Equanimity is a perfect, unshakable balance of mind. -Nyanaponika Thera
What is equanimity?
Equanimity means not reacting to your reactions, whatever they are. Equanimity creates a buffer around the feeling tones of experiences so that you do not react to them with craving. It is like the circuit breaker that blocks the normal sequence in the mind that moves from feeling tone to craving to cling to suffering. Equanimity is when you are engaged with the world but not troubled by it. Think of a mud-room, where you leave your wet shoes and coats before entering the house. Similarly, your mind is like a house with a mud-room. Equanimity is that mental mud-room to leave your initial reactions at, so that you can keep the mind clean and peaceful. Through this non-reactivity, you create space for compassion, loving-kindness, and joy at the happiness of others.
In everyday life, stay present in your experiences. Be aware of your thoughts and mindful of your feelings towards your experiences. Remain disenchant with them – pleasure or pain. Craving, not desire, is the root of suffering. We crave to grab onto pleasure and resist pain and anything that we don’t like. Observe your stream of thoughts, without letting any bit of it hook you. Situations are just situations. People are just being themselves. Don’t grasp enjoyable experiences or push against unpleasant ones, let everything flow, no reason to chase or resist. Let everything be.
Equanimity is an unusual brain state. Your brain does not naturally stay engaged with neutral stimuli, thus you must make an conscious effort to sustain this. Through your consistent practice, you can sensitize yourself to neutral aspects of experiences and your mind will become more comfortable staying neutral and thus less inclined to seek rewards or scans for threats. Ultimately, bringing stillness of the mind and tranquility.