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January 20: Spirit Rock, Dukkha and the End of Dukkha (with Heidi Bourne), daylong, 10 to 5 p.m. The Buddha famously said, “I have taught one thing and one thing only, dukkha[suffering or reactivity or a sense of unsatisfactoriness] and the cessation of dukkha.” In this day retreat, we will explore this core teaching as it is expressed in the Four Noble Truths and the teaching of the Two Arrows. We will suggest ways to study and implement this teaching both in formal meditation and in everyday life, through practices and reflections that bring together the wisdom of seeing the roots of dukkha, the compassion and kindness that can hold our difficulties, and skillful action to transform dukkha.

January 23, 30 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 to noon(see description at end).

February 20, 27 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 to noon(see description at end).

March 2-30: Spirit Rock, March Retreat (with Amana Johnson [yoga, trainee], Sharda Rogell, Oren Sofer, Heather Sundberg, DaRa Williams [March 2-16], Arinna Weisman [March 16-30]). Waiting list only. 

March 6 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 to noon(see description at end).

April 3 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 to noon(see description at end).

April 7: Spirit Rock: Transforming the Judgmental Mind: Daylong Retreat, 10 to 5 p.m.  (daylong), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Judgments of a reactive and compulsive nature are very strong in most of our lives. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult, and undermine our work. We will examine what judgments are and how to work with them, using mindfulness, “heart” practices, and inquiry, helping us to preserve the discernment often found in judgments, while working through the destructive aspects of judgments. We will also explore how we internalize the judgments of our society in a number of ways, particularly related to race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Participants will have the option of regular follow-up sessions.

April 10 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 to noon(see description at end).

April 26-28 (Friday to Sunday): Tucson, Arizona (Tucson Community Meditation Center—TCMC), “Things Are Not As They Appear: Four Ways of Training(non-residential weekend retreat), Friday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 to 4 p.mOur practice is understood as awakening from being asleep. We don’t see clearly; things are in reality not as they appear to us. In this retreat, we explore four ways that we see inaccurately, and four sets of understandings and practices to help us see more clearly. We investigate how we typically see: (1) through the lens of a personal self; (2) through our social conditioning; (3) by imagining solid, enduring, and separate individual beings and objects; and (4) by seeing a separation between oneself and all else. The retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, talks, and discussion. Location: TCMC, 1231 E. Edison, Tucson.For further info, go to http://www.insightmeditationtucson.org.

May 1 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 to noon(see description at end).

May 18-19 (Saturday, Sunday): Spirit Rock: Keeping Cool in the Fire--Becoming More Skillful with Inner or Outer Conflict (with Stephen Fulder from Israel). Two-Day Non-Residential Retreat, 10 to 5 p.m. each day. Conflicts can be challenging, whether in close relationships, difficult personal choices, the workplace, political polarization, or relationships between ethnic groups. In this daylong, we will suggest, using talks, meditations, and exercises, core principles and practices for working with conflicts, including those used by Stephen Fulder over many years of work on the front lines in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Guided by a vision of non-dual “conflict transformation,” rooted in the Buddha’s Middle Way, we will approach conflicts as opportunities for learning, reconciliation, steadiness, and compassion. Stephen Fulder will teach only on Saturday; Donald Rothberg will teach both days.

May 22, 29 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 to noon(see description at end).

June 5 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 to noon(see description at end). 

June 14-16 (Friday to Sunday): Spirit Rock, “Things Are Not As They Appear: Four Ways of Training (three-day non-residential retreat), 10 to 5 p.m. each day. See April 26-28.

July 3 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 to noon(see description at end).

July 6: Spirit Rock: Cultivating Wise Speech: Becoming More Skillful in Your Speech Practice (daylong), 10 to 5 p.m. Connecting our meditation practice with our speech and communication is one of the main ways to bring spiritual values further into our everyday lives. In this daylong, we will support this intention by integrating periods of sitting and walking meditation with talks, communication exercises, and discussion. We will focus on (1) the basic teachings of the Buddha on wise speech, (2) cultivating mindfulness during speaking and listening, and (3) learning how to practice wise and compassionate speech in difficult conditions--such as when there are difficult emotions, when there is conflict, or when there are challenging interpersonal or group dynamics.

July 10, 17(Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 to noon(see description at end).

Late July, early August: 3 retreats and several talks in Israel. See https://tovana.org.il/en.

August 20-25 (Tuesday to Sunday): Berkeley: Mindful Communication: A Wise Speech Retreat (with Oren Sofer), non-residential 6-day retreat, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.Integrating our meditation practice with our speech and communication is one of the main ways to bring deeply-held values into our daily lives and actions in the world. In this retreat, we will connect mindfulness and lovingkindness practice, the Buddha's teachings on wise speech, and the contemporary discipline of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Collectively, these practices form a powerful foundation for cultivating awareness and empathy, strengthen our ability to stay present in challenging situations, and develop our capacity to listen and speak from the heart. The retreat will include periods of silent meditation and interactive speech exercises. This retreat is designed both for those who want to bring more attention to speech as a spiritual practice, and for those who have emphasized communication and want further grounding in meditation. NVC will be taught at a basic level; reading Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication is recommended. Participants will have the option of continuing with follow-up sessions after the retreat.Location: Sacred Streams, 2149 Byron St., Berkeley, CA (15 minute walk from North Berkeley BART). Cost: $300 + Dana-- some scholarships available. Info/Registration: To be announced.

Further teaching in 2019:

September 27-29: Spirit Rock: Transforming the Judgmental Mind: Three-Day Non-Residential Retreat, 10 to 5 p.m. each day.

October 18 – 20, Louisville, Kentucky Non-Residential Retreat.

October 22 – 26, Teaching in Charlottesville, Virginia.

October 27 – November 5: Southern Dharma: Concentration and Insight Practice. Registration opens May 1.

November 30-December 1: Spirit Rock: Practicing the Divine Abodes (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity): Two-Day Non-Residential Retreat, 10 to 5 p.m. each day.

December 16-23 (Monday to Sunday): Spirit Rock, Winter Solstice Retreat: Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light (also with Oren Sofer, Heather Sundberg, Carol Cano, Assistant Teacher), 7-day retreat.

Ongoing Wednesdays Class, Spirit Rock, Woodacre, CA: 10 a.m. to noon morning class:Share teaching with Sylvia Boorstein (most Wednesdays, either Sylvia or I will teach): 45 minute meditation, talk and discussion. Donald will be teaching January 23, 30; February 20, 27; March 6; April 3, 10; May 1, 22, 29; June 5; July 3, 10, 17. Further dates TBD.

Donald’s Talks At: Dharma Seed (www.dharmaseed.org/),, Audio Dharma (www.audiodharma.org/).