July 29-30 (Saturday and Sunday), San Luis Obispo (two-day non-residential retreat). Transforming the Judgmental Mind, Cultivating the Wise Heart, Saturday, 9:30 to 4:30; Sunday, 9:30 to 3:30. 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. Sponsored by White Heron Sangha. Location: White Heron Sangha Meditation Center in Avila Village:

August 1-6 (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:

August 6, 20 (Sunday), San Rafael: Marin Sunday Sangha, 5:45 to 8 p.m.: Meditation, movement, talk, 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

August 11-13 (Friday to Sunday), Bozeman, Montana: Socially Engaged Practice (weekend retreat).

September 2-4 (Saturday to Monday), Spirit Rock: Buddhist Practice and Gandhian/Kingian Nonviolence Training: A Three-Day Labor Day Non-Residential Retreat, 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. 

Further Teaching in 2017:

September 17, Nevada City, CA: Mountain Stream (daylong).

September 22 (Friday), San Diego (Talk and discussion): Cultivating Equanimity: On and Off the Meditation Cushion, 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. 7pm-8:30 pm. Registration and further information:

September 23-24 (Saturday and Sunday), San Diego (2-day study retreat: topic TBD).

October 2-9, Spirit Rock: Settling, Seeing, and Spacious Awareness (7-day residential retreat, with Susie Harrington).

October 14-15: Reno/Carson City, NV (two daylongs).

October 20, Asheville, NC (talk).

October 21-28, Southern Dharma (near Asheville, NC): The Three Ways of Seeing That Liberate (7-day residential retreat).

October 28-29, Charlotte, NC: Talk, Saturday Evening, October 28, 2017: 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.

Daylong Retreat, Sunday, October 29, 2017: 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, go to

November 2, Washington, D.C.: Talk, 7-9 p.m.: Lamont Dharma House. 1719 Lamont St NW, Washington, DC 20010

November 3-5, Louisville, Kentucky. Non-residential weekend retreat.

November 26, December 3, 10: Marin Sangha.

December 18-23, Spirit Rock: Winter Solstice Retreat: Embracing the Dark, Inviting the Light (with Heather Sundberg and John Travis) (5-day residential 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 April 19, 26; May 3; June 7; July 19, 26; August 23; September 6, 13; further dates TBD.

Donald’s Talks Are Available At:

Dharma Seed ( /)

Audio Dharma (

Benicia Sangha (

and other sites.