Equanimity (and the time Sharon Salzberg said she liked my bike)

Photo by  Jon Flobrant

Photo by Jon Flobrant

When I was training to become a yoga teacher, I was assigned a passage from the Bhagavad Gita to study and report back. Mine was:

You have a right to your actions,
but never your actions’ fruits.
Act for action’s sake.
And do not be attached to inaction.

Self-possessed, resolute, act
without any thought of results,
open to success or failure.
This equanimity is yoga.

After googling “what does equanimity mean?” I printed out these lines and taped them to the edge of my computer screen (where they remain today). Ever since, they've been my guide for living presently and can be summed up with one word: equanimity. 

Imagine my delight this past week when I was able to attend a workshop on equanimity led by my first meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg. Here's the definition of equanimity she offered: 


balance, openness, non-fixedness,
being fully connected to the present moment but not reacting in old ways,
understanding that things are just the way they should be

How does that sound? What does balance feel like for you? Which situations make you feel in balance? Out of balance?

This is only a tiny toe dip into the warm ocean that is equanimity. In upcoming weeks, we’ll learn practices to improve our balance and how equanimity makes way for more connection, compassion, and happiness.