Schedule

 

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September 2-4 (Saturday to Monday), Spirit Rock: Buddhist Practice and Gandhian/Kingian Nonviolence Training: A Three-Day Labor Day Non-Residential Retreat (with Kazu Haga), 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. The shared heart of the Buddha’s teachings and the practices of the nonviolence of Gandhi and Dr. King is the profound intention to bring love, wisdom and skillful action increasingly to every moment and to all parts of our lives. This Labor Day weekend of practice and training brings together these two approaches to provide us with resources that are vital as we prepare for the intensifying challenges — personal as well as political, social, economic and ecological — of our current time. Buddhist practices offer us detailed ways of transforming greed, hatred, and delusion into wisdom, equanimity, kindness, and a life of integrity, while Gandhian and Kingian nonviolence, grounded in love and the wisdom of interconnection, gives us methods of working especially with conflicts and injustice in communities and the larger social world. After an initial overview of the connection of Buddhist practice and Gandhian/Kingian nonviolence, the three-day retreat will intertwine the Buddha’s teachings and practices, that help us to transform the inner roots of violence, with the theory and practice of nonviolence, using role-play, small group work, meditations, and short talks. We will include time at the end of the retreat to explore suggestions for our integration of the retreat material with our daily lives and for our next steps. For further information: https://www.spiritrock.org/calendarDetails?EventID=4670.

September 6, 13 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 a.m. to noon (see class description at end).

September 22 (Friday), San Diego, CA: Insight San Diego (talk and discussion): Cultivating Equanimity, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Equanimity is the powerful quality of non-reactivity, balance, clear seeing, care, and responsiveness in relationship to whatever arises in experience. How do we cultivate equanimity in formal meditation? How do we bring equanimity into action, including difficult situations? What does equanimity mean when there is suffering and injustice? What are the challenges to equanimity and possible confusions about equanimity? In this talk, we will explore this beautiful quality of equanimity through examining these questions and pointing to perspectives and practices that help us to develop equanimity. Location: The First Unitarian Universalist Church at 4190 Front Street, San Diego, CA 92103. 7 p.m – 8:30 p.m. Registration and further information: www.insightsd.org/events.

September 23-24 (Saturday and Sunday), San Diego: San Diego Buddhist Study Series, Transforming the Judgmental Mind, Cultivating the Wise Heart: A Two-Day Study Retreat, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days (private gathering). 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 two-day non-residential 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, that often rest on unconscious or unexamined limiting beliefs. 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.

October 1 (Sunday). Beginning of EcoSattvas online course. See November 19 (day on which I speak) for more information.

October 2-9 (Monday to Monday), Spirit Rock: Settling, Seeing, and Spacious Awareness: A Retreat for Experienced Students (7-day residential retreat, with Susie Harrington). In the context of a small and intimate retreat, we will train in three inter-related modes of practice over the course of a week. First, we will settle and stabilize our minds and bodies, becoming more concentrated, through both sitting and moving forms of meditation, including regular Qigong. As we settle, we then become better able to examine closely both the different dimensions of our experience-our bodies, thoughts, and emotions-and the general patterns of experience, both more personal and more universal. We see more clearly where we are reactive, where we suffer, where there is a thick sense of self, and learn to be more with the impermanent flow of experience, transforming our reactivity and habits. We can also tune in more, as we settle and see, to an increasingly unconfined and luminous awareness beyond reactivity, that is a source of freedom, wisdom, and compassion, both in retreat practice and daily life. Spirit Rock extends a special invitation to young adults (age 18-26) who wish to attend this retreat at a rate of $35 per night, on a first come, first serve basis. A limited number of special rates are available, please apply early. Prerequisite: Completion of at least two 5-night or longer silent Insight Meditation retreats or permission of the teachers. For further information: https://www.spiritrock.org/calendarDetails?EventID=4432.

October 9 (Monday evening class), Spirit Rock, 7:15 to 9:15 p.m.

October 14-15 (Saturday, Sunday): Reno/Carson City (Minden), Nevada: Two daylongs. Dharma Zephyr Insight Meditation Community, http://www.dharmazephyr.org/. These retreat days are handicapped accessible and suitable for beginners.

October 14 (Saturday), Cultivating Wise Speech: Becoming More Skillful in Your Speech Practice (daylong), 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with a potluck immediately following). Connecting our meditation practice with our speech and communication is one of the main ways to bring spiritual values into our everyday lives and our action in the world, and can help enliven and energize our practice, since we have so many chances for practice! This daylong retreat will integrate periods of sitting and walking meditation with talks, interactive exercises, and discussion. It will cover three main areas. In the morning, we will focus on (1) the basic teachings of the Buddha on wise speech and (2) foundational mindfulness practices for our speech. In the afternoon, we will apply these perspectives and tools to (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. Location: O2 Yoga, 1557 Zerolene Place, Minden, NV 89423.

October 15 (Sunday), The Three Ways of Seeing That Bring Liberating Insight (daylong), 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Before long, knowledge and insight into impermanence, suffering, and emptiness will arise. This is the beginning of true wisdom, the heart of meditation, which leads to liberation. Follow your experience. See it. Strive continuously. Know the truth. Ajahn Chah, Thai Forest Teacher (1918-1992) 

In this mostly silent daylong retreat, we will explore, both through teachings and through silent meditation practice, the three fundamental modes of freeing insight in Buddhist insight meditation. With a foundation in first stabilizing our attention, we will then focus our mindfulness practice on three areas (sometimes called the “Three Characteristics” of phenomena): (1) Impermanence (anicca), (2) reactivity (dukkha, often translated as “suffering”), and (3) not-self (anatta). When we do not see these three areas clearly, the mind, emotions, and body become fixated, habitual, and reactive, leading to suffering, confusion, and a lack of the free flow of our experience. When we are more aware of these areas, we learn to deconstruct and release such fixations, habits, and reactivity, opening more to a spacious and luminous awareness, to greater compassion, responsiveness, and freedom. We will explore several practices for each of these three areas and identify ways to bring these practices into daily life (a resource packet will also be given out). The daylong retreat will include periods of silent and guided meditation, talks, and discussion. Location: O2 Yoga, 1557 Zerolene Place, Minden, NV 89423.

October 20 (Friday), Asheville, North Carolina: Asheville Insight, 7 to 8:30 p.m.Talk and discussion. Location: 175 Weaverville Road, Suite H, Asheville, NC 28804. For further information: http://www.ashevillemeditation.com/.

October 21-28 (Saturday through Saturday), Southern Dharma Retreat Center (near Asheville, NC): Ways of Seeing That Bring Liberation: A Retreat for Experienced Practitioners (7-day residential retreat).

Before long, knowledge and insight into impermanence, suffering, and emptiness will arise. This is the beginning of true wisdom, the heart of meditation, which leads to liberation. Follow your experience. See it. Strive continuously. Know the truth. –Ajahn Chah, Thai Forest Teacher (1918-1992)

 

From a basis in settling our minds, emotions, and bodies, we will focus on what Rob Burbea calls “seeing that frees.” We examine closely three general, universal patterns of experience. We learn to notice more fully and be more with the impermanent flow of experience. We see more clearly how we are reactive, how we suffer. And we track increasingly when and how there is a “thick” sense of self. As we practice these ways of seeing clearly, we also tune into a further way of seeing—through an open, spacious, and luminous awareness, beyond fixation on any part of the impermanent flow, beyond reactivity and the thick self. We’ll balance this training in clear seeing with grounding in the body, in part through (optional) Qigong, and in kindness and compassion. Prerequisite: Retreatants must have completed at least two 5-day or longer silent Insight Meditation retreats or have the permission of the teacher. For further information: https://www.southerndharma.org/schedule.shtml#/event/128/ways-of-seeing-that-bring-liberation-a-retreat-for-experienced-practitioners. Waiting list only.

October 28-29 (Saturday evening, Sunday), Charlotte, NC: Evening talk and daylong retreat. For further information: http://www.insightmeditationcharlotte.org.

October 28 (Saturday evening), Talk: The Engaged Spiritual Life: Connecting Inner and Outer Transformation, 7 – 9 p.m. Despite contemporary examples such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., and historical examples such as those of the Jewish prophets, Jesus, and Buddhist bodhisattvas, all too often the spiritual and the social have been separated, for a number of reasons. Donald Rothberg will explore, based on thirty years of scholarship, teaching, and activism connecting the spiritual and social, and his book, The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World, how we might bring the spiritual and the social together in a contemporary way, how they deeply require one another, and how this integration might help us respond to the great challenges of our times. He will identify key principles and practices that can help us to weave together the different parts of our lives—personal, interpersonal, and social—increasingly into a seamless whole.  Location: Park Road Baptist Church, Milford Chapel, 3900 Park Road, Charlotte NC 28209.

October 29 (Sunday), Daylong Retreat: Awakening Individually and Collectively in a Time of Need: A Day of Mindfulness and Inquiry, 9 – 5 p.m. How do we combine depth of spiritual practice with engaging in the larger world, responding to the major challenges of our times? In this daylong, we will combine periods of silent practice, helping us to quiet our minds, deepen insight, and open our hearts, with exploration of the connection between inner and outer transformation through interactive practices, short talks, and discussion. Recognizing that there are phases of more inner work and more outer engagement, and very personal ways of navigating this balance, Donald will help us clarify a number of themes related to engaged practice, such as: seeing the world with dharma eyes; working with wise speech and cultivating empathy in the midst of differences and conflicts; opening to difficult emotions and working with reactivity; and connecting with the vision of what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “beloved community.” Location: Central Piedmont Community College, Overcash Building #300, 1206 Elizabeth Ave., Charlotte NC 28204. For further information: http://www.insightmeditationcharlotte.org.

November 2 (Thursday), Washington, D.C.: Lamont Dharma House. Talk, 7-9 p.m. Location: 1719 Lamont St NW, Washington, DC 20010. For further information: https://lamontdharma.org.

November 3-5 (weekend), Louisville, Kentucky: Non-residential weekend retreat. The Engaged Spiritual Life: Awakening Individually and Collectively in a Time of Need. How do we combine depth of spiritual practice with engaging in the larger world, responding to the major challenges of our times? The path of engaged Buddhism is a path connecting inner and outer transformation. It is about coming to see that our real work is the same whether we are in silent practice, with our families or communities, or helping to transform our larger society and ecosystems. It is to be aware and present to what is happening; to respond empathically and compassionately to suffering; to understand our interdependence and to help develop what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “beloved community”; to transform reactivity and to work skillfully with difficult emotions and thoughts; to develop wise speech and communication; and to act with wisdom, commitment, grace, and equanimity in difficult circumstances and with conflicts. Recognizing that there are phases of more inner work and more outer engagement, and very personal ways of navigating this balance, Donald will help us identify key principles and practices that can help us to weave together the different parts of our lives and practice—individual, relational, and collective—increasingly into a seamless whole. He will share insights from over twenty-five years of teaching, scholarship, developing training programs, and action in this area. The retreat will include silent and guided periods of sitting and walking meditation, interactive exercises, talks, discussion, and meetings with the teacher, all in the context of about 40% of the retreat in silent practice. Location: Passionist Earth & Spirit Center ("The Barn"), 1924 Newburg Road, Louisville. For further information, Glenda Hodges-Cook at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,  www.louisville-vipassana-community.org.

November 6 (Monday), Louisville, Kentucky, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Meditation, talk, and discussion. Location: Clifton Unitarian Church, 2231 Payne Street. Info: www.louisville-vipassana-community.org.

November 7 (Tuesday), Lexington, Kentucky: 7 to 9 p.m. For further information: http://lexington.shambhala.org.

November 15, 22, 29 (Wednesday morning class), Spirit Rock. 10 a.m. to noon (see class description at end).

November 19: Ecosattva Training, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. (Pacific). I’ll be co-leading this session. A 7-session online program, beginning October 1. See https://oneearthsangha.org/programs/2017-ecosattva-training/. Program description: An online course for aspiring ecosattvas. How might we most thoroughly express our love for this life and all life? What does it mean to express a mindful, compassionate response to climate change? What new ways of relating to ourselves, one another, and the world does this wisdom tradition call us into?

November 26, December 3, 10 (Sundays): San Rafael: Marin Sunday Sangha, 5:45 to 8 p.m.: Movement, meditation, discussion. 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.

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

December 18-23, Spirit Rock: Winter Solstice Retreat: Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light (with Heather Sundberg and John Travis) (5-day residential retreat). In this retreat, we will emphasize centering ourselves at the time of the holidays and the New Year, quieting our minds, grounding in our bodies, opening up our hearts, and using inquiry to help give energy to our practice. There will be a special emphasis on opening to the darkness, including to our difficulties and challenges, as well as to the coming light--such as beauty, joy and love. We will have a winter solstice ceremony. The retreat will include complete meditation instructions, sitting and walking meditation, daily lovingkindness practice, evening talks, and meetings with teachers. Spirit Rock extends a special invitation to young adults (age 18-26) who wish to attend this retreat at a rate of $35 per night, on a first come, first serve basis. A limited number of special rates are available; please apply early.For further information: https://www.spiritrock.org/calendarDetails?EventID=4518.

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 September 6, 13; November 15, 22, 29; December 6; further dates TBD.

Donald’s Talks Are Available At:

Dharma Seed (www.dharmaseed.org /)

Audio Dharma (www.audiodharma.org/)

Benicia Sangha (www.bsangha.net/)

and other sites.