"It is said that the awareness of a Buddha is completely even, like the ocean, taking in equally the joys and sorrows of all people, friends, loved ones, relatives, and those never met."
- Buddhism with an Attitude
In my last post, I shared how practicing compassion can be overwhelming as I awaken to all the suffering in the world around me. For this reason, Buddhist teachings suggest practicing equanimity - which means even-mindedness - alongside compassion. It is this state of mind that allows us to approach each moment with an open heart, regardless of its difficulties or delights.
With equanimity, we can ride the waves of life - the ups and the downs - with a constant, calm heart so we keep from drowning. It allows us to:
- feel pain but not cling to it
- experience joy without attaching to it
- have trust in moments of uncertainty
- offer compassion without pity
Practicing equanimity requires both being in the moment and letting go. So as I strive to cultivate compassion, I'm also beginning to focus more attention on cultivating equanimity by being in the moment, without judgment, without aversion, without clinging. Just riding the waves...