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The greatest gift is the
gift of the teachings
 
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.
2024-03-13 Meditation: Cultivating a Gentle, Kind Attention 19:27
This meditation calls on the image and felt sense of a smile as we scan through the body, and invites a receptive and caring presence, as we open our attention to the changing flow of life. “Our freedom comes not from what is happening, but from how we are relating to it. See if you can relate with the spirit of ‘yes,’ allowing whatever arises to be here. And if it feels difficult, painful, then bringing some real kindness – a ‘yes’ with gentleness and kindness.” ~ Tara
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2024-03-13 Navigating the Dark Ages 46:04
How do we process and respond to increasing societal oppression and violence? What helps us transform the energies of fear, hatred and delusion? This talk offers ways we can draw on our spiritual path to steady our heart and engage with presence, wisdom and care.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2024-03-06 Meditation: Letting Go of Doing 21:17
Meditation becomes truly freeing in the moments when there is no controlling whatsoever; when nothing is resisted or grasped after. This guided meditation begins with a simple body scan, relaxing and awakening to sensations in the body and then including the play of sound. We then let go of any doing, and simply notice and allow the changing flow of experience, letting life be just as it is. In this pure allowing presence we become aware of the background silence that is listening. The invitation is to relax and be the awareness that is conscious of all that is unfolding.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2024-03-06 Part 2: Healing Depression with Meditation 55:51
Most people get depressed at times, and many suffer greatly from bouts of major depression. At the heart of the suffering is the experience of severed belonging—of being imprisoned in the pain of separation, unworthiness, unlovability and hopelessness. These two talks explore several meditation practices that reconnect us with our natural aliveness, openheartedness and awareness. They empower us to develop our inner resources, energize us to awaken, free us from rumination and remind us that we are not our depressive thoughts and feelings. The growing realization of the loving awareness that is our home heals the very roots of depression.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2024-02-28 Meditation: Refuge in Living Presence 22:18
We spend great swaths of time in a trance that removes us from awareness of our body and senses. This meditation reconnects us by scanning through the body, including sounds and then resting in the field of awareness and aliveness. We practice relaxing and gently arriving again when thoughts carry us away; learning the pathway home to living presence.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2024-02-28 Part 1: Healing Depression with Meditation 63:34
Most people get depressed at times, and many suffer greatly from bouts of major depression. At the heart of the suffering is the experience of severed belonging—of being imprisoned in the pain of separation, unworthiness, unlovability and hopelessness. These two talks explore several meditation practices that reconnect us with our natural aliveness, openheartedness and awareness. They empower us to develop our inner resources, energize us to awaken, free us from rumination and remind us that we are not our depressive thoughts and feelings. The growing realization of the loving awareness that is our home heals the very roots of depression.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2024-02-21 Meditation: A Welcoming Heartspace 18:00
Our pathway to peace and happiness is through opening, with tenderness, to our moment-to-moment experience. This meditation guides us first to be awake in our body and senses, and then to include the changing flow of life in a spacious, kind heart. We close with a short verse from poet Dorothy Hunt – “Peace Is This Moment Without Judgment.”
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2024-02-21 “Getting Over Yourself” – A Conversation between Tara Brach and Stephen Josephs 64:48
Executive coach and author Stephen Josephs has worked with many top business leaders, guiding them in transcending the egoic conditioning that limit their impact on other people, and on societal change. In this conversation we look at what he’s learned about inner freedom and awakening from his own trauma, from 60 years of spiritual practice, from models of adult development, and from the poetry of Lao Tzu. Stephen and Tara have been close friends for over 50 years, and she considers him her first inspiration for a dedicated practice of meditation. His website is stephenjosephs.com.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2024-02-14 Meditation: The Center of Now 15:37
This meditation awakens our senses, then guides us to rest in the changing flow of experience. When the mind drifts, we are invited to relax back into full living presence, into that Beingness that is the center of now. “Listening to and feeling, the changing flow – right here, right in the center of now.”
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2024-02-14 Letting Go of Controlling: The Path of Freedom – Part 2 60:28
While it’s natural to try to control our life experience, our chronic controlling cuts us off from presence and obscures the loving awareness that is our essence. This series of talks explores how we can let go in four key domains of controlling: clinging to thoughts, resisting feelings, holding tight to beliefs and armoring our heart. We look at how egoic controlling manifests individually and as a society; the process of awakening from exclusive identification with a separate ego/self; what it means to die into a larger reality and the similarities of psychedelics and meditation in the process of letting go. The gift of releasing the grip of controlling is true freedom; inhabiting the intrinsic beauty of our beings, and having our lives be an expression of creativity, wisdom and love.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC

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