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Buddhadharma : Fall 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 09 26 moment for its own sake. You can just be excited. Open excitement! Open joy! This very openness is what makes the experience of love strong. One might call it passionate, but it is open, and that is what makes the difference between love that benefits and love that causes us to suffer. When you are open, you have more ability to guide your love, and you are less a victim of the pain of love, because if something goes wrong, you easily let it go. Openness has a lot to do with letting go. When you let go, you reconnect with unconditional openness and discover love, joy, and compassion, which arise naturally. Our equanimity comes from open awareness itself, and when we connect with that source again and again, our life is dynamic and alive—not passive, dull, or disconnected. Each time you let go of your attachment, you recon- nect with open awareness. This is what is known as the path. We continuously recognize that the source of our love is not in the other person, and that the source of our enthusiasm is not in this job or that project. This frees us to engage fully in life and to allow our life to become our path. narayan liEBEnson grady: I don’t think there is an inherent conflict between living passionately and living with equanimity. Not only can passion and equanimity coexist, they can work together harmoniously. When I use the word “passion,” I am referring to loving engagement and dedication. This implies a sense of inner vitality and aliveness, a love of learn- ing, and the capacity to work with dif- ficulties in a creative way. Alleviating suffering, engaging in any kind of art form, living in this world with whole- heartedness, and discovering the truth of things—all of these require passion, devotion, and dedication. You ask about “retaining passion.” I think the issue is more one of how to cultivate wise passion that is grounded in care and love. If the kind of passion being cultivated involves attachment, life will be lived in a narrow and contracted EXPERIENCE A PERSONAL RETREAT AT THE FOREST REFUGE • Come for a week or stay for a year – open all year round • Follow your own schedule – supported by talks, personal teacher interviews and access to a dharma library • Beautiful new facility nestled in secluded woodlands • All private dorm rooms, nourishing meals and tranquil surroundings A self-sustaining practice is necessary to undertake a Forest Refuge retreat. INSIGHT MEDITATION SOCIETY For application information visit www.dharma.org or call (978) 355-2063 Freedom with Support