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Equanimity describes the unattached awareness of one's experience as a result of perceiving the impermanence of momentary reality. It is a peace of mind and abiding calmness that cannot be shaken by any grade of both fortunate circumstance and unfortunate one. It is a concept promoted by several major religious groups.

Buddhism

In Buddhism, upekkha is considered
Neither a thought nor an emotion, it is rather the steady conscious realization of reality's transience.
It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love.
While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being.
The Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as "abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will.


Yoga

Upeksha is also mentioned in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras (1.33), as one of the four sublime attitudes, along with maitrimarker (loving-friendliness), karuna (compassion), and mudita (gladness, goodwill). This list is identical to the Four Immeasurables in Buddhist literature.

Judaism

Many Jewish thinkers highlight the importance of equanimity (menuhat ha-nefesh or yishuv ha-da'at) as a necessary foundation for moral and spiritual development. The virtue of equanimity receives particular attention in the writings of rabbis such as Menachem Mendel Lefin and Simcha Zissel Ziv.

Christianity

Samuel Johnson defined equanimity as "evenness of mind, neither elated nor depressed." In Christian philosophy, equanimity is considered essential for carrying out the theological virtues of gentleness, contentment, temperance, and charity.

Hinduism

In Hinduism, equanimity is the concept of balance and centeredness which endures through all possible changes in circumstances. According to the Bhagavad Gita, one may achieve equanimity through meditation.

References




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