Program Details

Queer Dharma: The Gentle Art of Conflict


with Michael McCormick
January 5 / 2:00 PM - January 5 / 4:00 PM

What do we do when we see conflict coming? We duck and hide, right? Or we try to beat the other to the punch. Either way, we act out of fear. But we don't have to act out of fear, and when we do, it does us no good. Conflict is inevitable – we can't avoid it. Better to be curious and embrace it. Whether we face an invitation to cooperate or a challenge to fight, it's all feedback. It's all information to tell us what's possible. But we must pay attention and listen – to our true selves and to what's really happening, beyond our habit of seeing an adversary as the “other,” as separate from us. The truth is everyone suffers and wants to stop the pain, including those who we see as causing us pain. Adding our aggression to theirs will only fuel the conflict. Someone needs to choose gentleness and kindness, to have the confidence to be vulnerable and to trust our interdependence, to create space for compassion and empathy, to understand that none of us can be free until we all are. 

Michael McCormick has been meditating for 12 years and has been a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche since 2005. He is Director of Practice and Education for the Portland Shambhala Meditation Center, a meditation instructor, and a member of the Diversity Working Group of Shambhala International. For 25 years he worked as a teacher, trainer, and practitioner of conflict resolution and public dialogue. For longer than that he was a community organizer/activist. He now writes on social and spiritual themes.

Queer Dharma is a group for LGBTQ practitioners to study and practice meditation and Dharma and to discuss personal experiences. The group serves to send a message to new-comers that they are welcome in our tradition and to explore (perhaps in ways that may be unintentionally overlooked or excluded in our regular programming) how we as gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans and gender queer individuals can incorporate the teachings in our everyday lives and in our various social circles. 

We're scheduled to meet every first Sunday of the month 2-4pm. Meditation instruction is available to you. It's a free event with suggested donation of any dollar amount. Continue to socialize over dinner and drinks at Crush afterward. All are warmly welcome regardless of experience, spiritual tradition, age, gender or sexual identity.  See you there!


For more information, contact Jason Bray, Queer Dharma Coordinator.


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