The Physical Path to Equanimity

Equanimity is clearly an important aspect of dharma practice – it’s one of the four Brahma Viharas, and is the seventh Factor of Awakening. We often seek a mental path to arrive at this state of being – attempting to reason ourselves into balance and non-reactivity. But a more direct way is available, through looking deeply into our somatic sensations and working with these bodily expressions of our mind/heart state— as we find it, and as it develops in practice sessions. This week, Sarah brought a talk and other insights from Jill Shepherd to help to clarify this approach.

We listened to excerpts from several talks:

Sarah also read the following quote by Jill on the interdependent nature of the Brama Viharas, which you can also find here.

The Four Sublime Abidings

Metta, [kindness] the love that connects, is an antidote to all forms of aversion.

It is not attachment.

If it slides into sentimentality, karuna [compassion] brings the heart back into balance.

Karuna, the love that responds, is an antidote to cruelty. 

It is not pity.

If it slides into sorrow, mudita [appreciative joy] brings the heart back into balance.

Mudita, the love that celebrates, is an antidote to envy.

It is not competitive.

If it slides into agitated excitement, upekkha [equanimity] brings the heart back into balance.

Upekkha, the love that allows, is the antidote to partiality.

It is not indifference.

If it slides into disconnection, metta brings the heart back into balance.