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Showing posts from June, 2011

Creating an Unreal Other

It is easy to be untouched by stories we read in the newspaper, on the Internet or watch on the news about people suffering from unemployment, loss of loved ones, war or natural disasters. More and more, in our world, we have a sense of "unreal others." Unless we are really awake, we don't see the person we're reading about as a real subjective being. We don't have a sense of "the one who is looking out through those eyes or feeling with that heart." The other is not real to us, and our hearts don't respond with authentic compassion.

Only when someone is real to us and we recognize what they are living through, do we open to our natural caring and generosity.  How do "unreal others" become "real" to us? One practice that really helps us awaken is to talk with people who are different from us. We start recognizing that behind our varied masks, the one who is looking at us experiences the same fears and yearnings, the same deep, d…

The Sacred Art of Listening - Nourishing Loving Relationships

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To listen is to lean in softly With a willingness to be changed By what we hear  
                        Mark Nepo – Poet


What happens when there’s a listening presence? When we’re fully in that listening presence, when there’s that pure quality of receptivity, we become presence itself. And whether you call that God or pure awareness or our true nature, the boundary of inner and outer dissolves and we become a luminous field of awakeness.   When we’re in that open presence we can really respond to the life that’s here. We fall in love.

This state of listening is the precursor or the prerequisite to loving relatedness. The more you understand the state of listening-- of being able to have the sounds of rain wash through you, of receiving the sound and tone of another's voice-- the more you know about nurturing a loving relationship.

In a way it's an extremely vulnerable position. As soon as you stop planning what you’re going to say or managing what the other person’s saying, …

Coming Home

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The Buddha considered investigation to be a crucial capacity on the spiritual path.
What is this?
There’s something inside us that wants to know, truly, what’s the nature of things... really, what am I?
What’s happening right now?
What’s that empty, silent, listening presence that’s aware?
What happens when we begin to ask questions? We become more present. In the moment that I say, “What’s going on inside of me right now?” there’s more presence.
That is the purpose of investigation. It shines the light of presence on the present moment and it allows us to become that presence...to come home.

For more information, visit http://tarabrach.com.

Stress & Meditation

This is the story of the magician Harry Houdini who traveled through Europe to small towns challenging local jailers to bind him in a straight jacket and lock him in a cell to see if he could escape. Over and over again, he would amaze and astonish his audiences with how he could break out of his straight jacket and cell.

But one day, he went to a small Irish village and ran into trouble because in front of a whole flock of people, be broke free of the straight jacket, but no matter what he did, he could not open the lock. Finally disappointed, the towns people left. Houdini asked the jailer about the lock trying to understand why he couldn't open it.  The jailer told him, "it was just an ordinary lock, I figured you could open anything, so I didn't bother locking it".

In other words, Houdini had been locking himself in the whole time. His assumption had been that he was locked in.

And so it is with us. We move through our day with an assumption of a problem, that th…