The Secret to Inner Strength

I would like to share a word that I learned about five years ago. The origins of its meaning are through Buddhism - although there is no requirement in this article to convert or find Zen.

The word is ‘Equanimity’ which is an inner strength that keeps us balanced in the middle of all that is.

There are two forms of equanimity, the one that comes from observation (self and others), and the one that comes from inner balance. When they come together this is mindfulness.

Equanimity can give us protection from the “eight worldly winds”: praise and blame, success and failure, pleasure and pain, fame and disrepute.

Becoming attached to or excessively elated with success, praise, fame or pleasure can develop a greater sense of anguish when the winds of life change direction.

For example, success can be wonderful, but not if it leads to arrogance or ego.

One approach to developing equanimity is to cultivate the qualities of mind that support it.

Mental qualities that support the development of equanimity are:

  • Integrity

    What we think is what we say, what we say is what we do.

  • A well-developed mind

    A developed ability to remain calm and to concentrate.

  • A sense of well-being

    Smelling the roses, being grateful, acts of service.

  • Understanding

    Tolerance of others, openness to diversity.

  • Being Aware

    Knowing our hot and cold buttons. Laugh at yourself.

  • Letting go

    Of worries about things we can do little about (past or future).

As mindfulness becomes stronger, so does our equanimity. We see with a greater independence and freedom. We are empowered.

Give it a go.