Equanimity is the practice of becoming open and accepting of any feelings or triggers that arise. No judgement, no good, no bad. With the understanding that all emotions come and go, and are all impermanent. So why add an extra layer of suffering by trying to hold on to them or chase them away?
By accepting the feelings and being mindful of them as OK, not BAD or GOOD, you stop the cycle of feeding the addiction on a unconscious level. This is a very powerful meditation in the Buddhist tradition, it is very difficult for some. Be gentle with yourself, if you cannot be totally accepting of your feelings right away, that is ok. Just remind yourself that all emotions eventually change, and in fact can never be held onto in the first place.
This meditation can be done as an on-the-spot response to a trigger or as a regularly scheduled meditation.
How to Meditate
- When a strong trigger arises, find a quiet place, sit down with the back straight, and close your eyes.
- Focus on the trigger or feeling, locate it in the body and become aware of all the sensations in and around.
- Say to yourself:
“Oh, hello trigger, my old friend. You are welcome to stay as long as you wish.” “You are just a feeling, you are not inherently good or bad, it’s OK to be feeling this way.”
- At this point just keep focusing in and around the feeling with the understanding that these feelings and thoughts are only temporary and will eventually pass. You can repeat the phrases as many times as it helps.
- If you find your mind has wandered, just accept it and come back to step 2.
- Also you can practice scanning the body up and down, from head to toe, with the same gentle acceptance of what you feel.
How Long to Practice?
I recommend 10 minutes at a time for a beginner, and after awhile you can increase it to 20 to 30 minutes.