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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.
2023-12-27 The Sacred Pause 54:54
When we are lost in the trance of doing, our lives are on automatic, and contracted by sense that something’s wrong or missing. This talk explores the challenges of learning to pause, and the blessings that arise when we step out of our incessant mental and physical activity and reconnect with the being-qualities of presence, wisdom and love (a favorite from the archives). “The deepest expression of love is this non-doing presence because that’s when we are inhabiting who we really are.”
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-12-20 Meditation: Relaxed and Awake 16:58
This guided meditation helps us find ease and wakefulness in our body and mind. With the breath as our home base, we offer a gentle and full attention to the changing waves. We close with a beautiful poem, “Walk Slowly,” by Danna Faulds.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-12-20 Finding True Belonging in the Midst of Stress 53:33
Our deepest longing is to feel our belonging to each other and all life. This reflection examines the primary forces that keep us trapped in a trance of separation. We then explore two powerful dimensions of spiritual practice that can undo trance and reveal the sentience and love that is our shared essence.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-12-13 Guided Meditation: Opening to the Sea of Presence 20:06
When our body and mind is relaxed, we become filled with a very awake, dynamic quality of presence. This meditation guides us in relaxing, opening our senses and resting in the vastness and inherent freedom of our own natural awareness.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-12-13 Awakening from Trance – Embracing Unlived Life 51:35
When physical or emotional pain is too much, our conditioning is to pull away and avoid direct contact with raw feelings. The result is a trance – we are split off from the wholeness of our aliveness, intelligence and capacity to love. This talk explores how this dissociation shows up in our lives and how mindfulness enables us to integrate cut-off parts of our being in a powerful way, and awaken from this trance.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-12-06 Meditation: Whole Body Breathing 17:22
This guided meditation includes a body scan and invites the receptivity and letting-go of whole body breathing. Once we have awakened the vitality and presence throughout the body, we have access to the formless dimension, the awareness that is our source.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-12-06 Basic Goodness and Awe: A conversation between Tara Brach and Dacher Keltner 60:31
Dacher Keltner, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, a scientist and the co-director of the Greater Good Science Center. He has authored a number of books, including bestselling “Born to be Good” and most recently “Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How it Can Transform Your Life”. Our conversation covers the biological, evolutionary and cultural bases of human goodness and the centrality of awe in the human experience. We explore the blocks to experiencing our full potential, and ways we can cultivate our innate capacity for finding wonder, love, creativity and beauty in our daily lives. Learn more about Dacher’s latest book at:
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-11-29 Meditation: Breathing Our Way to Peace & Freedom 19:01
This meditation guides us in collecting attention with an intentional long deep breath, and awakening a full relaxed presence as the breath resumes in its natural rhythm. Resting fully in this presence is the gateway to deep peace and inner freedom. “Little breath breathe me gently, row me, for I am the river I am learning to cross.” – W.S. Merwin
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-11-29 How Do We Bridge the Divides? 45:33
The divides in our world can only exist if we humans are divided from our own full being and habituated to divides with others. In this reflection we explore bridging inner and relational divides as the grounds for evolving consciousness in our species and awakening to more connectedness and love in our world.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-11-22 Meditation: The Space of Loving Awareness 19:53
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.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC

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