Monday, May 24, 2010

Equanimity – In the Dharma and in Your Brain

Dr. Rick Hanson (author of The Buddha's Brain) at Spirit Rock

Equanimity means not reacting to your reactions. That's both a wonderful relief from upsets and traumas and a profound resource for spiritual growth. In Buddhism, equanimity is one of the four Brahma Viharas ("Divine Abodes"). It is often considered the foundation of the three others: loving-kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy. Equanimity breaks the chain of suffering by helping one not react to the pleasant or unpleasant feeling tone of experience with craving and clinging, respectively.

Your equanimity, a state of mind, is based on underlying states of your brain. Modern neuroscience is revealing new ways to cultivate those brain states -- a potent combination with time-tested Buddhist practices. This experiential workshop led by a psychologist and a neurologist will offer user-friendly information with lots of practical methods useful for both self-guided practice and in therapeutic settings. It will cover:

  • The Buddha’s teachings on equanimity
  • The neurological machinery of emotional reactivity
  • How equanimity works in your brain to prevent, cool, and heal destructive emotions
  • Strengthening "top-down," frontal lobe influences through Wise View and other elements of the Noble Eightfold Path
  • Training "bottom-up," limbic system reactions to be less fearful and angry and more peaceful, connecting, and constructive
  • "Neurodharma" perspectives on healing from trauma.
There will be time for questions and discussion. No background with meditation or neuroscience is needed. Young Adults (18-26) are invited to attend this daylong at a rate of $25. Online Bulletin Board for Ride Sharing.
  • Saturday, May 29, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm in Community Meditation Hall. Cost $50 - $80, sliding scale, plus dana (donation) to the teacher(s), code RR2D10. Add $5 at the door. Bring your lunch. CE credit available - see below. Online Registration Open - Click here to register. Online Registration for this event is available until 12 noon one business day before the event. Continuing Education (CE) Credit: 6 CE credits available for MFTs, LCSWs, psychologists, and nurses from SRMC-SCRC for $30. Prepayment available on website. For more information, see Continuing Education (CE) Credit.

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