Category Archives: Videos

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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“Good Othering” – Helping Each Other Trust the Gold



One of the great gifts we can offer is being a mirror of goodness, reminding one another that we can trust our essential awareness, light and love. Because our conditioning is to fixate on flaws, “good othering” takes intention and practice. This talk explores how we can develop the habit of seeing goodness, and importantly, learn to communicate our appreciation and love to others.

It is a sobering thought that the finest act
of love you can perform is not an act of
service but an act of contemplation,
of seeing.
When you serve people you help, support,
comfort, alleviate pain.
When you see them in their inner beauty
and goodness you transform and create.
~ Anthony de Mello

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, The Exquisite Risk


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Part 2 – The Answer is Love:  Evolving out of “Bad Other”



These two talks address the inquiry: How do we awaken from the contempt and hatred that causes so much suffering in our world? The first talk looks at how we can use the practices of mindfulness and compassion to decondition our habits of self-blame and self-hatred, as well as the importance of helping each other defuse the trance of unworthiness. The second talk extends the use of these practices to situations where we’ve locked into external “bad othering.” These times need our deepened dedication to love: By intentionally arousing compassion for ourselves and others, we directly contribute to the evolution of consciousness in our world.

Listen and view Part 1 here.

The Buddha said: “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”

If we have no peace it is because we’ve forgotten that we belong to each other.
~ Mother Theresa

“To our most bitter opponents we say: ‘We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws, because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. … One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process.’ ”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr., Loving Your Enemies


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Part 1 – The Answer is Love:  Evolving out of “Bad Other”



These two talks address the inquiry: How do we awaken from the contempt and hatred that causes so much suffering in our world? The first talk looks at how we can use the practices of mindfulness and compassion to decondition our habits of self-blame and self-hatred, as well as the importance of helping each other defuse the trance of unworthiness. The second talk extends the use of these practices to situations where we’ve locked into external “bad othering.” These times need our deepened dedication to love: By intentionally arousing compassion for ourselves and others, we directly contribute to the evolution of consciousness in our world.

Listen and view Part 2 here.

“He drew a circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle and took him In!”
~ Edwin Markham


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The Path of Spiritual Surrender: Part 2



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.

Wean yourself

Little by little, wean yourself.
This is the gist of what I have to say.
From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood,
move to an infant drinking milk,
to a child on solid food,
to a searcher after wisdom,
to a hunter of more invisible game.

Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo.
You might say ‘The world outside is vast and intricate.
There are wheatfields and mountain passes,
and orchards in bloom.

At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight
the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding.’

You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up
in the dark with eyes closed.

Listen to the answer.

There is no ‘other world’
I only know what I have experienced.
You must be hallucinating.

~ Rumi


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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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The Courage to Love – Part 1



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.

We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are
when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved
and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed
and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time…
Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world
but to unglove ourselves so that the door knob feels cold
and the car handle feels wet
and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being
soft and unrepeatable.

~ Mark Nepo, from The Book of Awakening


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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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