This week we will look at the final heart energy; Equanimity. Equanimity is like an engine or motor, it makes life come alive. While the soft kindness of Metta gives us capacity to bring the heart into the life of a human being, the even-mindedness of Equanimity is what allows insight to grow. Metta gives us the capacity to stay with suffering without overwhelm (Compassion) and the joy of another without resentment ( Sympathetic Joy) while Equanimity is where the wisdom of these practices shine. It is our patient, non-judgmental awareness that enables all of these heart energies to make sense.
Standing alone, however, Equanimity can seem cold and distant. This is because unlike Metta, Compassion and Sympathetic Joy which related to specific type of experiences, Equanimity is about awareness of all experience. It is about the calm presence that holds experience. In fact, Equanimity is a factor in many aspects of the dharma separate from these heart energies. Two common areas are the paramis and the seven factors of enlightenment.
The best way to explore and practice with Equanimity is in its relationship with the other energies. Equanimity, when rooted in insight, is the guiding and restraining power of the other three. It guards and protects Metta, furnishes Compassion with fearlessness and prevents Sympathetic Joy from becoming a weaken gesture. We will talk about other intersections on Thursday. See you then…