The Benefits of Equanimity Meditation
One way to cultivate equanimity is through meditation. In a study conducted by Clermont Auvergne University in France, Catherine Juneau and colleagues examined the effects of meditation on equanimity, or the ability to remain calm even in difficult situations. As it turns out, meditation increases the amount of equanimity a person experiences.
The first step to developing equanimity is to accept all of your feelings. This means not running from your feelings, resisting them, or engaging in them. This will help you stay in balance and be less likely to engage in negative emotions or be stuck in unpleasant situations. Developing equanimity requires practice, so focus on small steps.
Developing equanimity is not easy. In fact, most people find it impossible to remain equanimous in every situation. But by practicing meditation, you will train your mind to react less. It will also help you to develop emotional strength. By focusing on developing equanimity, you will be able to deal with all kinds of situations without feeling upset.
While meditation is an important part of developing equanimity, it is not a prerequisite to practice. Beginning meditators often lack the nonjudgmental attitude that is needed to cultivate equanimity. They may become discouraged when their thoughts or actions become disruptive. They may also actively suppress their emotions. For these beginners, understanding the relationship between mindfulness and equanimity can be helpful. Developing mindfulness is the foundation of cultivating equanimity.
Equanimity meditation is a practice in which the two essential qualities of mind–fortitude and compassion–unify. When the mind has this quality, it is like the sky, where there are no obstructions. By contrast, the ego is a fixed and perceived object that constantly seeks to achieve and maintain its self-identity. It is the ego-aspect that causes karma, which in turn causes birth. This karma is recursive, which means that it will continue to occur. By gaining equanimity, the mind becomes a shrine to the gods and the world.
In the study, participants were asked to rate the intensity of 30 words, representing eleven emotional states. They answered on a 6-point Likert scale. Higher scores reflected greater equanimity, while lower scores indicated less equanimity. The results of the study suggest that equanimity can be a learned trait.
Developing equanimity can improve your energy levels and help you deal with situations in a more effective manner. It also gives you a clearer understanding of your own feelings and makes you more responsive to situations in your life. Practices that increase your equanimity include energising breathwork techniques that utilize the relationship between your breath and the autonomic nervous system.
The ES-16 is an assessment tool that can help researchers understand the role of equanimity in the mindfulness model. It can also be used as a tool to assess progress during mindfulness-based interventions.
Ways to cultivate
Cultivating equanimity is a challenging practice. While we can’t be totally equanimous in every situation, it’s possible to train ourselves to respond less reactively to life’s ups and downs. Cultivating equanimity is a great way to build emotional strength.
Practicing equanimity begins with calming breaths and mantra meditation. During the meditation, you should focus on your desire for happiness, freedom from suffering, and service to others. It’s important to recognize the joy you find in the world and balance this desire with the reality that we can’t control what other people do.
While equanimity involves accepting all situations and all beings in the world, equanimity also requires us to practice equanimity in relation to ourselves. The hardest part of cultivating equanimity is learning to take responsibility for our own happiness.