The Path to Enlightenment and Equanimity
Equanimity is a kind of self-control that springs from a state of mind, and complements self-realization or enlightenment. It is part of the benefit package we receive from experiencing that divinity within, through meditation. It can help us cope with major life-events. Self-realization helps us gain mastery over our mind, so we are always at peace, regardless of any disturbances that may take place around us. That is equanimity. Through meditation we can lift ourselves to a higher dimension of consciousness. Meditation is the only direct way to attain enlightenment or self-realization and to achieve a state of equanimity.
Do you wonder why some people find the idea of meditation pleasant or soothing, while others seem almost frightened of it and have a great deal of trouble sitting quietly, even for few minutes? We all meditate to a certain extent when we focus on performing a certain task with our limited consciousness, whether it’s repairing an engine, helping our child with homework, or screwing in a lightbulb. Without certain amounts of focused concentration, we wouldn’t be able to do anything effectively.
Meditation is not simply helpful to experience enlightenment or self-realization, but to live a less stressful life and function well. Sitting quietly – even for five minutes a day – can make a big difference in our day-to-day functionality and keep our mental and physical abilities intact, while providing so many other benefits.
If meditation – which entails focus and concentration – can do wonders in our life, why then, are some of us terrified to meditate?
Meditation is not easy to do, especially in this age where there is so much materialism, skepticism, atheism and hedonism. Coping with all the obstacles of modern life can be quite challenging. However, uplifting ourselves to generate peace and a state of equanimity is not impossible. It is within our reach, if only we can shift our priorities and sit still just for five minutes every day.
Equanimity means being in constant harmony with all happenings in the universe and carrying the equanimous state throughout every situation and in all dealings with other people. It is a unique type of attitude that we carry toward life in general, with the utmost evenness and composure, exercising self-control and maintaining our dignity. We do not feel any different whether we are experiencing pain, sorrow or joy.
Realization helps us gain mastery over our mind, so we are always at peace regardless of any disturbances that may take place around us. We react to pleasant and unpleasant situations with the same perfect balance, harmony and equilibrium. We do not get overly excited or sad with any situation, and we are able to handle everything with utmost calm and ease. We can be in the world but not get consumed by it.
When you display this kind of attitude, some people may mistake you for being indifferent about worldly happenings. It is not that realized individuals do not have any emotions or feelings, only that they don’t let them have any lasting impact. They have emotions but don’t become emotional.
One advantage of not being ruled by emotions is that we view all beings impartially. Once we are freed from personal likes and dislikes, decision-making becomes easier. Also, this makes it easier to avoid getting overly worked up or stressed during disagreements with other people, or to hold grudges for a long period of time. There is no residual agitation that builds upon itself, creating more negative thoughts. We become a non-excitable entity, where absolutely nothing can damage our inner peace. This is the equanimity we gain from being with our true nature.
There is no need to run toward sense objects, nor do we need to take ourselves away from them. Most of the time the mind remains peaceful, accepting everything as it is.
The precise time at which we gain the ability to transcend and attain equanimity depends on where we are in our evolutionary journey. Until then, the best habit to develop is to meditate, meditate, meditate…
Read more on these topics in my book Home at Last, published by White Cloud Press.