Equanimity, as one of the beautiful universals, is the mental factor called “neutrality of mind.” Its characteristic is evenness, and when it is highly developed, it manifests as unshakeable balance of mind. The first way we experience the cool, restful quality of equanimity is in the peace and balance it brings to our daily lives.
The question then, is how to develop and strengthen this amazingly beneficial quality of equanimity. In the Bhagavad Gita, the great Hindu text, it says we should act without attachment to the fruit of the action. When we act without attachment to the outcome, then our minds remain peaceful no matter how things unfold.
I have found helpful in my life something the Dalai Lama emphasizes- namely, that the value of an action is measured not by its success or failure, but by the motivation behind it.
Finally, we develop equanimity in our insight practice through wise attention and continuous mindfulness. We practice inclining the mind toward equanimity and not being seduced by the lesser happiness of excitement or the simple enjoyment of pleasant feelings. This is a mind that is imperturbable and balanced, with an impartiality that embraces all. The Buddha summed it up well when he said, “There is no higher happiness than peace.”
when I get caught up in my own stumbling and discomfort, I forget how to be….
inquiry for today~ where have you stumbled and noticed and released your need to have it any other way?
Mindfulness practice is never only about our own personal experience. While we continue to be aware of our thoughts, emotions, and intentions, we do not just stop at the boundaries of our own bodies, minds, or hearts. We develop an intimacy with each other in the silence and in the field of mindfulness. When we are open and available, we care. When we turn our ability outward to pay attention with care and nonjudgmental toward others, kindness, compassion, and all the energies of the heart become present and available to us. Our mindfulness is continually invited to go beyond the simplicity of what we think we know or understand to include the great diversity and mystery unfolding for all of us.