Equanimity in the face of difficult situations


Each morning, part of my routine in getting dressed is to pause and slowly put four purple beaded bracelets on my right wrist.

I wear them to remind me of what are called Brahmaviharas, or “Four Heavenly Abodes,” in Buddhism: kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Taking this moment each morning, and again at night as I take them off before bed, reminds me of the importance of bringing these four qualities into my life each day.

The one that stands out to me now, in the midst of so much political and societal turmoil, is equanimity, the practice of cultivating balance in the face of challenge.

Gary Snyder reminds us, “In this world of onrushing events, the act of meditation – even just a “one-breath” meditation – straightening the back, clearing the mind for a moment – is a refreshing island in the stream.”

What practice might remind you to find equanimity in the midst of the rush and challenges of your day?

        • A piece of jewelry worn with intention?
        • A pause before answering the phone?
        • Lingering a moment in the doorway before entering a new space?

Betsy Rose has a song for children called “Equanimity.” Have a listen. Perhaps you will enjoy it as much as my grandsons and I do!

May you find your own ways to cultivate equanimity in your life.

To what one breath can do,

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