A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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Is Everlasting Happiness (Ananda) Possible?

I feel happiness is a choice that we make in every moment. I am not talking about happiness that is dependent on the outside world, like buying a new car or a house. That happiness is transient. Once the bill for the monthly car payments or the mortgage arrives, our happiness can turn into distress.


Happiness is also an emotion. We should experience all emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, and fear with equanimity and let them flow through us like clouds so we don’t accumulate them as blockages or density. But underneath it all, we have ever shining Sun of the True Self --Sat (Truth), Chit (Pure consciousness), and Ananda (Bliss or Happiness).


During my divorce I went through a “Why me?” phase filled with emotions of shame, guilt, anger, resentment, regret, and fear of unknown. But, my patients loved my visits with them. They told me they felt good in my presence because I was so joyful. I could not believe that I was seen as a joyful person during the most stressful time of my life. Then I realized that my spiritual practices were helping me access this inner joy. I would like to share my happiness practices with you.

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Mindfulness and Dealing with What Triggers You

A trigger is an event that causes a reaction or a response. In you there are unresolved energetic impressions that can become activated and when they become activated they cause a reaction in you. They activate an energy and a feeling or emotion. They cause the mind to respond to the feeling contained within the impression. Most times that feeling is dissonant, because it is unresolved, and so the mind responds in a habitual way of distracting yourself from the feeling or stuffing it back down inside or letting it out and taking others down.


When you distract yourself you over-eat, over-drink, use drugs, gamble, over-indulge in sex, work, TV, social media, or any activity that allows you to ignore what you are feeling. When you stuff it inside you add to the energy’s density and it festers within. When you let it out, it can be destructive to you and others.


A trigger is actually calling for your attention. It is telling you what needs resolution. It is signaling that it is there and it is giving you an opportunity to end your suffering. But there is a natural response in you to want to feel and reach for the pleasant and push away the unpleasant. You naturally resist the unpleasant. This resistance to feeling what is being triggered misses the opportunity for resolution and greater freedom. You will create your life in a way that only allow people, places and things around you that don’t trigger you. But it is the uncomfortable that allows for the greatest growth. It is the trigger that is your teacher, mirroring what is inside you in need of resolution.

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Freedom from Othering: Undoing the Myths that Imprison Us – Part 1 ~ (audio)

A primary source of our suffering is the conditioning to create “bad other,” or “inferior other.” This same conditioning leads us to creating a bad self and turn on ourselves. These three talks explore how we subscribe to societal myths and beliefs that perpetuate this “bad othering,” and “bad selfing.” They then guide us in bringing a healing attention that can reveal the goodness that lives through all beings, and our innate connectedness. A core teaching is, “the boundary to who we include in our hearts is the boundary to our freedom.”

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Bliss and Bangs on the Head

Sometimes life is a joyful dance, and sometimes it just hurts, like a really bad headache. When things get difficult, you may feel that you are being punished for failing some invisible test of your character. Or, dramatically, that you are Sisyphus pushing a boulder uphill, only to watch it roll back down again. This is the human view, thinking we are in complete control of our lives and have made a mistake when things aren’t going well. In truth, we are not in single-handed control, and there are no mistakes. Everything that occurs in your life has been envisioned by God and your soul to bring you to greater awareness of the absolute perfection of every moment.

As we progress on the spiritual path, we gradually learn that sacred Source energy is present in every single experience. It’s in the goose bumps and tears of blissful connection to something greater as well as in the sudden harsh twist of fate that stops you in your tracks and diverts you to a new destination. It’s the hard stuff as well as the celestial celebration. It’s all divinely orchestrated Grace, designed to move you ever closer to complete alignment with your soul. It opens you to seeing that God/dess is present in absolutely every situation and scenario, in every person and event.

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Mindfulness and dealing with Crisis

Everything that happens in your life is happening for you. Life is a series of situations that are being created for your awakening. Your destiny is unfolding perfectly for you to return to connection to your essential Self.


Everyone’s life has a destiny which is playing out in harmony with all things. But you have a limited perspective from which you judge everything. When an extreme situation arises in your life you judge it from a human perspective and label it a crises. You see it in a limited perspective. You personalize the situation.


Crisis is accelerated change and change is the vehicle for expansion and evolution to march forward.


Crisis tests your humanity. It is the ultimate trigger for both bringing into awareness what needs resolution and also who you really are; peace, love, abundance, bliss and well-being. Dramatic times create the opening for leaps in expanding awareness. Welcome them, even in the midst of your fear, pain, heart-break and loss. Crisis opens you to seeing deeply.

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Avoid This Major Road-Block to Peace and Well Being

If you are like me, you have spent several years studying many different paths to oneness and wellbeing. We have so much amazing information regarding personal liberation right at our fingertips.

 

When we are implementing these teachings, we usually feel our best or at least a lot better. We feel more connected to our souls and maintain clarity of perception. This usually shows up in our bodies and personal success levels.

 

For most people, their daily spiritual practice and routine diminishes and the knowledge fades over time. Life takes over and its demands on our time and attention move the practice to the back burner. When this happens, we start to forget the life changing phrases and clarifying cliff notes that had kept us on track.

 

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Winds of Homecoming: How Intention Frees Our Heart

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.

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Losing Heart and Having Heart in Troubled Times

When you “lose heart,” you become discouraged and lose hope. When you “have heart,” you keep your faith and trust in spite of the odds. We are living at a time in which both of these options present themselves. The shadow side of our collective consciousness in the United States is coming to the fore, and we are seeing people fiercely hanging on to privileges and prejudices as if their lives depended on it. In truth, it is their identities, their egos, that depend on belief systems based in hierarchy and entitlement.

The 1% believe they have earned their place at the top of the heap and that those they have stepped on and profited from in order to get there are losers and leeches. Minorities and immigrants are targeted as threats to an elitist, white-male status quo. The exact opposite of the values of democracy and equal rights that this country is supposedly founded on. Of course, those founders were also white, male, and many were slaveholders, so the underside of American “freedom” has always existed.


When the rest of us look at this scenario, our hearts are tested. Will we lose hope or will we keep our faith that the imbalances will eventually right themselves? To paraphrase (and update) Thomas Paine: these are the times that try human souls. Can generosity, compassion, and loving-kindness eventually prevail in a society like ours where the accumulation and hoarding of monetary wealth and material possessions, as well as the oppression of entire segments of the population, is so widespread? Classism and racism overlay our so-called democratic society, to say nothing of sexism.

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This Is What I Know About Predictions

How often have you wondered “what’s going to happen?” and gone to see a psychic, astrologer, or intuitive to answer that question. I used to be that professional that would peer into the future to tell you what I saw. I actually built my reputation on that talent. In fact, there was a time that it wasn’t hard to do. Not many people were interested in self-evolution or creating their own reality. Most of us didn’t even know we could! Futures could be predicted because we moved at a slower pace.

The world was different 20 years ago.  Our species was not as connected the way we are now. We were not distracted, nor pushed forward by the same velocity, nor were we as focused on our human potential as powerful co-creators in partnership with a Conscious Universe.


So, things have changed and making predictions have changed.


Early on I recognized that what I was foreseeing were potentials realities- likely possible futures that would show up about people I was reading in my other awareness. Yet they were never shown to me as absolutes. Oh sure sometimes I’d have bet my life on something happening, as I watched something that was already in motion, arise.  Over time, however, I started to see how people would give their power away to a reading and not work on what they actually needed to do to continue on their path to achieving certain things, or the experience they hoped for would not be provided by the event predicted. Things have drastically changed in the past few years.


Predictions are a funny game and the game has changed.

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January Darshan Session- A Gift of Grace (video)

Join me for an all new darshan session where I share divine energy with the intention of establishing you in oneness and expanding your experience of fulfillment, peace and love each month.


Darshan means “to see” or “to reveal
.” What is seen and revealed? Your divinity, your oneness, your essential Self. In darshan, I share a state of oneness – the highest vibrational frequency and the most powerful force for transformation.


These sessions are offered as a blessing, without charge or requirements of any kind.

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Mindfulness and Fear

Fear is a vibrational energy. Fear is an organic, natural energy that is shared by all animals, unlike guilt and shame, which are not natural. When animals experience fear they feel it and shake it off, literally, and move on. We refuse to feel it and it accumulates, causing density. Then we prove to ourselves that the world is an unsafe place. We keep it locked in place to protect us, but then it keeps us locked in place. Fear limits and restricts us. We stay in unsatisfying relationships, unsatisfying jobs, invalidating the universal principle of more. We play life safe. We hold onto our limitations.


When we experience fear we fight, flee or freeze, all of which stop the flow of energy and impede receiving and expansion.


Fear is an immature, primitive reaction. It served primitive man well and served us well as children to protect us. It keeps us safe, but small and needy and weighs us down even as it seems to support us.


Fear exists on the mental level and much of our mental activity is being run on the energy of fear. It is like a membrane that enshrouds us, protecting us from deeper vibrational density within, mostly sadness. It is a self-defense mechanism. 


Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is a willingness to feel fear and move forward anyway. Fear sets up a barrier both to us receiving our magnificence, and experiencing and giving out our Divinity. Fear is a vibrational membrane that locks energy in place. Courage allows our energy to flow by restoring movement. We feel the fear and walk through that barrier of fear. Fear is not wrong but it is limiting. Courage is sustaining momentum and moving through this barrier of fear, moving beyond our comfort zone. Fearlessness equals doing, moving forward, keeping momentum.

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How can we hold onto our identities more lightly?

When you take birth, you are extremely vulnerable. You’re at the whim of all the forces around you, so what you develop through socialization are techniques for your own survival as a separate entity. That survival comes from creating boundaries so that you don’t just get wiped out. Those boundaries as a little person, as a child, are enlarged by being a member of your family, where you have allies, and are now a part of a group. It becomes, “I have people that are gonna help me. We’ve agreed to help one another.” You know, not all the time, but I’m thinking more in physical proximity than in a psychological sense.


So we grow up feeling that our identity groups gives us power, while it’s also securing our separateness. You can see this within the bigger system of nation-states where there are these huge egos. What’s very interesting historically at the moment we’re living in, is that the sometimes multicultural economic structures are becoming more powerful than the nation-states. The nation-states are in deep doodoo economically, and the industries are doing great. So that the reference to, “I am an American,” while it’s great, is no longer absolute salvation for you, because there’s a whole other ball game playing here.


Now, the more insecure people get, the more they’re frightened by existing conditions.

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Mindfulness and Depression

There is one symptom of the fear of un-lovability and unworthiness and that is sadness and depression. This wound of un-lovability expresses itself in the feeling of depression. The reason sadness arises from the experience of unworthiness is that it is untrue, yet you believe it. Lack of worth, lack of acceptance, lack of lovability is the great fallacy in life. But you hold worthlessness as a belief on some level and as long as that false belief is in place you will feel the symptoms of sadness and depression.


You believe you are unlovable not because you truly are experiencing yourself authentically that way but because you are gauging and judging your worth based upon the conditioning and experiences of parents, teachers, society, friends, family and spiritual beliefs. You have to fit in, excel, look, act, respond and think like they want you to in order for them to love you. And that is an impossible job with an unattainable result. You live in-authentically to be loved and you dis-connect yourself from your essential self, always living in a created self, seeking to be loved.


When you don’t get what you want you react with anger or you hide yourself away. Either way, deep inside you feel a deep and ever-present sadness. You can’t achieve being loved outside and you aren’t experiencing it inside, where it truly exists, because you are dis-connected to your essential self. As this cycle continues sadness turns to depression.

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Three Gateways to Peace and Freedom

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.

NOTE: Includes a Refuge Ritual at the end of the talk – if you’d like to participate, you’ll need some red string. We use “Classic crochet thread, size 10 in red” about 36 inches per person – available at craft stores. Sing along with The Three Refuges Chant sheet. 

Your support enables us to continue to offer these talks and meditations freely. If you value them, I hope you will consider offering a donation at this time at www.tarabrach.com/donation/.

With gratitude and love, Tara 

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How can we use our expanding set of opportunities in society to awaken?

You have been given a great luxury in this society. You don’t have a fixed identity that you’re locked into, because of caste or because of economics or because of anything. You’re free to ask the question, “What do I want to do?” At first, what people do is they say, “Oh, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna…” and then after a while, you realize that perhaps what the game is about is listening and tuning into who you are on a deeper level, and what this birth is about, and your work of life.

Most people in most societies in the history of the world have never had that option to ask, “What do I want to do?” They’ve gone through their life with the feeling of, “If only I didn’t have this, I could be free.” Then you are free, and now it has to come from a different place in you…how to find the way in your life and you go through the period of, “What do I want? What do I desire?” and then you begin to see the kind of hollowness of it. It doesn’t quite resonate deeply enough in your being.

A lot of very wealthy people in this society, that’s where they live; desperately wanting to have something that will justify their existence.

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What is required in our spiritual journey besides the desire to open?

I was raised by a Jewish middle class woman, my mother, who was very busy being just that, very concerned with propriety, and the appropriate food and the way to raise her children and I reacted as an appropriately neurotic Jewish son. And then my mother died and I met my guru, Maharaji. He spoke about my mother and he said, “You know, she’s a great saint.” At the moment that he said that, my entire conception of her shifted and I saw the few moments when she and I had met as spiritual entities, and suddenly the whole way we had interacted as mother and son in this particular round fell into the background, a reversal.

Your daily life is full of this and that, it’s full of pulls and pushes, it’s full of clinging of mind. You are literally at the mercy of your senses and your thoughts. And those senses and thoughts just keep recreating your mold or model or view of the reality.


It keeps reassuring you that you’ve got it all pegged, that’s just the way it is. But every one of you had moments when you broke through, as if you stuck your nose through the veil and you saw that wasn’t who you were at all. But then because most of you had no context in which to put it, you pulled back out of fear. You reassured yourself that the world was the way it was and you referred to those experiences as hallucinations, “I went crazy, it was far out,” as something discontinuous with your daily life.

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My Religion is Kindness – Part 2 ~

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.

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Mindfulness and Worthiness

Worth is determined by how you value something and Self-worth is determined by the extent to which you deem yourself excellent or lacking and how you value yourself.


How do you see yourself? You are, to some extent, living an in-authentic life. You have created an image, a created self to fit in, to be accepted and to be loved. Everything you think, say and do is caught up in your quest to be valued by others. So your self-worth is being determined by an outside person or group of people who have never been able to see the authentic you.

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Inner Silence Refuses No One

ALGAE (Anger, Lust, Greed, Attachment, and Ego). We must remember that our interior world records every thought, word and deed done upon ourselves or another. The recording, whether loud or quiet, sits inside of us and if it is driven by ALGAE, our inner silence is lost.

This year has certainly prompted many of us to wake up feeling challenged to protect one of our greatest powers, silence. Silence, at the deepest level, is not simply a physical absence of sound, but when a person inwardly holds the highest reverence of themselves with noble thoughts and deeds. If waste thoughts, commonly known as negative thinking, or impure motives are mixed in our thinking, it will deplete our greatest asset, silence.

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How can we use our hearts as agents for social change?

In the beginning, when I used to sit by the bed of dying AIDS patients, I’d come to their door in my usual, “Aren’t I holy” disguise to see this person. I was visiting the moribund, you know, but then I realized that I was depriving them of what human hearts can do for one another. So then I became like Superman going into the telephone booth as I grasped the doorknob of their room, galumphing along. Now when I put my hand on their doorknob I immediately become a soul. I start to shift my identity, or perspective in myself, into the soul.

You see, I have learned that you can’t see a soul until you can be one.

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