Meditation on Equanimity

Meditation on Equanimity [1]

As we approach death, it is good not to have excessive attachment to friends or hatred of enemies but rather a feeling of friendliness towards all – friends, enemies and strangers alike. This meditation is taken from Venerable Thubten Dondrub’s teachings on compassion given in 2004 at Hayagriva Buddhist Centre.

Select a friend, not your best friend or someone you are sexually attracted to, but a lesser friend. Then think of a stranger who you can picture in your mind. Finally consider someone you dislike, maybe they have hurt you, but don’t pick someone you hate. Visualize these three real people in front of you.

See that they are three human beings just like you who all want to be happy. Now ask, “Why is that person my friend? Why does he or she seem more deserving of my attention and energy? Is it because they bolster my ego? Is it that they fit with my self-cherishing thought?” Now try to remember what caused them to become a friend when you first met them. What was it that changed them from, say, a stranger into a friend?

You expect the friendship to go on, yet one rude word to you, one criticism, may kill the friendship. Friends often fall out; marriages break apart. So why exaggerate the friendship as your exclusive source of happiness and well-being? It is unhealthy to think, “Only these people like me and make me happy.”

But don’t be mistaken: with your friends, the object of the meditation is not to cut the friendship; you want to cut the attachment. If you generate a valid basis for the friendship, it will last longer and be healthier.

Read the Complete Meditation on Equanimity