There are no special events; there is just attention to the momentary details of this life—details of holding and releasing, of moving forward and stepping back, of respecting our strengths and weaknesses, seeing others clearly, and of learning how to communicate. In these details, in these dharma states, everything is taken care of. There is confidence based on trust; there is confidence based on being in this moment of fulfillment of practice; confidence on resting in and trusting your own commitment as it is expressed in your attitude towards yourself and this life. This is not flashy arrogance. There is no need to prove anything, nor to imagine that we have unique access to the universe, nor that we are the arrival of Maitreya Buddha of the future.

Our trust in practice and the confidence that arises within, allow us to clearly see the past and the future, and to be unintimidated by others. From the vantage point of our practice, we access the lineages of buddhas and ancestors. From that vantage point, they do not impress or frighten us, nor do they demand that we be an idealized version of ourselves. We don’t need to compare ourselves to them. There is no problem with finding one’s own identity. We are all the expression of the same wisdom—when we practice, we are the expression of the actualization of the way of the ancient sages, which is now our way. We are the wisdom from before the eon of emptiness, wisdom that is not based on being or non-being. We are the self before the appearance of any differences—any distinctions—and we are free and unhindered in how we live this life. The future depends on just this instant. How the world will unfold is this action, this thought, this word. The future is how we practice now. And so, we do ride the clouds and follow the wind, which indeed, touches everything.

We see each being in this light. I see your heart. Why should there be even a moment of fear? This practice is the basis for the exhortation that each one of us has to surpass our teachers, surpass our ancestors. We do it by abiding in this dharma state completely, by taking responsibility, respecting what has been offered, and using it exhaustively. We exhaustively practice intimacy with what is available to us in every moment.

We are beginning a new year, marking the next generation of dharma practitioners on this mountain, in this Order. And as is the case with every living tradition, we attend with care to that tension point between what we inherit and what is relevant. We will take care of these mountains and rivers. The local Belleayre development project is inching along. The State moved closer to acquiring the entire 1,220-acre eastern parcel of the original development site, saving that land to be forever-wild. When this transaction goes through, it will mark the completion of one of the significant goals that the environmental groups were hoping for. Yet, more work remains. We need to continue monitoring the formal review of the planning for the western parcel, making sure that the development there is environmentally and economically sound. We will need to attend the public hearings, provide expertise when we can, or simply bear witness, learn how to listen, learn how to act and reconcile the differences, and provide a voice for those that can’t speak.