Equanimity is a steadiness in heart and mind that has a spacious feel. It is “being with” rather than “reacting to” present-moment experience, which makes possible the beat between stimulus and response. We can choose what we do next rather than impulsively react. Thus, equanimity supports agency and choicefulness.
Also, it balances the three other “Divine Abodes”or “Immeasurable Qualities” so valued in Buddhist tradition: loving-kindness, compassion, and empathetic joy. For example, when we are equanimous, loving-kindness will not become harmful attachment. Compassion will not have the quality of pity. Joy will not tip over into unmitigated exuberance.
Keeping equanimity in heart and mind as we go about our days ensures we are not thrown off course by unpredicted circumstances; we are steady. We are not as uncomfortable or fitful with uncertainty; there is ease with not knowing. We do not feel betrayed by life when things don’t go as planned; we more easily adapt.
In this equanimity meditation with Sarah Jane we spend time calling to mind properties of the natural elements and feeling how they can support equanimity.
This is the final practice in Sarah Jane’s second series of meditations inspired by Buddhism’s four “Immeasurable Qualities.” For meditations using the traditional phrases to cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity, try episodes 9, 13, 16, and 24. This second set is less traditional, calling on the flavor and feel of each. You’ll find these meditations in episodes 42, 44, 46, and 48.
Skillful Means Podcast offers these guided practices to help you deepen into your yoga and mindfulness journey.
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You can get in touch with Sarah Jane directly at https://www.sarahjaneshangraw.com/ where she offers a donation-based mindfulness/compassion practice group, weekly Insight Yoga classes, and 1:1 sessions.