So I’m reading today’s Tricycle quote and have a total brain fart. I mean I go completely blank after reading the word “equanimity”. If I am paying attention, this going blank usually means something – whether it’s that I need more sleep, I’m over worked, or that the essence of the the word is speaking to my unconscious mind. Doesn’t matter, point is – it’s about paying attention, a little mindfulness – make time for more sleep or cut back on work or look deeper into the meaning of the word.
(BTW, here’s the on-line definition of the word: equa·nim·ity (ek′wə nim′ə tē, ē′kwə-) noun, the quality of remaining calm and undisturbed; evenness of mind or temper; composure Etymology: L aequanimitas < aequanimis < aequus, even, plain + animus, the mind: see animal.)
After reading the passage again it was definitely the latter. Here’s the passage; you can read why it spoke to me after, if you’re interested.
The near enemies are qualities that arise in the mind and masquerade as genuine spiritual realization, when in fact they are only an imitation, serving to separate us from true feeling rather than connecting us to it. . . .
The near enemy of loving-kindness is attachment. . . . At first, attachment may feel like love, but as it grows it becomes more clearly the opposite, characterized by clinging, controlling and fear.
The near enemy of compassion is pity, and this also separates us. Pity feels sorry for “that poor person over here,” as if he were somehow different from us. . . .
The near enemy of sympathetic joy (the joy in the happiness of others) is comparison, which looks to see if we have more of, the same as, or less than another. . . .
The near enemy of equanimity is indifference. True equanimity is balance in the midst of experience, whereas indifference is withdrawal and not caring, based on fear. . . .
If we do not recognize and understand the near enemies, they will deaden our spiritual practice. The compartments they make cannot shield us for long from the pain and unpredictability of life, but they will surely stifle the joy and open connectedness of true relationships.
– Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart
Yeah, this touched a nerve. You see I haven’t always been good at confrontation. It throws me at times, takes me out of my center (I mean have you met my dad? lmao). So I can be avoidant. I can fight a good fight. I can usually win an argument. My desire however, is to really be at peace – while remaining in – and continuing with – the conflict (whether the conflict is with myself or projected onto another). And I gotta say, I’ve come far along in this journey.
I have also seen this trait in many self proclaimed “peace loving” spiritual teachers. They claim equanimity but are really just conflict-avoidant (and because I also have tendencies in this direction, these teachers tend to really get on my nerves and push my buttons. In other words, they bug the shit outta me, lol). What’s funny is I can handle the narcissistic grandiose spiritual teacher who will usually never avoid conflict. Cause with them, what you see it what you get.
This is much more deceptive; it is a masquerade. It is the near enemy to spiritual growth.
Well, now that I’ve analyzed it, haha – maybe I can sit with it. Chances are indifference is disguised as equanimity somewhere in my life. I’m just not sure where yet, I don’t see it . . . but I bet my friends can tell me; I usually keep them close *wink*