Category Archives: Beliefs

Three Core Reminders for Spiritual Practice



This talk explores three powerful ways you can direct your attention when you find yourself emotionally stuck: Wake up from thoughts; feel your feelings and remember love. We explore both the habits blocking these basic movements toward freedom, and what nourishes them. Together they can serve to open your mind, awaken aliveness and heal your heart.

If abandonment is the core wound
the disconnection from mother
the loss of wholeness
then the most potent medicine
is this ancient commitment
to never abandon yourself
to discover wholeness in the whole-mess
to be a loving mother to your insides
to hold the broken bits
in open awareness
to illuminate the sore places
with the light
of love

Jeff Foster

photo: Tara Brach ~ Morning Meditation on Cape Cod


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Trusting the Gold – A Celebration of Tara’s New Book, with special guest, Rick Hanson



The essence of the spiritual path is realizing, trusting and living from our natural awareness and love. This talk explores the two key pathways that help us awaken from the trance of identifying as a limited, separate self. It includes several guided meditations and a period of questions and response. 

Order your copy of Trusting the Gold now!


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Meditation: Uprooting Limiting Beliefs with RAIN (9:21 min.)



This short meditation guides us in using RAIN (recognize-allow-investigate-nurture) when we discover we are caught in a limiting belief (an excerpt from the full talk, Freedom from the Prison of Limiting Beliefs, given on 2020-09-23).

Ask, what am I believing about myself?
Is this really true?
Who would you be if you didn’t believe there was something wrong with you?


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Freedom from the Prison of Limiting Beliefs



We suffer when we are caught in beliefs of our own or other’s badness, unworthiness, or lack of value. These beliefs hurt our bodies, lead to violent and/or addictive behaviors, and separate us from our own heart and each other.

This talk explores how we can discover who we are beyond these beliefs by recognizing when we are trapped, and learning how to turn to presence and love (dedicated to Ruth Bader Ginsburg).

A moment of truly feeling loved – of truly feeling love – can start to undo a whole lifetime of feeling flawed. ~ Tara


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Sheltering in Love – Part 8: Finding Freedom in the Midst of Failure



Everyone faces personal failure, and it’s an extremely raw and painful feeling. If we have the courage to stay with the feelings, failure can become a portal to the realization of who we are beyond the imperfect separate self. This talk calls on Samuel Beckett’s wonderful quote (referenced by Pema Chödron), “Fail, Fail again, Fail better,” and offers guidance on finding freedom as we move through some of our most difficult moments.


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Spiritual Hope: Trusting Your Awakening Heart



Our beliefs and understandings about reality directly impact our moment to moment experience of living. If we believe we will never change, that blocks the transformation that brings happiness and freedom. If we trust our spiritual unfolding and are open to possibility, that guides our attention and behaviors in ways that evolve us. This talk explores how to nurture mature, spiritual hope—hope that is sourced in trusting our intrinsic goodness, and our capacity for deepening love and wisdom.

I must have been incredibly simple or drunk or insane
to sneak into my own house and steal money,
to climb over the fence and take my own vegetables.
But no more. I’ve gotten free of that ignorant fist
that was pinching and twisting my secret self.

The universe and the light of the stars come through me.
I am the crescent moon put up
over the gate to the festival.

~ Rumi


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Wise Investigation: Dissolving the Trance



If we are suffering, it is because we are believing something that is not true and caught in emotional reactivity. A key tool in meditation is investigation – actively inquiring into what is happening inside us. When we investigate with sincere interest and care, the light of our attention untangles difficult emotions and nourishes intimate relationships. As this light turns toward awareness itself, it reveals the radiance and emptiness of our true nature (a favorite from the archives).

How do we take these minds of ours and investigate our experience in a way that really reveals truth? …

If you are suffering it’s because you are believing untrue thoughts and beliefs and you haven’t investigated in a way that would release them. There is a phrase that history repeats itself which is good because most people don’t really pay attention the first time anyway, you know. … So I think of investigation as a way of deepening presence, that we take the interest in our mind and then we deepen presence that way.


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Trusting the Gold (retreat talk)



This talk looks at how our upbringing and culture lead us to mistrust who we are and become identified as a separate, deficient self.  We then explore the practices of presence and self-inquiry that turn us toward the openness, tenderness and wakefulness of our Being. Our trust grows as we increasingly glimpse, embody and live from our natural Being.

NOTE: This talk was given at the Spring 2019 IMCW 7-day Silent Retreat.

Adrift

Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

~ Mark Nepo
From Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness, (Sounds True, 2016)


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Living with Courageous Presence



[CC] ~ The essence of courage is to willingly feel our vulnerability; this is what allows us to respond to life with an undefended, wise heart. This talk explores the ways we resist opening to vulnerability, and three key steps in cultivating a courageous presence.

Ask, “What does it mean to be courageous at this moment?”

Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

Mark Nepo, “Adrift”


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Meditation: Letting Go… Letting Be (16:57 min.)



This guided meditation invites us to imagine a clenched fist relaxing open, and explores this in releasing contractions in the body as well as the grip of thoughts. When we deeply let go and let be, our energy flows freely. We reconnect with our natural aliveness, love and awareness.

Six Words of Advice:

Let go of what has passed.
Let go of what may come.
Let go of what is happening now.
Don’t try to figure anything out.
Don’t try to make anything happen.
Relax, right now, and rest.

~ Tilopa
translated by Ken McLeod


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