Equanimity: an alien concept but a necessary one
Equanimity is unshakeable balance of mind, no matter what you go through. It means when one has a strong mind which does not panic or gets restless by little or big problems that come in life.
Let’s first understand the meaning of this alien term. I called it alien because it might be unknown to most of you, those who know it, they may just know it as a word or a concept of Buddhism.
Equanimity is the evenness of mind especially under stress or tension. It counts as the mental or emotional stability or composure under difficult situations. Going smoothly, resisting against hardships or bad times.
Albert Einstein said about equanimity,“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinion which differ from their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinion.”
So, you see as usual Albert Einstein shows low expectations from mankind, but here I would agree to it because he is right about equanimity and people’s approach towards it. They do not even know about it. Humans are used to panic and lose our own selves during stress and tension which is wrong. We should understand that hardships are part of life, these are what makes life complete, without them we cannot be able to appreciate our good times.
We should go through ups and downs of our life with equanimity. Yes, even the good times of our life must be handled and passed with equanimity because when our times are good, there is an equal probability of us being unthankful towards God, who gave all of happiness. So, we should be thankful about every kind of situation here.
Both ups and downs are part of life, if there are no ups then we would always be in downs and there will be no downs we will not be able to appreciate ups of our lives. These ups and downs are what we call life. If we look at the cardiographs, it has one loop above the line and the other below it. That’s an actual presentation of ups and downs of life and life itself.
Equanimity is a total control of your mind’s faculties. Equanimity is a state of mind, a very smooth one, in which ripples and tides do not make any difference, smoothness is maintained and kept like it was before. It’s like staying in the grey area between ups and downs of life. Having difficulties in life is like speed bumps on the road, we do not go crashing after going over one bump, we maintain out drive. In the same way we should maintain smoothness of our mind after any hardship we face in life.
Let’s understand it with an example. A ring master in the circus manages and has control over everything. If he does not, every performer will be going at the same time on stage. So, nobody will be seen properly, and nobody will get proper attention that he/she deserve. In the same way, we are the ring master of our mind if we would not manage and has control over everything, there will be a chaos in our mind and things which matter and things which do not will be jumping in our mind at a time. Our mind too need management because we have all sort of thoughts in our mind good, bad, anxious, confused etc. So, we need to manage what to focus first and what later. This is equanimity.
Let’s us suppose that there is accident or something out of order happened on the stage in the very beginning of the performance, does this mean ring master will panic and let everyone perform haphazardly at once on stage or stop the show right away. No, the performance will go on, he will think and rearrange things, what to do and what to avoid. Likewise, if something goes wrong in our lives, we should consider it calmly and keep our mind on right track. Good and bad phases are just the phases pf life we shall not cling to any of these. Ups and downs are just small fragments of a larger picture.
Now I talked about Buddhism in the start. Buddhism has four divine abodes; loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic-joy, and equanimity. In the light of Buddhism, equanimity is defined as the peace of mind, the unbreakable one. It is considered as a belief by the followers of Buddhism.
Mostly people who read a lot they know about equanimity as one of the abodes of Buddhism or merely just a difficult word. Whereas in my opinion it is not only related to Buddhism. In the fast and difficult lives, we are leading these days, equanimity should be considered as a trait or quality of a person, or something which should be present in all is to lead a successful and peaceful life.
Written by: Aruj Fatima