Equanimity is our capacity to remain mentally balanced in the midst of life’s turmoil.  A lot of people think it means you’ll be calm all the time.  Another common belief is that equanimity makes you not care.  In fact, you can care very deeply about what’s happening and still bear in mind the context surrounding events.   It doesn’t keep us from feeling pain, but it enables us to carry on.

There are three other capacities related to equanimity and they all complement each other. … Continue reading

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As Valentine’s Day fades in our memory, it’s good to remember how indispensable love is.  It’s an integral part of mindfulness.  Acceptance, an important aspect of love, allows us to see our experience as it really is, and to understand our reactions to what is happening.  This process in turn nourishes a healthy love for all beings who have internal struggles and distress, including ourselves.

Love is the balm that soothes and heals the patterns of thought and emotional reaction that make us unhappy. … Continue reading

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There are qualities we all have that are perfected as we grow toward full awakening.  One of these is patience, and it has both sweeping and minute applications in our lives.  For me the appeal of patience is being freed from impatience, which is such an unpleasant state of mind that it can make me act in ways I regret.

The humblest kind of patience is perseverance.  It’s indispensable in achieving any long-term goal, or even the task of continuing to meditate for the time we’ve set aside to practice. … Continue reading

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According to the calendar started in ancient Rome, it’s a new year.  Most cultures and spiritual traditions have some time or ritual to reflect on our recent experience and set our intentions for the future.  This is a wonderful opportunity to assess how things have been working out, and to review our values.

Imagine doing this moment by moment.  Every time we awaken out of the hypnotic momentum of our rush through the day, we get a chance to do just that. … Continue reading

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Boundaries & Interbeing

A friend asked for a post on the Buddhist idea of interdependence, and boundaries.   Thich Nhat Hahn talks about interbeing: our connection with all other beings.  No one is really separate.  We exist together as the result of all that has led to this moment.  Buddha taught that since we are interdependent, we need to be kind to each other and avoid harming any being.

Seeing the universe this way, can we still have boundaries?  Absolutely. … Continue reading