The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
Dharma Talks given at Spirit Rock Meditation Center
2021-01-12 Equanimity and Loving Our Enemies within the Framework of the Four Brahmaviharas 59:56
  Kaira Jewel Lingo
The talk begins with an introduction to the Four Brahmaviharas and an exploration of how they are distinct (drawing on Ven. Analayo's sun simile). We then explore what equanimity is and how it supports metta when it comes to keeping our hearts open to those we find difficult. We also explore how equanimity helps us to stand up for what we believe in. The talk ends with a song based on a Thich Nhat Hanh poem about how to face injustice and hatred and still continue on.
Metta Retreat

2021-01-11 The Challenges of Metta Practice and Guidance from the Metta Sutta 58:39
  Konda Mason
Metta Retreat

2021-01-10 Our Training in Cultivating Metta: An Overview 55:07
  Donald Rothberg
Practicing metta is an ancient vocation in which we incline toward metta, toward a warm, expansive friendliness, each moment. In doing so, we also come to see what gets in the way of metta. A metta retreat offers us a focused period of training, helping us then to bring our metta more into our formal practice, our daily lives, and a world deeply in need of metta. Yet there are challenges in metta practice. We also identify a number of these challenges, and how responses to the challenges point to some of the fundamental ways that training in metta transforms us.
Metta Retreat

2021-01-06 Practicing with Intentions 1: Individual Formal and Daily Life Practice 1:11:08
  Donald Rothberg
At this time of transition, for the earth in the Northern Hemisphere, for many of us in the New Year, and for the U.S., in which clarity of intentions is so important, we explore two types of intentions: (1) aspiration or being guided by one's deeper values and intentions, sometimes taking the form of vows; and (2) moment-to-moment intentions. We are especially interested in connecting the two types of intentions. A focus on moment-to-moment intentions (cetana) helps us with wise action and practice moment-to-moment, seeing which intentions are skillful and which are not (including implicit or even unconscious tendencies linked with habitual energies). We look a number of ways of practicing with intentions both in our formal and our informal practice. We close with a short writing exercise bringing out our core intentions and next steps for the coming period, and then have a period of discussion and sharing.
Monday and Wednesday Talks

2021-01-03 From Anxiety to Kind Presence: Dharma and Mindful Movement 3:29:59
  Djuna Devereaux
In our current global situation and resulting personal life challenges, anxiety is a natural reaction. However, our bodies are not designed for chronic stress, and it can derail our well-being. Our day retreat will utilize mindfulness and embodied practices to relieve anxiety and restore a sense of trust in our body’s ability to self-regulate. Our sessions will weave Dharma wisdom, rhythmic breath work, and mindful movement emphasizing somatic awareness. These practices are designed to release chronic tension, regulate our nervous systems, calm reactivity, and develop a gentle relationship with ourselves. This process of resourcing will reconnect us with our innate calm presence, for agency over our responses and greater resilience. We will then turn toward the hindrance of anxiety and investigate its nuances with kindness and self-compassion. We may come to know anxiety as a teacher—one that deepens mindful awareness and a tender connection to our inner states.

2020-12-30 Honoring Endings, Welcoming Beginnings. 1:17:43
  Heidi Bourne
Monday and Wednesday Talks

2020-12-28 Monday Night Dharma Talk - Not Running from the Past: Integrating the gifts of 2020 1:40:09
  Kaira Jewel Lingo

2020-12-19 Practicing at the Winter Solstice: Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light 62:29
  Donald Rothberg
After setting the context of the Winter Solstice, in terms of the earth and the history of many varied cultures which have had rituals and ceremonies at this time, we explore, through teachings, stories, and poems, five ways that we open to the dark: (1) We stop and become still, like the earth. (2) We learn to be more able to be skillfully with difficulties and challenges.. (3) We become more comfortable and skillful in conditions of not knowing, as we open to the unknown, the mystery, and shadow areas, both individual and collective. (4) We come to experience darkness as generative and fertile, creative and dynamic. (5) We come to experience darkness as luminous, as generating light, as opening us to the light.
Winter Solstice Insight Retreat: Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light
Attached Files:
  • Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light by Donald Rothberg (PDF)

2020-12-16 To Press Our Hands to Each Other’s Hearts 1:37:43
  Heidi Bourne
Monday and Wednesday Talks

2020-12-14 Monday Night Dharma Talk 1:33:56
  Jack Kornfield

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