Talks: Reflections on the Path

Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

The Three Characteristics: Part 3 – No Self

At the center of the Buddhist teachings is the understanding that the passing phenomena of this world--sounds, sensations, thoughts, bodies and minds--have no self at the center, no self as owner, and are not happening to a self. In other words, our familiar sense of self is an...

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

The Three Characteristics: Part 2 – Impermanence

The Buddha taught that when our understanding of impermanence is direct and non-conceptual, it is liberating. By directly opening to the radical impermanence of all experience, including the truth of our own mortality, we discover the natural capacity to let go. With this “mind that clings to no thing” awakens wisdom, authentic spontaneity and a natural cherishing of life.

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

The Three Characteristics: Part 1 – Unsatisfactoriness

The Buddha described three basic and interrelated insights into nature of reality that are revealed through a clear and deep attention. Called “the three characteristics,” these insights include dukkha (unsatisfactoriness), annicha (impermanence) and annata (selflessness or emptiness). In the first of this three week series of talks, we explore the meaning of dukkha, how we directly recognize the varied expressions of dukkha and it’s gift when met with full presence.

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Equanimity in the Face of Conflict

Equanimity in the Face of Conflict

This talk, given on the eve of a presidential debate, explores how we can awaken from the conditioning that turns us against ourselves and others. The guided meditation offers an opportunity to choose a place of conflict and reactivity with others, and discover what is possible...

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Inviting Mara to Tea

Inviting Mara to Tea

One of the great archetypal themes in the Buddha's life is facing Mara, the shadow side of greed, hatred and delusion. Rather than being seduced, fighting or running away, the Buddha simply recognized Mara's presence and invited him to tea. This talk and guided meditation...

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Soul Retrieval

Soul Retrieval

When we become stressed and reactive, we lose contact with our natural spontaneity, wisdom and openheartedness. This talk investigates the ways we become caught in the stress-trance and the key elements in awakening: pausing and remindfulness. Using the gateway of the senses,...

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

A Committed Presence

Our conditioning is to feel separate, creating an “other” out there, and often being at war with ourselves. By cultivating a committed presence we awaken beyond this conditioning. This talk includes stories and reflections that identify limiting beliefs and reveal our intrinsic oneness and love.

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Turning Towards What you Love

Turning Towards What you Love

There is a saying: The road to hell is paved with bad intentions. From the Buddha we learn the path to freedom arises from wise intentions. Yet because we habitually grasp after what will immediately relieve or comfort or please us, we often do not listen to our deepest...

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

Listening To Our Life

Listening in a full and open way allows us to come home to our natural state–awake, vast awareness. In an immediate way, a listening attention dissolves the tangles of fear and craving that obscure our wholeness. This class includes both a talk and guided meditations on deep listening to our inner experience and with others.

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

Behind the Mask

We each develop and become identified with masks that express a false or narrowed sense of self. Whether it’s the helper mask or addict mask, the controller mask or loser mask, the beliefs and emotions creating the mask prevent us from realizing our natural wholeness and beauty. This talk explores how, in the face of inevitable change and loss, we can remember the presence and love that is peering through the mask.

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

Let Everything Happen to You

The ways we try to control our life imprisons us in a contracted, fearful sense of self. Yet when we contemplate letting go of control, there is a sense that we will be endangered, that we will fail, that something will go wrong. This talk explores how, if we have the courage to “let everything happen” we discover a presence that is healing and freeing. As we learn to live from this allowing presence, our actions become naturally wholesome and wise.

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

Three Attitudes that Awaken and Free Our Spirit

Our predicament is intuiting our true nature–love, awareness–and yet regularly contracting into the self-identity conditioned by wants and fears. This talk explores three essential and liberating ways of relating to our human conditioning: forgiving that it arises, interest in what is true, and regarding experience with friendliness and kindness.

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

Conscious Activity

Based on one of the great legends from the court of King Arthur, this talk examines the freedom that is possible when we can see past the veil of illusion and realize the true nature that shines through all beings.

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

The Blessings of Soul Recognition

One understanding of suffering is that as individuals and a culture we are uprooted, that we have disconnected from our natural world, our inner life and a sense of belonging with each other. Some flags are speediness and over consumption, anxiety and depression. This talk explores how we have become uprooted and the three gateways of rediscovering our natural wholeness, spontaneity and inner freedom.

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

Planting Yourself in the Universe

One understanding of suffering is that as individuals and a culture we are uprooted, that we have disconnected from our natural world, our inner life and a sense of belonging with each other. Some flags are speediness and over consumption, anxiety and depression. This talk explores how we have become uprooted and the three gateways of rediscovering our natural wholeness, spontaneity and inner freedom.

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Question & Response with Tara: Working with Difficult Weather

Question & Response with Tara: Working with Difficult Weather

In this talk Tara responds to questions from participants on how to bring a healing attention to anger, sleepiness, great loss and the wounds of our world. She grounds the teachings in the two wings of clear recognition (of what is happening) and an allowing presence, one that is full with compassion.

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

My Religion is Kindness

The expression of inner freedom is a kind heart. This talk explores how we armor our hearts, and the pathways of awakening our natural capacity for loving unconditionally. The session includes an experiential inquiry that helps reveal the ways we create separation, and the possiblity of healing and freeing our heart.

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

Vesak – Path of Awakening

In the Buddhist tradition, the spring celebration of Vesak honors the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. The archetypal theme that plays through these three events, and the core teaching of the Buddha, is that we each have the capacity to realize profound inner freedom, happiness and peace. We are no different than the Buddha, and our path is to realize the luminosity of our spirit.

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Thanksgiving – Living the Life Fully: Gratitude & Generosity

Golfing with Monkeys

The Buddha taught that in any moment that we have an argument with life, we suffer. This talk explores the ways we are conditioned to think life should be different, and how the natural arising of unpleasant experience becomes locked into suffering. An experiential reflection guides us in how to respond, rather than react, to life’s challenges…inhabiting a wise heart

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