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Cultivating Equanimity

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hey. Welcome back to your daily mindfulness . Today, we're going to discuss one of my favorite topics, equanimity. Although the concept of equanimity can be found in different faith and spiritual traditions, some of the best articulations of it and how to cultivate it come from the meditation traditions. And what equanimity is pointing to is a deep groundedness and balance of mind that is not disturbed by the highs and lows of internal and external experiences.

From one perspective, we might understand this as simply being balanced in the moment. But from a meditator's perspective, this is a profound mind state that can be cultivated over time. So, we'll address both. In 2012, I went on a extended six month meditation retreat. Taking that much time to devote to something, I obviously had some expectations for what I was looking for.

And there was this sense that once I get wherever there was, I would feel some sort of peace or wellbeing. Because of this expectation, many of the experiences I ended up having were filtered through the lengths of, does this match up with what I'm looking for or does it not match up? So for instance, when I first got there, there was this period of very intense physical pain. And my mind said, I don't want this. I tried to be present with it, but there was this part of me that was pushing and resisting. Eventually, the pain passed.

And then, there was a period where it was more pleasurable and enjoyable. I remember, I was walking around the monastery and it felt like every step I was taking was like, my foot was pressing into a bed of marshmallows, very pleasurable. So that's what happened. And then my mind would go, yeah, I want more of that. This is the experience of looking for it.

Tried to be present with it, but there was a lot of grasping at it. And then eventually, that experience would pass. And this rollercoaster persisted, where good experiences would come up, I would grasp at them and then they would pass, bad experiences would come up, I'd push, but they would pass. After a while, what happens when you're paying attention to your experience in that way, the mind starts to learn something. It starts to see that, the more I push against the negative stuff, well, it doesn't make the negative stuff go away.

In fact, it just creates more tension. So why am I pushing so hard? And then it starts to say that, oh, the more I grasp at this good stuff, it's not like the good stuff stays any longer. In fact, I just create more stress for myself trying to hold onto it. So why am I gripping so hard? Maybe I can soften. Eventually, that's what happened.

My mind let go. It stopped pushing, it stopped pulling. And there was this deep sense of ease and balance. It felt like, all of the waves in the ocean settled into complete stillness. And I was still able to experience everything in my life, the joy, the sadness, but I wasn't swept around by it.

To this day, it's still the deepest form of happiness I know. Now, this kind of equanimity can get developed over time with the meditation practice. So, if you stick with the app, you can start to experience this too. But you can also access it in a single moment, even right now. What's it like to be aware of what's happening without pushing and pulling, maybe even taking a deep breath.

And resting in this stillness, the stillness of awareness itself. In today's meditation, we're going to continue exploring how to cultivate this equanimity so that you can start to bring it into more moments of your life and feel that this kind of happiness as much deeper than the transient nature of good moments in the absence of bad moments. So thank you for your practice. I'll talk to you shortly and take care.

Cory Muscara

4.9

Cultivating Equanimity

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hey. Welcome back to your daily mindfulness . Today, we're going to discuss one of my favorite topics, equanimity. Although the concept of equanimity can be found in different faith and spiritual traditions, some of the best articulations of it and how to cultivate it come from the meditation traditions. And what equanimity is pointing to is a deep groundedness and balance of mind that is not disturbed by the highs and lows of internal and external experiences.

From one perspective, we might understand this as simply being balanced in the moment. But from a meditator's perspective, this is a profound mind state that can be cultivated over time. So, we'll address both. In 2012, I went on a extended six month meditation retreat. Taking that much time to devote to something, I obviously had some expectations for what I was looking for.

And there was this sense that once I get wherever there was, I would feel some sort of peace or wellbeing. Because of this expectation, many of the experiences I ended up having were filtered through the lengths of, does this match up with what I'm looking for or does it not match up? So for instance, when I first got there, there was this period of very intense physical pain. And my mind said, I don't want this. I tried to be present with it, but there was this part of me that was pushing and resisting. Eventually, the pain passed.

And then, there was a period where it was more pleasurable and enjoyable. I remember, I was walking around the monastery and it felt like every step I was taking was like, my foot was pressing into a bed of marshmallows, very pleasurable. So that's what happened. And then my mind would go, yeah, I want more of that. This is the experience of looking for it.

Tried to be present with it, but there was a lot of grasping at it. And then eventually, that experience would pass. And this rollercoaster persisted, where good experiences would come up, I would grasp at them and then they would pass, bad experiences would come up, I'd push, but they would pass. After a while, what happens when you're paying attention to your experience in that way, the mind starts to learn something. It starts to see that, the more I push against the negative stuff, well, it doesn't make the negative stuff go away.

In fact, it just creates more tension. So why am I pushing so hard? And then it starts to say that, oh, the more I grasp at this good stuff, it's not like the good stuff stays any longer. In fact, I just create more stress for myself trying to hold onto it. So why am I gripping so hard? Maybe I can soften. Eventually, that's what happened.

My mind let go. It stopped pushing, it stopped pulling. And there was this deep sense of ease and balance. It felt like, all of the waves in the ocean settled into complete stillness. And I was still able to experience everything in my life, the joy, the sadness, but I wasn't swept around by it.

To this day, it's still the deepest form of happiness I know. Now, this kind of equanimity can get developed over time with the meditation practice. So, if you stick with the app, you can start to experience this too. But you can also access it in a single moment, even right now. What's it like to be aware of what's happening without pushing and pulling, maybe even taking a deep breath.

And resting in this stillness, the stillness of awareness itself. In today's meditation, we're going to continue exploring how to cultivate this equanimity so that you can start to bring it into more moments of your life and feel that this kind of happiness as much deeper than the transient nature of good moments in the absence of bad moments. So thank you for your practice. I'll talk to you shortly and take care.

Cory Muscara

4.9

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