How to Practice Equanimity

Based on an article by Swami Brahmdev

Night Follows Day

Day and night, and joy and sorrow are inevitable. Sadness and sorrow spring forth due to ignorance. Darkness symbolizes ignorance. But, darkness is also important. During the dark nights, we sleep soundly, otherwise our biological clock would go awry. Therefore, darkness is necessary to maintain equilibrium. Ignorance and sadness therefore have a purpose.

Understand the Situation

We should try to view both happiness and sadness with equanimity. We should not think that sadness is negative, nor view happiness as extremely positive. When we become sad, it indicates something is lacking in our understanding. This misunderstanding creates an atmosphere of sadness. Either we give too much importance to the “sad” situation, or too little.

This Too Shall Pass

So, how do we overcome sadness? First, we should overcome our attitude of creating divisions. We usually differentiate between good and bad, day and night. But actually, day and night, and happiness and sadness are not different, they are one. Even life and death should not be thought of as two different entities, as the soul does not stop its journey towards God, even when the mortal coil perishes.

Master Your Senses

To overcome duality, we should try to cultivate awareness, knowledge, consciousness and understanding. These qualities will help us cruise through the vicissitudes of life with perfect balance. Our senses often enslave us, and we become the pawn of our impulses. We should try to become the master of our senses, rather than vice versa.

Purpose to Everything

Often, people lose their balance because they become either very happy or very sad. Various situations bring happiness or sorrow. We should learn to treat them with equanimity. Every happening has a purpose. Therefore, we should not become sad during trying situations, but use them to develop our patience and fortitude.

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