Category Archives: Videos

The Path of Spiritual Surrender: Part 1



Cultivating a surrendering presence allows us to release the identity of a small, separate self, and open to the truth and fullness of who we are. These two talks explore misunderstandings about surrender (such as the fear that we will become passive or condone injustice) and the practices that create the grounds for surrender, emotional healing, transformational activism and spiritual freedom.

…As we close, you might sense to yourself that this is a life practice of learning to live. Surrender the thoughts and surrender into the feelings… and surrender into that larger loving space. And you can feel from your own intuitive wisdom that remembering your belonging to something larger IS a pathway to peace and to freedom. And just knowing that will keep calling you home over and over. ~ Tara

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

Image: pixabay.com


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The Courage to Love – Part 2



The gateway to full intimacy and love is our capacity to open to vulnerability. These two talks look at our ways of avoiding vulnerability, and offer guidance in learning to contact and transform our fears into awake and loving presence.

An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.
~ Adrienne Rich


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An Appropriate Response: Living from an Awake Heart



Much of our suffering comes from reacting to stressful situations with fear or aggression, rather than responding with wisdom and care. This talk explores the pathway of shifting from reacting to responding: this includes learning to pause, awakening the wings of mindfulness and kindness, and reconnecting with our deepest intention.

From Buddhist teachings…

The thought manifests the word;
The word manifests the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
habit hardens into character;
and character into destiny.

So watch your thoughts with care,
And let them spring forth from love
Born out of compassion for all beings.


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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


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Equanimity: A Heart That is Ready for Anything (Duck Meditation)



Equanimity is the quality of presence that is open, balanced and non-reactive. As this talk explores, when equanimity is lacking, we become easily lost in trance, identified as a defended and controlling egoic self. When present, the solidity and constriction of egoic self dissolves, and our heart is free to respond to life with love, compassion, forgiveness and joy. Note: this talk is a favorite from the 2014 archives and includes the “Duck Meditation” and bricklayer stories.

Tara will continue with part 2 of the Forgiveness series next week.

Now we are ready to look at something pretty special.
It is a duck riding the ocean a hundred feet beyond the surf.
No, it isn’t a gull.
A gull always has a raucous touch about him.
This is some sort of duck, and he cuddles in the swells.
He isn’t cold, and he is thinking things over.
There is a big heaving in the Atlantic,
And he is part of it.
He looks a bit like a mandarin, or the Lord Buddha meditating under the Bo tree.
But he has hardly enough above the eyes to be a philosopher.
He has poise, however, which is what philosophers must have.
He can rest while the Atlantic heaves, because he rests in the Atlantic.
Probably he doesn’t know how large the ocean is.
And neither do you.
But he realizes it.
And what does he do, I ask you. He sits down in it.
He reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity—which it is.
That is religion, and the duck has it.
He has made himself a part of the boundless, by easing himself into it just where it
touches him.

“The Little Duck,” by Donald C. Babcock
~ published in The New Yorker on October 4, 1947


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Beyond the Controlling Self – Part 2



It’s natural that we do what we can to ward off danger and further ourselves. While our control strategies – such as aggression, judging, planning, seeking approval, pretending – have a developmental role, they are not a recipe for happiness, intimacy and freedom. An essential part of our evolution is to recognize when we are over-managing our lives, and learn to let go of the controls. These talks explore how we can release the grip of the over-controller, and the profound awakening of our hearts and minds that is possible in the shift from doing to being.

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. ~ Black Elk

Listen in to: Part 1: Beyond the Controlling Self


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Beyond the Controlling Self – Part 1



It’s natural that we do what we can to ward off danger and further ourselves. While our control strategies – such as aggression, judging, planning, seeking approval, pretending – have a developmental role, they are not a recipe for happiness, intimacy and freedom. An essential part of our evolution is to recognize when we are over-managing our lives, and learn to let go of the controls. These talks explore how we can release the grip of the over-controller, and the profound awakening of our hearts and minds that is possible in the shift from doing to being.

WHEN I AM AMONG TREES by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,”
they say, “and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.”

Listen in to Part 2: Beyond the Controlling Self


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The Four Remembrances



When we attune to the reality of impermanence and death, we remember what most matters to us. But in daily life we can lose precious swaths of time in a reactive trance, on our way somewhere else, and lost in problem solving, judgment and worry. This talk reflects on four remembrances or practices – Pausing, Yes to life, Turning toward love, and Resting in awareness – that help us awaken from trance and live true to the loving presence that is our essence.

May death be an advisor.
May the wisdom of impermanence help us to remember to live
this moment, this day, from loving presence.
May we all awaken these hearts and minds.
May all beings everywhere be free.
Namaste


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Embodied Presence: Portal to the Sacred – Part 2



This two part series explores how we regularly leave our body and skim life’s surface in a mental trance, and the ways we can train our attention to come home again. We look at working with physical and emotional pain, and the gifts of love, wisdom, creativity and aliveness that arise as we learn to fully inhabit these living forms and all our senses with awareness.

Includes a meditation to guide us in working with pain.

Life is a garden, not a road. We enter and exit through the same gate wandering, where we go matters less than what we notice ~ Bokonon

The Church says: the body is a sin.
Science says: the body is a machine.
Advertising says: The body is a business.
The Body says: I am a fiesta.”

Eduardo Galeano, Walking Words

Listen to Embodied Presence: Portal to the Sacred – Part 1 here.


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Embodied Presence: Portal to the Sacred – Part 1



This two part series explores how we regularly leave our body and skim life’s surface in a mental trance, and the ways we can train our attention to come home again. We look at working with physical and emotional pain, and the gifts of love, wisdom, creativity and aliveness that arise as we learn to fully inhabit these living forms and all our senses with awareness.

Be The Energy

Trust the energy that courses
through you. Trust – then take
surrender even deeper.
Be the energy.

Don’t push anything away.
Follow each sensation back to
its source and focus your awareness
there.

Be the ecstasy…

Be unafraid of consummate wonder.
Emerge so new, so vulnerable,
that you don’t know
who you are.

Be the energy,
and paradoxically,
be at peace.
Dare to be your own illumination,

And blaze a trail across
the clear night sky…..

Danna Faulds

Listen to Embodied Presence: Portal to the Sacred – Part 2 here.


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