A reflection on practice by Marcia Rose
Upekkha in the Pali spiritual language (the language that the Buddha’s original teachings were first transcribed into) is a powerful force in our practice, a powerful force in the whole of our life. It manifests as the equipoise, the balance or equilibrium between the opposing forces in the mind of the desired and the undesired. The equipoise of equanimity offsets the weightiness of greed and aversion. It’s that point of balance in the middle of the see-saw of life.
As Equanimity blossoms it shows up in our practice and our lives as fearlessness, great strength, and ease within the mind and heart, keeping us balanced and impartial in the midst of it all.
As awakening beings, one way you can practice this essential quality of mind/heart is as one of the Brahma Viharas/Divine Abidings. The classical Theravada phrase used in this form of Equanimity practice is this:
‘I am/you are the heir or owner of my/your karma (my/your ‘deeds’ of thought, speech, and bodily actions). My/your happiness or suffering depends upon my/your actions (of thought, speech, and body), not upon my wishes.’
As it is done in the Brahma Vihara practice, one silently repeats this phrase over and over to oneself, staying very present and mindfully aware, but not getting caught or seduced into the stories that may show up. After directing the phrase to yourself for a few days, you can then slowly over time begin to bring in other individuals, such as someone who has been of benefit to you in your life, a dear friend, a family member, and even a difficult person. As we go on with this practice a very natural reflection and understanding will begin to blossom, not through discursive thought but simply through the process of the practice itself and your growing trust in its power.
You might consider trying this practice for 10 or 15 minutes each day keeping an open mind and heart towards the process and its fruits.
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