Equanimity

The word equanimity brings to my mind the image of a vast ocean in which different streams come from all sides and completely merge into it but the ocean remains unaffected and continues to ‘be’.  There is a sense of calmness when you look at the ocean, no matter how rough the waves are, we all know the deep underlying calmness which the ocean possesses. In the light of Indian Psychology, this is the attitude which one should adhere to in order to have a fulfilling life.

To walk on the path of self discovery and be one with the spark of the Supreme Power which is present in each one of us, it is essential to build a deep connection with our inner anchor so that we are able to step back and take distance from the action around us and develop a holistic understanding of the situation before we act, and not act simply out of impulse. Being anchored within helps to pause and evaluate the situation and then the action stems from the discriminating will and is not an impulsive reaction.

In any situation it is important to understand the intention behind the action rather than the action itself, the source from where the action is stemming has to be traced because it’s the source which explains the reason for the action as mere action  is just a  response to the thought, once we develop the ability to understand our thought patterns and become aware of the various psychological processes that function within us under various circumstance then, things can really run smooth in life and this can only happen if we live consciously and spend some time with ourselves and take efforts to establish the inner connect. From what I understand, the crucial aspect is the identification of the source of action, understanding of one self and being aware of the state wherein one is and not becoming that state. For e.g., – you are angry, that is a state, but you are not the anger. It is a temporary state that you are experiencing; therefore identifying and understanding the source of that anger is important to device a suitable solution and not just simply reacting to the impulse. Awareness of that sense of separation from the anger in that moment is necessary ,step back and see what makes you angry, but do not identify with the situation. Don’t give in to that state and do not let the energy of anger overpower you, simply step back and observe because if you completely given in to the situation then you will be unable to see the cause and get entangled into the web of actions. This then becomes a vicious circle and takes a lot of effort and energy that in the end leaves us all drained and unhappy.

The same goes with positive emotions as well. If you are happy, enjoy the state of happiness, but don’t lose yourself completely in the emotion of joy that it overpowers you and becomes your weakness. The crux of the matter is to live through the experience and let it go, and not get attached to or identify with it; the intent is not to restrict oneself from the experience, but experience without attachment, is what is important. Real equanimity lies in the experience of bliss in constant interaction with the world, wherein one can interact and be fully present in the world but still not get affected by it.

Based on my understanding, the journey on the path of equanimity is a lifelong process. It is only when one’s mind is silent and free from disturbances can one make an attempt to understand one’s own true nature and embark on the journey of self awareness. One needs to develop that ability, to recognize the source of actions and have a sense of being separate from them and observe them but not get carried away, and work towards maintaining a connection with the inner anchor which would act as a guiding force.

Self awareness is central to the concept of equanimity and achieving that state would require a silent mind and a calm heart as base to help establish a constant connection with the divine. My journey so far has been directed towards growing on this path, and since it is a continuous process, efforts have been taken to be consistent in the process, and I hope everyone who reads this makes an attempt to live life from ‘that’ space.

2 thoughts on “Equanimity

  1. Aditi,

    Very acute observations. I had one question which I want to get your thoughts about.
    You say that we are all sparks of the eternal Supreme and one role we can play is as the eternal witness who should not get attached to anything that is happening in the world. You say that the bliss is when one observes the world without getting attached, but don’t you think there is another way of getting involved in the world, that is by transforming it into something better and in that process the bliss in collaboration manifold than in deattachement ?

  2. Awareness of that sense of separation from the anger in that moment is necessary ,step back and see what makes you angry, but do not identify with the situation

    One useful trick during a stressful situation is to observe the frontal part of your body between the throat and the navel. A lot of times, this is the region which captures the stress and is responsible for the tumults during and after-shocks after the “problem”. If you can maintain stillness in this region of your being, half the battle is won. If this stillness is forced, it just suppresses the problem; the stillness must come naturally as a by-product of observation and gentle breathing.

    This is the first step towards experiencing what Sri Aurobindo referred to as the “cosmic vital” which stands behind our little vital beings.

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