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Awaken Your Heart – Creativity – Wisdom with Tara Brach
What you’ll learn
- Get back to being friends with your body again
- Stay present with whatever is happening inside and around you
- Identify and tap into your own best resources for dealing with intense emotions
- Dissolve the trance of isolation, and experience real belonging
- There is no prerequisite to taking this course.
With modern living being what it is, many of us find ourselves drifting over the surface of our life in something like a trance – a distorted, pale shadow of reality and all its possibilities. It cuts off our sense of connection with our bodies, and all the aliveness and creativity of our true nature. As John O’Donohue said, “Our bodies know that they belong to life; it’s our minds that make our lives so homeless.” We can see, all around, the suffering that results: physical illness, emotional pain, a persistent sense of alienation, broken relationships…
In this course created by Tara Brach, we’ll get to know what it looks like in everyday life, for each one of us, when we go off into trance — and, how we can recover a fuller presence: for ourselves, for our loved ones, for our community and world that so need us to show up. We’ll discover how we can use our thinking mind as a “good servant” of our well-being, rather than a saboteur.
Each of the course’s eleven sections includes at least one experiential exercise helping students to put directly into practice the insights shared during the lectures. These exercises are essentially guided meditations that students often like to continue practicing many times over, long after a course is completed, to maintain and more fully integrate the lessons in their real, embodied, relational lives.
We’ll learn to recognize the most common signs of being caught in trance; and, what we can do to disrupt that pattern and “hit ‘refresh’.” Then we’ll dig in deeper to understand the origins of the “default programs” that limit us, to increase our capacity for embodied presence, and to taste some of the sweet fruits of tapping into our fuller presence.
We’ll find out how to engage skillfully with different degrees of physical pain – mild, moderate, and intense – and learn about the inter-relatedness of physical & emotional difficulties. We’ll also develop our ability to access a spaciousness that’s wide enough to embrace these difficulties, giving ourselves the best conditions to trust, to open, and to thrive.
We’ll look into our habitual belief in separateness, and typical reactive behaviors of avoiding — or grasping at — more closeness in relationships. We’ll go through three steps to freeing ourselves from the trance of that isolated small-self, and restoring our connection to awareness & love in the midst of stressful situations. Finally, we’ll discover how we can actively re-awaken again and again into the fully-embodied, profound belonging with all of life that is our birthright.
Who this course is for:
- Anyone yearning to reclaim the aliveness that seemed to have been lost forever
- Anyone who feels cut off from life & love, in a “spacesuit” of their own making
- Anyone who wants to cultivate a heart that’s both more tender and more resilient
- Introduction to Tara & Course Overview
- Introduction to Embodied Awareness (with mini-practice)
Trance: Unlived Life
- Our Most Precious Moments Are Embodied (with mini-practice)
- Being in Nature
- Unlived Life: What Is It, Really?
- Recognizing the Flags of Trance: Speeding, Judging, …
- Trance Originating & Reappearing in Relationships
- Practice Exercise: Our Kinesthetic Senses
Entering the Wilderness
- Signs & Symptoms of Unlived Life
- The Liberating Practice of R.A.I.N.
- R.A.I.N.: One Man’s Experience (Case Study)
- Practice Exercise: The R.A.I.N. of Embodiment
Challenging the Programs That Limit Us
- The Body Is Our “Way In” to Reality
- Our Neurological & Cultural Programming
- The High Costs of Disconnection
- Re-Embodying with R.A.I.N.
- Practice Exercise: Deepening Embodied Presence with R.A.I.N.
Our Portal Back Home to the Garden
- The Body Will Present Its Bill
- Resourcing When Fear is Intense (Case Study)
- First Fruit of Re-Embodiment: Living More Fully (with mini-practice)
- Second Fruit: Opening to Our Tender Heart
- Third Fruit: Realization of Freedom
- Practice Exercise: Tasting the Fruits of Embodied Presence
Vivid and Nourishing Relation
- How Much Do We Miss?
- Lost in the Shallows
- Dissociation Has Serious Consequences
- Suffering Is Optional: We Can Surf the Waves of Physical Pain
- Practice Exercise: Bringing R.A.I.N. to Pain
Letting Life Live Through You
- Salt Thrown into a Lake
- Accessing Our Larger Space (with mini-practice)
- When It’s Too Much: Sensing Our Oceanness (Case Study #1)
- This Very Body Is Our Gateway to Freedom (Case Study #2)
- Practice Exercise: Live with the World Inside You
- Interrelationship of Physical & Emotional Difficulties (Q/A)
Trance of the Spacesuit Self
- Tender Bodies, Awakening Hearts (with mini-practice)
- The Spacesuit Self
- Charged Stress Loops: Identifying with the Spacesuit
- Grasping and Avoiding: The Small Self in Relationships
- Loved into Our Realness
- Practice Exercise: Beaming Kindness into the Trapped Small-Self
Belonging and Blessing: Who We Really Are
- Three Steps of Dis-Identification
- Our Own Loving Presence (Case Study #1)
- To Ask and Offer Blessing: Waking Up Together (Case Study #2)
- Practice Exercise: The Truth of Who We Are
Bodhichitta, The Heart/Mind of Love
- Evolutionary Capacity
- Our Greatest Resources
- Belonging With All of Life
- Discovering Love and Awareness Amidst Discomfort
- In Seeing How We Separate, Remember It’s Not Our Fault
- Everyday Ways We Disconnect from Love
- Vow of the Awakening Heart
- Practice Exercise: In the Prickles, Offering Our Heart’s Vow
To Live From Loving Presence
- Holding Back Our Love Is the Deepest Suffering
- Waking Up Our Hearts: Two Key Domains
- Never Give Up on Anybody (Case Study)
- Every One of Us Needs To Be Reminded of Our Goodness
- Practice Exercise: Offering & Receiving the Expression of Love