Today is the Spring Equinox, and this morning brought the mysterious dim-bright light of a partial solar eclipse, before turning into a glorious sunny day. We’re at that stage of the retreat when the end is in sight and my mind starts turning to other things, yet we still have this special chance to drop deeply into the divine abodes.
This morning Ratnavandana talked about “bhavana” as tending the conditions for growth. Just as with plants in...
Ratnavandana again with an inspiring take on the third Brahma Vihara - mudita (sympathetic joy), which she renders as a “joyful resonance”. Her central image is of the lark ascending, the music of its song, and the possibilities for joy within us if we choose them…
Neither a thought nor an emotion, it is rather the steady conscious realization of reality’s transience. It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love. While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being. The Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will.
Equanimity’s strength derives from a combination of understanding and trust. It is based on understanding that the conflict and frustration we feel when we cannot control the world doesn’t come from our inability to do so, but rather from the fact that we are trying to control the uncontrollable. We know better than to try and prevent the seasons from changing or the tide from coming in. Following autumn, winter comes. We may not prefer it, but we trust it because we can understand and accept its rightful place in the larger cycle, a bigger picture. Can we apply the same wise balance to the cycles and tides of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral experiences in our lives?
By jvalamalini on Thu, 19 Mar, 2015 - 15:17A cold bright day in Bristol, and a deep quiet atmosphere in the Buddhist Centre, as we move into cultivating upekkha (equanimity).
As a brahma vihara, equanimity is more than the dictionary definition of ‘calm and composed especially in adversity’. It is a composite of metta, karuna and mudita pervaded by Dharmic understanding, like metta with a wisdom eye. It sees joy and suffering, their conditionedness and the constant flux of everything.
Another session with Ratnavandana, helping establish where we are in the Mandala and in relation to our heart this morning as we set up for the day by chanting the mantra of Amitabha, the great red Buddha of love and light in the West.