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Tara Brach's Dharma Talks
Tara Brach
A pervasive but often invisible source of suffering in our culture is self-aversion. We are a busy culture, and we move through our life feeling anxious and dissatisfied, but not fully conscious of how we neglect or judge our inner experience. We suffer from a lack of belonging: to our own bodies, to each other and to the earth. When we practice Buddhist meditation, we learn how to listen deeply and hold our life tenderly.
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2017-12-06 Meditation: Alert Inner Stillness 20:00
Behind the changing sounds, sensations, feelings and thoughts is an alert inner stillness that is purely aware. This meditation begins with accessing the receptivity of a smile, awakening through the body and opening the senses. We then sense the background of awareness and relax back to inhabit that wholeness. When the mind is distracted, the pathway home is a relaxing back, and the essential practice is non-doing, allowing life to be just as it is.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-12-06 Awakening from the Trance of Fear – Part 2 51:01
While fear is a natural and intelligent emotion, when fear goes on overdrive, we are in a trance of fear that contracts our body, heart and mind. Our resistance to the direct experience of fear sustains the trance and leads to decisions and behaviors that harm ourselves and others. Only by facing fear with mindfulness and compassion can we awaken from trance and reconnect with our capacity for creativity and full aliveness, wisdom and love.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-11-29 Meditation: Breath by Breath 23:02
Our breath can be a home base that allows us to meet life with a relaxed, wakeful presence. This meditation helps us calm and settle the mind with long deep breathing, and then establishes a mindful presence with our natural breathing. When distracted, we learn to relax back again and again, learning the pathway of homecoming to the aliveness, openness and mystery that is always Here.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-11-29 Awakening from the Trance of Fear – Part 1 45:13
While fear is a natural and intelligent emotion, when fear goes on overdrive, we are in a trance of fear that contracts our body, heart and mind. Our resistance to the direct experience of fear sustains the trance and leads to decisions and behaviors that harm ourselves and others. Only by facing fear with mindfulness and compassion can we awaken from trance and reconnect with our capacity for creativity and full aliveness, wisdom and love.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-11-22 A Grateful, Giving, Happy Heart 49:20
Gratitude is like breathing in – letting ourselves be touched by the goodness in others and in our world. Generosity is like breathing out – sensing our mutual belonging and offering our care. When we are awake and whole, breathing in and out happens naturally. But these beautiful expressions of our heart become blocked when we are dominated by the fear and grasping of our survival brain. This talk explores how we can facilitate the evolution of consciousness with the deliberate cultivation of generosity, and ends with a guided meditation on gratitude and generosity. For happiness, how little suffices for happiness! … the least thing precisely, the gentlest thing, the lightest thing, a lizard’s rustling, a breath, a whisper, an eye glance-little maketh up the best happiness. Be still. ~ Nietzche ~
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-11-22 Meditation: Relax Into Happiness 19:18
Lama Gendun Rinpoche writes, “Happiness cannot be found through great effort and willpower, but it is already there, in relaxation and letting go.” This meditation turns us toward this naturally arising happiness by awakening awareness through the body, and then practicing “relaxing back,” over and over, into the aliveness and presence that is always here.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-11-08 Meditation: Relaxed Attentiveness 20:00
The primary qualities of a healing and freeing presence are being alert, open and tender. This meditation arouses these qualities by engaging a mindful awareness of the breath, and then a relaxed, gentle attentiveness to the changing experience of the moment. It ends by bringing lovingkindness to ourselves and all beings.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-11-08 Power of Prayer: From Longing to Belonging 46:14
When we bring a full presence to prayer, it becomes a powerful pathway of homecoming. This talk explores how prayer heals the pain of separation, and offers practical guidance in what poet John O’Donohue calls “unearthing our ancient belonging.” “What’s it like if you bow your head and whisper and call on something larger?”
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-10-25 Meditation: Refuge in Presence 18:12
We arrive in presence through the gateway of the body, scanning through with awareness, and then resting with the breath and body sensations. As we include whatever arises with a gentle and kind attention, our inner refuge becomes increasingly stable and openhearted. This meditation ends with a brief lovingkindness prayer.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-10-25 Anger: Responding, Not Reacting 53:22
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. “Getting angry with another person is like throwing hot coals with bare hands: both people get burned.” Buddha
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks

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