Equanimity: The Gifts of Non-Reactive Mindful Presence

Tara Brach


Now, I'm a stay in. Welcome. It's very nice to be with you and I share to begin with a cartoon that I got recently that I found really easy to relate to an was of. Two mice in each of the mice is on its own spinning wheel and one is frantically moving, and the other one is just sitting at the bottom of the wheel looking very relaxed and at peace, and of course, the caption is for that one I had an epiphany. So what was the epiphany and to me the tiffany's like this amazingly valuable reminder. That, we forget regularly that we have in any moment. The capacity to pause. To, become still to get off that wheel of obsessive thinking and of racing through the day and of running away from something unpleasant or uncomfortable that in any moment. Any moment we can stop we can stop we can breathe. We can let go a little and trying to do it right now just any intentional moment of. That gift letting go letting go and then it's possible to enter the next moment with more presence and balanced clarity and heart. In Buddhist psychology, there are what are called the four divine abodes and each one is an expression of what it means to be at home in the sacred. And the divine abodes are loving kindness, compassion joy, and the fourth, which makes all the other ones. The previous ones possible is equanimity. So equanimity is this. Inner balance this ease, our spacious -ness of presence it's a a non reactive awareness. And we're able to come into rest and be and that spacious nece that in presence than all the other qualities of life that we so cherish like compassion like love arise. Naturally, we can actually move into the next moment when we were coming from equanimity with our full intelligence, our full heart. I often reflect on Viktor Frankl 's famous quote. Because it's really an equanimity quote. and. He says that in-between the stimulus and the response, there is a space. And in that space is your power and your freedom. So, it's really really meaningful on our path. To, be able to do at that mouse did and. Just stop racing to stop the spinning wheel come to rest. especially. In Current Times as we consider, we're in times of multiple pandemic and. With so much uncertainty and threat, and so many of us feeling. Reactive distressed. Being able to step off that spinning wheel. And access that space of equanimity that that refuge of inner ease. Is a tremendous gift. It affects all who retouched. So. This is what will be exploring together this evening. How we can move from reactivity to that space of non judging balanced presence. And as we explore this You might be considering what are the waves that you're encountering in your life whether it's individually or your sense of our world That really stir you up. The waves that gets you spinning when you most really need to be able to. Touch again that inner refuge. So this'll be our inquiry in shifting from reactivity to that presence that allows us to then respond from the best of who we are from our awake carts. Maybe begin by sharing. A story NPR. That's where I heard it or this little girl Melissa is at home and she's drawing and she's all excited because she has just discovered that if you combine yellow and blue, why makes green and says, she shows her mom and her mom says Oh that's beautiful and you can show your dad when he comes home. So that evening her father who's very busy Wall Street finance person broker. Comes home and he's very agitated and he walks in the door talking on his cell phone and she's Little Melissa's following him around the house. You know trying to get his attention, but he's on the cell phone. Any goes into his office knees on the cell phone end turns on the computer and she's tugging at his pants trying to get them to look look look at what she's done. And he gets irritated and he says, Melissa what are you doing down there? And she said Daddy I live down here.

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