Tara Brach, PhD, is author of True Refuge and Radical Acceptance, winner of a Books for a Better Life Award.
She is founder and senior teacher of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C., one of the largest and most dynamic non-residential meditation centers in the United States, and teaches Buddhist meditation at centers in the United States and Canada.
A clinical psychologist, Brach’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world. The result is a distinctive voice in Western Buddhism, one that offers a wise and caring approach to freeing ourselves and society from suffering.
As an undergraduate at Clark University, Brach pursued a double major in psychology and political science. During this time, while working as a grass roots organizer for tenants’ rights, she also began attending yoga classes and exploring Eastern approaches to inner transformation. After college, she lived for 10 years in an ashram—a spiritual community—where she practiced and taught both yoga and concentrative meditation.
Soon after she left the ashram, Brach earned a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the Fielding Institute, with a dissertation exploring meditation as a therapeutic modality in treating addiction. She went on to complete a five-year Buddhist teacher training program at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, under the guidance of the renowned meditation teacher and author, Jack Kornfield.
Brach aslo helped create the Washington Buddhist Peace Fellowship and has fostered efforts to bring principles and practices of mindfulness to issues of diversity, peace, and environmental sustainability, as well as to prisons and schools.
Recently, she cofounded the Washington, D.C.-based Meditation Teacher Training Institute to help address the growing demand for the teachings of mindfulness and compassion.