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We can approach boundless equanimity both as a practice toward our own thoughts and emotions as well as a practice toward others.

Boundless equanimity is so important, because if we don’t apply it toward our practice of lovingkindness and compassion, there’s a high risk that we’re going to be biased toward different kinds of beings, preferencing those [who] we care more about, those who [we] are more connected to, and ignoring and sometimes practicing the opposite of love, toward those we dislike, or [who] we’re indifferent toward.

[Another reason why] it’s important to cultivate boundless equanimity, and one [reason] I find [especially] helpful, [is when you] start to notice that it’s actually painful when we’re nonequanimous. 

When I’m having an emotion that I dislike, it’s painful because usually I’m resisting that emotion or I don’t want to be with that emotion. There’s pain in that resistance. It’s the same in a certain kind of relationship or situation where I’m disliking a person’s actions, or I’m disliking the situation I’m in. For example, if it’s too cold, too hot, whatever it is, this also forms a sense of pain. 

The way I sum this up is that, essentially, bias is a form of pain, or suffering. It’s a form of dissatisfaction. In the Buddhist traditions, we would call it a form of dukkha. This is why it’s important to open up our biases and practice equanimity on a daily basis, if we can. At the very least, we can try it to see if it can affect us in a helpful way.

Excerpted and adapted from Scott Tusa’s Meditation Month video, Cultivating Boundless Equanimity. Watch the full video here and learn more about Meditation Month here.

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