Virtue is Equanimity
Saboteur is Anxious
It takes a strong heart to lead an anxious mind to peace.
The word equanimity means equal mindedness. That implies balance and balance implies two sides. Day always has night and life always has death. Up will always have down and joy will always have sadness. Everything always has two sides. This is nature. You can’t have one thing without the other. In marriage we take vows that support this idea. We take one another in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. All these things will happen in marriage. We do have a tendency though to fall prey to the notion that being rich and healthy will make us happy. Certainly they are good things but, being rich doesn’t mean sickness will bypass you. Having a healthy body doesn’t mean you have a healthy mind.
Haven’t you ever wished for something, then got it, then you found yourself still wanting more or living in a sate of fear that you may lose that which you received? Nothing in life is permanent. Happiness and sadness live together. Wealth and poverty are eternally tied together. All things are impermanent and in constant flux.
There isn’t any getting away from impermanence. Babies grow into adults, all living things die. This isn’t fatalism, this is natural. Putting all our energy into fear will make us stop participating in life The more anxious we become, the more paralyzed we become. Fear is also natural, without it, you may miscalculate how far down really is. Pain is natural, without it, we may not know that we are sick. Opposites always exist together.
Wanting and striving for good heath is obviously a good idea, but good health won’t make these bodies escape death. Death will always be paired with life. The more in tune with this idea of impermanence we become the more balanced our lives will also become. Balance or equanimity is where long term joy and peace live. The good life is similar to a good recipe. You want the different flavors to be harmonious with one another. You only want a pinch of salt, not a cup. We all have to learn to balance the ingredients in our personal recipes for life.
Nothing in life has only one side. Your front will always have a back. Up will always have the downside attached. We only want the rewards and we pretend that the opposite doesn’t exist. The more we do this the more anxious we will become about the inevitable loss. Remember, where there is loss, gain is just around the corner. The trick is to learn balance. If a tightrope walker loses his confidence, his balance will be lost. If you lose your confidence while driving, you will probably make errors. An actor without confidence would be awkward at best. A little sadness makes us ponder on the true nature of happiness.
Equanimity is a constant adjustment. The word of the month is an exercise in equanimity. When we practice patience, we reduce the negative effects of anger, when we practice kindness, we limit selfishness. These practices give us inner strength. Being a patient and kind person isn’t wimpy, only people who don’t practice these virtues espouse such propaganda. It’s easy to criticize and belittle one another. Showing off isn’t confidence, it’s as misleading as a magicians hand. Look this way while I do the trick with the other hand. If you see me all puffed up, you may not see how insignificant I really feel inside.
To be equanimous is to be super human. Still human, but super strong in body, mind and spirit. This is what true hero’s are made up of. Saints and masters are true hero’s. They don’t care if they go unrecognized. They know who they are and they know how strong they are.
Practicing equanimity reminds us that fire is inherent in a cold stone. Life giving vitamin C is inherent in a bumpy round orange. Patience is hidden within anger and equanimity is always present when we’re anxious. Remember that spirituality is hard work. Equanimity can’t be learned in a day, or a week or even in a single lifetime, but it can be practiced and improved upon.
Peace be with you Namaste