Tara Brach, Ph.D is an internationally known meditation teacher and author of bestselling Radical Acceptance and True Refuge. Tara shares a weekly guided meditation and talk that blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices. The podcast addresses the value of mindfulness meditation and s…
Listeners of Tara Brach that love the show mention: thank you tara, tara brach, listen to tara, listening to tara, radical acceptance, love tara, grateful for tara, love series, tara's podcast, meditation teacher, othering, thanks tara, spiritual teachings, mediations, sangha, yet profound, dharma talks, big impact, heart opening, gentle voice.
Preparing our Hearts for the Holidays (2021-12-01) - While the holidays can be times of loving celebration, they can also highlight relational conflicts and challenges. This talk explores how, given the stress of the season, we can bring grace and openheartedness to ourselves and others.
Heart Meditation: Taking in the Goodness (2021-12-01) - Taking in the Goodness: Rumi said, “Whenever some kindness comes to you, turn that way – toward the source of kindness.” This meditation guides us to look for the source of loving and to turn in that direction. It begins with a lovingkindness practice that spreads the image of a smile into the body, then continues with a practice of seeing the goodness of ourselves and others.
Gratitude: Entering Sacred Relationship - Gratitude arises when we are in sacred relationship with life—present, open and receptive. This talk explores how central gratitude is to our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, and then looks at the ways we can directly gladden our minds with gratitude. We end with a guided meditation that includes sharings from the group, and a poem of blessing by John O'Donohue with a brief cut from Robert Gass – Om Namaha Shivaya (from the archives).
Meditation: Energy and Source (2021-11-24) - Our incessant thinking removes us from the full aliveness, vastness and mystery of Being. This guided practice helps us inhabit our energetic forms, and rest in the vast, formless stillness that gives rise to this ever creative living world.
Recevoir la bonté présente - Méditation de retraite - Rumi à dit : « À chaque fois que vous recevez une gentillesse, tournez-vous vers sa source, la source de la bienveillance. » Cette méditation nous guide à chercher la Source de l'amour et à nous tourner vers elle. Cette méditation débute avec une pratique de bienveillance qui répand l'image du sourire dans tout notre corps pour continuer avec une pratique de reconnaitre la bonté en nous et chez les autres. Cette méditation est de Tara Brach. Elle est traduite et dite avec sa permission par Dominique Fugère (Québec, Canada).
Facing the Truths That Keep Us from Love: Conversation between Rev Angel Kyodo Williams and Tara Brach - Our happiness and capacity to love fully arise as we face and embrace all domains of our existence. In this conversation we look at the often unexamined societal conditioning that, when unseen, perpetuates caste systems that harm ourselves and all involved. Our inquiry: For the sake of freedom, how do we deepen our attention to see the forces that cut us off from wholeness, from belonging, from living from an awake, compassionate heart?
Meditation: Filling Our Body with Love (2021-11-17) - When we are fully awake, love shines through our entire body and being. This meditation awakens that embodied love through the image and felt sense of the smile, scanning through the body, resting in loving presence and offering loving prayer.
Meditation: RAIN of Compassion (9 min.) - In this short practice we are guided in bringing the mindfulness and self-nurturing of RAIN to a difficult emotion. This helps us shift from feeling stuck and reactive to the tender and spacious presence that is our true home.
Fear and Love (2021-11-01) - Only when we face our fears can we discover the freedom to love without holding back. This talk looks at how unprocessed fear contracts our body, heart and mind, and on a societal level is the cause of othering and violence. We then explore how arousing mindfulness, compassion and prayer can enlarge our basic sense of Being. As we deepen attention to the nature of awareness, we discover a refuge that is timeless…a refuge that is our true home (given at the IMCW 2021 Fall Retreat).
After the RAIN: The Flowering of Awake Awareness - Part 2 (2021 -11 -03) - The blessing of the spiritual path is homecoming to our essential nature—wakeful, loving awareness. These two talks explore the grounds of that awakening, which is a shift of identity from that of a separate self to realizing the formless luminous presence that, like a boundless ocean, includes all the waves or expressions of our being. This two-part series includes several guided reflections and invites us into the dimensions of the path that lead to true freedom.
Meditation: The Return to Presence - Rest Your Mind In What Is (2021-11-03) - It's natural that our attention wanders, and the more we relax back, the more that becomes our habit…returning to presence. This meditation opens with conscious breathing and awakening through the body. We then rest in open awareness, and when the attention drifts, guide ourselves to rest our minds, over and over, in the aliveness and presence that is right here.
After the RAIN: Part 1 - The Flowering of Awake Awareness - The blessing of the spiritual path is homecoming to our essential nature—wakeful, loving awareness. These two talks explore the grounds of that awakening, which is a shift of identity from that of a separate self to realizing the formless luminous presence that, like a boundless ocean, includes all the waves or expressions of our being. This two-part series includes several guided reflections and invites us into the dimensions of the path that lead to true freedom.
Meditation: The Space of Loving Awareness (2021-10-27) - This meditation begins by guiding us through a scan: opening to inner space and aliveness, then to outer space, and then continuous space, filled with the light of awareness. We explore how every experience belongs to this infinite awake space of our Being and can be held with tenderness and love.
Wise Investigation: Dissolving the Trance - If we are suffering, it is because we are believing something that is not true and caught in emotional reactivity. A key tool in meditation is investigation–actively inquiring into what is happening inside us. When we investigate with sincere interest and care, the light of our attention untangles difficult emotions and nourishes intimate relationships. As this light is turned toward awareness itself, it reveals the radiance and emptiness of our true nature.
Meditation: Widening Rings of Being (2021-10-20) - If we can recognize thoughts as thoughts, it becomes possible to open from virtual to living reality. This meditation guides us in awakening the senses and discovering the freedom, the awake space of Being, that is beyond the confines of thoughts.
Grieving and Timeless Love - How we relate to change and loss is directly connected to how fully we live and love. This talk looks at the classic ways we avoid opening to the realness of loss, and how our sorrows and grief can become a portal to awakening our heart and spirit.
Meditation: A Practice of RAIN - The acronym RAIN – Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture – guides us in bringing mindfulness and compassion to difficult emotions. With practice, we can find our way home to open-hearted presence in the midst of whatever arises. “Don't turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you.” ~ Rumi
Realizing Your Deepest Desires - This talk differentiates between egoic intentions (driven by wants and fears), and our true aspiration (deepest desires) to manifest our full potential for awake awareness and love. We explore ways to realize and open to our deepest desires when we are stuck in self-promotion, grasping and conflict, so that our aspiration becomes a compass of the heart that can guide us in living with wisdom and compassion.
Meditation: Letting Thought Clouds Come and Go - This meditation guides us through a body scan and into a relaxed, open presence. When we realize we are lost in a thought cloud, our practice is to relax open, listening to and feeling the life of the present moment. We are training to become increasingly aware of the gap between thoughts, the space where the light of awareness shines through.
Facing Fear in a Traumatized World (2021-09-29) - Unprocessed fear cuts us off from our full aliveness and spirit, and it separates us from others. This talk looks at how we bring healing to the trauma and deep fears that cause us to dissociate from our body. We focus on ways we increase safety, diminish shame and then, with a courageous, embodied and compassionate presence, learn to contact and integrate fear into our larger awareness.
Meditation: The Heart-Wisdom of Your Future Self (2021-09-29) - In this meditation, we relax and open our body and mind, and then explore an encounter with our Future Self - facing Fear in a Traumatized World is the expression of our most evolved and awakened heart.
Anger: Responding, Not Reacting (2021-09-22) - Anger is natural, intelligent and necessary for surviving and flourishing. Yet when we are hooked by anger, it causes great personal and collective suffering. This talk explores how to transform patterns of reactivity by bringing a mindful and compassionate attention to the unmet needs that underlie angry reactivity. When we learn how to pause and connect honestly with our inner experience, we are then able to respond to others from our full intelligence and heart.
Meditation: Present Heart (2021-09-22) - We awaken a present heart by relaxing with the breath, and bringing the kindness of a smile into our bodily experience. This meditation ends with offering blessings to our inner life and all beings.
Radical Friendship: Conversation between Tara and Kate Johnson - The often unseen cause of our difficulties in relationships is the societal structures that are marked by violence and domination. This conversation looks at what blocks authentic and loving connectedness, and ways to intentionally cultivate authentic, openhearted awake relationships.
Meditation: Sitting Like a Mountain (2021-09-15) - Meditation can empower us as we learn to access our potential for stability, strength and openness. This meditation calls on the image of a mountain as we awaken our body and mind to a full, vibrant presence. Closes with a metta (loving-kindness) prayer.
A Conversation Between Tara and Mark Nepo - Mark is a spiritual teacher, wonderful poet, and author of many books including best selling "The Book of Awakening." In this wide-ranging and rich conversation, Tara and Mark explore shedding our defenses, faith, compassion for ourselves and others, spiritual practice, and facing illness, aging and death.
Meditation: Receiving Life in Open, Awake Awareness (2021-09-08) - This meditation awakens a receptive attention to the senses, starting with physical sensations and opening to sound. Then we sense how open awake awareness is receiving the moment to moment arising and passing life. In the final part of the practice, we explore how awake awareness is receiving the experience of our heart and offer blessings to our inner life and all living beings.
The Wise Heart of Radical Acceptance - When we are caught in self-judgment we forget the truth of who we are - our wholeness, awareness and love. This talk examines how we take the imperfect waves of our being personally, and become imprisoned in the trance of unworthiness, a limited and distorted reality. We then look at how the practice of radical acceptance enables us to come home to a fullness of being, and live from a growing sense of loving connectedness with all beings.
Meditation: Relaxing Back and Saying Yes to the Moment - When we are stressed, our conditioning is to tighten our body. We tense against our moment-to-moment experience. This meditation is a powerful practice of de-conditioning this reactivity by learning to relax back into presence, and to respond to difficulty by saying “yes.” Through relaxing back and saying “yes,” we discover our heart's capacity for unconditional love.
Meditation: Resting Your Heart in Presence - When we're having difficulty, we typically tense up our body and mind, and armor our heart. This practice offers a pathway of relaxing that tension and tasting the peace that comes from resting in presence.
The Blessings of “Enough” - Discovering Contentment in Daily Life (Part 1) - One of the great gifts of mindful awareness is access to true contentment. These two talks look at the universal blocks to contentment—habits of fixating on what's wrong and what's missing. We then explore the practices of presence that awaken us from wanting life to be different, reveal our intrinsic wholeness and offer a profound sense of well-being.
Meditation: Saying “Yes” to Life - We are conditioned to scan for “what's wrong” and contract our body and mind in anticipation of danger. This meditation helps us undo these primal survival habits, and frees us to inhabit the full aliveness, creativity and love our natural being.
Humility - In Buddhism and most faiths, humility – feeling that we all share common ground, feeling neither superior or inferior to others – is both a prerequisite to awakening and an expression of mature spirituality. This talk explores how our conditioning and culture reinforce a swing from ego-inflation (self-importance, feeling special, better than others) to ego-deflation (feeling unworthy). We then look at how a wise and kind attention opens us to who we are beyond these confining egoic states, and enables us to live with humility and grace.
Meditation: Dedicated to Maya Angelou - Being Home (2021-08-11) - This meditation cultivates a gentle, wakeful presence - arriving into our bodies and meeting the present moment with the image of a smile. When the mind drifts, we relax back to our senses…into the openhearted awareness that is our true home.
Taking ‘The Exquisite Risk': An Undefended Heart - Poet Mark Nepo uses the phrase “exquisite risk” to describe our willingness to be fully alive, open, available, living true to our heart. This talk explores the challenges and blessings of taking the exquisite risk, both in becoming more intimate with our inner life, and in engaging with others from full authenticity (a favorite from the archives).
Meditation: Relaxing Back into Full Presence (2017-03-22) - This guided practice begins with a conscious breath that relaxes the body and mind, and then a body scan to awaken to the aliveness of the present moment. We then open into the natural awareness that includes the changing flow of sounds, feelings and sensations, and practice “relaxing back” when the mind gets lost in thought.
Meditation: The Space of Loving Awareness - This meditation begins by guiding us through a scan: opening to inner space and aliveness, then to outer space, and then continuous space, filled with the light of awareness. We explore how every experience belongs to this infinite awake space of our Being, and can be held with tenderness and love (remastered favorite from the archives).
The Power of Spiritual Hope (2021-07-21) - The openness to possibility is essential on a path of awakening and freedom. In this talk we explore what makes up mature or spiritual hope, and how two meditation practices of presence can nourish our hope.
Meditation: Nourishing Happiness with RAIN - While RAIN is regularly used for untangling suffering, it is also a powerful tool for deepening our access to positive states like happiness, gratitude, wonder and love. This meditation guides us in nourishing the goodness that is an intrinsic part of living and essential in realizing our full aliveness. The practice ends with a poem by Naomi Shahib Nye.
Mindful Leadership: A Conversation between Tara Brach and Michelle Maldonado (2021-07-14) - The principles of mindful leadership are relevant for all of us—they bring out the best of who we are in our work, with our family, with our friends. Especially in these times of mistrust and dividedness, our world desperately needs each of us to cultivate the qualities of focus, presence, care, respect, clarity, and curiosity that mark a true leader. Michelle Maldonado is a brilliant teacher of mindful leadership, and she embodies the compassion and skillfulness she invites forward in others.
Meditation: Living Presence – with Body Scan (2021-07-15) - A key pathway to full presence is awakening through the body. This meditation guides us through a body scan, relaxing and receiving the play of sensations. We then deepen attention to the breath, and rest with the rhythmic waves of breathing, experiencing the background of the whole domain of physical aliveness.
Three Core Reminders for Spiritual Practice - This talk explores three powerful ways you can direct your attention when you find yourself emotionally stuck: Wake up from thoughts; feel your feelings and remember love. We explore both the habits blocking these basic movements toward freedom, and what nourishes them. Together they can serve to open your mind, awaken aliveness and heal your heart.
Meditation: Relaxed and Alert (2021-07-07) - This meditation begins with a period of relaxing and collecting our attention with intentional long deep breathing. We then deepen embodied presence, and widen to the awareness that includes sounds, sensations, feelings, breath, and all experience. When the mind drifts from this open, awake awareness, we gently return, re-relaxing and resting in an easeful, alert presence. Recorded at Tara's Wednesday night class, the meditation includes chanting of OM's and ends with a sense of melting into community.
Trusting the Gold: A Conversation - Tara Brach and Jonathan Foust - In this interview-style conversation, Jonathan asks Tara questions about key themes in her new book, Trusting the Gold. They include their own relationships and ways we work with our inner life and others, in cultivating the capacity to see basic goodness and realizing a mature and liberating quality of trust.
Heart Meditation: Taking in the Goodness (2021-06-30) - Taking in the Goodness: Rumi said, “Whenever some kindness comes to you, turn that way – toward the source of kindness.” This meditation guides us to look for the source of loving and to turn in that direction. It begins with a lovingkindness practice that spreads the image of a smile into the body, then continues with a practice of seeing the goodness of ourselves and others.
Shifting from Limbic to Liberating Intention - Becoming conscious of our intentions is the first step to truly aligning our life with our heart. This talk explores identifying when we are being driven by grasping and fear, and ways we can bring compassion to unmet needs and discover the deeper longing – the liberating intention – that guides us to freedom.
Fierce Compassion - A conversation between Tara Brach and Kristin Neff - Kristin Neff is a pioneer in self-compassion research and a leader in bringing practices of self-compassion alive in our world. This conversation is on her latest book, Fierce Compassion, which helps women awaken both receptive and active dimensions of compassion - tenderness and fierceness.