Talks: Reflections on the Path

Behind the Mask

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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Behind the Mask

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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Behind the Mask

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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Behind the Mask

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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Behind the Mask

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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Behind the Mask

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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Behind the Mask

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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Behind the Mask

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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Behind the Mask

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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Behind the Mask

Realizing Our Natural Joy – Part 2

In the buddhist teachings, joy is a natural expression of our awakened heart. In these two talks we will explore how we block off joy, and ways that we can cultivate and embody this intrinsic facet of our being.

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Behind the Mask

Realizing Our Natural Joy – Part 1

In the buddhist teachings, joy is a natural expression of our awakened heart. In these two talks we will explore how we block off joy, and ways that we can cultivate and embody this intrinsic facet of our being.

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Behind the Mask

Meeting Fear with a Wise Heart – Part 2

These talks investigate how fear, nature’s protector, proliferates and becomes a trance of fear and the cause of deep suffering. We look at the “body of fear”- the thoughts, physicality, emotions and behaviors that express and fuel the trance of fear. Through stories and guided reflections we explore the ways that buddhist meditation can free us from the grip of unhealthy fear.

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Behind the Mask

Meeting Fear with a Wise Heart – Part 1

These talks investigate how fear, nature’s protector, proliferates and becomes a trance of fear and the cause of deep suffering. We look at the “body of fear”- the thoughts, physicality, emotions and behaviors that express and fuel the trance of fear. Through stories and guided reflections we explore the ways that buddhist meditation can free us from the grip of unhealthy fear.

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A Wise Understanding of Desire

A Wise Understanding of Desire

We lose huge swaths of our life when caught in wanting experience to be more and different. Yet if we bring a mindful presence to the thoughts and feelings of wanting, we discover a portal into full aliveness and freedom. This talk explores how to recognize and investigate...

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Behind the Mask

The Two Wolves

Empathy and aggression are both part of our evolutionary survival equipment. We awaken spiritually as we bring awareness to the vulnerability that drives aggression, and discover that we can directly cultivate our capacity to experience loving connection.

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Behind the Mask

Our Heart’s Aspiration

This talk weaves two teachings that are key to awakening. “The most important thing is remembering the most important thing” helps us be guided by the compass of our heart in living our lives. And discovering that “what we long for is already here” lets us trust that the love or peace we seek is found in the fullness of presence.

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Behind the Mask

Befriending the Deities

The fruit of practice is releasing our identification with core beliefs and fear-based emotions, and realizing and inhabiting our Natural awareness. This is described as the N in RAIN – an acronym that can guide us in awakening loving presence.

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Behind the Mask

The Art of Practice – RAIN

This second class in the Art of Practice reviews the basic components of meditation training and illustrates through several stories, the use of the acronym RAIN in awakening loving presence. The session includes a period of question/answer.

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Behind the Mask

The Art of Practice – Mindfulness

In the Art of Practice, we explore key techniques in preparing the grounds for true meditation. These include relaxation, identifying a home base, awakening the senses and re-mindfulness. These “skillful means” allow us to arrive Here, and to rest in a natural mindfulness, awake and open awareness.

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