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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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2007-06-20 Summer Solstice And The Factors Of Enlightenment - part 1 50:21
The qualities of the summer solstice: stillness (between days with more or less light), light and clarity, openness and space, warmth, and abundant energy, parallel in many ways the factors of enlightenment in the teachings of the Buddha. We explore these qualities through teachings, poetry and suggestions of practice.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2007-06-13 Inquiry And Investigation - part 3 43:33
We continue exploring the nature and methods of inquiry, the freshness, openness, interest and energy it can bring to practice. We explore (1) mindfulness – based inquiry, (2) deep listening, (3) working with teachings (here particularly the Four Noble Truths and Precepts), (4) radical questions and (5) deconstructing fixed beliefs, with more time on numbers 3 – 5.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2007-06-06 Inquiry And Investigation - part 2 36:22
In this second talk on inquiry, we review some of the material from last time, including the Kalama Sutta, inquiry as a factor of awakening, and the inquiry methods of (1) mindfulness, (2) deep listening and (3) working with teachings to help inquiry. Then we explore (4) radical questions and (5) deconstruction of fixed beliefs.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2007-05-30 Inquiry And Investigation - part 1 59:16
Because we live in such a mental culture, we sometimes interpret meditation as getting rid of all thinking. But inquiry and investigation, often aided by language are crucial to Buddhist practice. We look at three practical methods of inquiry, using (1) mindfulness (2) deep listening, and (3) the lens of particular teachings.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2007-05-23 Attending To Beauty 58:34
Beth Gendler, author of Notes On The Need For Beauty, reflects in dialogue with Donald Rothberg and the Sanga, on the nature of beauty, “cleansing the doors of perception, and the place of beauty in transformative practice.”
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2007-05-16 To Study The Self, To Forget The Self, To Be Oneself 55:21
We use Dogen’s famous passage to explore issues of self and not-self, by looking at 1. how we study the self, 2. how, in studying the self, we forget the self, and 3. how, in forgetting the self, we are most ourselves and most fully with others.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2007-05-02 Right Livelihood And Vocation 55:33
Right livelihood, one of the factors of the Eightfold Path, is primarily focused on the ethical qualities of our work. We explore this factor, as well as the related sense of vocation or calling – to have one’s life and work express one’s gifts while contributing and providing a path to universal Dharma.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2007-04-28 The Path Of The Bodhisattva 63:48
The path of the Bodhisattva is both a traditional way of practice and an evolving contemporary way of linking awakening with helping others. We look at the history of the Bodhisattva and five qualities that the Bodhisattva develops. 1. intentions/vow 2. patience and commitment 3. meditation 4. wisdom and 5. skillful action.
2007-04-18 Inquiry Beneath The Surface: Working With Difficulity - part 2 63:43
In this second talk on inquiry beneath the surface through working with difficulties, we look at the basic conditioned reactions to pleasant and unpleasant, and look at how to practice and inquire on a personal and interpersonal level
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2007-04-04 Developing Energy In Our Practice: Wise Effort - part 2 62:13
A review of the traditional four “wise efforts,” formulated also in everyday (Kayalcins) language, followed by a discussion of some of the visible hazards of ‘wise effort practice” and of “effortless effect.”
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

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