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Buddhadharma : Fall 2009
27 fall 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly way. Whenever we attach to things being a certain way and according to a personal agenda, we make problems for others and ourselves. By contrast, non-attachment brings spaciousness and inclusiveness. There are no “shoulds” regarding equanimity. We cultivate equanimity because it lessens the suffering in life. Equanimity means responding to the conditions we encounter with inner bal- ance and relaxation. It’s about respond- ing with wisdom and compassion rather than reacting with aversion or clinging. Being equanimous doesn’t mean being compliant, complacent, or resigned. And it has nothing to do with indiffer- ence. The Buddha said that indifference is the near enemy of equanimity, because indifference is all too easily mistaken for it, yet equanimity is a very differ- ent quality of mind. As one of my early teachers, Tara Tulku Rinpoche, once said, equanimity means that everything is “equally near,” which implies an inti- macy with all things. So we are cultivating a passion for a vision of how things could be, and at the same time we are learning how to be equanimous and non-resistant to how things are. We always have the potential to encourage what is beautiful, whether it’s between two people, or between two countries, or whether it arises from engaging in an art form, or from simply sitting in meditation. The passion to contribute what we can is a form of love. Passion only turns into a problem when we try to control the outcome of our efforts. When we find others aren’t cooperating with our vision, or are in direct opposition to it, what may have begun as care, passion, and love can turn into burnout, anger, frustration, dis- appointment, irritation, and impatience. This is attachment, not love. Ultimately, we are trying to cultivate a passion for life rather than for the things of life, a passion that expands our heart and our sense of what is possible in this world. This kind of passion is love, not just for a select few, but for all. In this way, passion and equanimity come together in love and in wisdom. This Fall, engage your Body, Speech and Mind: Yoga, The Work, and Nitartha Institute October 9 - 10 Dharma Youth and Family Conference Co-Sponsored with the Northwest Dharma Association Early December Sogyal Rinpoche Topic to be decided. Check our website for more details Previous Teachers have included: His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje Khenchen Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche Pema Chodron Lama Tsultrim Allione Cheri Huber ...and more to come in 2010! For more information, or to register, visit nalandawest.org or call 206.529.8258