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Equanimity vs. Indifference (Evil Twins Series)
What is Equanimity?
Equanimity is our ability to open our hear to reality as it is. When equanimous we experience what is good and what is bad fully. At the same time equanimity is the ability to keep a healthy mind balance. We build it on the hard realization that everything is impermanent. The cycle of seasons, the one of life, the ups and the downs of existence all come and go. We reinforce equanimity by the additional insight that whatever the circumstances, our judgements about what Life brings to us and our inner stories create the core of our suffering. It is achieved through trial and failure at staying present with our pain, our fear, our joy and those of all beings around us.
Equanimity materializes in a visible inner calm and an ability to step back before reacting to situations.
What is Indifference?
Indifference is when we close our heart to our own mental state or the one of others. Generally we do this to protect ourselves because the feelings that we experience are too intense and too uncomfortable. The story-telling in our minds reinforces these negative feelings to a level which becomes unbearable.
Indifference materializes through an attitude towards anything that is cold and intellectual. By ignoring our own pain and the one of others and by pursuing either numbness or instant gratification.
We destroy the world with our indifference and we also destroy our joy of life. We accept blindly that wars, poverty, violence, our own misdeeds are just normal because that’s part of the doomed fate of humanity and our own self-limiting view on our own doomed life.
How to train Equanimity?
We can train Equanimity like all other Buddhist qualities. We should train it during our formal sitting by allowing our heart to stay open to the chaos of emotions that come up. But we should also train it in everyday life by keeping our hearts open and allowing the small gap of our awareness to protect us from harsh reactions or mindless activities.
I failed at Equanimity this week
My current circumstances carry me more and more away into stress and, since I gave up formal sitting for way too long, the gap between what’s going on and my reactions slowly closes.
I did hurt a friend this week through my harsh reactions and I also write this post as an apology to her.