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at the
Fall Equinox

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Brandon Sanders

Opening Words and Lighting of the Chalice

Benjamin Sibelman

Spirit of Life

(we skipped this)

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry
read by Judy


led by John

American Tune

Judy and Steve

Children’s Story

Brandon Sanders

Equanimity: A Reader’s Theatre

Ted, Heather, and Shelley
(see below for text)


Come Sing a Song with Me

Closing Words and Extinguishing of the Chalice

Stacey: Equanimity, we welcome you into our lives.
All: We let go of small-mindedness, pursuit of pleasure, fear of pain.
Women: We embrace the Equinox.
Men: We embrace equanimity.
All: We embrace all that life presents.
Stacey: So may it be.
All: Blessed be.


A Reader’s Theatre for the Fall Equinox

With thanks to the Buddha, Thich Nhat Hanh, and with some direct quotes from Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali

T: Ted
H: Heather
S: Shelley

T: It’s the Equinox,
H: One of two days out of the year when the day and night are equal. From now until Winter Solstice, the nights will get longer
All: and longer,
H: the trees will get bright orange and red and yellow leaves, and then the leaves will
All: drop.
S: There is resistance in my heart this time of year. I drag my heels. Is summer really over?
H: [echo] Over?
T: [decisively] Over!
H: Can’t we have just one more sunny weekend?
T: But the wheel turns and the seasons march onward. Now is a time for looking back and looking forward, for holding gently our past and future selves – a time to look and see without judging.
H: Without judging?
T: Without judging. Terra circles Sol.
H: No matter how we resist . . .
S: or judge . . .
H: The pumpkins will ripen, the leaves will fall, the nights will lengthen.
T: Terra is spinning around Sol.
S: And my resistance is futile?
T: Laughable, really.
S: [laughs] Laughable, yes. And just so, no matter how I try to avoid or attract pleasure and pain, I experience them both in my turn.
H: So . . . the human heart can hold both joy and sorrow.
S: And with Equanimity we can hold both praise and blame.
H: Gain and loss.
S: Pleasure and pain.
T: Fame and disrepute.
S: The Buddha’s eight worldly conditions cycle just as surely as the seasons.
T: “[Equanimity] is the ability to perceive all aspects of our lives with acceptance and patience” rather than with reactivity.
H: “There is no perfection in the world and we don’t have to be perfect. . . . We work with the life that is mysteriously ours with its own particular weave of love and pain. And we agree to be present to it, to accept the offer moment by moment, to develop unlimited friendliness for what is and who we are.”
S: Unlimited friendliness for what is and who we are.
T: Equanimity means cultivating a spacious mind.
S: A spacious mind?
T: A spacious mind has a peace unaffected by changing conditions. A small mind buzzes like a bee trapped in a car . . .
H: [whispering quickly] I should be reading to the children; I should be folding the laundry; I should be preparing dinner; I should be meditating.
T: A spacious mind is a bee in a mountain meadow, fully present in the moment without judging the moment.
H: [deliberately, thoughtfully, with a pause after each sentence] I am reading to the children. I am folding laundry. I am preparing dinner. I am meditating.
T: A little poison in a cup will kill. A little poison in a great lake will not.
S: A spacious mind, an open meadow, a great lake.
H: Inclusiveness
T: Even-mindedness
S: Non-attachment
H: Non-discrimination
T: Balance
S: Freedom from extremes
H: Letting go
All: Equanimity.
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