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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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2018-12-12 Practicing with the Darkness of Our Time 2 65:13
We continue exploring a number of ways to “practice with darkness.” We first review of some of the themes explored last week, including understanding practicing with the darkness in terms of (1) stopping, (2) being with the difficult or painful, (3) not knowing, and (4) how the darkness is generative and fertile. We then examine the themes of the “shadow” (both individual and collective”) and how darkness can be luminous, with reference to the experience of the “Dark Night” first spoken of by St. John of the Cross.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2018-12-05 Practicing with the Darkness of Our Time 1 64:07
Inspired by the moving into the darkness of the Winter Solstice, we explore four understandings of darkness that can guide our practice at this time: (1) the importance of stopping, as seems to be the case at this time of year with the earth, disengaging for a period, and listening deeply; (2) being more skillful with what is difficult or challenging; (3) learning to be with what is unknown or unresolved; and (4) seeing how the darkness can, as is so with the earth, be generative and fertile. We apply these understandings mostly to our individual practice, but also to the difficulties and unknowns of our collective situation.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2018-12-05 Wednesday Morning Meditation 2:02:25
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2018-11-28 Practicing Generosity 62:03
We review last week’s focus on developing gratitude, and continue with the related practice of developing generosity. We explore the importance of generosity across multiple spiritual traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and, in more depth, Buddhism, pointing to several practices of practicing generosity and some of the challenges of such practice.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2018-11-21 Cultivating Gratitude 63:45
Through teachings, poems, stories, and reference to the science related to cultivating gratitude, we explore the nature of gratitude and how to practice it.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2018-11-19 Monday Night Dharma Talk 67:58
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2018-11-07 Dukkha and the End of Dukkha--Individual and Collective 1:24:07
We explore the core teaching of the Buddha; he says, "I teach one thing and one thing only, dukkha and the end of dukkha." We examine how we can understand and practice this teaching in terms both of individual and collective dukkha, especially understanding dukkha as reactivity.
Asheville Insight Meditation
2018-10-24 Cultivating Wise Speech 2 2:06:45
Description:We review first why speech practice is so important and how it connects with the Noble Eightfold Path, and then two of the foundations of skillful or wise (or right) speech. We cover: (1) working with the four guidelines from the Buddha for wise speech, and how we can use the guidelines both to guide our speech and as spurs for mindfulness, when we find ourselves going against the guidelines; and (2) developing a sense of presence during speaking and listening. We then explore some general ways to strengthen our speech practice, as well as begin to bring it into challenging or difficult situations involving speech and interaction. We end with a speech exercise involving dyads, and discussion of the exercise and our practice generally.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2018-10-17 Cultivating Wise Speech 1 64:49
We start with an overview of the contemporary importance of training in wise speech, and the place of wise (or "right") speech traditionally, as one of the factors of the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddha. We then examine two foundational aspects of wise speech, first a grounding in the ethical guidelines for speech given by the Buddha, and secondly the intention to be present and mindful during speaking and listening. Finally, there is a guided practice in dyads especially of the second foundational dimension of speech practice.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2018-10-09 Transforming Reactivity in Everyday Life 54:05
We look at "reactivity" as a non-literal "translation" and clarification of the nature of dukkha, and examine, through a talk and discussion, a number of ways to practice when reactivity or dukkha arises. We remember the Buddha's teaching: "I have taught one thing and one thing only, dukkha and the cessation of dukkha.”
Santa Fe Vipassana Sangha

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