13 Oct 2014

Alan starts by talking about his last dharma talk and once more making clear that his anger was not directed towards any person, but simply towards a certain view. This is important to stress because in the West often a view is conflated with a person. Alan emphasizes how important views are and they are clearly the most horrible non-virtue of all because they justify any kind of behavior. That is why also Dharma talks can be very intense and unpleasant. If a certain view is being burned and you identify with that view (e. g. that the mind is the brain and your awareness is a cartoon, thus, you are not a sentient being but a mindless robot), the dharma talk will not be comfortable for you and the lama might manifest as wrathful.

As what concerns great equanimity we are asked to release all attachment to the near, which means our views. But not only that; we should also release the extreme of peace and the aversion to the world of becoming, that is, as much as we like to be in a peaceful retreat we have to let go of that preference over the uncertain world “out there”. That then finally to the ultimate equanimity which means letting go of the attachment to nirvana. On that note, Alan tells two stories that illustrate these points, one being about a Geshe, who saved a calf from drowning in filth, and the other about Franklin Merrell-Wolf, who experienced such a “complete transcendence of all opposites”.

Meditation starts at 47:02

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