“An intelligence inside us knows that blame prevents us from living free.” ~ Tara Brach
I spent the past two days at the 2016 Mindful Life Conference in Washington, D.C. After a particularly full week, with my first TV interview on Wednesday and inventory preparations for my table at the Vienna Garden Faire on Saturday, May 7, soaking in the wisdom of mindfulness thought leaders was the perfect way to recharge my presence batteries.
Tara Brach, a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation and the senior teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C., was a keynote speaker. I’d like to share with you just a few of the jewels of wisdom she offered up…
Tara Brach on “Awakening from the Trance of Blame”
Tara opened with the question, “How do we move from the ‘burst of judgment to a forgiving heart’?”
When we focus on fault it creates separation. A burst of blame is the source of all violence. Judging stops us from being intimate with others.
A palliative care provider who had been at the side of thousands of dying people said the greatest regret of the dying is “I didn’t live true to myself.”
So many of us reach the end of life having waited for something to change, holding on to our judgments and blame, never living true to ourselves.
“Everyone thinks forgiveness is a good idea until they really have something to forgive.” (I believe she was quoting someone else here.)
Letting go of judgment and blame isn’t condoning the behavior that caused you pain. You’re not saying it’s OK to do it again, but simply, “I am dedicated to never letting this happen again.”
Forgiveness requires being open to vulnerability.
You can’t will forgiveness, but you can be willing. You can set the intention. Intention opens the door to let the light shine through.
“Our failure to know joy is a direct reflection of our inability to forgive.” (I think she was quoting someone else here, but I again missed the name.)
Premature forgiveness doesn’t work. You have to come home first with self-compassion before you can forgive the person who has wounded you.
Her friend, a Buddhist practitioner, took the vow, “Whatever is going on in my life, may this awaken my heart.”
When we come up to a dog in a friendly way ready to pet it, but the dog growls and snaps, we recoil. We then notice that the dog’s hind leg is gripped in a trap, and see the source of his suffering. Compassion returns and we do what we can to release the dog from the trap.
Anyone who causes suffering is suffering.
Tara’s full remarks were much more eloquent and filled with rich story story telling than what I’ve presented here. But since I learned at the conference just how short our average attention spans have become (for generation Z’ers–born after 1995–the average attention span is only 8 seconds!), I’ll stop here. I encourage you, however, to check out Tara’s guided meditations, talks, books, and cds at her website https://www.tarabrach.com/ and her free podcasts at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tara-brach/id265264862?mt=2.
Happy May Day! I’ll be starting up another photo challenge this month (as soon as I finish up this blog post, in fact). Connect with me on Facebook at Martha Brettschneider – Writer & Photographer to join the fun!
For those of you who missed my debut TV interview (yikes!) to talk about Blooming into Mindfulness, you can view the clip of WTVR CBS Channel 6’s Virginia This Morning here: http://bit.ly/WTVRinterview
And don’t forget that Mother’s Day is coming up fast!
What better gift for your mom, girlfriends, or yourself than inspiration to take control of your own happiness: Blooming into Mindfulness: How the Universe Used a Garden, Cancer, and Carpools to Teach Me That Calm Is the New Happy
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