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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.
2023-10-18 Four Spiritual Inquiries: Finding Heart Wisdom in Painful Times 51:34
When we get stuck in difficult emotions like hatred, anger and fear, we are in a trance of separation – disconnected from the whole of our inner experience, each other and the web of life. This talk explores four inquiries that help us reconnect with presence and heart. Rather than reacting with aggression or blame, these inquiries allow us to respond to our struggling world with our naturally wise and caring heart.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-10-11 Meditation: Living Presence – with Body Scan 12:05
A key pathway to full presence is awakening through the body. This meditation guides us through a body scan, relaxing and receiving the play of sensations. We then deepen attention to the breath, and rest with the rhythmic waves of breathing, experiencing the background of the whole domain of physical aliveness.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-10-11 Radical Self-Forgiving 57:54
When we can’t forgive ourselves, we remain imprisoned and separate from our world. This talk explores forgiving as a process of relaxing open the clenched fist of self-blame. As forgiving becomes deep and full, we discover the freedom of a spacious, awake and loving heart.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-10-04 Meditation: Letting Thought Clouds Come and Go 21:56
This meditation guides us through a body scan and into a relaxed, open presence. When we realize we are lost in a thought cloud, our practice is to relax open, listening to and feeling the life of the present moment. We are training to become increasingly aware of the gap between thoughts, the space where the light of awareness shines through. “It’s in that gap between thoughts that the light shines through – this mystery, this living mystery of what’s right here… opening to and relaxing into the life that’s right here.” ~ Tara
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-10-04 Longing for Freedom: A Conversation with Tara Brach and Lama Rod Owens 62:23
In his recent book, The New Saints, Lama Rod Owens offers teachings and practices that awaken our longing for freedom, and help us realize the truth of who we are. This week, I sat down with Lama Rod to talk about how an authentic path of liberation must include the often unexamined layers of our personal and societal existence.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-09-27 Meditation: Continuous Space Suffused with Awareness 19:06
By learning to inhabit the body, we discover the space and aliveness that fills the universe. In this meditation we are guided through the body, filling different domains with presence. We then open into the continuous awake space that is both within and surrounds the body. When we notice the mind drifts, we relax back to be that awake space, aware of the changing flow of sensations, thoughts, feelings and sounds.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-09-27 Awakening from the Trance of Self-Centeredness 53:56
At the core of our suffering is our universal human predicament: an illusion that we are a separate self. This talk explores how this identification as a self obscures our belonging to loving awareness, and offers a powerful set of practices that shine a light on self-centeredness and relaxes its grip.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-09-20 Meditation: Opening to the Flow 23:30
This meditation begins with gathering awareness of the breath. We then reflect on our deepest intention, sensing what most matters. With a listening attention, becoming aware of sounds that arise and pass away. We scan through the body, sensing the changing experience of energy and aliveness. Letting everything happen… not opposing anything… not controlling… moment to moment. Listening to and feeling this moment as an ever-changing river of experience. Opening to this changing flow and letting life flow through us.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-09-20 Saying Yes: A Conversation with Tara Brach & Jane Hirshfield (Part 2) 32:23
In this rich and full two-part interview, Tara speaks with renowned poet Jane Hirshfield about the interface between poetry and meditation, the centrality of acceptance, and the pathways of remembrance that reveal our belonging to this world and open us to caring. Here’s a link to Jane’s most recent book: The Asking: New and Selected Poems. The interview includes readings from this beautiful collection.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC
2023-09-13 Meditation: Everything Belongs 20:08
This guided meditation awakens an embodied presence through a body scan, and invites us to rest in the breath, while allowing the different waves of sensations, feelings and sounds to come and go. When difficult experiences arise, we breathe with them, feeling them fully and mentally whispering, “this belongs,” or “this too.” By not resisting, we discover the sea of awareness that has room for all the waves.
Insight Meditation Community of Washington DC

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