This mindful body scan leads us into a practice of relaxing back into awareness, and recognizing the changing waves of sensations, sounds and feelings in the foreground. As we let go into the sea of presence, we discover am increasing sense of wholeness and peace. The meditation ends with a brief lovingkindness prayer.
Just as presence is the heart of meditation, so deep listening is at the center of all conscious, loving relationships. This talk explores how our wants and fears block listening, ways we can deepen our capacity for listening, and the healing that unfolds when we truly feel heard by another (a special talk from the archives).
What happens when you’re really listening?
[CC] ~ When we are not sufficiently nurtured in childhood, we are inclined toward anxiety, depression, addiction and other forms of suffering. In a deep way, we do not feel at home with others. We are disconnected from our own body, heart and spirit.
This talk explores how meditation offers “spiritual reparenting” as we learn to bring interest, understanding and love to our own inner vulnerability. This process of healing extends to our relationships with others and our larger society – by reaching out to widening circles with interest and care, we bring increasing harmony and peace to our world (a favorite from the archives).
“That question: Where does it hurt? We need to address it to everyone, if we really want to understand each other.” Ruby Sales
Enjoy a blog edited from the talk: Where Does It Hurt? Healing the Wounds of Severed Belonging
[CC] ~ The essence of courage is to willingly feel our vulnerability; this is what allows us to respond to life with an undefended, wise heart. This talk explores the ways we resist opening to vulnerability, and three key steps in cultivating a courageous presence.
Ask, “What does it mean to be courageous at this moment?”
Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.
Mark Nepo, “Adrift”
The acronym RAIN – Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture – guides us in bringing mindfulness and compassion to difficult emotions. With practice, we can find our way home to open-hearted presence in the midst of whatever arises.
“Don’t turn away.
Keep your gaze on the bandaged place.
That’s where the light enters you.”
Free download of Tara’s 10 min meditation:
Mindful Breathing: Finding Calm and Ease
and: 8 Essential Tips to Nourish Your Meditation Practice
when you join her email list.
Internationally known Buddhist teacher and writer, Haemin Sunim, talks about his new book – Love for Imperfect Things. Then, he and Tara talk together and respond to questions.
[CC] ~ The Buddha taught that this whole life – including our thoughts, feelings and actions – arise from the tip of intention. While our intentions are usually marbled with wanting and fear, when intention comes into the light of consciousness, it unfolds into its most pure essence. This talk explores ways that when we are stuck in reactivity, we can become aware of intention, and find our way to the aspiration that expresses our most awake and loving heart.
“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver, from “The Summer Day”
[CC] ~ This talk explores the three archetypal refuges of awareness (Buddha-nature), truth (Dharma) and love (Sangha) through stories, illustrations and reflections. We end with a Refuge ceremony that can be done by anyone who feels drawn. (To participate you will need a 20” red string.)
A verse from Ryokan, an eighteenth-century Zen poet, came to mind: “To find the Buddhist law, drift east and west, come and go, entrusting yourself to the waves.”
“So every day
I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth
of the ideas of God,
one of which was you.”
― Mary Oliver
[CC] ~ Two common fears can block us from our full potential – fear of failure (FOF), and fear of missing out (FOMO). This talk explores how to meet these fears with mindful presence, and discover within them the essence energies of loving awareness and full aliveness (a favorite from the archives).
Note – This talk is dedicated to Tim Ferriss, who turned me on to the phrase FOMO. Tim exemplifies the creative aliveness of FOMO energy when it’s living through someone who’s dedicated to being awake, caring and real. Check out his interview with Tara at: https://youtu.be/pXNEM4wjSmE and his podcast at fourhourworkweek.com/podcast/.
CC ~ This talk looks at three ways of awakening our hearts—seeing goodness, feeling appreciation as a bodily experience, and expressing our care. We are then guided in developing each of these capacities by focusing our attention on someone we care about, with whom we’d like to experience our full potential for loving.
photo credit: Jon McRay