Tag Archives: powerful

Your Refuge – A Heart That Is Ready for Anything

A dark heart silhouetteWhen the Buddha was dying, he gave a final message to his beloved attendant Ananda, and to generations to come:

“Be a lamp unto yourself, be a refuge to yourself. Take yourself to no external refuge.”

In his last words, the Buddha was urging us to see this truth: although you may search the world over trying to find it, your ultimate refuge is none other than your own being.

There’s a bright light of awareness that shines through each of us and guides us home, and we’re never separated from this luminous awareness, any more than waves are separated from the ocean. Even when we feel most ashamed or lonely, reactive or confused, we’re never actually apart from the awakened state of our heart-mind.

This is a powerful and beautiful teaching. The Buddha was essentially saying: I’m not the only one with this light; all ordinary humans have this essential wakefulness, too. In fact, this open, loving awareness is our deepest nature. We don’t need to get somewhere or change ourselves: our true refuge is what we are. Trusting this opens us to the blessings of freedom.

Buddhist monk Sayadaw U. Pandita describes these blessings in a wonderful way: A heart that is ready for anything. When we trust that we are the ocean, we are not afraid of the waves. We have confidence that whatever arises is workable. We don’t have to lose our life in preparation. We don’t have to defend against what’s next. We are free to live fully with what is here, and to respond wisely.

You might ask yourself: “Can I imagine what it would be like, in this moment, to have a heart that is ready for anything?”

If our hearts are ready for anything, we can open to our inevitable losses, and to the depths of our sorrow. We can grieve our lost loves, our lost youth, our lost health, our lost capacities. This is part of our humanness, part of the expression of our love for life. As we bring a courageous presence to the truth of loss, we stay available to the immeasurable ways that love springs forth in our life.

If our hearts are ready for anything, we will spontaneously reach out when others are hurting. Living in an ethical way can attune us to the pain and needs of others, but when our hearts are open and awake, we care instinctively. This caring is unconditional—it extends outward and inward wherever there is fear and suffering.

If our hearts are ready for anything, we are free to be ourselves. There’s room for the wildness of our animal selves, for passion and play. There’s room for our human selves, for intimacy and understanding, creativity and productivity. There’s room for spirit, for the light of awareness to suffuse our moments. The Tibetans describe this confidence to be who we are as “the lion’s roar.”

If our hearts are ready for anything, we are touched by the beauty and poetry and mystery that fill our world.

When Munindraji, a vipassana meditation teacher, was asked why he practiced, his response was, “So I will see the tiny purple flowers by the side of the road as I walk to town each day.”

With an undefended heart, we can fall in love with life over and over every day. We can become children of wonder, grateful to be walking on earth, grateful to belong with each other and to all of creation. We can find our true refuge in every moment, in every breath.

Adapted from True Refuge (2013)

Enjoy this video on The World in Our Heart:

For more information visit: www.tarabrach.com

Building Self-Confidence: 6 Key Steps to Find the Bravado Within

ready for actionHave you been looking for professional and personal success? Do you want to make an uplifting difference in your life? Would you like to maximize your potential?

If you are tired of feeling anxious, discouraged and afraid then pay attention because this one’s for you!

Did you know that self-confidence affects your thoughts, feelings, behavior, body, the way you look and, most influential, your decision making process? That’s right…self-confidence affects a persons choices in life.

Question: Can someone with low self-esteem develop self-confidence?

Answer: But of course! 

So let’s get started! What does it take to have the confidence you’ve been looking for?

Think about the things you do best and why you are so good at them. Literally take a second and really think about the specific things that you do better than good. Focus for a second on those few things you do great and why. Chances are, you are great because you have devoted endless hours to practicing the craft. Regardless of formal or informal training the thing you do best is something you’ve done often.

A great starting point to boost your self-esteem is to begin by addressing your areas of low self-confidence. In order to find a solution you must admit that something needs to be resolved.

  • Admit your weaknesses.
  • Focus on what you are good at.
  • Always be you and honest about who you are.
  • Never use labels because you are what you think and say.
  • Find comfort in new situations.
  • Develop an optimistic outlook on life.

Self-confidence may not happen overnight yet the possibilities are endless. Defeat your fears and doubts by stepping into the unknown. Typically you find yourself feeling weary and doubtful when you are uncertain what may happen. The next time you find yourself feeling lost and confused it’s okay to act as if you’re overflowing with confidence. Act as though you are in control and your entire mood and day will shift in a positive direction. I guarantee it!

A highly effective way to develop confidence is to act like you are confident. Believe me, most people you stumble upon during a typical workday are insecure persons acting as if they are secure. They are simply stepping into the unknown with self-confidence and now it’s your turn.
I would like to conclude by sharing a bit of advice a girlfriend gave me more than a decade ago, “Walk the walk and talk the talk and you will own the room!”

Photo credit: Micah Esguerra
Originally published May 2010.

“I realized I don’t have to believe my thoughts.”

ConcentrateOur mindfulness practice is not about vanquishing our thoughts. It’s about becoming aware of the process of thinking so that we are not in a trance—lost inside our thoughts. That’s the big difference. To train in becoming mindful of thoughts can help us to notice when your mind is actively thinking, either using the label “thinking, thinking,” or identifying the kind of thought—“worrying, worrying,” “planning, planning.” Then, becoming interested in what’s really happening right here. Coming home to the sensations in your body, your breath, the sounds around you, the life of the moment.

As our mindfulness practice deepens we become more aware of our thoughts. This offers us the opportunity to assess them and notice that much of the time our thoughts are not really serving us. Many thoughts are driven by fear and lock us into insecurity. During our residential meditation retreats, one of the biggest breakthroughs people share with us is:

“I realized I don’t have to believe my thoughts.”

Training in mindfulness allows our minds to have a choice. At the moment in which you pause and realize that these thoughts are not really serving me, you have the option to come back to presence. This process of choosing becomes more powerful as you realize how thoughts can create suffering and separation. They create an “us” and a “them.” They create judgment and end up making us feel bad about ourselves.

In those moments when you’re lost in thought, what if you could pause and say, “OK, it is just a thought” That is revolutionary. That can change your life!

Now, the key is that we approach this with a gentleness and kindness. Each time we recognize thinking and come back into the present moment with gentleness and kindness, we are planting a seed of mindfulness. We are creating a new habit—a new way of being in the world. We quiet down the incessant buzz of thoughts in our mind. We take refuge in what is true—the aliveness and tenderness and mystery of the present moment—rather than in the story line of our thoughts.

“Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.”— Wu Men

Enjoy this short video on Catching Fear Thoughts:


Adapted from my book Radical Acceptance (2003)

For more information visit: www.tarabrach.com

photo by: RelaxingMusic

July 17 : Conscious Convergence Ceremony LIVE On Your Computer!

Please join us for a powerful afternoon!

July 17 begins the 2 day energetic of the Conscious Convergence. This powerful moment assists with the continuation of the Harmonic Convergence of August, 1987, and is the call to action for those who are ready to assist with the global and personal release of constraint and separation energies. This day also signifies the consecration of the Rainbow Bridge between the Americas, and the ignition of the Universal heart energy.  Indigenous Elders worldwide will celebrate ceremonies on this day, and you are invited to ignite your heart, free your soul and stand in the presence of oneness with all. Gather your friends and join us LIVE via the web on July 17 for this rare and beautiful moment.


Hear the call of the Mayan Elders!
The July 17 Conscious Convergence will be observed by elders
 worldwide. Experience this Ceremony and Celebration on your computer
and call forth the release of constraints both personally and globally!

This SOLD OUT Event Is Available to Watch LIVE


THIS Saturday, July 17, 3-6pm PST

A One Day Celebration of Ascended Spirit and Sacred Ceremony
 Is now offered as a
Live Streaming Event!

Special Guests : Jayla · J Brave of the Luminaries ·  Faith Rivera…

Celebrate ancient prophecies and modern revelations : revealed for the FIRST TIME…..
Experience a LIVE Archangel In-soulment…

Forever shift the way you live your life!

 On May 17, 2010 the FIRST reunification Altar between the Ancient Maya and the
"outside" world was consecrated at TOSA La Laguna in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

On July 17, 2010 the consecration of the 60 day anchoring MUST take place on the
"other side" of the rainbow bridge held at the powerful and magical site. It is also the
marker day that begins the last cycle of the Mayan Calendar ending November 11, 2011. Help
bring forth the gift of a new earth that sustains ALL and cultivates peace, love and joy.

During this moving and powerful event Sri and Kira will discuss the cataclysmic events
ahead that will challenge you, while revealing opportunities for new understanding,
empowerment, and life-changing spiritual awareness. Sharing the wisdom and predictions
from Mayan high priests and revelations from the Archangels, they reveal the necessary
thrival skills that are no longer ancient mysteries for just a few.

 While many are still pondering December 21, 2012 and the Mayan calendar, Sri & Kira are
already living at the Sunrise of humanity, the natural evolution of the experience of a
dark night. Now, it is Your turn!

Event Streamed LIVE today!

You Are A God

 The other day, I was outside watering my plants, a few pots containing some succulents and other plants that seem okay with being baked in the southern California sun. I looked down to see a bee buzzing from flower to flower going about his "buzzness," (sorry I couldn’t resist).

Watching the bee, I started thinking about the fact that if I hadn’t planted those plants, this bee would not… well, he wouldn’t be there collecting nectar and pollen. I was part of creating this bee’s world. For all intensive purposes, I was a god to this bee, larger than life, unclear motivations, and powers beyond the bees grasp.

This is not some sort of attempt to change anyone’s beliefs on the existence of the gods that many people in the world worship. My point is simply that we are all gods in one way or another to someone or something. 

Now, don’t get carried away with this, but next time you are feeling powerless or meaningless, think about all the people and things that you rule over with benevolent disinterest, and you will find that… while you might not have very much influence with the presidents or kings of the world, you probably hold a queen bee’s fate, or , your house plant’s water, or your cat’s dinner in your hands. You are a god.

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