My Practice of Equanimity
September 12, 2008
I feel I have been so neglectful towards my blog over the last couple of weeks. this has been due to a change of work situation and generally getting caught up in worldly pursuits. I have missed writing, partly as this seems to help me evaluate certain aspects of my practice and sometimes for me writing about things helps me to understand more. I thought it time that I evaluated my determination to practice equanimity which I wrote about in a previous post. This will also show me if I am all talk and no action!
There has been some improvement in my practice of equanimity, I have managed to develop warm and friendly attitudes towards all living beings – that is until actually coming into contact with any. Not really, I’m not quite that bad. I have definitely thought more about equanimity throughout the days and have managed to maintain a certain degree of the motivation to want to develop this mind. It is this intention that has prevented me from: wanting to push people away that I don’t especially feel drawn to; and getting extra close to those people who I initially feel more favourable towards. For me this a good step in the right direction. I have realised how quickly I make judgements about people, in relation to friend, enemy or stranger. In certain situations when remembering equanimity I have been able to stop unbalanced feelings from developing before they get out of control simply by remembering the benefits of the balanced mind of equanimity and the protection it offers.
I have had a few challenging experiences of working with people in prisons who have committed awful crimes and state quite clearly that they have no remorse. To begin with I found it difficult to have a balanced mind, in terms of having aversion, however later by thinking about them and their present situation and possible future situations, I became able to undermine this aversion and feel compassion, and in turn found myself genuinely wanting to help them. I know this is no major development but is definitely a start. This has given me confidence in my practice, and any slight improvement beats a deterioration. Generally when faced with challenges, I don’t particularly like it, however any such challenge that makes one look at one’s mind and genuinely try to use the Dharma to challenge what is found there, surely must be worth it.