This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness… an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. (Rumi)
Today will determine the future direction of the world. A polarized electorate officially decides who will govern the country. Clarity may come at once, or take several weeks to determine. The significance of the outcome has taken center stage in the lives of many world citizens.
Equanimity is the ability to remain composed, no matter what fate befalls a person. In Buddhist terms, it means to not attach to an outcome such that one loses composure if one’s preference does not manifest. Full acceptance of what is is the challenge.
In shamanic terms, the challenge is to be impeccable in stating and supporting one’s intent, but equally to have no attachment as to whether or not it manifests. When Jeanne and I took the alternative cancer journey, our sole concern was to impeccably follow the signs that guided us. When it became evident that she would be leaving this world we marveled at the journey we’d taken. Success and failure are an equal set of opposites in the shaman’s world. Regardless of outcome one continues to travel one’s path of heart, without skipping a beat.
Polishing one’s link to equanimity is perhaps the major offering of life in Earth School. Earth is a world that requires attachment to survive, yet insists upon loss of everything at death. To open to love while knowing its temporal limits in human form, is the shadow over every human relationship. To retain one’s love in pure spirit form, as one leaps freely into infinity, is the true graduation from Earth School.
The seeds of reincarnation, or limbo, are one’s non-readiness to allow for what is: the relativity of human form in a physical world. To remain in the illusion that nothing has changed is the consequence of unrelenting attachment to all things physical. Indeed, “what a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties… the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals…” (lyrics from Hair). In one form or another, wherever we are, we will remain bound to this world until we arrive at equanimity, the attitudinal ticket to life beyond the body.
Days like today offer the opportunity to get deeply calm and connected to the transcendent dimension of life. Ego is the part of spirit most attached to control in the physical world. Ego has its wants, needs, and expectations. Ego rises in success and sinks in failure. Ego is frequently alienated from its fuller transcendent self and thus invests fully in measuring its worth by its standing in the outside world.
The transcendent self views all experiences of victimhood as opportunities for ego to be in acceptance of all that is, or has been, another definition of equanimity. An ego that has achieved this level of fluidity experiences the constancy of awe, regardless of experience.
Of course, one will have one’s very human reaction to today’s outcome. But, whether it be joy or sorrow, release it in the next exhalation. With equanimity, remain connected to one’s transcendent self, sharing with it this moment in time but being lifted by it to the fuller multidimensionality of life as well.
Finally, let love, the heart of the transcendent self, deliver one to the fullest acceptance of all that life is, with equanimity.