Cultivating a Stable Mind

Grounded and Flexible

Equanimity is the quality of remaining grounded and stable in the midst of your experience.

When you notice suffering, you respond with compassion, and you don’t get knocked off balance by the unexpected.

With equanimity practice, you cultivate a state of mind that is both grounded and flexible, especially in the midst of intense emotional experiences.

Closing the eyes and finding your posture, bring your awareness into your present experience.

Notice the sounds, the feelings in the body, and your overall mental state.

Open your awareness.

When something comes up, tune in to the mind, noticing where you get knocked off balance.

Certain sounds, thoughts, or feelings in the body may feel charged, pulling you from your calm state of mind.

Sit with this awareness of your own balance for five minutes.

Bring to mind someone you care about deeply.

Connect with your intention to care for this person.

Recognize that although you may care for this person, you cannot control their happiness.

Offer a few phrases of equanimity:

May you be happy.

May you be in charge of your happiness.

Your happiness is dependent upon your actions, not my wishes for you.

After five minutes, switch to somebody else you care about.

Try to find someone who is currently experiencing some pain or suffering.

Connecting with your intention to care but remain stable, offer these phrases of compassion and equanimity:

May you be free from suffering.

May you take action to care for your pain.

Your freedom is dependent upon your actions, not my wishes for you.

Finally, bring to mind somebody in your life who has had some joy or success recently.

Offer a few phrases of appreciative joy, staying connected to your equanimity.

May your joy continue.

May you be in charge of your joy.

Your joy is in your hands and is not dependent upon my wishes for you.

After a few minutes of offering these phrases, return to your own experience before opening the eyes.

Recognize that your happiness is in your own hands.

Be proud of your effort in practicing, encouraging happiness for yourself.

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