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

2024-05-27 Memorial: Precious Human Birth–– Being Fully Human Now 1:26:21
Eugene Cash
2024-06-03 Nonviolence and Wise View in Relation to the War in Gaza 1:52:26
Sean Oakes
The war in Palestine/Israel is profoundly painful for everyone involved, including those of us witnessing the conflict and feeling it impact our communities. How might the Buddha’s teachings support us as we engage in bearing witness and participating in the larger conversation unfolding around this war and other violent conflicts? Non-violence, understood as arising from wise view and expressing as wise action, is a radical Buddhist approach to social engagement, and challenges views we may hold around right and wrong, guilt and victimhood, identity, ancestry, and land ownership. Conversation about politically-charged situations can be difficult in Dharma spaces, but the profound implications of the Buddha’s teaching can also become a real support for us in negotiating complex social and political realities.
2024-06-10 Wisdom, Nature and the Divine Feminine 1:19:40
Leslie Booker
2024-06-12 Practicing with Views, Beliefs, and Positions 1 61:19
Donald Rothberg
2024-06-19 Guided Meditation: Practicing with Views 36:07
Donald Rothberg
After initial instructions in developing stability and concentration, and then mindfulness, there are further instructions, given after 10 and after 20 minutes, on developing more mindfulness of views, stories, and narratives (related to the talk given after the meditation). At the end, there is an invitation to reflect on views or stories that have been prominent in the last few days.
2024-06-19 Practicing with Views, Beliefs, and Positions 2 63:52
Donald Rothberg
We start with a brief reflection on today's holiday, Juneteenth. Then we review last week's initial exploration of practicing with views, including (1) identifying the main teachings on views given by the Buddha, and (2) three basic ways to practice with views, including developing mindfulness of views, inquiring when there is a charge related to another's view, and developing careful listening. This review is followed by bringing in several further ways to understand and practice with views, including working with a specific teaching and letting the "view [coming from the teaching] be the meditation," exploring how sometimes to rest in a kind of unknowing, and then how awakening lies beyond views and concepts. The talk is followed by discussion.
2024-06-24 Reclaiming the Sacredness of Our Being 1:37:27
Amana Brembry Johnson
2024-06-26 Awareness & How it Actually Functions 38:43
John Travis
Dharma Talk (Group Q/A is not included)
2024-07-01 Mindfulness, Mindlessness, Rumination and the Species of Unconsciousness 1:46:22
Matthew Brensilver
2024-07-03 Toward Freedom and Awakening--Individually and as a Society: A Fourth of July Talk 62:10
Donald Rothberg
A day before the Fourth of July and two days after Canada Day, commemorating establishing Canada, we explore the possibility of connecting the vision of individual awakening and freedom and the vision of social freedom and justice. We look at the "shadows" of these visions, of how greed, hatred, and delusion, whether individual or collective, as well as other factors, stand in the way of realizing these visions. We point to the importance of staying connected to these two visions in difficult and challenging times, and of how they can be brought together. After the talk, we have a group discussion.
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