We each have our own reasons for coming to the practice of mindfulness meditation, whether to better handle stress, find emotional balance or improve our overall wellbeing.
Although we may feel the benefit of mindfulness meditation when we are sitting in meditation, its greatest benefit is experienced when the practice comes alive during the moments when we are not meditating: when we suddenly find ourselves overwhelmed at work, in a stressful social situation, stuck in traffic or at any other time during the day when we are met with the unexpected.
Cultivating equanimity – or a sense of calmness or even-mindedness –, naturally comes about with a regular mindfulness meditation practice. Equanimity helps us to notice unpleasant experiences without getting too emotionally caught up in them. The great thing is that it doesn’t take long for us to notice this change in our response to stressful situations.
Equanimity begins to take hold as we develop awareness of our habitual reactions and our defense mechanisms. This newly developed awareness is the first step in cultivating equanimity. Gradually, we are able to pause before jumping to our usual responses. Our ability to pause before reacting through the training of the mind in a dedicated mindfulness meditation practice is one reason many meditation practitioners continuously come back to the meditation cushion.
Meditation instructor Alice Lash offers mindfulness meditation to children, teens and adults in Miami. Learn how to cultivate equanimity through mindfulness meditation with Mindfultime.