A Conversation With Roshi Joan Halifax


Okay, well Rocha John Great to see you thanks for doing this. It's wonderful to see you again. Thank you so much for inviting me and also giving me this interesting assignment, which as I said to the people who are you know in the background organizing if there is one boundless abode that I need to work on, it is epinay. Why is GonNa be so challenging for you? Because I'm a passionate person I also and maybe more in touch with contemporary events than some practitioners. And I think really since the mid sixties I've been socially engaged and have a sense of what it is to actualize justice in a world that is increasingly fraud and increasingly. Unfair. So you know I feel the suffering I have a lot of loving kindness toward people, sympathetic joys, very accessible to me, and of course, as you know to and I spent many years studying compassion and then it working in the end of life care field. Really working on developing the strength of compassionate my own life but equanimity has been the if you will the biggest assignment but the one I'm least compelled to explore. So I think your team for asking me to do this because it gave me a chance to look at my own behavior. But also how important this quality is in the world today. Jehovah suspicion perhaps even subconsciously that equanimity would be the enemy of effective social engagement. Well, as you know, the near enemy of equanimity is indifference and sometimes equanimity literature has been described as neutrality. So I think that the near enemy expression of what we know is equanimity is a challenge but I looked in as. Equanimity. Having big arms not arms that are overweight per se but big arms. So big that it can hold everything it rejects nothing. and. This kind of reminds me of what it is to be a grandmother. Of, grandmothers heart that's an expression we used in then row by Shin. This is a heart that is fear. So anytime. We hold something apart from us. We're afraid of it. And Grandmothers Heart. Means, we're including everything I want to go deep on Gra-. Grandmothers Heart, which he wrote about in recently published essay, which will link to in the show notes but step back for a second. How do we define equanimity? What is it? Well the Pali Word is interesting the polly word is who pick up and it had literally means to look over. Another way of. Describing in his to look with patients. And I've described it as a kind of Meta cognition where you are bearing witness internally to whatever is rising and holding whatever's arising, not pushing it away not grasping at not being ruled by like and dislike but the equity has this quality that is quite fascinating. In other words I use the image of robot of Grandmothers Heart, and grandmothers heart has this feeling of you know I've lived a life I've given birth to children. My children have given birth to children I've seen birth and death birth and death. and. Grandmothers heart has wisdom has insight. So it is why I believe equanimity is laced throughout the different exalted lists of realization in Buddhism,

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