Category Archives: Videos

What Is It Like Being You?



Compassion is hard wired in our organism, and can be cultivated. This talk helps us identify the blocks to compassion—our outmoded survival equipment—and using RAIN, offers practical guidance in mindfully attuning to others’ emotional experience and awakening our natural tenderness and care. This talk includes a short introduction to the meditation: The RAIN of Compassion.

Empathy is the ability to feel what other people feel… compassion includes empathy, and it also has the quality of caring and concern that wants to help. Compassion means “to suffer together,” but it is really defined by a quivering of the heart that wants to help…

Compassion is our evolutionary potential. We have a capacity for affiliative care, to tune in to each other and to care about each other. And, really, this capacity is the hope of our world…


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From Human Doing to Human Being – Part 2



Like Sisyphus eternally pushing the boulder up the hill, we can spend many moments busily trying to manage our life. This two-part talk explores how we can awaken from our non-stop doing, including the incessant inner narrative, and discover the mystery, love and freedom that arises in Being.

Listen and watch Part 1: From Human Doing to Human Being.


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Evolving Beyond “Unreal Othering”



What motivates us – as individuals and as a society – to build walls and knowingly hurt others? This talk explores the evolutionary roots of “unreal othering” and how when we are hijacked by fear, it can take over and disconnect us from the very real suffering of others. We then look at how meditative strategies awaken us from othering, and reveal our intrinsic belonging. Finally, we apply this to our own lives in a reflection that helps us respond to someone we have turned into “unreal other” with compassion and wisdom.

The Arabs used to say,
When a stranger appears at your door,
feed him for three days
before asking who he is,
where he’s come from,
where he’s headed.
That way, he’ll have strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you’ll be
such good friends
you don’t care.

~ “Red Brocade,” Naomi Shihab Nye


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Short Talk & Meditation: Tonglen – Radical Compassion (32:43 min)



We are conditioned to avoid suffering – our own and others. By pulling away, we also contract our heart and disconnect from our innate capacity for compassion. This short talk and meditation is a training in touching vulnerability, and discovering the boundless heartspace that can be a transformer of sorrows.

A special instruction and guided heart meditation from the 2017 IMCW Spring 7-day Silent Retreat – previously unpublished.


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From Human Doing to Human Being – Part 1



Like Sisyphus eternally pushing the boulder up the hill, we can spend many moments busily trying to manage our life. This two-part talk explores how we can awaken from our non-stop doing, including the incessant inner narrative, and discover the mystery, love and freedom that arises in Being.

Listen and watch Part 2: From Human Doing to Human Being.


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Seeing Basic Goodness – Part 2



Most of us long to trust our goodness, but get caught in stories of deficiency and striving to affirm we’re ok. These talks look at the block to realizing the loving awareness that is our essence, and the practices that help us see this essential goodness – in ourselves, dear ones and in those we might habitually consider different or “other.” Both talks include reflections that can help us appreciate the basic goodness that lives through these precious, changing forms.

Think of some of the people you like and are drawn to you.

Now attempt to look at each of them as if you were seeing them for the first time, not allowing yourself to be influenced by your past knowledge or experience of them, whether good or bad.

Look for things in them that you may have missed because of familiarity, for familiarity breeds staleness, blindness and boredom. You cannot love what you cannot see afresh. You cannot love what you are not constantly discovering anew.

Anthony de Mello
from “The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello”


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TaraTalks: Meditation – RAIN: Working with Difficult Emotions (11:43 min.)



This guided practice applies mindfulness and self-compassion to challenging emotions. It is based on the acronym RAIN, and provides a four step practice that is accessible and effective, even at those times when mindfulness is most difficult to remember.

The acronym RAIN is one of the most powerful tools I know for working with difficult emotions and discovering the freedom of an awake, compassionate presence.

The 4-steps of RAIN are:

  • Recognize what is happening;
  • Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
  • Investigate with interest and care;
  • Nurture with self-compassion.

After RAIN, it’s important to simply notice your own presence and rest in that open, tender space of awareness. When we are no longer identified with passing states like fear or anger, we begin to realize who we are beyond any limiting identity.

The short video below provides step-by-step instructions on how to use this powerful practice when facing your own life challenges. I hope you find it helpful!

Audio of full talk: Dissolving Trance with RAIN



Seeing Basic Goodness – Part 1



Most of us long to trust our goodness, but get caught in stories of deficiency and striving to affirm we’re ok. These talks look at the block to realizing the loving awareness that is our essence, and the practices that help us see this essential goodness – in ourselves, dear ones and in those we might habitually consider different or “other.” Both talks include reflections that can help us appreciate the basic goodness that lives through these precious, changing forms.

“Saints are what they are, not because their sanctity makes them admirable to others, but because the gift of sainthood makes it possible for them to admire everyone else.” -Thomas Merton


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Responding to Change with a Wise Heart



An intrinsic part of spiritual life is facing the truth of impermanence. When we open to the changing flow without resistance, we naturally cherish this passing life, and realize the timeless, changeless awareness that is our true home. Yet we are conditioned to grasp on to the passing pleasures (and all that we love) and resist the inevitable arising of stress and unpleasant experience. This talk includes teachings and guided reflections that help us identify the ways we are reacting to major changes in our life. We explore how to shift from reacting to meeting impermanence with an allowing presence, and then responding to our circumstances with wisdom and compassion.

Find more resources on change, impermanence, grief and loss at: https://www.tarabrach.com/grief/

image: jonathanfoust.com


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Listening with an Awake Heart – Part 2



“Listening and feeling heard are absolutely intrinsic to awakening our hearts and cultivating an open awareness in ourselves and in our world. …The only answer to polarization, the only way we can interrupt the cycles of violence, is to listen deeply and, out of care, seek to understand . . . seek to build the bridge.”

Deep listening – to our inner life, each other and our world – is an intrinsic expression of our awakened heart. Yet because we have strong conditioning to be caught in wants and fears, there is often much interference in the field of communications. These two talks are an opportunity to intentionally deepen your capacity to listen in a way that leads to increased understanding and connection. You’ll have the opportunity to investigate what gets between you and deep listening, and to practice the key elements that nurture receptive presence.

The second talk includes questions and responses that focus on having an agenda instead of listening, the feeling that we don’t have enough time, listening when we feel reactive (hurt, defensive, intimidated, angry) and the need to feel heard.

For more resources on Listening, visit www.tarabrach.com/listening/


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