Equanimity is a great resource for us in formal practice, as well as in how we meet the day to day unfolding of our lives. I’d like to suggest some ways we can bring equanimity to meet our experience as it unfolds.
As we explore this, it can be helpful to bring to mind actual examples where you’ve lost your balance and gotten carried away into reactivity. Stay steady and spacious as you do this, let curiosity and kindness come to the fore. Feel in the body how it is to apply these practices to the situation in mind.
Without equanimity, we are like a ship battered by the storms of life. Using this image, bring attention to the body. What supports you to keep righting the ship, so it comes into balance?
Grounding attention in the body and breath, feel the contact of the body with the earth and imagine it like a mountain. The mountain too is touched by life’s storms, but through its rootedness in the earth, it becomes unshakeable.
- Notice the habit of reactivity, pushing and pulling on experience.
- Can you relax the body as a way of letting go of grasping and aversion?
- What happens when you do this?
Lack of equanimity co-arises with a rigidity of view. Bring interest to the possibility of shifting perspective; opening to a bigger picture.
- How am I seeing this?
- What could be another way?
- What if I bring to mind that everything changes over time?
- What if I bring to mind someone else’s point of view?
Stay curious and gentle as you do this.
Feel any ease that arises as you practice in these ways.
As you gain confidence and familiarity with these practices, you can use them in real time.