What is the meaning of Equanimity?
According to the dictionary:
Equanimity – mental calmness, composure and evenness of temper esp in a difficult situation
Evenness of mind under stress
According to Buddhist Translations:
Equanimity translates into 2 separate Pali words used by the Buddha, representing different aspects of equanimity;
1) UPEKKHA – Look over
Refers to the equanimity that arises from the power of observation, the ability to see without being caught by what we see, when mastered, gives rise to a great sense of peace
2) TATRAMAJJHATTATA – Tatra = There; Majjha = Middle; TTATA = to stand or pose
Putting it all together = to stand in the middle of all this
In reference to equanimity – being in the middle refers to balance, to remain centred I the middle of whatever is happening. This balance comes from inner strength or stability. The strong presence of inner calm, well-being, confidence, vitality or integrity can keep us upright. As inner strength develops, equanimity follows.
This is the first time I look into the deepest meaning of this word. I first heard the word whilst doing the Chopra Centre 21 Day Meditation challenges, not really knowing what it fully meant, but from the way it was being used, drew my own conclusions of it meaning ‘peace’.
Then whilst I was on the Vipassana course in early January 2013, heard this word being used again, over and over again! And finally understood the meaning Not through words from a dictionary, or a book, but through experiencing the word.
Before doing the Vipassana course, Equanimity was definitely not my strongest attribute. It’s definitely something that takes much practice adapt to one’s life.
Especially for someone like me, who’s never demonstrated much patience, balance or calmness.
To the outside world, that’s what I project, but in my own environment, day in, day out, this is not how it has been.
During this course, this word and the experience of this word has meant the most to me. It has been the biggest thing I took away from the whole 10 days.
It’s what I needed the most in my life.
To apply in many situations.
Since coming back from the 10 day course, I feel I have applied this amazingly well and proud to say that I kept myself in line with equanimity for at least 2 weeks with so much ease. Eventually, the toll of everyday life does rear its challenging head and I have found myself experiencing the opposite of total equanimity in a few situations.
What I am grateful for though, is through “experiencing” equanimity, I am so much more aware of when I am not in balance, lost my composure or evenness of my temper in stressful stituations. Sometimes, I am not able to stop it straight away but been able to step aside eventually & calm down without too many negative beatings/lashings of myself.
Having and/or raising children is surely a powerful test of one’s equanimity. As much as I do love them with all my heart, soul and being, my equanimity is definitely challenged.lol
One of the teachings in the Vipassana course is that:
“PRACTICE LEADS TO SUCCESS!”
Knowing that & doing it are two different worlds!
Last week, I was so tired and was not able to wake up and practice my morning hour meditation before my workout. I was barely waking up in time to do my workout! In light of a recent situation that happened on the weekend, where my equanimity was totally compromised, the importance of continued meditation practice was in that moment, highlighted to me.
I am happy to say, that since Monday, I have resumed by morning meditations.
And very aware of the difference that it makes.
Thank you for allowing me to share my insights with you
“The meditative mind sees disagreeable or agreeable things with equanimity, patience, and good-will. Transcendent knowledge is seeing reality in utter simplicity. (146)” ~ Jean-Yves Leloup,