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Why do I keep forgetting what that word means? I’m constantly having to look it up.

Okay, here’s the dictionary: “evenness of mind...”

Here’s the thesaurus: “evenness of emotions or temper”

Now I remember. In my Zen books, equanimity is used to denote a state of mind that is calm, mainly because it is free of attachments.  

What does it mean to be free of attachments? So my cat is not eating enough. She’s been sick, and it’s important to her recovery to, well, eat. And drink water. So I give her the food, and I have 2 choices:

     1. I watch, forgetting to breathe, to see if she’ll eat something. In my mind I go through catastrophic storylines about what will I do, I can’t deal with her not eating, I can’t possibly lug her to the vet again, etc. etc.

     2. I say a little prayer, try to remember we are all part of some Master Plan that I don’t understand (or not, you know, I don’t know), remember to breathe, and consciously walk away to let the cat eat or not eat, which she would do anyway if I were standing over her breathless and fretting. She’s going to either eat or not eat.

The second choice is what I’m trying for. It’s more in line with equanimity, and more in line with letting go of attachments. In this case, the attachment is: “OMG she’s got to eat or I don’t know what will happen or how I’ll handle it; life is so hard; I can’t deal with this; I’m totally despairing.” That is what I’m trying to NOT be attached to.

Equanimity is hard.

It requires surrender - that I let go of my jabbering, worrying, drama-filled thinking process - and just allow myself to be a part of the flow of life, doing the best I can, and letting go of the rest.

There are times when I can do this. This “equanimity.” These are times when I feel more connected to the “Big Picture” and less to the minutia, the what-if’s, and the OMGs.

I doubt if anyone can achieve total equanimity all the time, under all circumstances. I know I can’t. But I like the concept, and for me, it’s something I’m going to strive for.

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