Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity by Shaila Catherine might be helpful to you even if you are not a meditator.  Here’s one reason I think this might be true.

To ease into the first reason, pretend that I have asked the Buddha: “Why are some people happy and others not?”

 Do you imagine he will say: “Meditators are happy?”

No, I do not think so.

I think he will say: “Whosoever stops clinging will be happy.” So the question then becomes, how do we stop clinging? Granted, meditation can help us stop clinging but there are other ways to learn how not to grasp onto things and be happy besides meditation. What comes to my mind? Go to therapy or read books or just contemplate and talk to others about new ways of having equanimity.

I love the word equanimity!  

 “True equanimity is when,” according to Catherine in her book that remains top of my pile, “we remain undisturbed as events change from hot to cold, from bitter to sweet, from easy to difficult.”

While I love the word and the idea of equanimity, I am not very good at it.

For example on Tuesday, I went to a small exercise salon to work out. The woman that comes after me to use the machines has a small dog. She usually arrives early before I am finished. The dog is not on a leash and runs wild. The dog jumps up on my legs. Now in the larger picture of things, this is not a big deal, but I have to tell you that I am upset when this happens. I do not like it. I lose my equanimity.

But a bigger challenge for me, a much much bigger challenge happened on Wednesday when I noted on Amazon, where it lists the number of reviews for my book Fear, Folly & Freud, instead of the 24 reviews that I saw last time, the 24 that I worked SO hard to solicit, the 24 that were glowing reviews, there are now 13. Thirteen! Only Thirteen! So much for my working on equanimity. I want to shout at someone. I am not calm inside. This is a travesty! I am so mad.

I am trying to breathe deeply. Remember equanimity.

Does anything upset your sense of equanimity?


4 Responses

  1. Ha! That Amazon!! So much to be angry at them for!

    I do not blame you at all!! And that dog!! I LOVE dogs, have had four at one time, but maybe an exercise studio is not the best place for a dog. (You probably have more control over that situation that the one with Amazon!)

    My equanimity gets out of whack when I let negative thoughts spiral–I have to remind myself my thoughts are just thoughts and not “truth,” and go out for a walk!

  2. Nancy Shebeneck
    5:57 AM (5 hours ago)
    to me

    Voting rights suppression…
    Climate justice. …
    Healthcare inequality…
    Refugee crisis. …
    Racial Injustice. …
    Income Gap disparities…
    Gun Violence. …
    Hunger and food insecurity…

    • Nancy – what a great list! Losing equanimity about any of those items on your list makes sense to me.
      I guess it is what we do next after losing it that matters.
      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. And for reading!

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