Equanimity’s role in lovingkindness
“It’s not easy to be very present with suffering and not fall into despair–to overcome the feeling of our own powerlessness or helplessness at fixing things.”
That’s from Real Happiness at Work, the chapter called Resilience In The Face of Great Pain.
This resonates with me a lot, regarding professional and also personal matters. Now in my work as a teacher for first graders in Thailand, there is one particular student I so desperately want to help. I so wish I could fix a troubling family situation for him, but the harsh reality is I cannot. It’s not within my role as his teacher, wouldn’t be culturally appropriate, and not to mention the lack of clarity around what such “fixing” could possibly look like. It isn’t obvious what would help calm him and make him feel loved.
I try to keep a balanced mind, with a wide perspective, a mind state known as Equanimity. To practice Equanimity and bring it in to my work day, I have tried using phrases from this great book:
“May I find the inner resources to be able to truly give”“May I offer love knowing I can’t control the course of life, suffering, or death”“I care about your pain, yet cannot control it”
I find these especially tough in regards to young children, so open and in need of care. Even still, it’s true that I cannot control the course of life, culture, family. It’s hard but these phrases have helped.
Thanks for reading,