Schedule

 

prints_lg_imagination
 

August 19 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

August 21-23 (Friday evening through Sunday), Albuquerque, New Mexico: Transforming the Judgmental Mind: A Weekend Non-Residential Retreat). Friday, 7 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 to 4:30 p.m. Judgments of a reactive and often automatic nature are very strong in most of our lives, and in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult, and undermine our work in the world. In this weekend retreat, we will explore the nature of such judgments (and their difference from non-reactive discernment) and how to transform them. We will cultivate mindfulness, inquiry, and heart practices such as lovingkindness, forgiveness, and compassion. We will also explore the somatic and social dimensions of judgments and the role of cultivating awakened qualities in transforming judgments. These tools will help us to preserve the intelligence and energy often found in judgments, using them for discernment and compassionate action, while working through judgments' destructive and compulsive aspects. This retreat will include sitting and walking meditation, including instructions for several guided practices, talks and group discussion, and some basic movement practices, all in the context of a small, supportive community. Please bring a lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Attendance at whole retreat requested (or just Friday evening).Location: Albuquerque Vipassana Center, 200 Rosemont Ave., Albuquerque, NE. For further information, go to http://abqsangha.org/site/ or http://abqsangha.org/flyers-retreats/2015-08-rothberg.pdf.

August 25-30 (Tuesday to Sunday), Vallecitos Retreat Center (New Mexico): Mindful Communication: A Wise Speech Retreat (with Oren Sofer). Integrating 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 loving kindness practice, the Buddha’s teachings on Right Speech, relational awareness practices, and the contemporary discipline of Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Collectively, these practices form a powerful foundation for cultivating insight, awareness, self-understanding, and empathy; developing our capacity to listen and speak from the heart; and strengthening our ability to stay present and be more skillful in challenging situations. The retreat will begin with a day of silent practice; further days will include morning and afternoon sessions of interactive speech practice along with continued silent practice. 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. Further info: http://www.vallecitos.org/events/mindfulcommunicationretreat. Scholarships available for women of color and K-12 teachers.

September 1 (Tuesday evening), Santa Fe, New Mexico, 6:15 p.m.: Santa Fe Vipassana Sangha. Meditation, talk, discussion. Location: Mountain Cloud Zen Center, 7241 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505. For further information, go http://santafevipassana.org/.

September 5 (Saturday), Spirit Rock, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.: The “Thinning” of the Self: Exploring and Practicing Anattā (“Not-Self”). The teaching of anattā (“not-self”) points to one of the three fundamental areas of liberating insight taught by the Buddha (along with the teachings on impermanence and on suffering or dukkha). Yet anattā can very challenging and confusing for contemporary practitioners. Is there “no self” (as anattā is sometimes translated)? How do we make sense of our feelings of individuality, identity, ancestry, and vocation? How do we address our own personal experiences of woundedness, trauma, and oppression? Are these all simply to be “transcended”? How is a sense of self actually in many ways important for contemporary spiritual development, and how is working with our own individual conditioning, whether psychological or social in origin, central to our liberation? How do we integrate attending to such conditioning with opening as well to the power and energy of experiences beyond the habitual sense of self?

In this daylong, we will explore these vital questions primarily in a practical way. Using the metaphors of “thinning the self” and working with a “thick” sense of self, we will cover three aspects of practice: (1) cultivating, in several ways, the “thinning” of the self, both in meditation and in everyday life, including working with the Five Skandhas or “aggregates” of experience; (2) tracking and working with different manifestations of a “thick” sense of self, both as appearing in experience and as hidden to awareness; and (3) opening to experiencing beyond a fixed sense of self, as awareness, compassion, and responsiveness deepen.

CEU offered: Exploring these ways of cultivating useful aspects of the self, “thinning the self,” identifying the “thick” self, and going beyond a fixed sense of self can be particularly helpful for those working in psychology, particularly those integrating psychology and spirituality, and health care, particularly those in mind-body medicine.

September 11 (Friday evening), Oakland: East Bay Meditation Center, 6.30 to 8.30 p.m.: Movement, meditation, and talk. 285 17th St., Oakland (near 19th St. Oakland BART), 510-268-0696, http://www.eastbaymeditation.org/, no fee, support for center and teachers all on a dana (generosity or donation) basis.

September 14-20, Spirit Rock: Transforming the Judgmental Mind (with Heather Sundberg). Judgments of a reactive and often automatic nature are very strong in most of our lives, and in the dominant culture. They can distort our perceptions, make relationships with others difficult, and undermine our work in the world. 

In this retreat, we will explore the nature of such judgments (and their difference from non-reactive discernment) and how to transform them. We will cultivate mindfulness, inquiry, and heart practices such as lovingkindness, forgiveness, gratitude, joy, and compassion. We will also explore the somatic dimension of judgments, the role of cultivating awakened qualities in transforming judgments, and how to cultivate skill in speech and interaction in the midst of situations involving judgments, whether our own or those of others. These tools will help us to preserve the intelligence and energy often found in judgments, using them for discernment and compassionate action, while working through judgments' destructive and compulsive aspects. 

The retreat will be held mostly in silence (with the first day fully in silence), with some periods of discussion (small and large group) and some interactive exercises (particularly the last full day), along with group and individual interviews.

September 23, 30 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

September 26 (Saturday), San Francisco Zen Center: Service as Practice, 1:30 to 5 p.m. In this half-day workshop, we’ll explore: (1) the nature of “service” and how service becomes, in our times, a contemporary path of practice, a “path of service”; (2) some of the most important qualities and capacities to be developed in a path of service, focusing on generosity and “heart practices” such as compassion, empathy, forgiveness, and equanimity; and (3) some of the challenges in following a path of service and how to meet these challenges. We’ll combine silent practice with teaching and discussion. Location: 300 Page Street, San Francisco, CA, 94102. Further information: http://www.sfzc.org/, 415-863-3136, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

September 27, October 4 (Sunday): Marin Sunday Sangha, San Rafael, 5:45 to 8 p.m.: Meditation, talk, discussion, meditation. Sangha founded by Phillip Moffitt and held at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 10 Bayview Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901. For further info, go to www.marinsangha.org/sangha/.

October 5-6, Spirit Rock: Awakening the Heart: Practicing the “Divine Abodes” (Lovingkindness, Compassion, Joy, Equanimity): A Two-Day Non-Residential Retreat (with Heather Sundberg).

October 7 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

October 9-11, Louisville, Kentucky Non-Residential Retreat: From the Breath to Spacious Awareness  See October 16 for description (no prerequisite for weekend retreat). For further information, contact Glenda Hodges-Cook at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or go to www.louisville-vipassana-community.org.

October 16-23, Southern Dharma (North Carolina): From the Breath to Spacious Awareness. In this retreat, we will explore, both through teachings and through silent meditation practice, a sequence of training that has three main parts, connecting our foundational mindfulness practice with opening to deeper awareness and greater freedom: (1) Stabilizing attention and cultivating concentration, particularly through mindfulness of breathing; (2) Developing insights into where and how the mind fixates or grasps, leading to suffering and a lack of a sense of the flow of experience, particularly related to our sense of self and our habitual patterns, and learning to deconstruct and release such fixations; (3) Opening to awareness beyond fixation and grasping, to moments of freedom, through a number of specific steps and practices, informed by teachings from the Buddha as well as the Thai Forest tradition and other Buddhist traditions.

We will explore several practices for each of these three training areas, and ways to bring such practices into daily life, as our awareness, compassion, and responsiveness deepen. 

There will be ongoing emphasis on and attention to the embodiment of our practice through Qigong, guided meditations, and instructions, allowing us to more easily carry the practices into our daily lives. 

Prerequisite: One retreat in mindfulness practice or permission of the coordinating teacher. Waiting list only.

November 4, 11 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

December 2, 9 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

December 4, 11 (Friday evenings), Oakland: East Bay Meditation Center, 6.30 to 8.30 p.m.: Movement, meditation, and talk. 285 17th St., Oakland (near 19th St. Oakland BART), 510-268-0696, http://www.eastbaymeditation.org/, no fee, support for center and teachers all on a dana (generosity or donation) basis.

December 6, 13 (Sunday): Marin Sunday Sangha, San Rafael, 5:45 to 8 p.m.: Meditation, talk, discussion, meditation. Sangha founded by Phillip Moffitt and held at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, 10 Bayview Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901. For further info, go to www.marinsangha.org/sangha/.

December 17-23, Spirit Rock: Insight Meditation Winter Solstice Retreat (with Heather Sundberg and JohnTravis).

December 30 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 9 to 11 a.m. (see class description at end).

January 11-18 (Monday to Monday), Spirit Rock, Metta Retreat, 7-day retreat (with Sylvia Boorstein, Konda Mason [yoga], Heather Sundberg, and Larry Yang).

Ongoing Wednesdays Class, Spirit Rock, Woodacre, CA: 9 to 11 a.m. morning class: Co-teach with Sylvia Boorstein (most Wednesdays, either Sylvia or I will teach): 45 minute meditation, talk and discussion. Class cost $8-10, teaching is by donation (dana).Donald will be teaching August 19; September 23, 30; October 7; November 4, 11; December 2, 9, 30.

Information for Spirit Rock Retreats and Daylongs: Registration: For more information, call 415-488-0164 or go to www.spiritrock.org/. Daylongs cost $50-108 sliding scale, plus a donation (dana) for the teacher. Volunteer opportunities are available; contact the Spirit Rock volunteer coordinator, at 415-488-0164, x224.

Donald’s Talks Are Available At:

Dharma Seed (www.dharmaseed.org /)

Audio Dharma (www.audiodharma.org/)

Benicia Sangha (www.bsangha.net/)

and other sites.