Talks: Reflections on the Path
Tara explores a range of questions that include working with unworthiness, recognizing aspiration, stepping out of the story and understanding the selfless quality of experience.
Bodhisattva means “Awakened Being.” This path of awakening has three key domains for practice: remembering intention; training our attention; and compassionate activity. This talk reviews these domains and includes guided reflections that can help bring spirituality alive in daily life.
As we cultivate mindfulness we become increasingly aware of how we move through huge swaths of our life in trance. This talk reflects on three key domains of trance, and undoing the habitual reactivity that keeps us from the loving, open awareness that is our essence.
How do we reconcile conflict when caught in reactivity sourced in trauma or deep wounding? This talk looks at the need for a larger field of belonging – a trusted other person or safe group – to engender the presence and compassion that enables us to relax and reconnect with our own wholeness and with others.
As long as we are identified as separate selves, we will inevitably experience conflict with others. If we learn to release blame and deepen attention to our embodied experience, conflict can become a portal for more loving, alive relationships and awakening into the fullness of our being.
The acronym RAIN is a powerful tool for interrupting habitual patterns of emotional reactivity and discovering the freedom of an awake, compassionate presence. This talk explores the components of RAIN, how it works, what makes it transformational and typical challenges people...
The way that we relate to impermanence and loss shapes our capacity to live and love fully. This talk, drawing on Mary Oliver’s poem “In Blackwater Woods,” explores three elements in our response to this fleeting, precious life that are integral to our healing and freedom.
The universal experience of stress (in Buddhism, called dukkha) is a message that we are not realizing, trusting and living from our true nature. Our habitual reactions to stress - grasping, aversion, resistance - deepen emotional pain and lock us in a limiting sense of...
When we are lost in the trance of thinking, we disconnect from the aliveness, awareness and love that is our source. Mindfulness, a key capacity of our evolving consciousness, awakens us from an identification with thinking and enables us to inhabit a wider realm of Being. This talk explores the confines of conceptual mind and the simple yet powerful practices that cultivate mindful awareness.
Drawing on Henri Nouwen’s book that interprets this famous parable, this talk looks at the ways we cut off from loving awareness, and the process of homecoming. Our inquiry, reflections and a guided meditation focus on an essential and often overlooked element of transformation: our capacity to trust in love, to let love in. Link to Rembrandt’s “Prodigal Son” painting which is referred to in the talk.
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.
Our innate capacity for joy is blocked by our habitual ways of paying attention. This talk explores three key pathways of presence that connect us with our full openness and aliveness.
Anger is an intelligent emotion, a natural part of our evolutionary design that lets us know when we are endangered or impeded in our progress. But when it locks into ongoing resentment and blame, our heart becomes armored and we lose access to a wholeness of being. This talk explores forgiving as a process of relaxing our armoring and awakening a healing compassion for ourselves and others.
Most of us consciously value compassion, but move through much of life without access to the full capacity of our heart. This talk explores the self-compassion that is the very grounds of loving our world.
Lovingkindness, or metta, is the first of the four divine abodes in buddhist teachings. This talk explores the habitual patterns of fears and wants that obscure this innate quality of heart and key ways that we awaken ourselves to its luminous presence.
This talk examines how we get stuck in identifying as a separate, deficient self, and the way that a deep attention frees us from trance. QUOTE FROM THE TALK: "The invitation of the Path is that we can wake up out of our stories of limitation and blame. We can listen to and...
NOTE: Tara was away this week, so asked that we post a favorite from the archives:
Listening with our full heart and attention is the gateway to understanding and love. This talk explores the challenges to deep listening, and offers ways of paying attention that awaken a healing listening presence.
It is our evolutionary and spiritual potential to release unnecessary habits of violating other tribes, individuals and unwanted parts of our own being. This talk explores three essential facets of the pathway to awakening: Leaving the fortress of aversive judgment, entering...
This talk explores the three archetypal gateways to liberation – awareness (Buddha), truth (Dharma) and love (Sangha). It includes guided reflections and a refuge ceremony that can help us discover the path “inside out” through daily life
NOTE: Stuart Rakoff’s blog is here:
This two part series explores the evolutionary conditioning of fear and judgment that contracts us away from love and acceptance, and the quality of mindful presence - in relating inwardly and in communicating with others - that awakens and frees our hearts....
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