top of page

Equanimity Everyone?

What are the antidotes to the Buddhist construct of the three poisons of greed, hate and delusion? They are compassion, loving-kindness, joy, and equanimity. The fourth one, equanimity, seems a bit of a stretch compared to the seeming logic of the first three. So what is it and how is it administered?

"According to Theravadin monk and scholar, Bhikkhu Bodhi, the word upekkha in the past has been mistranslated as "indifference," which has caused many in the West to believe, mistakenly, that Buddhists are supposed to be detached and unconcerned with other beings. What it really means is to not be ruled by passions, desires, likes, and dislikes. The Bhikkhu continues,

It is evenness of mind, unshakeable freedom of mind, a state of inner equipoise that cannot be upset by gain and loss, honor and dishonor, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. Upekkha is freedom from all points of self-reference; it is indifference only to the demands of the ego-self with its craving for pleasure and position, not to the well-being of one's fellow human beings." ( by Barbara O'Brien.)"

Notice when you use a synonym, you are demonstrating equanimity. That is, you are celebrating interconnection rather than isolation- words like elixir, panacea, answer, solution aid, help, relief, succor, balm, medicinal, medicine, palliative, show-up in a Thesaurus, but the word used by Bhikkhu Bodhi, the word equipoise, Is a teisho most revealing.

I have never used the word equipoise. Yet it is seems to be the clear intersection of Right View and Right Action. This awareness is what we call day-to-day Zen. In the now, this awareness "is" mindfulness that is generating insight, that is an unfolding sense of balance, a contervalence...




Next week, October 27, 2020, please join us as Sensei Zenku Jerry Smyers, Associate Abbot, of STO, and Founder and Priest of Mission Mountain Zen in Dayton, Montana, will be our guest Dharma Speaker. Zenku-san, along with Kuwasan Ann Glasmann, were mentors this year in the Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha's Discipleship Program. Sensei Smyers will speak on "The Practice Path of Zen Training in the Silent Thunder Order."

38 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page