Equanimity Permeating Experience

Published on Apr 28, 2017

A discussion about equanimity towards all experience.
From the seven day retreat at Mercy Center October 2015

The Path To Enlightenment And Equanimity by Sarada Chiruvolu

Meditate your way into transcendence

Equanimity is a kind of self-control that springs from a state of mind, and complements self-realization or enlightenment. It is part of the benefit package we receive from experiencing that divinity within, through meditation. It can help us cope with major life-events. Self-realization helps us gain mastery over our mind, so we are always at peace, regardless of any disturbances that may take place around us. That is equanimity. Through meditation we can lift ourselves to a higher dimension of consciousness. Meditation is the only direct way to attain enlightenment or self-realization and to achieve a state of equanimity.

Do you wonder why some people find the idea of meditation pleasant or soothing, while others seem almost frightened of it and have a great deal of trouble sitting quietly, even for few minutes? We all meditate to a certain extent when we focus on performing a certain task with our limited consciousness, whether it’s repairing an engine, helping our child with homework, or screwing in a lightbulb. Without certain amounts of focused concentration, we wouldn’t be able to do anything effectively.

Meditation is not simply helpful to experience enlightenment or self-realization, but to live a less stressful life and function well. Sitting quietly – even for five minutes a day – can make a big difference in our day-to-day functionality and keep our mental and physical abilities intact, while providing so many other benefits.

If meditation – which entails focus and concentration – can do wonders in our life, why then, are some of us terrified to meditate?

Meditation is not easy to do, especially in this age where there is so much materialism, skepticism, atheism and hedonism. Coping with all the obstacles of modern life can be quite challenging. However, uplifting ourselves to generate peace and a state of equanimity is not impossible. It is within our reach, if only we can shift our priorities and sit still just for five minutes every day.

Equanimity means being in constant harmony with all happenings in the universe and carrying the equanimous state throughout every situation and in all dealings with other people. It is a unique type of attitude that we carry toward life in general, with the utmost evenness and composure, exercising self-control and maintaining our dignity. We do not feel any different whether we are experiencing pain, sorrow or joy.

Realization helps us gain mastery over our mind, so we are always at peace regardless of any disturbances that may take place around us. We react to pleasant and unpleasant situations with the same perfect balance, harmony and equilibrium. We do not get overly excited or sad with any situation, and we are able to handle everything with utmost calm and ease. We can be in the world but not get consumed by it.

When you display this kind of attitude, some people may mistake you for being indifferent about worldly happenings. It is not that realized individuals do not have any emotions or feelings, only that they don’t let them have any lasting impact. They have emotions but don’t become emotional.

One advantage of not being ruled by emotions is that we view all beings impartially. Once we are freed from personal likes and dislikes, decision-making becomes easier. Also, this makes it easier to avoid getting overly worked up or stressed during disagreements with other people, or to hold grudges for a long period of time. There is no residual agitation that builds upon itself, creating more negative thoughts. We become a non-excitable entity, where absolutely nothing can damage our inner peace. This is the equanimity we gain from being with our true nature.

There is no need to run toward sense objects, nor do we need to take ourselves away from them. Most of the time the mind remains peaceful, accepting everything as it is.

The precise time at which we gain the ability to transcend and attain equanimity depends on where we are in our evolutionary journey. Until then, the best habit to develop is to meditate, meditate, meditate…

Read more on these topics in my book Home at Last, published by White Cloud Press.
Source: Spirituality Health

A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times by Jack Kornfield PhD (Author)

When the path ahead is dark, how can we keep from stumbling? How do we make our way with courage and dignity? “Inside each of us is an eternal light that I call ‘the One Who Knows,’ writes Jack Kornfield. “Awakening to this wisdom can help us fin dour way through pain and suffering with grace and tenderness.” For anyone seeking answer during a trying time, he offers “A Lamp in the Darkness,” a book-and-CD program filled with spiritual and psychological insights, hope-giving stories, and guided meditations for skillfully navigating life’s inevitable storms.

The practices in this book are not positive thinking, quick fixes, or simplistic self-help strategies. They are powerful tools for doing “the work of the soul” to access our inner knowing and to embrace the fullness of our life experience. With regularly practice these teachings and meditations enable you to transform your difficulties into a guiding light for the journey ahead. Join Jack Kornfeld as your trusted guide as you explore:

· Shared Compassion-a guided practice for planting the seeds of compassion and opening the heart to all that life brings

· The Earth Is My Witness-a meditation to establish firm footing in the midst of darkness, centered by a steady witnessing presence

· The Practice of Forgiveness-what Jack calls “the only medicine that can release us from the past and allow us to truly begin anew.”

· The Temple of Healing-a guided visualization to meet our own inner healer

· Equanimity and Peace-a meditation for maintaining balance and acceptance regardless of the situation

Just as it is certain that each life will include suffering, explains Kornfield, it is also true that in every moment there is the possibility of transcending your difficulties to discover the heart’s eternal freedom. With A Lamp in the Darkness, he offers you a beacon for yourself and others until joy returns again.

Jack Kornfield, Ph.D. co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, in 1975 and later, the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. His books include After the Ecstasy, the Laundry and the national bestseller A Path with Heart (over 100,000 copies in print).

Table of Contents

Foreward by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Introduction: An Invitation to Awaken

1. The Wisdom of Our Difficulties

2. The Earth is My Witness

3. Shared Compassion

4. Awakening the Buddha of Wisdom in Difficulties

5. The Practice of Forgiveness

6. The Temple of Healing

7. The Zen of an Aching Heart

8. Equanimity and Peace

9. Your Highest Intention

10. The Four Foundations of Mindfulness and the Healing Journey

Afterword: The Return of Joy


If you’re reading these words, you’ve probably hit hard times. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one, or maybe you’ve lost your job, or received a difficult diagnosis, or someone close to you has. Maybe you’re divorcing or you’re in bankruptcy or you’ve been injured, or your life is falling apart in any number of ways. Maybe daily life itself has become too much for you.or not enough. But even in the best of times there’s plenty to worry about: seemingly endless wars and violence, racism, our accelerating environmental destruction. In difficult times, personally or collectively, we often begin to wonder not only how we can get through this difficult patch; we begin to question existence itself.

Look Inside

Jack Kornfield: 12 Principles of Forgiveness

The acclaimed author and teacher explains the principles that are integral to the process of forgiving, according to Buddhist philosophy.

Sit Like a Mountain: An Image of Equanimity by Sharon Salzberg|

Sharon Salzberg teaches on why equanimity is important, and how to foster it.

The fourth Brahma Vihara is equanimity, where the predominant tone is one of calm. In this spacious stillness of mind, we can fully connect to whatever is happening around us, fully connect to others, but without our habitual reactions of rushing toward what is pleasant and pulling away from what is unpleasant. Developing equanimity, in effect, is how we can forge a space between fear and compassion and between sorrow and compassion. This is how we cultivate lovingkindness without it turning into impatient entreaty or demand, “Get happy already, would you!” This is how we expand sympathetic joy.

Without equanimity, we might offer friendship only as long as our offering is acknowledged and appreciated, or as long as someone responds in kind. We would offer compassion to ourselves only when we weren’t overcome by pain, and compassion to others only when we weren’t overcome by their suffering. We would offer sympathetic joy only when we did not feel threatened or envious. When we cultivate equanimity, our tremendous capacity to connect can blossom, for we do not have to push away or cling to anything that may happen.

Sometimes in teaching meditation we say, “Sit like a mountain. Sit with a sense of strength and dignity. Be steadfast, be majestic, be natural and at ease in awareness. No matter how many winds are blowing, no matter how many clouds are swirling, no matter how many lions are prowling, be intimate with everything and sit like a mountain.” This is an image of equanimity. We feel everything, without exception, and we relate to it through our own strength of awareness, not through habitual reactions. Practice sitting like a mountain sometime, allowing all images and feelings and sensations to come and go, as you reside in steadfastness, watching it all arise and pass away.

We Can Do It

Abandon what is unskillful,
One can abandon the unskillful,
If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do so.
If this abandoning of the unskillful would bring harm
and suffering,
I would not ask you to abandon it.
But as the abandoning of the unskillful brings benefit
and happiness,
Therefore, I say, “abandon what is unskillful.”
Cultivate the good,
You can cultivate the good.
If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do it.
If this cultivation of the good would bring harm
and suffering,
I would not ask you to cultivate it.
But as the cultivation of the good brings benefit
and happiness,
Therefore, I say, “Cultivate the good!”

—The Buddha

The-Kindness-Handbook_S.Salzberg_CVRAdapted from “The Kindness Handbook” by Sharon Salzberg. Copyright 2008, 2015 Sharon Salzberg. Published in paperback in August 2015 by Sounds True.

This passage is one of my favorites from the Buddha’s teaching. I think it beautifully exemplifies the extraordinary compassion of the Buddha. The mind of the Buddha sees not good and bad
people, but suffering and the end of suffering, and exhorts those heading toward suffering through greed or anger or fear to take care, to pay attention, to see how much more they are capable of, rather than condemning them. He sees those heading toward the end of suffering through wisdom and lovingkindness and rejoices for them.

It is a passage that inspires our sincere efforts. In the end, these ideas of how to live a better life aren’t something to admire from afar or hold in an abstract way. We need to experiment with them, breathe life into them, see how they affect our minds and hearts, and see where they take us. Turning our lives in the direction of kindness can be done . . . It can only bring benefit and happiness. I can do it. You can do it. Otherwise, the Buddha would not have asked us to do so.


The Dance with Pain ~ Tara Brach

Published on Aug 5, 2015

“Pain is inevitable and suffering is optional.” In this talk Tara explores the difference between pain and suffering and examines the most common, yet often unconscious, ways we resist pain. She then shares practices that help us find balance, equanimity and awakening in the midst.

A Guide to Awareness and Tranquility by William Samuel (Author)

PURPOSE, SCOPE AND PROMISE Reader, I have discovered a peace of mind and tranquility that are utterly beyond belief and with the discovery has come the ability to communicate it to others! By peace of mind I do not mean the ecstatic ebbing and flowing happiness of religion. I have discovered an nonfluctuating, unchanging, permanent sense of well-being that transcends every human concept. I call it Transcendent Tranquility. It is not new. It is the peace beyond understanding spoken of by the saints and sages throughout history. No, it is not new at all, but I have found it; and, miraculously, with the finding has come the ability to give it to others. Indeed, to the special few who want it and are willing to listen, I find myself able to speak of this Transcendent Awareness such that they are able to understand for themselves and be it!

Listen: The purpose of this book is to give this Awareness of Tranquility to you. More than that, this volume is intended to prove to the reader that the awakening to Reality and its experience of Peace does not, contrary to the popular belief among the students of metaphysics, require the difficult, step-by-step processes of metaphysics, education, experience and A Guide to Awareness and Tranquility Paperback – 2003 by William Samuel (Author). Instead, simplicity and honesty are its keynote. Tender, childlike simplicity and honesty are the hallmarks of Reality’s Tranquility. If this sounds presumptuous, I will make it more so. I tell you that the nearly effortless practice of the tender precepts spoken of in this work will open the reader’s door to a tangible, practical, down to earth bedrock, nonfluctuating Tranquility such that nothing the world has to offer can prevail against it!

This is not another idealist’s vague promise of happiness; not another metaphysical system nor philosophic fantasy intended to explain away despair, disease and death! This is not another fanciful theory. These words are written such that you may prove them and see for yourself if they are honest. Tranquility call it Equanimity, Serenity or Peace, if you like has little to do with education and less with religion. Even metaphysics, that esteemed (and disparaged) higher religion of the intelligentsia just coming into its own in the highest places of human authority even that metaphysics of the Absolute has little to do with the Transcendent Identity destined to survive the upheaval already begun; yet, the Reality which is its warp and woof is effortlessly available to the childlike, right here and now. How do I know? Because I have found it! I am it! It is I!

The days have already begun when we shall see the world as it is presently perceived come tumbling about our feet in a strange sickness and inscrutable insanity. Within a personal concept of self, it is inevitable that we shall see what appears to be a mysterious mental madness eating away at the vitals of a society holding itself separate and apart from Reality.

Indeed, soon to make its appearance under the beguiling label of individual and collective freedom will be a searing, drug-abetted, uninhibited and nearly unrestrained metaphysical upheaval of such masochistic proportions that it will lay bare, dismember and devour everything conventional and familiar. It is our inescapable obligation to help as many as are willing to discover, uncover and be the Tranquillity untouched by turmoil a tranquility as effortlessly available as our own Identity. Those who find it are enabled to be passers-by, tall and untouched by the world. Those who find it are healed. William Samuel

William Samuel, (September 2, 1924-May 22, 1996)

Mystic, Writer, Teacher of Truth and Self-Discovery

William Samuel taught and wrote from his beloved hills of Mountain Brook, Alabama, for over 40 years. William was a brilliant and prophetic spiritual teacher who taught and lectured on the subject of metaphysics based upon the Absolute, or as referred to today, non-duality.

WS&F Primary Awareness

William Samuel audio recording from his home in Mountain Brook, Alabama, 1978. From the “Notes from Woodsong” series of audio CD’s available at http://williamsamuel.com

Sandy Jones (William Samuel) – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Jan 11, 2015
Sandy Jones is the Literary Executor to the William Samuel legacy. In 1996, she was given his entire catalog of works and today is the spokesperson for William Samuel’s message- publishing and promoting the entire William Samuel catalog.

In addition to being the registered agent for the works of William Samuel, she is the owner and mentor of the Woodsong Center for Self-Discovery located in Ojai, California. The Center hosts gatherings for readings and group discussions based on William’s message. Sandy is also the proprietor of Celestial Song Mystical Emporium a popular gift shop and gallery located in Ojai, CA.

Sandy is an accomplished artist and writer, currently writing a book, which she says “is simply a joyful expression of my love for Life and the the Living Unbound Beauty and Peace that has found me.” The book, currently untitled, is scheduled to be published in the Spring of 2015. You can find more of her art and writings at her website woodsongjournals.com.

Email Sandy at: samuelandfriends@gmail.com

William Samuel – September 2, 1924-May 22, 1996

William Samuel was a prolific writer and teacher. William Samuel was known as the “teacher’s teacher” perhaps because so many teachers came to study with him. There was an inordinate number of philosophers, theologians, and members of the academe. In the later years there came physicists and mathematicians. It seemed to William that he would get the most earnest and dedicated students of Truth. Quite a number of Taoists and Buddhists had found William’s message and came to study–even some who were called Masters. Many have gone from his study to become authors, writers and teachers. In some marvelous way his story has been found by the metaphysical and scientific elite of all the word–at least by a few. He said “When it is told perfectly, my whole world will hear.”

Although, Mr. Samuel did not embrace the idea of being called a teacher, saying “I’ve been telling my own story–how it happened and what it has allowed me to understand–for over 30 years. That is not the same as being a teacher.” He was a genuine sage and mystic. He brought the message of non-duality, or as he called it the Subjective View in a simple heart felt words that everyone interested in their Self discovery can understand and profit from. A humble man who discovered true peace and tranquility that remains steady and true even during the changes and turmoil encountered in life. Never seeking to be well known or venerated himself, he has been widely recognized by many as a genuine true Master. William’s message is that he did not embrace the idea of being called a teacher, saying “I’ve been telling my own story–how it happened and what it has allowed me to understand–for over 30 years. That is not the same as being a teacher.”

“Every teacher, book, writer, practitioner, sage, guru or peanut vendor, by whatever name, title or label they go by, is an aspect of the Awareness (Identity) “we” are. We take the book from the shelf most likely to render a specific service at a given moment. Exactly so, we have appeared to go to the philosophy, teacher, church, friend, stranger or peanut vendor that has unfolded as sufficient for the moment–but that philosophy, teacher, church, friend or stranger is within the awareness We are. So is the peanut vendor. We are forever looking at our Self.”…..William Samuel

William Samuel was one of the first Americans to sit with Ramana Maharshi
The story of his visit goes something like this:

At 18 years old he graduated from Clemson and was immediately made captain of infantry and sent off to battle in China, during W.W.II While in China, William’s troops were doing battle along with the British and Indians near the Burmese boarder. It was during that time when William apparently was given some much needed R&R. He took advantage of that time and went to see Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvannamalai, South India. William, at that time, was only 21 years old. This two week visit took place in April of 1944. It is believed that William was among the first American students to visit Sri Ramana. Up until then the visitors were mostly Indian and British.

Soon after Williams visit many more westerner’s began coming to see Sri Ramana.

William was indeed a master teacher who had found a way to communicate honestly and clearly his insights on the Absolute and the premises of the metaphysical, subjective view now often called non duality.

Books: A Guide to Awareness and Tranquility The Awareness of Self-Discovery The Child Within Us Lives 2+2=Reality

Website: http://williamsamuel.com

Interview recorded 1/10/2015

Adyashanti – Merge and unite with what is

Great talk that broadens our perspective about why it really means to allow everything to be as it is, loving what is, non-seperation and becoming the situation that you’re in. To Unite and merge with what is.
The talk is from Boulder Intensive, August 2010.

Adyashanti, author of Falling into Grace, True Meditation, and The End of Your World, is an American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence.

Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years, Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” Based in California, Adyashanti lives with his wife, Mukti, Associate Teacher of Open Gate Sangha. He teaches throughout North America and Europe, offering satsangs, weekend intensives, silent retreats, and a live internet radio broadcast.

“Adyashanti” means primordial peace.

Violence in the World: part 2 – What is Our Responsibility? ~ Igor Kufayev

Published on Aug 10, 2014

Igor Kufayev on the responsibility and greater implications of maintaining in a state of equanimity when faced with rise of violence in the world. Excerpt from an intimate gathering, Vancouver, BC Canada. July 2014

Violence in the World: part 1 – What is Our Response? ~ Igor Kufayev

Published on Aug 10, 2014

Igor Kufayev on the responsibility and greater implications of maintaining in a state of equanimity when faced with rise of violence in the world. Excerpt from an intimate gathering, Vancouver, BC Canada. July 2014

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