Tag Archive: Tara Brach


 Published on Apr 6, 2018

Tara Brach: From Head to Heart (2018-04-04)

If we are suffering, we are believing an interpretation of reality that is limiting and untrue. At these times we are imprisoned in a painful looping of fear-driven thoughts and feelings. This talk explores the ways our practices of mindfulness, compassion and loving presence can guide us from addictive thinking to perceiving life with a wise heart.

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My Religion is Kindness, Part 2 – with Tara Brach (2017/12/20)

Authentic kindness must include the life within us. These two talks examine the movement from an armored to a free and loving heart. The first looks at how we can awaken from the trance of unworthiness and establish a genuinely caring relationship with our inner life. In the second we explore how self-kindness awakens us to the heartspace that naturally includes all of life.

This talk is dedicated especially to youthful listeners on this solstice evening.

Authentic kindness must include the life within us. These two talks examine the movement from an armored to a free and loving heart. The first looks at how we can awaken from the trance of unworthiness and establish a genuinely caring relationship with our inner life. In the second we explore how self-kindness awakens us to the heartspace that naturally includes all of life.

Published on Jan 12, 2018

Tara Brach: Winds of Homecoming ~ 

2018/01/11

The Buddha taught that we live our lives on the tip of intention, it is the seed of our future. This talk explores the difference between “limbic” intentions driven by grasping or fear, and intentions that are the call of our awakening heart. You will learn how to identify and shift from a “limbic” to wise intention, and several different ways you can more readily and regularly access your deepest aspiration.

Published on Jan 8, 2018

Three Gateways to Peace and Freedom with Tara Brach (01/03/2018)

This talk explores the three archetypal refuges of truth, love and awareness. We look at the outer and inner aspects of each refuge, and then through guided reflections and a Refuge Ritual, deepen our commitment to the pathways that awaken our minds and free our hearts.

Radical Acceptance Revisited (08/12/2015)

One of the truths we most regularly forget is that if we are at war with ourselves, we can’t feel love and connection with our world. This talk looks at the genesis of the “Trance of Unworthiness” and how the wings of mindfulness and heartfulness can dissolve the trance and reveal the loving awareness that is our essence Being.

Discovering the Gold: Remembering Our True Nature By Cultivating Mindfulness And Compassion

Posted on November 13, 2017
by Tara Brach: I remember when I was on a book tour for Radical Acceptance… one of the places I stopped was the Buddhist university, Naropa. They had a big poster with a big picture of me and, underneath the photo, the caption was: Something is wrong with me.

The Trance of Unworthiness: Forgetting Who We Are
I wrote about the Trance of Unworthiness in Radical Acceptance 14 years ago, and I’ve found, over the years, that it is still pretty much the most pervasive expression of emotional pain that I encounter in myself and in those I’ve worked with. It comes out as fear or shame — a feeling of being flawed, unacceptable, not enough. Who I am is not okay.

A core teaching of the Buddha is that we suffer because we forget who we really are. We forget the essence — the awareness and the love that’s here — and we become caught in an identity that’s less than who we are.

When we are in the trance of unworthiness, we’re not aware of how much our body, emotions, and thoughts have locked into a sense of falling short and the fear that we’re going to fail. The trance of unworthiness brings us to addictive behaviors as we try to soothe the discomfort of fear and shame. It makes it difficult to be intimate, spontaneous and real with others, because we have the sense that, even if they don’t already know, they will find out how flawed we really are. It makes it hard to take risks because we’re afraid we’re going to fall short. We can never really relax. Right in the heart of the trance, there is a need to do something to be better, to avoid the failure lurking right around the corner.

Space Suit Strategies: How We Manage in a World of Severed Belonging
Entering this world is difficult. Due to their own wounds and fears, a lack of attunement from caregivers is common. Depending on severity, this can create a core wounding of severed belonging: if I am not enough or if I fail, I won’t belong anymore. It starts early, and we internalize the messages relayed through our families: Here is how you need to be to be respected and/or loved.

In order to navigate this difficult environment, we don spacesuits — our ego survival strategies — to make it through. The suffering is that we become identified with the spacesuit and forget who is looking through the mask. We forget the tender heart that longs to love without holding back.

The sense of unworthiness gets dramatically amplified depending on our culture. Western culture is very individualistic and there’s not an innate sense of belonging. Fear of failure is really big. Every step of the way, we have to compete and prove ourselves and we have a profound fear of falling short. Messages of being inferior are particularly toxic for non-dominant populations. In different degrees, for those that don’t fit the dominant culture’s standards, there is an accentuated sense of not being enough.

So, we all develop our “space suit” strategies to manage ourselves so that we will “belong.” You probably know the ways you go about getting other people to pay attention, or to love you, or to respect you. For many of us it’s striving and accomplishing and proving ourselves. For some, there’s a habitual busyness. For others, there are addictive behaviors that numb and soothe the feelings.

The Golden Buddha: Remembering Our True Nature
One of the stories I’ve always loved took place in Asia. There’s a huge statue of the Buddha. It was a plaster and clay statue, not a handsome statue, but people loved it for its staying power. A number of years ago, there was a long dry period and a crack appeared in the statue. So the monks brought their little pen flashlights to look inside the crack — just thought they might find out something about the infrastructure. When they shined the light in, what shined out was a flash of gold — and every crack they looked into, they saw that same shining. So they dismantled the plaster and clay, which turned out to be just a covering, and found that it was the largest pure solid gold statue of the Buddha in all of southeast Asia.

The monks believed that the statue had been covered with plaster and clay to protect it through difficult years, much in the same way that we put on that space suit to protect ourselves from injury and hurt. What’s sad is that we forget the gold and we start believing we’re the covering — the egoic, defensive, managing self. We forget who is here. So you might think of the essence of the spiritual path as a remembering — reconnecting with the gold . . . the essential mystery of awareness.

Radical Acceptance: Awakening from the Trance of Unworthiness
The practice of meditation, or coming into presence, is described as having two wings. The wing of mindfulness allows us to see what is actually happening in the present moment without judgement. The other wing is heartfulness or love — holding what we see with tenderness and compassion. You might think of it as two questions: What is happening right now? and Can I be with this and regard it with kindness? These are the two wings that we cultivate to be able to wake up out of the trance of unworthiness — out of the spacesuit self — and sense that gold that’s shining through.

I’d like to invite you to take a moment to check in and just to feel into the inquiry: Is there anything, right this moment, between me and feeling at home in myself, at home in who I am? What is here, right now? Can I be with this? Can I regard this with kindness?

Source: Tara Brach

Published on Nov 7, 2017

TaraTalks: A Bridge to Homecoming – with Tara Brach

When suffering hits, if – instead of trying to get away – we can take the risk to stay with it; call upon a loving friend in our heart; and offer ourselves some gesture of kindness… a shift can occur that truly changes our life.

Our lives are shaped by our evolutionary past – the fears and wants that arise from a separate self sense – and the pull of our evolutionary potential – our awakened heart and mind. This talk explores the power of these pulls, and the teachings and reflections that make us most available and responsive to the calling of our future self.

Published on Oct 10, 2017

Tara Talks: Not Enough Time – with Tara Brach

The more stressed we are, the more likely it is that we’ll mistake the needs of someone we care about for “an interruption.”


Published on Sep 26, 2017

Tara Talks: What You Practice Grows Stronger – with Tara Brach

We may be very “loyal” to habits of anxiety and vigilance that evolved to ensure survival, but now exceed what’s needed and prevent us from enjoying life. We can undo this negativity bias by intentionally calling on more recently evolved parts of the brain and orienting in another direction.

Published on Sep 19, 2017

TaraTalks: Mirroring the Gold in One Another – with Tara Brach

In our relating with others, how do we deepen our attention so that a place in us regularly scans for “What do you need right now? How can I respond in a way that reminds you that you belong?”


Three Blessings in Spiritual Life – Part 3: A Mirror

08/09/2017 This 3- part series explores three capacities we all have, that when cultivated, bring spiritual awakening and serve the healing of our world. Drawing on an ancient teaching story from India, we explore together the power of a forgiving heart, the inner fire that expresses as courage and dedication, and the inquiry of “who am I” that reveals our deepest nature. From the talk: “These are three qualities often described as the essence of awareness: wakeful, open, tender.” And a blessing: “May all beings everywhere remember and trust the loving awareness that is our source. May all beings everywhere live in natural and great peace. May we touch true joy in living. May all beings everywhere awaken and be free.”


Three Blessings in Spiritual Life – Part 2: Inner Fire

This 3-part series explores three capacities we all have, that when cultivated, bring spiritual awakening and serve the healing of our world. Drawing on an ancient teaching story from India, we explore together the power of a forgiving heart, the inner fire that expresses as courage and dedication, and the inquiry of “who am I” that reveals our deepest nature.


This 3- part series explores three capacities we all have, that when cultivated, bring spiritual awakening and serve the healing of our world. Drawing on an ancient teaching story from India, we explore together the power of a forgiving heart, the inner fire that expresses as courage and dedication, and the inquiry of “who am I” that reveals our deepest nature.


We do need to have certain narratives about the world that alert us to real danger. We also need to recognize when those stories are taking over, blinding and separating us from our hearts, our awareness, and each other.

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