Category Archives: Stress

Stress and Everyday Nirvana – Part 2


Our habitual view of stress is that it is a bad thing, an obstacle to healthy living and spiritual realization. These two talks look at how our way of relating to stress determines our happiness, and invites listeners to engage with practices that radically shift our response to stress and bring a healing and freeing evolution of consciousness.

Your support enables us to continue to offer these talks freely. If you value them, I hope you will consider offering a donation at this time at www.tarabrach.com/donation/.

With gratitude and love, Tara

photo: Janet Merrick


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Stress and Everyday Nirvana – Part 1


Our habitual view of stress is that it is a bad thing, an obstacle to healthy living and spiritual realization. These two talks look at how our way of relating to stress determines our happiness, and invites listeners to engage with practices that radically shift our response to stress and bring a healing and freeing evolution of consciousness.

Your support enables us to continue to offer these talks freely. If you value them, I hope you will consider offering a donation at this time at www.tarabrach.com/donation/.

With gratitude and love, Tara

photo: Janet Merrick


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Meditation: Opening and Calming (13 min. video)



This meditation guides us in collecting and quieting the mind with the breath, and then relaxing all effort, and simply resting in what is.

Explore more videos from Tara at her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/tarabrach.



Learning to Respond Not React


CC ~ When stressed, we often react with looping fear-thoughts, feelings and behaviors that cause harm to ourselves and/or others. This talk offers three interrelated strategies that can serve us when we’re triggered by stress, and help us find our way back to our natural wisdom, empathy and wholeness of being. By de-conditioning habitual reactivity, we are increasingly able to respond to our life circumstances in ways that serve healing and awakening.


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Stress and Our Evolving Consciousness



The universal experience of stress (in Buddhism, called dukkha) is a message that we are not realizing, trusting and living from our true nature. Our habitual reactions to stress – grasping, aversion, resistance – deepen emotional pain and lock us in a limiting sense of egoic-self. This talk explores how, with conscious intention and deepened attention, the stressful difficulties we encounter can become the very grounds of healing and spiritual awakening.


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Blog: Stress & Meditation



This is the story of the magician Harry Houdini who traveled through Europe to small towns challenging local jailers to bind him in a straight jacket and lock him in a cell to see if he could escape. Over and over again, he would amaze and astonish his audiences with how he could break out of his straight jacket and cell.

But one day, he went to a small Irish village and ran into trouble because in front of a whole flock of people, be broke free of the straight jacket, but no matter what he did, he could not open the lock. Finally disappointed, the towns people left. Houdini asked the jailer about the lock trying to understand why he couldn’t open it.  The jailer told him, “it was just an ordinary lock, I figured you could open anything, so I didn’t bother locking it”.

In other words, Houdini had been locking himself in the whole time. His assumption had been that he was locked in.

And so it is with us. We move through our day with an assumption of a problem, that there is something wrong that we have to figure out. We narrow our focus; we tense up; we get busy; we get stressed.

The Buddha said that whatever a person frequently thinks or reflects on, that will become the inclination of his or her mind. Our bodies follow right along. If we’re thinking worried thoughts, our body is probably getting a steady stream of adrenaline and cortisol, keeping us physically agitated or restless.  Consider: Are your thoughts arousing a sense of kindness? of interest? of possibility? Or are your thoughts arousing a sense of tightness? separation? or discontent? In science now they say neurons that fire together, wire together, so the more frequently we have certain kinds of thoughts, the more we’re going to have that inclination.

Meditation training, is completely radical because it gives us the potential of stepping out of this stressing trance.  We can start noticing the thoughts and have some choice as to where we want to pay attention. The message is don’t believe your thoughts!

Otherwise, we’re just like Houdini fiddling with that lock and locking ourselves in our cell over and over again.



Blog: Stress & Meditation



This is the story of the magician Harry Houdini who traveled through Europe to small towns challenging local jailers to bind him in a straight jacket and lock him in a cell to see if he could escape. Over and over again, he would amaze and astonish his audiences with how he could break out of his straight jacket and cell.

But one day, he went to a small Irish village and ran into trouble because in front of a whole flock of people, be broke free of the straight jacket, but no matter what he did, he could not open the lock. Finally disappointed, the towns people left. Houdini asked the jailer about the lock trying to understand why he couldn’t open it.  The jailer told him, “it was just an ordinary lock, I figured you could open anything, so I didn’t bother locking it”.

In other words, Houdini had been locking himself in the whole time. His assumption had been that he was locked in.

And so it is with us. We move through our day with an assumption of a problem, that there is something wrong that we have to figure out. We narrow our focus; we tense up; we get busy; we get stressed.

The Buddha said that whatever a person frequently thinks or reflects on, that will become the inclination of his or her mind. Our bodies follow right along. If we’re thinking worried thoughts, our body is probably getting a steady stream of adrenaline and cortisol, keeping us physically agitated or restless.  Consider: Are your thoughts arousing a sense of kindness? of interest? of possibility? Or are your thoughts arousing a sense of tightness? separation? or discontent? In science now they say neurons that fire together, wire together, so the more frequently we have certain kinds of thoughts, the more we’re going to have that inclination.

Meditation training, is completely radical because it gives us the potential of stepping out of this stressing trance.  We can start noticing the thoughts and have some choice as to where we want to pay attention. The message is don’t believe your thoughts!

Otherwise, we’re just like Houdini fiddling with that lock and locking ourselves in our cell over and over again.



Part 2: Stress and Meditation



When we are suffering from stress, we are paying attention to our world in a narrow and rigid way. Through meditations that cultivate a wakeful and open attention, we can dramatically transform the feelings of anxiety and aloneness that underlie all stress.


Play
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Part 1: Stress and Meditation



When we are suffering from stress, we are paying attention to our world in a narrow and rigid way. Through meditations that cultivate a wakeful and open attention, we can dramatically transform the feelings of anxiety and aloneness that underlie all stress.


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