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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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2018-07-25 Meditation: Saying “Yes” to Life 21:52
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.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2018-07-25 Saying “Yes” – Meeting Your Edge and Softening 56:37
Our habitual ways of avoiding unpleasant experience keep us from intimacy with our inner life and with each other. This talk helps us recognize these often unconscious patterns that keep us identified with a separate, threatened self, and offers guidance in saying “yes” to the life we encounter. As we release resistance, we discover the creativity, wisdom and love that express our unbound, true, nature.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2018-07-18 Meditation: Breath by Breath – Inviting Relaxation and Ease 16:46
This meditation invites relaxation and ease. We begin with a long deep breathing that helps calm the body and mind. Then we release tensions that might be held in the body, and settle our attention in a receptive way with the breath. The intention is to discover the relaxed wakefulness that expresses our natural being.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2018-07-18 What Is It Like Being You? 56:24
Compassion is hard wired in our organism, and can be cultivated. This talk helps us identify the blocks to compassion—our outmoded survival equipment—and using RAIN, offers practical guidance in mindfully attuning to others’ emotional experience and awakening our natural tenderness and care. This talk includes a short introduction to the meditation: The RAIN of Compassion.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2018-07-11 Meditation: Natural, Open Awareness 16:54
When we are stressed, our attention narrows and fixates, often into obsessive thinking, worry and judgment. This meditation relaxes and opens the mind, first by a body scan and a “smile down,” and then by including all changing experience in a spacious awareness. As our attention shifts from mind objects like sensation and sound to the space of awareness itself, we discover the Beingness that is our formless home.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2018-07-11 From Human Doing to Human Being – Part 2 50:15
Like Sisyphus eternally pushing the boulder up the hill, we can spend many moments busily trying to manage our life. This two-part talk explores how we can awaken from our non-stop doing, including the incessant inner narrative, and discover the mystery, love and freedom that arises in Being.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2018-07-04 Meditation: Blessings of Love 11:27
A blessing is whatever reminds us of the sacred loving presence that shines through all of us. This meditation is a transformational practice in receiving and offering blessings. First we connect with the vulnerable tender place within us that longs to feel loved, and call on loving presence to bless us. By imagining and allowing ourselves to receive love, our hearts become open and filled with light. We then bring that inner loving presence fully alive as we offer blessings to other beings. The image of receiving a kiss on the brow, and offering one, is suggested as a powerful channel for the blessings that awaken our heart. “…being loved into being more who we are is a moment of blessing. What is a blessing? A blessing is a reminder or homecoming into more realness – more love. We’re blessed when we remember.” “Part of what keeps us from realness – in that small self identity – is the avoiding of what’s here.”
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2018-07-04 Skeleton Woman: Embracing This Living and Dying World 45:58
Based on a wonderful myth told by Clarissa Estes, this talk looks at the way we run from “lady death” and the blessings of opening our arms and heart. If we can embrace the whole of our nature with unconditional presence – including the inevitability of change and loss–we discover deep wisdom and enduring love. (a favorite from the archives) May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing it and no holding back, the way it is with children. Then in these swelling and ebbing currents, these deepening tides moving out, returning, I will sing you as no one ever has, streaming through widening channels into the open sea. — from Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, by Rainer Maria Rilke
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2018-06-27 Meditation: Opening to the Waves 20:18
When we are lost in thought, we lose touch with the aliveness and awareness that is always here. This meditation guides us with a mindful body scan to open to our senses, then to sound and all waves of aliveness. From that open presence we end with a loving kindness prayer.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks
2018-06-27 Evolving Beyond “Unreal Othering” 52:19
What motivates us – as individuals and as a society – to build walls and knowingly hurt others? This talk explores the evolutionary roots of “unreal othering” and how when we are hijacked by fear, it can take over and disconnect us from the very real suffering of others. We then look at how meditative strategies awaken us from othering, and reveal our intrinsic belonging. Finally, we apply this to our own lives in a reflection that helps us respond to someone we have turned into “unreal other” with compassion and wisdom.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC IMCW Wednesday Evening Talks

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