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Equanimity: Keep Calm and Carry On

Equanimity means having a mind that is totally free, stable, and peaceful. It stems from the kind of understanding that prompts one not to get caught in any drama. According to the Buddha, the equanimous mind is “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill will.”




Sometimes when we are panicking because of a challenging situation, our friends tell us, “Kalma lang” (keep calm). There is wisdom in this hackneyed advice. Calmness in the face of a raging storm is a mindset related to one of the four great virtues in Buddhism: equanimity. (The others being compassion, loving-kindness, and sympathetic joy.)

Equanimity also means having a mind that is totally free, stable, and peaceful. It stems from the kind of understanding that prompts one not to get caught in any drama. According to the Buddha, the equanimous mind is “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill will.”

The 8 worldly winds

These are the winds that blow here and there, that can carry us around everywhere if we are not careful. These are the winds of praise and blame, success and failure, pleasure and pain, fame and disrepute.

Equanimity is our protection from these extreme winds. We are not attached to praise, success, pleasure, and fame, nor feel over-the-top happy if we are able to cultivate equanimity. We know the winds can change direction anytime, and so we maintain an inner poise. We are able to recognize feelings and circumstances without allowing them to control us.

If we allow ourselves to be ruled by our desires, likes and dislikes, we can be sure that we are setting ourselves up for future suffering when pain and failure come. Because they will come, there is no escaping that.

Mindfulness toward grace

Mindfulness helps us to catch ourselves as soon as we are starting to be swayed toward our desires and our aversions. We can stop ourselves before these feelings become too strong to handle. Meditation is a form of protection, and so it follows that the more we meditate, the stronger and more stable our minds become.

Mindfulness also lets us see life as it is—sometimes happy, sometimes sad, always unpredictable, and often not within our control. A deep understanding of these truths prepares us for the really difficult times such that when they come, we can accept them with grace.

#balance #equanimity #mindfulness #joy #love #kindness #mindfulnessasia

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