Talks: Reflections on the Path
Our relationship to fear shapes our life experience. If we are unconscious, and reflexively try to manage fear, our identity takes the shape of the body of fear. If instead we learn to attend and befriend fear, we discover the freedom of our awakened heart.
(Tara was away this week – this is a favorite from 2007)
Through all spiritual traditions, there is a valuing of silence and stillness. When the mind has quieted, it becomes possible to see into the truth of what we are. Yet quieting can turn into a battle with the process of the thinking mind. This talk explores practices that allow us to settle in a natural way, the presence which is silence itself, and the wisdom and love that flows freely when we live from that silence.
We all have a longing to belong. When pursued at the egoic level–often through our good-personhood projects–there may be temporary satisfaction but our sense of separation is ultimately reinforced. In contrast, bringing mindfulness and compassion to whatever is arising dissolves the sense of separation and reveals the basic goodness of our own loving presence.
A fundamental skill cultivated through meditation is awakening from our stories and arriving back in the aliveness of the moment. If we investigate, we find that a large portion of our stories create physical and emotional stress, separate us from others, and obscure the truth of who we are. In this talk you are invited to identify several of your “top ten hits”, explore how these stories live in your body, and reconnect with living presence.
If we inquire “what is between me and presence” we usually find we’ve been caught inside a limiting story of self, contracted by wants and fears. This talk explores a simple yet powerful way of arousing loving presence and dissolving the narrow identification that keeps us from inhabiting our awakened heartmind.
This talk addresses common misunderstandings about acceptance (allowing, “letting be”) and explores the challenges and blessings of opening to the raw emotions that we habitually avoid.
Based on a wonderful myth told by Clarissa Estes, this talk looks at the way we run from "lady death" and the blessings of opening our arms and heart. If we can embrace the whole of our nature with unconditional presence - including the inevitability of change and loss--we...
In this talk we further define the nature of mature or spiritual hope as part of a trinity that includes trust and love, and explore what blocks its unfolding. We then review how different people have “hit bottom” and found their way to the energy, receptivity and openness of hope.
This talk looks at the difference between egoic hopes and fears, and the quality of hopefulness (“holy hope”) that is an essential dimension in spiritual experience. We reflect on the three components of hope that serves awakening: Aspiration, Trust and Dedication of energy.
A bodhisattva (awakened being) is committed to relieving suffering and living life from an all inclusive loving presence. This shift of identity from a self centered focus to one of […]
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.
Spiritual practice reveals our belonging through bringing presence to three gateways: the aliveness of the present moment, loving relatedness, and the openness and lucidity of awareness itself. This talk includes guided meditations in exploring each gateway. Note: poem, “She Dreamed of Cows” is by Norah Pollard.
The depth and vitality of a meditation practice depends on our sincerity, and an attitude of curiosity and friendliness. With this as the grounds, our practice will cultivate the clear seeing and openheartedness that expresses our deepest nature. This talk covers basic ingredients in a meditation practice, and includes a half hour of questions and responses.
We have strong conditioning to relate to each other from a sense of separateness–persona to persona. This talk looks at what traps us in egoic relating and how several simple yet powerful reflections can open us to pure, unconditioned loving.
We long for love and habitually armor our hearts. This talk explores the aggression and clinging that protect our wound of feeling unlovable, and the ways that mindfulness can dissolve our defenses and reveal our inner refuge of pure loving presence.
Question and response with Tara from an evening satsang on 2013-05-13. Many of the questions that evening were about R.A.I.N. NOTE: Satsang means exploring and realizing truth in the gathering […]
Our fear-based doings block us from realizing the formless dimension of our Being, and living from that source of wisdom and love. This talk explores the habitual control strategies that keep us from presence; and the role of mindfulness and lovingkindness in reconnecting with the ground of Being.
The greatest truths we forget, and one of them is that if we don't love the life that is right here--what we perceive as self--we are unable to embrace our world. This talk explores the suffering of turning on ourselves and the deep freedom that arises when we commit to...
Our capacity to live and love fully is directly related to our acceptance of change and loss. This talk explores how we avoid the pain of loss, ways of practicing that open us to this changing world, and the gifts of letting go into the flow.
John O’Donahue writes, “We are so busy managing our lives, we forget this great mystery we are involved in.” This talk looks at the ways we pull away from the mystery and the path of “beginners mind” that enables us to encounter this living world with freshness, courage and wonder.
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