Many times since then, the reminder of the power of equanimity has been shared with me. It has become an important force in my life. When I am struggling and resisting life, it is a reminder to me that I am not seeing the bigger picture and that things are unfolding according to a Divine plan that I cannot see.
Take some time this week, to notice when you are flowing with life and when you are resisting or judging what is unfolding in your life.
Next week, will be The Power of Equanimity, Part 2 where I will talk more about Equanimity and provide some tools to help us nurture an attitude of Equanimity in our lives.
Until then, please share your comments and questions below.
The Power of Equanimity Part 1 of 3:
The Lotus Blossom has long been a symbol of Equanimity. While rooted in the mud, the flower floats on top of the water above the muddy waters of attachment and desire.
When I began my spiritual journey many years ago, one of the first lessons I was taught was the Power of Equanimity. A friend gave me a recording of a talk by Ram Das telling an old Chinese story of a farmer and his horse. . . . . . the intention of the story was to demonstrate the gift of equanimity. The story was so powerful, it has stuck with me all these years. Here is the story:
The Farmer and the Horse
One day in late summer, an old farmer was working in his field with his old sick horse. The farmer felt compassion for the horse and desired to lift its burden. So he left his horse loose to go the mountains and live out the rest of its life.
Soon after, neighbors from the nearby village visited, offering their condolences and said, “What a shame. Now your only horse is gone. How unfortunate you are!. You must be very sad. How will you live, work the land, and prosper?” The farmer replied: “Who knows? We shall see”.
Two days later the old horse came back now rejuvenated after meandering in the mountainsides while eating the wild grasses. He came back with twelve new younger and healthy horses which followed the old horse into the corral.
Word got out in the village of the old farmer’s good fortune and it wasn’t long before people stopped by to congratulate the farmer on his good luck. “How fortunate you are!” they exclaimed. You must be very happy!” Again, the farmer softly said, “Who knows? We shall see.”
At daybreak on the next morning, the farmer’s only son set off to attempt to train the new wild horses, but the farmer’s son was thrown to the ground and broke his leg. One by one villagers arrived during the day to bemoan the farmer’s latest misfortune. “Oh, what a tragedy! Your son won’t be able to help you farm with a broken leg. You’ll have to do all the work yourself, How will you survive? You must be very sad”. they said. Calmly going about his usual business the farmer answered, “Who knows? We shall see”
Several days later a war broke out. The Emperor’s men arrived in the village demanding that young men come with them to be conscripted into the Emperor’s army. As it happened the farmer’s son was deemed unfit because of his broken leg. “What very good fortune you have!!” the villagers exclaimed as their own young sons were marched away. “You must be very happy.” “Who knows? We shall see!”, replied the old farmer as he headed off to work his field alone.
As time went on the broken leg healed but the son was left with a slight limp. Again the neighbors came to pay their condolences. “Oh what bad luck. Too bad for you”! But the old farmer simply replied; “Who knows? We shall see.”
As it turned out the other young village boys had died in the war and the old farmer and his son were the only able bodied men capable of working the village lands. The old farmer became wealthy and was very generous to the villagers. They said: “Oh how fortunate we are, you must be very happy”, to which the old farmer replied, “Who knows? We shall see!”