Upekkha – equanimity

This for us “strange” word, upekkha, is the last of the four pali words I want to introduce you to. Translation into English is equanimity.

Because. This word characterises a state of mind. Of you use the idea of a pair of scales the two sides are even. Our usual mind is either happy or sad, upset or content, tired or awake, restless or calm. This calm state of mind, equanimity, is important. It is neutral and at the same time caring and open, open to love and joy, open to loving kindness, compassion and sympathetic joy. Maybe these four are one family, metta, karuna, muddhita, and upekkha.

As you will realise, equanimity is not something you need to learn, this state of mind is already inside you, all you need to do is to find it, recognise it, be aware of it, and become one with it. Maybe you will need some waiting time, most likely you need to calm down, do your breathing exercise, have contact with your body, relax, and wake up. And then, eventually, your mind will open up and allow you to experience equanimity. Your experience may last only a split of a second, and then you wait again. Like going fishing, you cannot do anything but be as present as you can, as relaxed in the present moment as you can, with full body and breath contact. The fish decides when to take the bait, not you.

Working with mindfulness and the cultivation of your mind makes you realise, slowly but steadily, that everything you notice, everything you experience, is an appearance in consciousness. Just an appearance that was already there.

Anne Vinter, 14.07.2020

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