Parami of Equanimity

Here are some quotes and other readings on equanimity:

From the Dhammapada (Gil Fronsdal translation):

The restless, agitated mind,
Hard to protect, hard to control,
The sage makes straight,
As a fletcher the shaft of an arrow….

For those who are unsteady of mind,
Who do not know true Dharma,
And whose serenity wavers,
Wisdom does not mature.

For one who is awake,
Whose mind isn’t overflowing,
Whose heart isn’t afflicted
And who has abandoned both merit and demerit,
Fear does not exist.

From: A Treatise on the Paramis trans. by Bhikkhu Bodhi:

The perfection of equanimity is the attitude of impartiality toward desirable and undesirable beings and formations, dispelling attraction and repulsion, accompanied by compassion and skillful means.

Equanimity has the characteristic of promoting the aspect of neutrality; its function is to see things impartially; its manifestation is the subsiding of attraction and repulsion: reflection upon the fact that all beings inherit the results of their own kamma is its proximate cause.

“When there is no equanimity, the offensive actions performed by beings cause oscillation in the mind. And when the mind oscillates, it is impossible to practice the requisites of enlightenment.”

From Verses on the Faith Mind, Seng-ts’an, Third Zen Ancestor:

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who hold no preferences.
When neither love nor hate arises,
all is clear and undisguised.
Separate by the smallest amount, however,
and you are as far from it as heaven is from earth.

If you wish to know the truth,
then hold to no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.

When the fundamental nature of things is not recognized
the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
The Way is perfect as vast space is perfect,
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.

Indeed, it is due to our grasping and rejecting
that we do not know the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in ideas or feelings of emptiness.
 Be serene and at one with things
and erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
….
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
there is no objection to anything in the world;
and when there is no objection to anything,
things cease to be— in the old way.
When no discriminating attachment arises,
the old mind ceases to exist.
Let go of things as separate existences
and mind too vanishes.
Likewise when the thinking subject vanishes
so too do the objects created by mind.

The arising of other gives rise to self;
giving rise to self generates others.
Know these seeming two as facets
of the One Fundamental Reality.
In this Emptiness, these two are really one—
and each contains all phenomena.
If not comparing, nor attached to “refined” and “vulgar”—
you will not fall into judgment and opinion.
….
When in harmony with the nature of things, your own fundamental nature,
and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
However, when mind is in bondage, the truth is hidden,
and everything is murky and unclear,
and the burdensome practice of judging
brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefit can be derived
from attachment to distinctions and separations?

From the Summer 1010 Buddhadharma magazine, Sharon Salzberg offers these phrases for equanimity practice:

May I offer my care and presence without conditions, knowing they may be met by gratitude, anger or indifference.

May I find the inner resources to truly be able to give.

May I remain in peace, and let go of expectations.

May I offer love, knowing I can’t control the course of life, suffering, or death.

I care about your pain, yet cannot control it.

I wish you happiness and peace, but cannot make your choices for you.

May I see my limits compassionately, just as I view the limitations of others.

Here are some other equanimity phrases:

“May I have peace amid the changes in my life, and may I have peace amid the changes in others lives.” *

“May I be undisturbed by the changing circumstances of my life,”

“May I be aware and at peace with the changes that happen in every life and to everyone,” or

“May I offer my efforts and help, knowing it may be of great, some, or even no benefit.”

Another beautiful example of a support to cultivate equanimity in our lives is the famous Serenity Prayer, which asks for the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Other equanimity quotes and phrases can be found here:

Equanimity Quotes from IMC

“It is our duty to compose
our character,
not to compose books,
and to win, not battles
and provinces,
but order and tranquility
for our conduct of life”
— Montaigne

Here are some links to talks on equanimity:

Paramis: Equanimity – Andrea Fella

Equanimity – Gil Fronsdal

Parami Series #10 Equanimity: The Unshakable Heart – Myoshin Kelley

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