Talks: Reflections on the Path

Love is Always Loving You

Love is Always Loving You

This talk draws on Christian mystic Henri Nouwen’s book Return of the Prodigal Son. We explore the primary ways we leave home - leave presence, connection, beingness - and the pathways of deep attention and love that enable our return. The emphasis is on “letting in love” as a...

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Releasing Self-Blame – Pathways to a Forgiving Heart

Releasing Self-Blame – Pathways to a Forgiving Heart

When we are stuck in blaming, disliking or hating ourselves, we are unable to love our world. This talk explores what underlies our addiction to self-blame and the teachings and practices that loosen aversive self-judgment and help us cultivate a forgiving heart.

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Healing Self-Doubt

Healing Self-Doubt

Healing Self-Doubt - Siddhartha Gautama’s last challenge before enlightenment was doubt, and to some degree, most of us live with limiting beliefs about our own worthiness and goodness. This talk looks at the tenacity of self-doubt and the power of mindfulness, investigation...

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Embodied Awareness – Pain and Living Fully – Part 3

Embodied Awareness – Pain and Living Fully – Part 3

The experiences we most value - feeling creative, loving, vital - require being awake in our bodies. Yet when faced with physical pain, our conditioning is to pull away from our bodies, and get lost in thoughts. This talk offers guidance in working mindfully with different...

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Embodied Awareness – Embracing Unlived Life – Part 2

Embodied Awareness – Embracing Unlived Life – Part 2

Embodied Awareness - Embracing Unlived Life - Part 2 ~ When we disconnect from the aliveness of our body, we are in a trance that prevents us from living and loving fully. These two talks examine our habits of dissociation - including the cutting off that comes from trauma -...

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Practical Dharma for Stressful Times

Practical Dharma for Stressful Times

When we are caught in a stress reaction, we are in a trance that cuts us off from our creativity, full intelligence and capacity to be loving. This talk explores the flags of the stress-trance and three meditative strategies for shifting from fight/flight to attend/befriend. (at end is “Love the One You’re With” by Steven Stills)

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Embodied Awareness – Embracing Unlived Life – Part 1

Embodied Awareness – Embracing Unlived Life – Part 1

When we disconnect from the aliveness of our body, we are in a trance that prevents us from living and loving fully. These two talks examine our habits of dissociation, and the suffering of “unlived life” that this creates. We then look at how practices of mindfulness and...

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Bodhichitta – The Awakened Heart – Part 2

Bodhichitta – The Awakened Heart – Part 2

While the brightness and warmth of our hearts is always here, like the sun when blocked by clouds, our intrinsic love can be obscured. These two talks explore how we become arrested in a confining story of separate self, and how remembering love releases us from this trance....

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Bodhichitta – The Awakened Heart – Part 1

Bodhichitta – The Awakened Heart – Part 1

While the brightness and warmth of our hearts is always here, like the sun when blocked by clouds, our intrinsic love can be obscured. These two talks explore how we become arrested in a confining story of separate self, and how remembering love releases us from this trance....

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The Power of Inquiry in Spiritual Awakening – Part 2

The Power of Inquiry in Spiritual Awakening – Part 2

In spiritual life, inquiry arises from our deep yearning to understand reality, and it involves bringing an interested, engaged attention to our immediate experience.  These two talks explore how inquiry serves emotional healing by focusing on difficult “stuck” places, how...

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The Power of Inquiry in Spiritual Awakening – Part 1

The Power of Inquiry in Spiritual Awakening – Part 1

Part I - In spiritual life, inquiry arises from our deep yearning to understand reality, and it involves bringing an interested, engaged attention to our immediate experience.  These two talks explore how inquiry serves emotional healing by focusing on difficult “stuck” places,...

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Three Attitudes that Nourish a Liberating Practice

Three Attitudes that Nourish a Liberating Practice

A key spiritual inquiry is, “In this moment, what most serves awakening?” Rather than a particular style of meditation practice, it is our way of relating to our experience - our attitude - that frees our hearts. This talk explores the attitudes that are an expression of our...

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Three Blessings on the Journey (Part 2)

Three Blessings on the Journey (Part 2)

Drawing on a wonderful teaching story from the Upanishads, these two talks explore the role of forgiveness, inner fire and looking at our own minds, in finding freedom. NOTE: Tara is on retreat, so asked that we share these favorite talks from 2012. photo: Shell Fischer

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Three Blessings on the Journey (Part 1)

Three Blessings on the Journey (Part 1)

Drawing on a wonderful teaching story from the Upanishads, these two talks explore the role of forgiveness, inner fire and looking at our own minds, in finding freedom. NOTE: Tara is on retreat, so asked that we share these favorite talks from 2012....

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Widening the Circles of Compassion (retreat talk)

Widening the Circles of Compassion (retreat talk)

The archetypal figure of the Bodhisattva (“awakening being”) reflects our potential to realize our connectedness with all beings, and care for this living world with an open tender heart. This talk explores the four types of patterning that keep us stuck in the pain of...

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Gateways of Remembrance: The Three Refuges

Gateways of Remembrance: The Three Refuges

This talk explores the traditional refuges of awareness (buddha nature), truth (dharma) and love (sangha) that are at the heart of Buddhism, and found in many spiritual and religious traditions. It includes a look at our false refuges - strategies that seek to comfort and...

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Meditation Instructions with Question/Response (14 min)(retreat)

Meditation Instructions with Question/Response (14 min)(retreat)

"...discover what’s happening here, beyond the veil of thinking.” Tara gives additional instructions and responds to questions after the morning meditation at the 2015 IMCW New Year retreat. photo: JonathanFoust.com - Tara at Pearlstone Retreat Center on way to give her final...

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The Power of Mindful Investigation

The Power of Mindful Investigation

We each have a deep interest in reality–in understanding what is true and who we are. In Buddhist teachings, our interest, and its expression in wise investigation, energize the path of awakening. This talk explores how mindful investigation can free us from emotional...

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Secret Beauty – Seeing the Goodness – Solstice Talk

Secret Beauty – Seeing the Goodness – Solstice Talk

This solstice talk explores two pathways to realizing the Secret Beauty that is our essence.  One is through the compassion that arises when we stay with vulnerability and suffering, and the other is through love that arises as we learn to see the goodness that shines...

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The RAIN of Self-Compassion

The RAIN of Self-Compassion

This talk explores three key features of the trance of unworthiness and introduces a guided meditation based on the acronym RAIN that awakens self-compassion and de-conditions the suffering of being at war with ourselves. Listen to Meditation: The RAIN of Self-Compassion...

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