Equanimity, or upekkha, is the last of the four Brahma Viharas or heart practices. It holds the other three—loving-kindness, compassion, and joy—with a spacious awareness that allows us to experience whatever is here with balance and centeredness.
When cultivated, equanimity can see us through all life’s ups and downs, helping us to stay centered as we learn to accept things just as they are whether pleasant or unpleasant. We realize that we cannot control experience. But from that balanced place we can respond wisely to the truth of what is happening.
Equanimity allows for all possibilities. Rather than getting caught in our attachment to our hopes and expectations, equanimity accepts the fact that things might not work out the way we would like. With equanimity, we also let go of our assumptions that things will not turn out well.
With equanimity we understand that we have limited ability to make things better for someone that we care for. We can wish the best for them, but they have their own karmic unfolding and life lessons to learn. We can be there for them, but we can’t necessarily take away their pain, hurt, or sadness. This is where equanimity can hold our compassionate heart. When practicing equanimity with someone you love, let go of trying to rescue them and simply understand with great compassion, “I honor your journey.”
We all have our own ways to come back to balance. When are you thrown off balance? In your wisest moments how do you come back to balance? What helps you remember to keep things in perspective? In those moments, connect with the wisdom that’s right inside of you and listen for what you need to come into balance.
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