The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
Retreat Dharma Talks at Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Monday and Wednesday Talks

Regular weekly talks given at the lower Spirit Rock meditation hall

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

2023-03-01 Tatramajjhattata: Here in the middleness of our lives, choosing a path & taking it 1:14:57
Heidi Bourne
Includes meditation & dharma talk (the participant Q/A has been removed).
2023-03-06 My Civil Rights Road Trip 1:42:06
Ruth King
2023-03-08 Thich Nhat Hanh Tells Us: Make Good Use of the Mud 1:19:03
Heidi Bourne
Includes meditation & dharma talk. All Q/A has been removed *except* for 1 participant question - which is directly connected to the title of the talk.
2023-03-15 The Natural & Radical Practices of Wisdom & Compassion 1:28:11
Heidi Bourne
Includes meditation & dharma talk (the participant Q/A has been removed).
2023-03-20 A Teacher’s Trauma Resolution Journey 1:47:51
Pawan Bareja
2023-03-22 How to See the Big Picture when Times are Tough 1:19:38
Kaira Jewel Lingo
Includes a meditation & dharma talk (the participant Q/A has been removed)
2023-03-27 Love, Let, Loosen: Wise Intention 1:44:41
Dawn Mauricio
2023-03-29 Awakening and Habitual Tendencies 1 63:59
Donald Rothberg
Donald shares some of the main themes of his experiences from a four-week retreat that finished four days before the talk. The talk focuses on one of the themes from the retreat--how there is an awakening process and yet how there remain habitual tendencies and times of greed, hatred, and delusion. How do we understand the relationship between seeing our "true nature" to be love and wisdom, and the fact that habitual tendencies appear frequently? We explore this theme in a few ways. We look at some of the understandings and stories in different religious traditions of something like this dynamic: How can there be "evil" when there is an all-powerful and all-good God? What accounts for this dichotomy? How are nirvana and samsara related? What guidelines and suggestions help us to practice so as to hold the aspiration to awaken and keep practicing with the acknowledgement of our habitual tendencies? Seven practice suggestions are given (see the attached file).
Attached Files:
  • Seven Suggestions for Practice: Awakening Amidst Habitual Tendencies by Donald Rothberg (Word File)
2023-04-03 Happiness and the Path of Practice 1:58:45
Nikki Mirghafori
2023-04-05 Awakening and Habitual Tendencies 2 60:59
Donald Rothberg
We continue to explore a theme coming out of Donald's recent month-long retreat, of how we can hold and work with the understanding that there is both a process of awakening, often seen as mostly gradual, and a typically everyday experience of our habitual tendencies, including our difficulties and challenges. We review and expand some of what we examined in the previous session, including looking more at how the Buddha understood the nature of samsara and nirvana, and at the seven practices suggested last week for navigating this area (available to be downloaded--see the previous week's talk). We then go somewhat further and deeper, pointing to further ways of practicing, such as inquiring into the sense of self found in different habitual tendencies, and developing a devotional attitude toward both our ordinary lives and our habitual tendencies, as making possible the awakening process. We also touch on Mahayana and Vajrayana perspectives--that samsara and nirvana are not different (articulated by Nagarjuna), and that awakened awareness and habitual tendencies are not different (from Tibetan Dzogchen). These practices and perspectives help us to maintain confidence and faith in awakening in the midst of things!
Creative Commons License