Equanimity means an attitude of impartiality. If you practice loving-kindness and compassion, you will easily have a joyful attitude which will help you develop a natural balance or equanimity. You will not make arbitrary discriminations between people, or groups of people or any sentient being. Every single living being is part of our family and one of our best friends. So don't make discriminations like, "I want happiness for myself or a certain group of people, but I don't really care about what those other people have to suffer." Don't discriminate at all in this regard. Your practice of love and compassion, as well as your joyful attitude, is to be shared equally for all sentient beings, like sunlight radiating in all directions. This is equanimity.

On a deeper level, whatever we experience in this world doesn't really exist in a solid or substantial sense. It merely exists in a dreamlike way. When you naturally perceive and experience things in this manner you will not cling or hold onto any attitudes at all. Everything appears like a rainbow or the reflection of the moon in water. You unceasingly perform activities to benefit all sentient beings without any attachment. This is known as the state of great equanimity. If you start clinging to love, compassion, and joy, you become very territorial. Your understanding can't become immeasurable. It won't even become very open. The practice must be applied with an impartiality free of ego-clinging, yet continually expanding and intensifying. That is the principle goal of equanimity practice.

Buddha gave an example of this nondiscriminating attitude by saying that our impartiality must be like the disposition exhibited by a sage when distributing gifts. When siddhas give gifts to their guests, they make no discriminating judgments like, "I should give this to this person, I should give that to that person..." They just give freely and openly to all. This is a good example of equanimity.


Immeasurable Equanimity