81+ Tara Brach Quotes (Mindfulness)

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Tara Brach is a well-known teacher of Buddhist meditation, mindfulness, and emotional healing. She has written several books on these topics, including the best-selling Radical Acceptance and True Refuge. Tara’s teachings focus on helping people to awaken from the trance of unworthiness and live more fully in the present moment.

One of Tara’s most famous quotes is, “The truth will set you free, but first, it will piss you off.” This quote shows that we often resist change or growth because it can be uncomfortable initially. But if we’re willing to face our fears and embrace the truth, it can lead to a much happier and more fulfilling life.

Another famous Tara Brach quote is, “We can’t control the waves, but we can learn how to surf.” This quote reminds us that life is full of ups and downs, but if we ride the waves with skill and grace, we can enjoy the journey even when things are tough.

Tara’s teachings are deeply rooted in her own spiritual journey. She has said, “I am continually amazed at how many aspects of my own nature I have yet to meet.” This openness to continual growth and self-discovery allows her to connect so deeply with her students and help them on their journey towards awakening.


Motivational Tara Brach Quotes

  • “Spiritual awakening is the process of recognizing our essential goodness, our natural wisdom and compassion.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Staying occupied is a socially sanctioned way of remaining distant from our pain.” –  Tara Brach
  • “I became committed to dropping my resistance so I could get to know this energy that was driving the wanting self.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Mindfulness is the intentional process of paying attention, without judgment, to the unfolding of moment-by-moment experience.” –  Tara Brach
  • “If our hearts are ready for anything, we are touched by the beauty and poetry and mystery that fill our world.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Observing desire without acting on it enlarges our freedom to choose how we live.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Meditation is evolution’s strategy to bring out our full potential.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Mindfulness is a pause – the space between stimulus and response: that’s where choice lies.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Radical Acceptance is the willingness to experience ourselves and our lives as it is.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Relaxation is the doorway to both wisdom and compassion.” –  Tara Brach
  • “There is something wonderfully bold and liberating about saying yes to our entire imperfect and messy life.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The most powerful healing arises from the simple intention to love the life within you, unconditionally, with as much tenderness and presence as possible.” –  Tara Brach
  • “By regarding ourselves with kindness, we begin to dissolve the identity of an isolated, deficient self. This creates the grounds for including others in an unconditionally loving heart.” –  Tara Brach
  • “In any moment, no matter how lost we feel, we can take refuge in presence and love. We need only pause, breathe, and open to the experience of aliveness within us. In that wakeful openness, we come home to the peace and freedom of our natural awareness.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Imperfection is not our personal problem – it is a natural part of existing.” –  Tara Brach
  • “What would it be like if I could accept life – accept this moment – exactly as it is?” –  Tara Brach
  • “Paying attention is the most basic and profound expression of love.” –  Tara Brach
  • “When we relax about imperfection, we no longer lose our life moments in the pursuit of being different and in the fear of what is wrong.” –  Tara Brach
  • “When someone says to us, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests, “Darling, I care about your suffering,” a deep healing begins.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Awakening self-compassion is often the greatest challenge people face on the spiritual path.” –  Tara Brach
  • “When we open to love, we become love.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Stopping the endless pursuit of getting somewhere else is the perhaps most beautiful offering we can make to our spirit.” –  Tara Brach
  • “We, like the Mother of the World, become the compassionate presence that can hold, with tenderness, the rising and passing waves of suffering.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Longing, felt fully, carries us to belonging.” –  Tara Brach
  • “When we’re awake in our bodies and sense, the world comes alive. Wisdom, creativity, and love are discovered as we relax and awaken through our bodies.” –  Tara Brach
  • “There are some things we can’t choose, but in being present we can choose how we want to relate to them.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha.” –  Tara Brach
  • “It is through realizing loving presence as our very essence, through being that presence, that we discover true freedom.” –  Tara Brach
  • “There is so much division in this world. So what is really the path of healing? It can begin in this moment, by embracing the life that’s here.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The intimacy that arises in listening and speaking truth is only possible if we can open to the vulnerability of our own hearts. Breathing in, contacting the life that is right here, is our first step. Once we have held ourselves with kindness, we can touch others in a vital and healing way.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The trance of unworthiness keeps the sweetness of belonging out of reach. The path to “the sweetness of belonging,” is acceptance – acceptance of ourselves and acceptance of others without judgment.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Our attitude in the face of life’s challenges determines our suffering or our freedom.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Through the sacred art of pausing, we develop the capacity to stop hiding, to stop running away from our experience. We begin to trust in our natural intelligence, in our naturally wise heart, in our capacity to open to whatever arises.” –  Tara Brach
  • “On this sacred path of Radical Acceptance, rather than striving for perfection, we discover how to love ourselves into wholeness.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Pain is not wrong. Reacting to pain as wrong initiates the trance of unworthiness. The moment we believe something is wrong, our world shrinks and we lose ourselves in the effort to combat the pain.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The muscles used to make a smile actually send a biochemical message to our nervous system that it is safe to relax the flight of freeze response.” –  Tara Brach
  • “We wait for things to be different in order to feel okay with life. As long as we keep attaching our happiness to the external events of our lives, which are ever changing, we’ll always be left waiting for it.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Sometimes the easiest way to appreciate ourselves is by looking through the eyes of someone who loves us.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The Buddha never intended to make desire itself the problem. When he said craving causes suffering, he was referring not to our natural inclination as living beings to have wants and needs, but to our habit of clinging to experience that must, by nature, pass away.” –  Tara Brach
  • “But this revolutionary act of treating ourselves tenderly can begin to undo the aversive messages of a lifetime.” –  Tara Brach
  • “When we put down ideas of what life should be like, we are free to wholeheartedly say yes to our life as it is.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Whatever you encounter, may that be part of the path.” –  Tara Brach
  • “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.” –  Tara Brach
  • “You have a unique body and mind, with a particular history and conditioning. No one can offer you a formula for navigating all situations and all states of mind. Only by listening inwardly in a fresh and open way will you discern at any given time what most serves your healing and freedom.” –  Tara Brach
  • “We can find true refuge within our own hearts and minds-right here, right now, in the midst of our moment-to-momen t lives.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Buddhist practices offer a way of saying, ‘Hey, come back over here, reconnect.’ The only way that you’ll actually wake up and have some freedom is if you have the capacity and courage to stay with the vulnerability and the discomfort.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns.” –  Tara Brach
  • “I would say both Western psychology and Eastern paths would recognize that we get caught up in feeling like a separate self and an unworthy self.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Thoreau writes, “Is there a greater miracle than to see through another’s eyes, even for an instant?” –  Tara Brach
  • “As cartoonist Jules Feiffer puts it: “I grew up to have my father’s looks, my father’s speech patterns, my father’s posture, my father’s walk, my father’s opinions and my mother’s contempt for my father.” –  Tara Brach
  • “If our sense of who we are is defined by feelings of neediness and insecurity, we forget that we are also curious, humorous and caring. We forget about the breath that is nourishing us, the love that unites us, the enormous beauty and fragility that is our shared experience in being alive.” –  Tara Brach
  • “When we pause, we don’t know what will happen next. But by disrupting our habitual behaviors, we open to the possibility of new and creative ways of responding to our wants and fears.” –  Tara Brach
  • “There’s a mystic who says there’s only one really good question, which is, ‘What am I unwilling to feel?” –  Tara Brach
  • “Overcome any bitterness that may have come because you were not up to the magnitude of the pain that was entrusted to you.” –  Tara Brach
  • “I take refuge in awareness; I take refuge in truth; I take refuge in love.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The instant we agree to feel fear or vulnerability, greed or agitation, we are holding our life with an unconditionally friendly heart.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Once someone is an unreal other, we lose sight of how they hurt. Because we don’t experience them as feeling beings, we not only ignore them, we can inflict pain on them without compunction. Not.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Buddhist mindfulness meditation called vipassana, which means “to see clearly.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Our enjoyment is tainted by anxiety about keeping what we have and our compulsion to reach out and get more.” –  Tara Brach
  • “There is only one world, the world pressing against you at this minute. There is only one minute in which you are alive, this minute here and now. The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Rather than relaxing and enjoying who we are and what we’re doing, we are comparing ourselves with an ideal and trying to make up for the difference.” –  Tara Brach
  • “When radical acceptance blossoms in our relationships, it becomes a kind of spiritual re-parenting that enables us to trust the goodness and beauty of who we really are. Just as good parenting mirrors back to a child that they are lovable, when we understand and accept others, we affirm their intrinsic worth and belonging. To receive this kind of Radical Acceptance can transform our lives.” –  Tara Brach
  • “In the Buddhist tradition, one who has realized the fullness of compassion and lives from compassion is called a bodhisattva.” –  Tara Brach
  • “I decided that instead of resisting everything, I would agree to everything. I began to greet whatever arose in my awareness with a silently whispered “yes”.” –  Tara Brach
  • “How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races – the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses. Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are only princesses waiting for us to act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” –  Tara Brach
  • “We find true refuge whenever we recognize the silent space of awareness behind all our busy doing and striving. We find refuge whenever our hearts open with tenderness and love. We find refuge whenever we connect with the innate clarity and intelligence of our true nature.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The deepest transformations in our lives come down to something very simple: We learn to respond, not react, to what is going on inside us.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The belief that we are deficient and unworthy makes it difficult to trust that we are truly loved.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Fear of being a flawed person lay at the root of my trance, and I had sacrificed many moments over the years in trying to prove my worth. Like the tiger Mohini, I inhabited a self-made prison that stopped me from living fully.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Nothing is wrong – whatever is happening is just “real life.” –  Tara Brach
  • “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.” –  Tara Brach
  • “When we see the secret beauty of anyone, including ourselves, we see past our judgment and fear into the core of who we truly are – not an entrapped self but the radiance of goodness.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Suffering is our call to attention, our call to investigate the truth of our beliefs.” –  Tara Brach
  • “What would it be like if, right in the midst of this busyness, we were to consciously take our hands off the controls? What if we were to intentionally stop our mental computations and our rushing around and, for a minute or two, simply pause and notice our inner experience?” –  Tara Brach
  • “Presence is not some exotic state that we need to search for or manufacture. In the simplest terms, it is the felt sense of wakefulness, openness, and tenderness that arises when we are fully here and now with our experience.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Attention is the most basic form of love. By paying attention we let ourselves be touched by life, and our hearts naturally become more open and engaged.” –  Tara Brach
  • “By running from what we fear, we feed the inner darkness.” –  Tara Brach
  • “As long as we are alive, we feel fear. It is an intrinsic part of our makeup, as natural as a bitter cold winter day or the winds that rip branches off trees. If we resist it or push it aside, we miss a powerful opportunity for awakening.” –  Tara Brach
  • “When we trust that we are the ocean, we are not afraid of the waves.” –  Tara Brach
  • “True refuge is that which allows us to be at home, at peace, to discover true happiness. The only thing that can give us true refuge is the awareness and love that is intrinsic to who we are. Ultimately, its our own true nature.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The poet Longfellow writes, “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” –  Tara Brach
  • “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.” –  Tara Brach
  • “We yearn for an unquestioned experience of belonging, to feel at home with ourselves and others, at ease and fully accepted. But the trance of unworthiness keeps the sweetness of belonging out of reach.” –  Tara Brach
  • “I decided to write ‘True Refuge’ during a major dive in my own health. Diagnosed with a genetic disease that affected my mobility, I faced tremendous fear and grief about losing the fitness and physical freedom I loved.” –  Tara Brach
  • “We are waiting for the next moment to contain what this moment does not.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Everything within and around us is subject to change; the truth that if we try to hold on to or resist the stream of experience, we deepen the trance of fear.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The “one I love” was everywhere, including within me.” –  Tara Brach
  • “The way out of our cage begins with accepting absolutely everything about ourselves and our lives, by embracing with wakefulness and care our moment-to-moment experience.” –  Tara Brach
  • “Even a few moments of offering lovingkindness can reconnect you with the purity of your loving heart.” –  Tara Brach


Tara Brach is a world-renowned psychologist, author, and Buddhist teacher. She has inspired countless people with her down-to-earth wisdom and refreshingly honest approach to life.

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