Meditation: Calm, How to Meditate: Inner Smoothness Length: 11 minutes Where: On a bench, Fryman Canyon How It Felt: AMAZING Who Joined Me: Steve
Recently my husband, Steve, brought up a concept he was learning about: equanimity. I have to admit, it sounded interesting, definitely, but I did not understand it at all. It sounded like something really positive, and fascinating, but I didn’t go much deeper than that.
So, cut to yesterday. It was an absolutely gorgeous day in LA, and we decided to go for an afternoon hike at Fryman Canyon, down the road from where we live. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: I pinch myself when I think about how lucky I am to live somewhere so beautiful and with so much outdoor space. During a pandemic, it’s really saving my mental health!
We both slowed down and intentionally absorbed the views, the trees, the fresh air, the beautiful birds (I think we saw a hawk! Does anyone know birds from this area?), and just the general peace and calm around us. The conditions were perfect for meditating. At the end of it all, we both said we honestly felt as if we were on vacation. So peaceful. So much beauty. So relaxed.
So, anyway, equanimity! We found a nice spot with a stunning view and settled in for the meditation, once again using the gorgeous Calm app. The “lesson,” if you will, dealt with “inner smoothness,” essentially cultivating the ability to be unfazed by the things that are happening to or around you. This is a word I didn’t even know a week ago, and when the universe tells you twice, once when Steve brought it up and again in this session, you pay attention!
As I mentioned in my goals for this year-long challenge, I truly want to be a less reactive person. The idea that someone else has control over the way I feel or respond makes me crazy. I would like to find this promised land of peace inside! I would love to feel minor annoyances (and major ones!) slide off of me like I’ve been coated in slick oil. I totally aspire to be an “emotional ninja,” and I can see the path more clearly than ever before.
For those who are also not so familiar with this concept, it was explained to me in all the ways listed above, but here are some other definitions I found to help clarify:
- “…not pushing away or grabbing onto experience…. not tensing up to hold on to something or resist it, but instead, relaxing into the moment.” (Calm)
- “mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation” (“official” definition)
- “Buddha describes a mind filled with equanimity as abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility, and without ill-will.” (YogiTimes)
Truthfully, I feel I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of what equanimity means for me and in general, as well as how to reach it, but you can be sure I’ll be devoting a lot of energy to understanding and achieving it over the next year! I don’t remember being as excited about a concept since I discovered the Law of Attraction.
On a practical note, you may notice this blog post is coming the next day, even though I didn’t do a sleep meditation. I decided to expand my rules to always allow for next day posts about my meditation experiences, as long as I’m actually meditating daily. Sometimes life is more important than self-imposed deadlines. Last night Steve and I had one of the most wonderful “date nights” we’ve had in a little while, starting with the hike, going through dinner, a movie, and some lovely quality time.
Those connections with our people are truly the most important things in the world. If 2020 reminded me of anything, that was it. Goals, discipline, work, self-care, all important, too, but balance, balance, balance above all else. Always. ❤