The EQUANIMITY Meditation (20 min.)
Equanimity is a wonderful quality, bringing steadiness to the mind.
Equanimity also brings a certain balance to the heart allowing us to respond rather than react. Through the highs and lows, pleasure and pain, praise and blame —the mind can be trained to become like a steady candle flame, unaffected by the winds of change.
In this meditation, Travis guides you to cultivate a peaceful mind and a balanced heart.
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of “The BE ULTIMATE Podcast.” Please note that this is direct from Travis speaking unscripted and unedited.]
Welcome to The Equanimity Meditation.
Equanimity is a wonderful quality, bringing a certain steadiness to the mind.
William Butler Yeats writes, “We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us that they may see, it may be, their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our quiet.”
In addition to bringing a steadiness to the mind, equanimity also brings a certain balance to the heart. This allows us to respond rather than react.
Equanimity combines an understanding mind with a deep compassionate heart.
We’ll begin to cultivate this quality of equanimity by simply sitting in a comfortable position, closing the eyes, relaxing the hands on your lap, on your knees, wherever it feels comfortable and it feels right.
Bring a soft attention to your breath as you begin to invite both your body and your mind to find calm, quiet, tranquility.
Good. Now, begin to reflect on the gift of a balanced and equanimous mind.
What does it feel like to have a mind that’s no longer chaotic, no longer overly stressed?
And can you begin to rest in both the beauty and the magnificence of this feeling of bringing a peaceful heart to the world around you?
Invite yourself to feel an inner sense of balance and ease.
In maintaining this inner ecology, begin to repeat the phrase, “May I be balanced and at peace. May I be balanced and at peace. May I be balanced and at peace.”
Continue to repeat this phrase on your own, slowly, steadily, almost like a soft but powerful whisper.
If, at any point, you notice your mind wandering or drifting away, no big deal. Just simply come back to repeating your phrase, “May I be balanced and at peace.”
Good. Now, softly allow the repetition to go, and know that all things arise and also pass away: the arising of joys, the arising of sorrows. And both these joys and sorrows, pleasant events and difficulties, they come and they go. Same thing with animals, people, relationships, and entire civilizations; it’s all impermanent.
As Zen Master Suzuki Roshi says, “When you realize that everything changes, and you find your composure within it, then, you find yourself in Nirvana.”
This quality of equanimity that we’re cultivating is your composure.
Let yourself relax in the midst of the change, as you repeat, “May I be with change in equanimity. May I be with change in equanimity. May I be with change in equanimity,” no longer fighting the natural flow of change, but just yielding to it. Continue to repeat, “May I be with change in equanimity.”
And nice and easily, just allow that repetition to go, feeling your mind becoming more and more like that still, quiet lake.
And now, acknowledge that all beings are on their own path. And although we can love and care for others, ultimately, we cannot control others. At times, the people close to us, they may experience happiness or suffering, joy or sorrow.
Go ahead and call someone to mind who might be moving through some adversities, challenge, and difficulty. And begin to send them the phrases, “May you be balanced and in equanimity. May you be balanced and in equanimity. May you be balanced and in equanimity.” Keep repeating.
Now, finally, expand this field of equanimity to the entire world, repeating the phrase, “May I bring balance and equanimity to the world. May I bring balance and equanimity to the world. May I bring balance and equanimity to the world,” taking a last couple of minutes to expand this field wider and wider and wider, until it circles the entire globe.
Beautiful. Allow the phrase to go. Just take several moments, sitting in the power of stillness.
And then we’ll take a deep inhale through the nose. And exhale out the mouth. Just let it all go. One more time. Deep inhale through the nose. Fill the lungs up with breath. And exhale, just let it all go.
So I invite you now to bring this equanimous mind and this balanced heart with you and into the rest of your day. Thank you for practicing. Stay ultimate in your mind and ultimate in your life. Blessings.