful or difficult; 4) Through allowing the light and the creative to emerge from darkness
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Insight Meditation at the Solstice: Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light
2009-12-16 Practicing With Views II 57:24
The Buddha's teaching on views and beliefs is radical, pointing to how we might investigate our attachments to and grasping after views and come to hold views much more lightly. How do we practice with views? We offer a number of further perspectives, from the Buddha and Nagarjuna, and practices to work with views.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-12-02 Practicing with Views Part I 63:22
We explore the nature of "views" (or strong beliefs or opinions) and how to practice with them by 1) grounding ourselves in some of the famous passages on views in the teachings of the Buddha, 2)identifying why and how views can be problematic and lead to suffering, and 3) offering practices this week to explore our views, whether personal, political or religious/spiritual.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-11-25 Distraction 61:52
We look at the nature of distraction- not attending to what is our intended focus- in three main ways, each of which we can respond to: 1) our distraction moment to moment and how we train in mindfulness, 2) our distraction in our everyday lives, and 3) how our lives become distracted in relation to our deeper intentions.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-11-18 Emptiness & Compassion Part IV 61:04
After a short account of emptiness and how we cultivate a deeper understanding of it in very practical ways, we explore the nature of compassion. We look at how it can be developed and what forms it can take, all the time pointing to how mature compassion invloves a deep sense of emptiness and interconnection (and vice versa).
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-11-11 Emptiness & Compassion III 64:01
We review the teachings on emptiness in the context of the broader teachings on the centrality of developing wisdom and compassion, expanding our examination of these teachings from last time. The last part of the session involving doing several exercises, partly explaining experience as a flowing "stream" (and seeing what obstructs the flow) and partly doing a series of four exercises with "ordinary objects" designed to take us out of our ordinary way of constructing things.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-11-06 The Mature Heart - the Integration of the Four Brahmaviharas 1:12:48
Preceded by a short chant by Rebekkah La Dyne, our yoga teacher for the retreat, we explore two main modes of transformation - one going into suffering, one involving beautiful states. We then focus on the latter, as expressed in the practice of the Brahmaviharas, the cultivation of lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity - examining their near and far enemies, and how the four interpret each other in the mature heart.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Cultivating Clear Seeing, Opening the Heart
2009-11-05 Wisdom 66:49
We examine how mindfulness is distinguished from, yet leads to wisdom. We explore wisdom especially through the life story of the Buddha, moving from comfort and and illusion to deep wisdom and compassion, and through his first teaching of the Four Noble Truths - the most basic expression of wisdom in the tradition.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Cultivating Clear Seeing, Opening the Heart
2009-11-03 The Secret Beauty of Hearts: Transformations Through Metta 62:34
Transformation in practice, whether in mindfulness or metta practice, occurs through repetition, patience, understanding and faith, in a sometimes mysterious way. Using poems and stories, we explore the nature of lovingkindness (metta) and the kinds of transformation that occur as we practice.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Cultivating Clear Seeing, Opening the Heart

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