Equanimity: "an unshakeable state of mind. The ability to remain calm and composed no matter the situation"
This word was bought to my attention a while ago during an Ashtanga yoga class, and with alluring synchronicity i started to hear it again and again over the weeks that followed. I was told it was one of the many great teachings of yoga, and given the example of remaining calm & composed when losing balance and falling from a pose, effortlessly resisting frustration and simply getting up and trying again. And subsequently taking this transferable teaching to all areas of life.
For me, it was palpable.
It began to sink deep into my subconscious, & deeper still into my whole being - performing its task - here to teach.
The word continued to follow me, but i no longer needed to hear it spoken. Instead I began to speak of it, sharing what I had learned with others so they too could find their way with it.
It accompanied me to the mountains of Nepal, where I learned to allow and feel without reacting, where i learned conscious approach and complete surrender. I felt it with me at times of physical, mental and emotional discomfort - somehow allowing me to remain calm & composed, when it seemed such an unlikely scenario.
Equanimity - The word itself conjures another: balance.
A balanced mind?
But how can we find balance in anything, let alone our state of mind, when in reality everything is so imbalanced, and so transient... continuously meandering through such emotive contrasts.
No sooner do we achieve a mere taste of balance than comes another disturbance - however big or small - naturally affecting our mindset.
But then, if everything is transient should this not instil an understanding of sorts that provides faith and clarity that "this too shall pass"?
Perhaps to find balance we must live in states of imbalance, to source a greater understanding. Developing this talent through experience. Experience of contrast - of loss and gain, success and failure, rise and fall, joy and despair.
It could be easy to assume that this so-called idyllic state of equanimity suggests that one should not hold on to feelings of love and happiness, knowing they too might be short-lived?
But no... equanimity is an all-encompassing state of knowing, an integration of pure love - so deep that nothing can touch us, and yet we feel everything.
Equanimity is effortless.
It is created through inherent strength, resistance, and unparalleled fearlessness. But these powerful attributes must not be confused with indifference.
Yes, it is being fearless, but without losing or shutting yourself off from feeling.
It is the knowledge we control everything in our lives and yet, have control over absolutely nothing.
It comes through detachment from the self, from all potential outcomes and from all tangible things.
It is peace.
Equanimity... the ultimate goal?
Or perhaps a non-existential pipe dream. An impossibility we can but yearn for.
I have felt it momentarily, yes, and perhaps with time & continued unconscious practice it might become as natural as breathing...