[0030]Living with equanimity

May you remain imperturbable

Upekṣā (उपेक्षा) is equanimity in Buddhism. The Vedics call this frame of mind nityam samacittatvam (नित्यम् समचित्तत्व)—being changeless or imperishable. It’s easy to lose your footing and stumble when life robs you of what you hold dear and destroys your hopes. Likewise, it is easy to get carried away in elation when things are going your way. Things simply happen, it is your mind that infuses events and experiences with meaning. Your brain is primed to predict the probability of certain events taking place. It does this by weighing all the factors, within and without your control, that contribute to successfully produce the event or thwart it. That is, it brings to the fore of the mind, simultaneously, the pseudo images of success along images of failure. The latter act as antagonistic reducers, the net result being a positive or negative determination for any action or event. Now the only difference between pessimists and optimists is in the degree of their aversion to fear of failure and the intensity of their desire or appetite for success at any cost. Both extremes of human nature are driven by perception and as such must rely on this experiential distortion to keep these states going. You don’t want a mind that is constantly sore buffeted between depression and elation. Real strength is the ability to accept situations as they arise and face facts objectively. There is no cloaking facts in perception, with its likes or dislikes, faiths or fears, hopes and doubts. You stay fully present in the event and swiftly do what is required without being swayed by any polarizing factors.

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