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Birthing the Heart: Equanimity

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2015-03-03
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Silence precedes equanimity. If you attempt to become equanimous prior to being still, equanimity will be the distance you place between yourself and the disturbance. The disturbance will be seen as something to avoid and the mind will detach and separate itself from the disturbance. If you find yourself doing this, stop and reconsider what equanimity is. Equanimity is the absence of a story, the absence of a qualifying thought about what is occurring. It is not a dry or distant state without feelings or emotions, but a different dimension entirely where everything is allowed to be just as it is without discourse or reasoning. What if the mind simply stopped protesting the shape and content of reality? What if we conceded reality and its full presentation as just what is? Within that concession, there would be stillness of self, without argument of contention. That is equanimity. It is not a state, it is the complete absence of egoic control. Therefore do not try to conjure up a state where “you” are not affected by life. That is very close to dissociation, which will lead you to serious psychological disturbances.


Equanimity is not indifference. It is not pulling back to an emotionally safe area of the mind where life is distant and remote. It is dropping your story of inward protest. Until you are willing to be quiet with and through events there will be no equanimity. When you find yourself disagreeing with the outcome, ask, “Do I hold a monopoly on the truth?” then allow yourself to be quiet and let the situation play itself out. When you find yourself in a reactive mode, pause and ask, “Is there space for this too?” That space cannot coexist with protest. That space is the silence of equanimity. Place your attention there and not with the disrupting storyline.


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