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About the Course

When we leave embodied presence, we lose contact with our naturally wise heart. This course invites us back into awareness of our body, and guides us in meeting difficult emotions with the healing of a mindful and kind presence. The gift is experiencing our full potential for vitality, clarity and love.

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.

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

Are there any course requirements or prerequisites?

  • There is no prerequisite to taking this course.

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

Embodied Presence: Our Pathway to Wisdom, Love and Full Aliveness

  • Contains 57 video lessons of 2-10 minutes each. 
  • All videos are closed captioned and transcripts provided.
  • An online, self-paced course, you will retain lifetime access.

This course was previously offered on Udemy. If you have taken this course on Udemy and don’t want to take it again, please explore some of the other courses here.

For help purchasing or accessing this course, please review these Frequently Asked Questions. If you need further assistance, or to inquire about disability-related accommodations, contact tech support.

Watch Intro Video

Introduction to the Course (Sample Video):

Embodied Presence: Our Pathway to Wisdom, Love and Full Aliveness

Tara Brach

Tara Brach holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology and teaches meditation internationally. Founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC (IMCW), Tara is the author of the bestselling Radical Acceptance, True Refuge, Radical Compassion and her latest book, Trusting the Gold. For over 40 years, Tara has been exploring the interface of Buddhist and Western psychology in addressing the great suffering that arises when we close our hearts to ourselves and others. Tara's weekly podcasts are downloaded over 2 million times each month. Along with her colleague Jack Kornfield, Tara offers a certification program for mindfulness teachers with participants from more than 50 countries.

Course Curriculum

  • 1


    • Getting Started

    • Lecture 1 - Introduction to Tara & Course Overview

  • 2

    Section 1 - Introduction

    • Lecture 2 - Introduction to Embodied Awareness (with mini-practice)

  • 3

    Section 2 - Trance: Unlived Life

    • Lecture 3 - Our Most Precious Moments Are Embodied (with mini-practice)

    • Lecture 4 - Being in Nature

    • Lecture 5 - Unlived Life: What Is It, Really?

    • Lecture 6 - Recognizing the Flags of Trance: Speeding, Judging, ...

    • Lecture 7 - Trance Originating & Reappearing in Relationships

    • Lecture 8 - Practice Exercise: Our Kinesthetic Senses

  • 4

    Section 3 - Entering the Wilderness

    • Lecture 9 - Signs & Symptoms of Unlived Life

    • Lecture 10 - The Liberating Practice of R.A.I.N.

    • Lecture 11 - R.A.I.N.: One Man’s Experience (Case Study)

    • Lecture 12 - Practice Exercise: The R.A.I.N. of Embodiment

  • 5

    Section 4 - Challenging the Programs That Limit Us

    • Lecture 13 - The Body Is Our “Way In” to Reality

    • Lecture 14 - Our Neurological & Cultural Programming

    • Lecture 15 - The High Costs of Disconnection

    • Lecture 16 - Re-Embodying with R.A.I.N.

    • Lecture 17 - Practice Exercise: Deepening Embodied Presence with R.A.I.N.

  • 6

    Section 5 - Our Portal Back Home to the Garden

    • Lecture 18 - The Body Will Present Its Bill

    • Lecture 19 - Resourcing When Fear is Intense (Case Study)

    • Lecture 20 - First Fruit of Re-Embodiment: Living More Fully (with mini-practice)

    • Lecture 21 - Second Fruit: Opening to Our Tender Heart

    • Lecture 22 - Third Fruit: Realization of Freedom

    • Lecture 23 - Practice Exercise: Tasting the Fruits of Embodied Presence

  • 7

    Section 6 - Vivid and Nourishing Relation

    • Lecture 24 - How Much Do We Miss?

    • Lecture 25 - Lost in the Shallows

    • Lecture 26 - Dissociation Has Serious Consequences

    • Lecture 27 - Suffering Is Optional: We Can Surf the Waves of Physical Pain

    • Lecture 28 - Practice Exercise - Bringing R.A.I.N. to Pain

  • 8

    Section 7 - Letting Life Live Through You

    • Lecture 29 - Salt Thrown into a Lake

    • Lecture 30 - Accessing Our Larger Space (with mini-practice)

    • Lecture 31 - When It’s Too Much: Sensing Our Oceanness (Case Study #1)

    • Lecture 32 - This Very Body Is Our Gateway to Freedom (Case Study #2)

    • Lecture 33 - Practice Exercise: Live with the World Inside You

    • Lecture 34 - Interrelationship of Physical & Emotional Difficulties (Q/A)

  • 9

    Section 8 - Trance of the Spacesuit Self

    • Lecture 35 - Tender Bodies, Awakening Hearts (with mini-practice)

    • Lecture 36 - The Spacesuit Self

    • Lecture 37 - Charged Stress Loops: Identifying with the Spacesuit

    • Lecture 38 - Grasping and Avoiding: The Small Self in Relationships

    • Lecture 39 - Loved into Our Realness

    • Lecture 40 - Practice Exercise: Beaming Kindness into the Trapped Small-Self

  • 10

    Section 9 - Belonging and Blessing: Who We Really Are

    • Lecture 41 - Three Steps of Dis-Identification

    • Lecture 42 - Our Own Loving Presence (Case Study #1)

    • Lecture 43 - To Ask and Offer Blessing: Waking Up Together (Case Study #2)

    • Lecture 44 - Practice Exercise: The Truth of Who We Are

  • 11

    Section 10 - Bodhichitta, The Heart/Mind of Love

    • Lecture 45 - Evolutionary Capacity

    • Lecture 46 - Our Greatest Resources

    • Lecture 47 - Belonging with All of Life

    • Lecture 48 - Discovering Love and Awareness Amidst Discomfort

    • Lecture 49 - In Seeing How We Separate, Remember It’s Not Our Fault

    • Lecture 50 - Everyday Ways We Disconnect from Love

    • Lecture 51 - Vow of the Awakening Heart

    • Lecture 52 - Practice Exercise: In the Prickles, Offering Our Heart’s Vow

  • 12

    Section 11 - To Live from Loving Presence

    • Lecture 53 - Holding Back Our Love Is the Deepest Suffering

    • Lecture 54 - Waking Up Our Hearts - Two Key Domains

    • Lecture 55 - Never Give Up on Anybody (Case Study)

    • Lecture 56 - Every One of Us Needs to Be Reminded of Our Goodness

    • Lecture 57 - Practice Exercise: Offering & Receiving the Expression of Love

  • 13



Embodied Presence

Our Pathway to Wisdom, Love and Full Aliveness