Category Archives: Caregivers

Meditation: The Blessings of Love (11:17 min.)



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. (from the end of Bodhichitta – the Awakened Heart – Part 1 talk on same evening)

“…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.”

(a favorite from the archives)


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Meditation: The Practice of RAIN (20:00 min.)



The acronym RAIN – Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture – guides us in bringing mindfulness and compassion to difficult emotions. With practice, we can find our way home to open-hearted presence in the midst of whatever arises.

“Don’t turn away.
Keep your gaze on the bandaged place.
That’s where the light enters you.”
~ Rumi

More Resources on RAIN here.

Free download of Tara’s 10 min meditation:
Mindful Breathing: Finding Calm and Ease
and: 8 Essential Tips to Nourish Your Meditation Practice
when you join her email list.


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Guided Meditation: Letting Go – 9 Magic Breaths



View or download the print-friendly PDF version.


Guided Meditation: Letting Go - 9 Magic BreathsTake a pause from all activity, and either sit or stand in a way that allows you to be comfortable yet alert. It’s ideal, if possible, to gently close your eyes.

With each of the following conscious breaths, inhale fully, extending your natural in-breath so your lungs are filled with air. Exhale very slowly, so that you can feel the actual sensation of releasing the breath and letting go.

With the first set of three breaths, as you exhale, imagine letting go of all thoughts. You might picture thoughts as clouds, appearing and then passing out of sight, leaving a wide open sky.

With the second set of three breaths, as you exhale, imagine letting go of all physical tension. In areas of tightness, you might sense a softening and then dissolving, as if ice is melting to water. (Alternately, “…you might sense dense dark clouds thinning and then breaking apart, revealing a bright, clear sky.”)

With the third set of three breaths, as you exhale, imagining letting go of all that burdens your heart. You might sense a loosening and releasing, as if water is disappearing into vapor. (Alternately, “…you might sense a heavy fog lifting, allowing the warmth and light of sun to fill your being.”

Then allow the breath to resume its natural rhythm, and sense the possibility of simply relaxing open with the in-breath – like a gently expanding balloon – and letting go with the out-breath, relaxing and settling into greater and greater ease and well-being. Continue as long as you’d like, and when you’re ready, explore re-entering activity with a relaxed and open attention.


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Meditation: Relaxing by Day, Sleeping at Night (no bell at end) (14:23 min)



More than one-third of adults in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep, and studies have shown that mindfulness can make a positive difference. When we effectively quiet the mind and relax the body, sleep comes naturally. By being well-rested, we are better able to respond to the demands of our lives with intelligence and kindness, resilience and grace. This guided meditation will help cultivate access to relaxed attentiveness and a pathway to ease-filled sleep.

Visit Community Wisdom on Sleep


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Heart Meditation: Taking In the Goodness (24:56 min)


Taking in the Goodness: Rumi said, “Whenever some kindness comes to you, turn that way – toward the source of kindness.”

This meditation guides us to look for the source of loving and to turn in that direction. It begins with a lovingkindness practice that spreads the image of a smile into the body, then continues with a practice of seeing the goodness of ourselves and others.

“What’s it like when you communicate your appreciation of goodness to another person?”

~ from the IMCW Fall retreat (2016-11-05)

photo: Shell Fischer – www.mindfulvalley.com


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Meditation: The RAIN of Compassion (34:54 min) (from retreat)



This new version of the acronym RAIN is a powerful way of bringing compassion to the life within you, and to attuning and deepening compassion for others.  Given at the 2015 IMCW New Year’s retreat, it is a “guided heart” practice and includes instruction.

photo: Jon McRay – Facebook.com/nikographer


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Ten-Minute Basic Meditation Practice (10:31 min)



Tara offers a short introductory meditation with a body scan, bringing focus to the breath, sounds, then resting in awareness ~ from the first morning instructions at the 2015 IMCW fall retreat.


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Guided Meditation: Body Scan – Living Presence – 11 min.



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.


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Meditation: Radical Acceptance of Pain (11:51 min)



As we learn to relax our resistance to unpleasant sensations, we discover an open and tender space of awareness that has room for living and dying.

– from the CD set: Radical Acceptance – Guided Meditations – .mp3 download available.

We cultivate Radical Acceptance of pain by relaxing our resistance to unpleasant sensations, and meeting them with open, clear awareness. This exercise is especially useful if you are presently distressed by physical pain.

If you find that pain feels like “too much,” rather than turning against yourself or the pain, let your response be compassionate. In moments of acute unpleasantness, it can be wise to redirect your attention away from the pain, or to take care of yourself in ways that provide ease and comfort. Then, when you are able, begin again.

As you practice bringing gentle mindfulness to pain, your ability to meet life with equanimity will grow stronger. You’ll be able to let go of resistance more readily, and discover peace and freedom in the midst of whatever is arising.   Presence in the face of pain dissolves the perception of an oppressed, struggling self—a self who is at war with life. What’s revealed is a tender openness that has room for living and dying.

Resource talk: The Dance with Pain

More resources: Working with Pain


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Heavenly Messengers: Tara Interviews Frank Ostaseski



Tara interviews Frank Ostaseski, founder of Zen Hospice, on a contemplative approach to death and dying. For more information about Frank Ostaseski: https://www.mettainstitute.org/index.html.


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