Category Archives: Videos

Listening to the Song – Part 1



Listening is our gateway to intimacy with our inner life, each other, our earth and spirit. These two talks look at the ways that listening gets blocked and the teachings and practices that help us cultivate the gift of a deep and healing listening presence.

To listen is to lean in softly with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.
~ Mark Nepo

Choose one low hanging leaf
Heart-shaped
Still attached to Mother Birch
and listen to all it has to say.
The sound its slender veins make turning light to sugar.
The exaltation of wind.
Water sipped through straws of branches of the roots.
How it and its sisters communicate with birds
and how it refracts the sun in your eyes
searching for the right thing to say and when.
The queue will be obvious when it’s your turn to speak
It’s palm will fall upon yours face down.
Blind sentences touching the breath of your hand
then whispering the language that green understands.

Birch ~ by Ann Emerson

Enjoy the meditation given before the talk:
The Silence that is Listening

Other resources on Listening here.


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Anger: Responding, Not Reacting



Anger is natural, intelligent and necessary for surviving and flourishing. Yet when we are hooked by anger, it causes great personal and collective suffering. This talk explores how to transform patterns of reactivity by bringing a mindful and compassionate attention to the unmet needs that underlie angry reactivity. When we learn how to pause and connect honestly with our inner experience, we are then able to respond to others from our full intelligence and heart (a favorite from the archives).

“Getting angry with another person is like throwing hot coals with bare hands: both people get burned.”  Buddha

“… When we find ourselves in an aggressive relationship, we need to set clear boundaries. The kindest thing we can do for everyone concerned is to know when to say ‘enough.’ Many people use Buddhist ideals to justify self-debasement. In the name of not shutting our heart we let people walk all over us. It is said that in order not to break our vow of compassion we have to learn when to stop aggression and draw the line. There are times when the only way to bring down barriers is to set boundaries.”
Pema Chödron (from: The Places That Scare You)

Also quoted:
“When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.”
For Love in a Time of Conflict. ~ John O’Donohue

NOTE: Video is closed captioned.


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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


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RAIN on Blame: A Guided Meditation (14:40 min.)



When we are stuck in blame or resentment we are in a trance – the other person becomes an unreal bad other, and our own sense of being contracts into a victimized self, an angry self, a righteous self. Using the acronym RAIN, this practice guides us in bringing mindfulness and compassion to our inner experience, and then to viewing the other with a more open and clear heart.  By awakening from the trance of blame, we are able to respond with intelligence and care to the unmet needs that underlie all conflict.

From the conclusion of Belonging to Each Other – Part 2. Listen to the full talk here.


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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


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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


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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.

NOTE: video is in 2 parts and both are closed captioned in English.


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Befriending Irene



While Tara is away, this talk is from 2011 after Hurricane Irene hit us with fury. Dorian is now leaving its destruction behind, just as we work with our stormy weather within.

Whether you face chronic anxiety or more violent storms of fear and anger, you can cultivate the wings of freedom–the mindfulness and compassion–that free you. This talk explores how the habit of being reactive causes us suffering and the ways these tools of meditation can be applied to the inner weather systems that most challenge us.

This is for me the gift of RAIN on blame – to shift from a weather system of something’s wrong to a sense of space – of coming back home to a larger sense of being.

The flute meditation at the end of the talk is given by Akal Dev.


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Earth’s Crisis: On the Edge of the Roof



This talk was given in 2015, yet it is as timely as ever. It views the ecological dis-ease of our planet through the lens of our evolutionary unfolding. We explore the egoic trance that has precipitated the destruction of our environment, and the inner practices of presence that enable us to respond from love and wisdom (from the archives).

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

NOTE: Tara is away this month and selected this talk from the archives for the podcast as especially appropriate.


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