We are often tested in our daily lives by challenges which seem to make us dig deep, find our inner reserves of faith, truth and resilience. Despite our well laid plans, events can sometimes blindside us and force us to react to new, unfamiliar situations. Some of us may be in life situations which are somewhat “chronic” in nature – long-term care of friends and/or family, business slowdowns, personal health situations, and so on.
One personal characteristic (some may refer to it as a virtue) that can help us navigate the ups and downs of daily life is referred to as equanimity. The word has two parts – equal (from the latin aequus and mind (animus. The dictionary defines equanimity as
mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation – equanimity
The development of equanimity or “evenness of mind” is one of the four major traits for those engaged in the practice of yoga (the other three are friendship, compassion and joy). Buddhists consider equanimity as “… the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love.” Christianity considers “equanimity as essential for carrying out the theological virtues of gentleness, contentment, temperance, and charity.” There is perhaps similar importance given to equanimity in other schools of philosophy and religions.
“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity, opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.“ – Albert Einstein
The definitions of equanimity are perhaps not as important as its practice. What factors disturb your equanimity? How do we develop more equanimity for our spirit? Is the practice of equanimity practical in modern society? What is the connection between equanimity and inner peace? Does a state of equanimity equate to aloofness and detachment?
I invite you to join me (host) and the #SpiritChat community in our weekly chat at 9am ET on Sunday, August 5th, as we discuss the subject of equanimity. Please do join us – we would love to hear your thoughts.
Update: Transcript link: http://bit.ly/sc-tr-0805 and questions asked during the live twitter chat –
Q1. What feelings does the word equanimity invoke in you? #SpiritChat Q2. What are some factors that disrupt your sense of equanimity? Are you aware of them? #SpiritChat Q3. It isn't just distress, but joy can also disrupt equanimity - Agree or disagree? Why? #SpiritChat Q4. How can we avoid our equanimity being viewed as indifference? Or can we? #SpiritChat This week's Q5. What are some techniques that you use to restore your balance of equanimity? #SpiritChat Q6. Can we help others develop more equanimity via social media? Why or why not? #SpiritChat Q7. Think of some role model(s) who demonstrate(d) great equanimity. What can we learn from them? #SpiritChat Takeaway Q8. How will we strengthen our equanimity in the coming week? Practical steps? #SpiritChat