Category Archives: Compassion-Self-Others

Belonging to Each Other – Part 3 of 3



Mother Teresa writes that if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. These three talks explore the causes for severed belonging, and pathways to deepening the felt sense of belonging to our own body, heart and spirit, and to all beings. Together the talks offer a natural and powerful progression of lovingkindness or metta reflections, that when practiced regularly can open us to the peace, joy and freedom of trusting our mutual belonging.

“Whatever our habit is – whatever we practice – really does get stronger. The grooves get deeper. It takes a really deep reflection and commitment to practice something different.” ~ Tara

Everything… everything… every little thing is unique at its surface and indistinguishable at its core. I want to remember this today. The oneness… the oneness underlying our differences and the truth that we can never really be strangers, even if we never laid eyes on each other before. I want to remember this today. The oneness… the oneness…
~ Danna Faulds

Listen to Part 1 – Belonging to Each Other

Listen to Part 2 – Belonging to Each Other


Play
Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Overcast | Podbean | Pandora | Spotify | RSS

Belonging to Each Other – Part 2 of 3



Mother Teresa writes that if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. These three talks explore the causes for severed belonging, and pathways to deepening the felt sense of belonging to our own body, heart and spirit, and to all beings. Together the talks offer a natural and powerful progression of lovingkindness or metta reflections, that when practiced regularly can open us to the peace, joy and freedom of trusting our mutual belonging.

“Whatever our habit is – whatever we practice – really does get stronger. The grooves get deeper. It takes a really deep reflection and commitment to practice something different.” ~ Tara

My soul tells me, we were
all broken from the same nameless
heart, and every living thing
wakes with a piece of that original
heart aching its way into blossom.
This is why we know each other
below our strangeness, why when
we fall, we lift each other, or when
in pain, we hold each other, why
when sudden with joy, we dance
together. Life is the many pieces
of that great heart loving itself
back together.

~ Mark Nepo

Listen to Part 1 – Belonging to Each Other

Listen to Part 3 – Belonging to Each Other


Play
Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Overcast | Podbean | Pandora | Spotify | RSS

Belonging to Each Other – Part 1 of 3



Mother Teresa writes that if we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. These three talks explore the causes for severed belonging, and pathways to deepening the felt sense of belonging to our own body, heart and spirit, and to all beings. Together the talks offer a natural and powerful progression of lovingkindness or metta reflections, that when practiced regularly can open us to the peace, joy and freedom of trusting our mutual belonging.

Vitally, the human race is dying. It is like a great uprooted tree, with its roots in the air. We must plant ourselves again in the universe.” ― D.H. Lawrence
divider
The essence of lovingkindness is this openhearted quality of friendliness. It’s sacred. It’s precious. As Mother Teresa described it, when we sense that belonging that comes with friendship, we really touch peace.

We close in that spirit to sense in your own heart the intention to befriend the life that’s within you. And take a moment to hold the life within you with the quality of care. Feel in your own words your prayer to befriend this life – to love yourself into healing.

Widening our attention to sense those in our lives – those close in, those that we don’t know, all beings – to sense that intention to discover our belonging to all of life everywhere. And in that discovery to know the joy and peace and freedom of being awake and alive. ~ Tara

Listen to Part 2 – Belonging to Each Other

Listen to Part 3 – Belonging to Each Other


Play
Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Overcast | Podbean | Pandora | Spotify | RSS

Compassion Towards All: Moving toward a Plant Based Diet



For most of human history it’s been “normal” to eat non-human animals. This is now changing. We are awakening to the massive suffering of the billions of animals killed each day for food, the horrors of the animal-food industry, and the impact it has on climate change (second only to fossil fuels.) In this short talk Tara shares her personal story of transitioning to a vegan diet, and invites listeners to investigate, without judgment, their own choices in this domain.

NOTE: this short talk was given at a special class on “Loving Life with a Plant-Based Diet.” Tara was joined by guest speakers, Mark Tercek (The Nature Conservatory) and Brenda Sanders (Afro-Vegan Society), and hosted by Jonathan Foust. Full video available at Tara’s Facebook page and soon at IMCW.org. Evening concluded with a wonderful vegan food-tasting donated by Yes! Organic Market.

Photo credit: Jon McRay

When the animals come to us,
asking for our help,
will we know what they are saying?
When the plants speak to us
in their delicate, beautiful language,
will we be able to answer them?
When the planet herself
sings to us in our dreams,
will we be able to wake ourselves,
and act?

Gary Lawless


Play
Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Overcast | Podbean | Pandora | Spotify | RSS

From Judgment to Self-Compassion (retreat talk)



When we’ve turned on ourselves with blame and aversion, it’s very difficult to arouse self-compassion. This talk looks at the role of nurturing in freeing our hearts, and offers practice in three key steps that enable us to embrace ourselves with a healing presence.

“There’s some wisdom in us that knows that we need to love ourselves and each other into healing…”

This talk was given at the 2018 IMCW New Year’s Retreat.


Play
Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Overcast | Podbean | Pandora | Spotify | RSS

Part 2 – The Jewel in the Lotus: Cultivating Compassion



The compassion that arises from mindful awareness can heal our inner wounds, interpersonal conflict and the suffering in our world. These two talks focus on cultivating self-compassion and compassion for others. They look at the blocks to compassion and accessible powerful practices that awaken the full wisdom and tenderness of our hearts.

“What  They Did Yesterday Afternoon”

they set my aunts house on fire
i cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
i called the boy who use to love me
tried to ‘okay’ my voice
i said hello
he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?

i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
dear god
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.

poem by Warsan Shire

Photo: Jon McRay


Play
Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Overcast | Podbean | Pandora | Spotify | RSS

Part 1 – The Jewel in the Lotus: Cultivating Compassion



The compassion that arises from mindful awareness can heal our inner wounds, interpersonal conflict and the suffering in our world. These two talks focus on cultivating self-compassion and compassion for others. They look at the blocks to compassion and accessible powerful practices that awaken the full wisdom and tenderness of our hearts.

Photo: Jon McRay


Play
Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Overcast | Podbean | Pandora | Spotify | RSS

What Is It Like Being You?



Compassion is hard wired in our organism, and can be cultivated. This talk helps us identify the blocks to compassion—our outmoded survival equipment—and using RAIN, offers practical guidance in mindfully attuning to others’ emotional experience and awakening our natural tenderness and care. This talk includes a short introduction to the meditation: The RAIN of Compassion.

Empathy is the ability to feel what other people feel… compassion includes empathy, and it also has the quality of caring and concern that wants to help. Compassion means “to suffer together,” but it is really defined by a quivering of the heart that wants to help…

Compassion is our evolutionary potential. We have a capacity for affiliative care, to tune in to each other and to care about each other. And, really, this capacity is the hope of our world…


Play
Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Overcast | Podbean | Pandora | Spotify | RSS

Evolving Beyond “Unreal Othering”



What motivates us – as individuals and as a society – to build walls and knowingly hurt others? This talk explores the evolutionary roots of “unreal othering” and how when we are hijacked by fear, it can take over and disconnect us from the very real suffering of others. We then look at how meditative strategies awaken us from othering, and reveal our intrinsic belonging. Finally, we apply this to our own lives in a reflection that helps us respond to someone we have turned into “unreal other” with compassion and wisdom.

The Arabs used to say,
When a stranger appears at your door,
feed him for three days
before asking who he is,
where he’s come from,
where he’s headed.
That way, he’ll have strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you’ll be
such good friends
you don’t care.

~ “Red Brocade,” Naomi Shihab Nye


Play
Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Overcast | Podbean | Pandora | Spotify | RSS

Short Talk & Meditation: Tonglen – Radical Compassion (32:43 min)



We are conditioned to avoid suffering – our own and others. By pulling away, we also contract our heart and disconnect from our innate capacity for compassion. This short talk and meditation is a training in touching vulnerability, and discovering the boundless heartspace that can be a transformer of sorrows.

A special instruction and guided heart meditation from the 2017 IMCW Spring 7-day Silent Retreat – previously unpublished.

View transcript and/or download in PDF: Transcript: Short talk & Meditation – Radical Compassion


Play
Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Stitcher | Overcast | Podbean | Pandora | Spotify | RSS