“Meditation is evolution’s strategy to bring out our full potential.”
– Tara Brach
Tara Brach (@TaraBrach) is a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and one of the leading teachers of Buddhist thinking and meditation in the Western world.
I was first introduced to Tara’s work by another guest on this podcast, Maria Popova. Soon thereafter, a friend and neuroscience Ph.D. recommended her book, Radical Acceptance, as life-changing. It exceeded all expectations.
It’s my hope that this tactical conversation offers you techniques for addressing loneliness, anger, self-hatred, the “trance of unworthiness,” and much more. Tara’s had a measurable impact on my life, and I wish the same for you.
For those who know my fondness for Stoic philosophy, I think Tara’s work is a fantastic compliment to Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and other favorites.
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear the episode in which I learned about Tara Brach for the first time? — Listen to my conversations with Maria Popova of BrainPickings.com. In this episode, we discuss writing, workflow, and workarounds (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What type of meditation have you tried? If you find meditation difficult, what are your barriers? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Radical Acceptance and True Refuge by Tara Brach
- Learn about my previous 30-day experiment in attachment (no booze, no masturbation)
- A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield
- When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
- The Essential Rumi collected by Colman Barks
- Learn more about Minds Incorporated, the organization working to bring mindfulness to underserved communities
- The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
- Connect with Tara Brach:
- Tara Brach’s background: from planning to be a lawyer to moving into an ashram [6:52]
- On the relentless desire for self-improvement, also known as the trance of unworthiness [13:02]
- The sad turning point in the ashram [19:52]
- On arranged marriages [26:57]
- Is it possible to be a mindful hedonist? If so, is that a bad thing? [32:17]
- Exploring challenges with balancing anger, productivity, and meditation [39:52]
- Defining the egoic state [49:22]
- The foundations of a healthy meditation process [53:12]
- The angry army sergeant who learned a valuable lesson during mindfulness class [59:37]
- The first 60 to 90 minutes of Tara’s day [1:05:32]
- Deconstructing meditation: sitting positions, hand positions, and more [1:07:27]
- Skillful means and my own practice as a beginner meditator [1:23:17]
- Pros vs. cons of hiring a TM [1:26:32]
- How to use Tara’s guided meditations [1:31:42]
- Recommended books on mindfulness [1:34:57]
- Managing fear of missing out (FOMO) in the internet age [1:40:57]
- If you could have one billboard anywhere, where would it be and what would it say? [1:51:22]
- What music and/or television show would people be surprised to know Tara listens to [1:54:32]
- Favorite documentaries [1:56:12]
- What purchase of $100 or less has been most valuable? [1:57:37]
- Advice for her 30-year-old self and how that relates to her ongoing relationship with her husband [1:58:42]
- Tara Brach’s one request for the audience [2:03:42]