Equanimity – what a wonderful place!

As I work to deepen my understanding and practice of meditation, I am delighting in increasing my experience of equanimity.

Equanimity is defined by Shinzen Young as the ability to allow sensory experience to come and go without push and pull. As you move through life, equanimity is a kind of ‘radical non-self interference’.

“When you apply equanimity to unpleasant sensations, they flow more readily and, as a result, cause less suffering. When you apply equanimity to pleasant sensations, they also flow more readily and consequently deliver deeper fulfillment.”
Shinzen Young

For me, at my present level of understanding, equanimity is to be able to let go of ‘want’ and ‘should’ enough simply to dwell in what is without any sense of conflict or friction. I can also see the potential for deepening my experience of pleasant sensations, even of joy.

Few of us would choose pain, physical or emotional, but it is part of our human existence. ‘Being with’ whatever is happening, embracing and ‘befriending’ it rather than fighting or resenting it, is not easy. Yet the ability to do this is very powerful.

“All kinds of energy are freed up when you stop fighting with yourself. As your capacity to accept what’s actually happening in your life increases, so does the amount of juice you have to actually be of service to the world.”
Jeff Warren

Joy, suffering and the ego

I read today a view that the ego will always attempt to suck us back into a state of suffering. Without resistance, we begin to blur our sense of separateness and the ego needs us to see ourselves in terms of separation and difference.

From the egoic point of view, it’s vital that we remain in conflict to some extent, and that’s why, when we look at the world around us, we see so much conflict among human beings.  (Adyashanti: Falling into Grace)

This prompted for me that the realization that joy, at least as I perceive it, is rarely if ever ego driven, existing most profoundly in the moments when the barrier of ego-separation is breached by a sense of connectedness, of grace.

So for me, part of the purpose in consciously working to develop the capacity to access joy is to provide myself with one of the tools with which to combat the pull of the ego and the resultant ‘suffering’, the fall from grace into being a part of conflict.