Equanimity in Everyday Life
My best days are the days I somehow balance moving through life purposefully without my plans getting in the way of meeting life as it is. These days seem to happen the more I incorporate my mindfulness practices into living – trying, in effect, to turn everything I do into a practice.
There’s a delightful story about the Dalai Lama (a true story, although my memory may get the details wrong) that I heard a while back that illustrates this same equanimity Salzberg speaks of in her article:
At his residence-in-exile in India, the Dalai Lama was with a group of religious leaders talking about the role of religion in life and how religions could come together around common values like compassion. Heady stuff. Then the door opened and an aide brought in a refugee from Tibet who, escaping persecution, had just arrived after a long and difficult journey over the Tibetan mountains.
Having made this same journey himself as a young man, the Dalai Lama excused himself from the lofty conversation, and went over to greet the refugee. Hugging the newcomer and listening with complete attention, the Dalai Lama showed visible empathy and compassion toward the refugee as he heard the man’s story. Then, as the refugee was escorted from the room for food and rest, the Dalai Lama turned back to the religious leaders and immediately re-engaged in their conversation with his complete attention.
The gentle wind of philosophy. The piercing wind of suffering. The same Dalai Lama. That’s equanimity.
To access the mindfulness and compassion exercises mentioned above, please visit our Practice page.