As a solid rock cannot be moved by the wind, the wise are not shaken by praise or blame.
– The Buddha
Wouldn’t that be nice? Sometimes quotes give me a clear understanding that I have some work to do. Although through years of practice I have developed greater trust in being able to handle an ever-changing world, it can still hurt when I feel blamed. Especially when it comes from those who are close to me.
Often at the end of my practice though, despite whatever else might be happening in my life, I can often feel that deep sense of what the yogis call equanimity – a sense of balance and calm that feels a little like that rock that can’t be moved by the wind.
Have you felt that at times too? If you have, savor those moments and also learn from them. What gets us to that place? For me, it has a lot to do with being present to everything and yet at the same time letting it be. By generating a level of acceptance of the messiness of life and that state of “impermanence” – everything always changing. It also helps to recognize that feeling of vulnerability and hold it gently rather than pushing it away or hiding from it.
When I embrace and understand my vulnerability around blame, it often translates into a profound desire to love and be loved. When seen by others as ” a not loving person” it is easy to see it as a personal failure. Instead, if I hold the feeling of such vulnerability softly, I am sometimes able to see it differently. I notice a strong desire to love. And sometimes I act unlovingly. This calls me to an acceptance of imperfection – the reality of being a “work in progress”. When able to do this, I can learn from it and use it to support transformation as I move forward in life. The act has become “onward leading” instead of stopping me in my tracks wallowing in shame or blame. I cannot learn if I’m being blown by the wind. I can find my rock coming from the deep well of love within that is waiting to be given. In touch with that love, I find some for myself as well in accepting my imperfections. There has to be room for the imperfect being that I am – the one who need not suffer from blame.
And praise can then be experienced differently too. It is nice to receive it because it is clearly being sourced from someone else’s desire to love. But if prone to wallow in praise it can be as limiting to “onward leading” as blame. Yet if I choose, I can also hold this gently too. Offering appreciation for the gift of love that I have been able to manifest. Let me receive praise without the rock needing to move in the wind. It is someone’s desire to love. Let it be received as such.
Whenever you get a sense of equanimity you may want to reflect on it thus. What supports my rock? And how can I find it when I need it? How does my practice help? And how might greater equanimity play out in my life? Try answering these questions in your journal.
Enjoy your day.