The purpose of this meditation is to contemplate the whole Lamrim cycle of meditations in the light of equanimity.

I began by doing breathing meditation until my body and mind were nicely relaxed, and my attention was not wandering.

I then thought about what the Lamrim is. The Lamrim is a set of 21 meditations which are like a toolkit for fixing my mental continuum. At the moment my mind is diseased – it suffers from delusions which are like harmful diseases which come and go in my mind. When they arise they cause me pain and suffering. The Lamrim meditations allow me to identify negative thoughts, and to oppose them when they arise in my mind. Slowly I will drive out my delusions and heal my mental continuum.

I thought about equanimity. This meditation is specifically about how I relate to other living beings. When I meet a friend I feel pleased, when I meet someone I don’t like I feel displeased, and then I meet someone I neither like nor dislike, I develop ignorance.

These feelings arise in dependence upon others, but my view is often different from the view of others. If I find someone to be irritating and someone else finds them to be entertaining, which of us is right? It is clear that we are both relating to different projections we are making onto the same person. These projections come from our side, not the side of the other person.

Therefore it makes as much sense to become unhappy in the presence of an ‘irritating’ person as it does to become happy in the presence of an ‘irritating’ person.

Therefore we need to find a more logical way of relating to others, which is more rooted in reality. My kind teacher, Geshe Kelsang, has shared with me (in his book The New Meditation Handbook) the wisdom of all the previous Gurus who all agree that the best way to relate to others is with a universally warm and friendly attitude. This warm and friendly feeling is equanimity. It is a smooth and stable feeling which stabilises our mind and stops it being knocked off balance by the people we meet.

I thought about this and about what the Lamrim as a whole means in the light of equanimity. It seemed to me that while equanimity produces stability of mind with respect to other living beings, the Lamrim in general produces an overarching stability of mind with respect to all phenomena.

I thought about the feeling of equanimity and how by engaging in the Lamrim sincerely I will be able to develop a completely stable and even mind, capable of encountering any circumstances without becoming unbalanced.

It struck me that this is complete freedom. What do we mean when we say ‘freedom’? We imply that there is an absence, a separation, a disconnection from something that was previously present or had an effect. So to have a mind which is completely free from the effects of appearing phenomena is freedom.

By practising the Lamrim, we will have complete equanimity and complete freedom from suffering.

I let my mind rest on this idea of being completely free with a calm stable mind and felt a very deep sense of being mixed with a universal equanimity. I stayed with this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop equanimity and become completely free from suffering, for the sake of all living beings.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remain aware of the projection-like nature of all appearances, and maintain a mind of stable equanimity.