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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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2009-09-16 Service as a Path of Practice, Pt 1: Challenges and how to work with them 53:57
We may understand and express our spiritual practice as helping others. What does such a path look like? What are some of the challenges and issues? We name burnout, self-righteousness, being overwhelmed, attachment to outcome, etc. and begin to explore how to work with these challenges.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-08-05 Practicing with the Eight Worldly Winds, pt 2 58:33
We continue to explore 1) being mindful when a wind is present; 2) the nature of the winds; 3) responding skilfully. We add an emphasis on resting in what is deeper and examine several issues that arise in practicing with the winds
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-07-29 The 8 Worldly Winds, I 59:06
An examination of how we practice with pleasure and pain, gain and loss, fame and disrepute, praise and blame; with stories referring to Buddha's teaching + discussion.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-06-27 Service as a Path of Practice 45:25
How do we take our service as a path of practice? Most basically, we take helping others as the center (or a major part) of our lives, and we examine, in our service, what helps develop “selfless” service and the barriers to such service, especially a sense of duality between self and other. We explore how a connection between “inner” and “outer” practice structures a life of service, and how such practice can also be understood as the development of particular qualities—we focus on the development of (1) clarity of intentions, (2) generosity, (3) gratitude, and (4) compassion, and on some of the challenges that arise when cultivating such qualities, and in service generally.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Volunteer Appreciation
2009-06-23 The Awakening Prophet 63:39
One interpretation of Jewish mindfulness connects mindfulness with the Jewish prophetic tradition. This suggests an understanding of spiritual practice as involving both "inner" transformation toward liberation and "outer" transformation toward a liberated society; actually, the two are intimately connected. We first explore, partly through music, the prophetic tradition. We then examine how both our inner and outer practice can be understood in similar ways, following the core principles, in terms of development in wisdom and mindfulness (the mind), compassion and love (the heart), and courage and skillful action (the body).
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Jewish Mindfulness
2009-06-17 Practicing with Anger, pt II 59:58
We review and fill out some of the themes from part I, why it is important and yet often confusing to work with anger; and several guidelines and tools (mindfulness, reflection, heart practices) for practicing with anger individually. We add an overview of how to practice with anger in relational an social contexts with others, focusing especially on skillful speech.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-06-10 Practicing with Anger, Pt I 60:12
For many of us, it is hard to know how to practice with anger. We explore some of the reasons for confusion about anger, including the mixed messages we get about anger in many settings, the different connotations of what is translated as "anger" East and West, and the conditioning around anger. We then outline three ways of more "inner" work with anger, through 1) mindfulness, 2) reflections and 3) heart practices like lovingkindness, compassion and forgiveness.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-05-23 The Path of Engagement and Its importance for our Times 56:31
How do we find depth, focus and support for an engaged path? And why do we need such a path? Aren't traditional Buddhist paths complete and adequate for our times? In this talk, we explore these issues, identifying 1) the structure of the traditional path of training in ethics, meditation, and wisdom; 2) what an engaged path adds or extends and the way that it meets the needs of our times; and 3) five core training areas for engaged paths.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Path of Engagement # 5
2009-05-20 Practicing with the Shadow, pt III The Collective Shadow and How We Work with It 65:24
We first revisit the exploration of the shadow, how it forms, and how we work with it, we then look into the nature of collective shadow phenomena, how the personal and collective shadow inter-penetrate, and how we work with the collective shadow. The key, as always, is to establish a relatively safe space to develop awareness, compassion and wisdom, leading to skillful action.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2009-05-13 Practicing with the Shadow, pt 2 61:04
The shadow as it relates to spiritual practice. That which does not fit the self image is excluded and becomes part of one's shadow. Reactivity as in indication that shadow material is in play. We explore ways in which a fixed self of is linked to shadow.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

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