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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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2017-06-14 Meditation: Homecoming to Our Life Breath 15:59
Perhaps the most universal place to collect and deepen attention is the breath. This meditation begins with an intentional breath that calms the nervous system, and then opens to a clear, intimate presence with our natural breathing. With breath as our home base, we practice returning again and again when the mind becomes distracted. As presence grows, we can let the breath be in the foreground, and include whatever waves of life come and go. This brings a quiet mind, and a peaceful, happy heart.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-06-14 Stories That Imprison Our Heart – Part 1 53:00
Our suffering arises from fear-based stories that are often outside our awareness. These include stories of our deficiency or importance, of being a victim, of being unseen or unloved, of facing failure or rejection. This is true collectively too. We have shared stories of bad “others” that fuel wars, shared stories of the value of continued growth in consumption and production that destroy our earth, shared stories of our human right to enslave and violate other animals. We have the capacity to bring the stories that separate and imprison us into the light of awareness, and with great compassion, loosen their grip. These two talks look at the ways fear-based stories create suffering, and how awakening from them reveals the freedom of our true, and universal, belonging.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-06-07 Meditation: Home to Awake Awareness 16:58
This guided practice establishes a kind, friendly attention with the image and felt sense of a smile, and evokes an embodied presence. We open to the awake awareness that is listening to and feeling the changing sounds and sensations; and then the awake awareness that experiences our own heart. We end with a lovingkindness prayer for ourself and the world.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-06-07 Happiness Is Possible: De-conditioning the Negativity Bias – Part 2 49:45
There is an inner freedom that expresses as happiness and peace, and it is accessible when we arrive in openhearted presence. As the Buddha said, “If it were not possible to find liberation, I would not teach about it.” In this two part talk, we will look at the conditioning that blocks happiness and two primary pathways of practice that evolve our consciousness and free our hearts. “We rarely pause when we see something that’s delicious or beautiful or that brings up wonder. We barely pause and just take it in. We really don’t pause much, which is really the essence of savoring…”
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-05-31 Happiness is Possible: De-conditioning the Negativity Bias – Part 1 50:36
There is an inner freedom that expresses as happiness and peace, and it is accessible when we arrive in openhearted presence. As the Buddha said, “If it were not possible to find liberation, I would not teach about it.” In this two part talk, we will look at the conditioning that blocks happiness and two primary pathways of practice that evolve our consciousness and free our hearts.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-05-24 Meditation: Opening to the River of Aliveness 17:22
This meditation guides us to awaken to sensation using the image of a smile and scanning through the body. We then open to sound and to the entire changing flow of experience. When we connect with the changing flow of sensations, feelings and sounds, we also discover the formless awareness that is our Source… and home. “This river of sensation ceaselessly vibrating… tingling… flowing… let it live through you.” “Completely relax with this ever changing dance of sound and sensation.”
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-05-24 The Reality of Change: Embracing this Living Dying World 53:02
“What is it that allows us to open our hearts to every moment of our life? It’s the remembrance that it’s passing and it’s precious.” Our true refuge is reality – only by opening to “things as they are” do we find true peace and freedom. This talk explores impermanence – a key feature of reality. We look at our habits of resisting change – including loss and death, the practices that awaken and open us, and the gifts of letting go into the ever-changing river of experience.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-05-24 Meditation: The Breath – Portal to Presence 18:50
We start with breathing mindfully to collect and calm the body and mind. Then the attention opens to include the changing flow in a spacious natural presence.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-05-17 Radical Compassion – Part 2 53:50
Compassion is the medicine we most need as individuals and a species to heal suffering and free our spirits. The essence of compassion for ourselves and others – what I call Radical Compassion – has three key elements: it is an embodied experience (a felt sense of tenderness), it is inclusive all beings, and it naturally moves us to act from a caring heart. This two-part talk explores the alchemy of Radical Compassion and guides us in awakening this intrinsic expression of our evolutionary potential.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2017-05-03 Relaxing the Over-Controller – Part 2 63:55
We all have conditioning to do what we can to protect and promote our wellbeing. Our suffering arises to the degree that our life and identity become organized around controlling our experience. These two talks look at the emergence of the fear based “over-controller,” and explore a wise way of witnessing the suffering that comes with over-controlling, and awareness practices that naturally relax and awaken us to our whole and natural Being.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC 2017 IMCW Spring Retreat: Intimacy with Life

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