So this afternoon, this afternoon, before, I begin to actually offer the practice of equanimity. I wanted to remind you of some of the qualities and subjected experience that we have of equanimity.
Just during there, sometimes, can help to incline the mind and heart there.
So remember that we’re practicing equanimity in order to have a deeper and stronger habit pattern of resting the mind before it falls into extremes. Resting the mind before it falls into extremes. So we’re we—we’ll tend to rest this in the middle path. Not towards the extreme of reactivity, which has two parts to it. One part is aversion, and another is attachment. We can react with those two qualities of mind. Unwholesome qualities of mind. Reactivity.
And then the other extreme is one—there’s apathy. When we don’t have a connection really, a heart connection at all, to what’s going on, we feel the sense of uncaring, indifference, there’s no affect in us really. There’s just a feeling of really not so connected to what’s going on, and that’s where feel calm.
With equanimity, we feel totally connected to what’s going on. There’s an ability to be with the situation even if it feels extreme and oneness in heart and mind, but there’s no added unwholesome quality that comes up in the mind to push it away. There’s just a sense of balance and openness. An ability to receive what comes into our heart of wisdom, instead of a heart of delusion or ignorance.
So, when we can develop this habit pattern, there’s a greater chance that we can see things more clearly. We can respond more with wisdom, compassion, whatever is needed.
One of the biggest quality we see apart from all of the ones I talked about last night. There’s so many qualities, wholesome qualities that come up in connection with this equanimity, but one of the biggest once we actually feel, there’s a subjective experience of this patience. Patience, they say, is the supreme quality. It’s the one that gets all the other ones deeper on the path. And when we can have patience, there’s an ability to just wait, and not have to do the thing that we usually do—is react very quickly.
In India, the word that they use for Equanimity is defined as “seeing with patience.” Seeing with patience—so what we see, we hear, we experience, what surrounds us with the quality of patience, forbearance, and there’s an ability to just wait. Not react so quickly.
So, patience brings about an ability to see more clearly. There’s some tolerance. There’s stamina with what’s going on. Lots of wonderful, strong qualities of mind come with equanimity, which in itself is a very strong quality of mind.
So, let’s begin now, again, with the practice going through the full progression. From neutral person, dear friend, benefactor, person we’re having difficulty with, and then oneself. And with all of them, with the first four, we will also practice going back to oneself. So we have a lot of practice developing equanimity towards the places in our hearts. That kind of automatically come up, that causes a lot of pain.
So take your time as you wish to develop an established sense of balance within you. Balance in the way you’re sitting, with erectness, but without ___ if possible. Doing our best to incline the mind towards equanimity—that’s our intention. Letting go of any way that we think we need to be perfect, because it really won’t be. There’ll be a lot of time when unwholesome states of mind come up. Opportunities to practice with them.
Breathing in and out from your heart center, and wishing yourself well. See if you can offer yourself some goodwill. A little Metta first. However, you do that with words, so without words. And open to this practice with patience. Allowing it to strengthen and unfold in its own natural way. Inclining towards trusting. So we begin first with the neutral person.
The person we might be feeling neutral towards can bring someone up you have worked with before. Usually, this person we don’t have such automatic reactivity towards. You don’t know this person so well usually. Having a clear sense of who it is you’re choosing. And with this person, what we reflect upon is the basic truth of life that all beings experience praise and blame, gain and loss, joy and sorrow, fame and disrepute. This is the way it is for all beings. This ___ particular being.
Let’s reflect on the basic principle of this fact of life. And then you seeing a phrase in relationship to that person that we don’t know the particulars of that person’s life. We know this truth, this is working in this person’s life as well. All beings meet their joys and sorrows according to a lawful nature. This is how it is for you right now.
Joy and sorrow arise and pass away. This is the universal truth for you as well as for myself. Allowing that meaning to simply settle into your heart. Breathing in and out from there. Staying as connected as you can to this individual. And then bringing your attention to your own heart. Look into your own mind, and notice what is going on in your heart, mind in relationship to that person and this universal truth. That we don’t know that the exact details of this person’s life, probably. We know that this truth is operating for this person, just like it is for us. What comes up in your heart, mind in relationship to that? Is there a sense of ___? A sense of distance? I don’t care? Compassion? Just know what it is without anything extra. No blame. Just knowing. Then using that phrase, it helps you open to whatever is going on in your heart. This is how it is for me right now. And I accept this moment just as it is.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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