Equanimity as self love

In Buddhism, equanimity (Pali: upekkhā; Sanskrit: upekṣā) is one of the four sublime attitudes and is considered:

“Neither a thought nor an emotion, it is rather the steady conscious realization of reality’s transience. It is the ground for wisdom and freedomand the protector of compassion and love. While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being. The Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will.”

Equanimity means I am not responsible for anyone else’s actions or karma. It means I am only responsible for my own actions and karma.

How many times have you tried to manipulate or control another person and their outcome? How many times have you blamed someone for your reaction?

This is how important equanimity practice is for us. I myself have tried to control or manipulate other people in many different ways in fact I probably still do. It’s a practice to learn to let go and let other beings be responsible for their own happiness. Sometimes I may think “I’m just trying to help” or “I love them so much” unfortunately I still have to remember I cannot control the outcome.

Another aspect of this practice is the blaming someone else or making an excuse for why you acted in a particular way. “Well he said that first” “she disrespected me so I just reacted”. This is also unhealthy and not part of the equanimity practice. We have to learn to control our reactions. In equanimity practice we learn only I can control my actions and I have a choice in how I act.

How is this self care?

When we let go of the need to control we let go of so much stress that we didn’t need to carry in the first place. When we take responsibility we heal and become more self aware. These are so important for our mental and spiritual health.

May we remember that we are only in control of our responses not what happens after.

May we remember to let go of the need to control others and have compassion to their choices.

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