Equanimity towards all

Equanimity towards all

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama spoke on the importance of maintaining equanimity towards all persons we come in contact with after he had attended a seminar on science and religion in Argentina about 10 years ago.  He commented on how one of the participant scientists had made a valid point, noting, “It is very important for research scientists to adopt the methodological principle of not being emotionally attached to their field of inquiry. This is because attachment has the negative effect of clouding and narrowing your vision."

Then His Holiness stated: "This is why, through the practice of equanimity, we try to overcome these feelings of partiality so that we can deal with everything and relate to everyone even-handedly."

"When we practice developing equanimity," the living Buddha said, "sometimes it is helpful to use visualisation. For example, you can imagine three different individuals in front of you: someone who is very close to you, someone you regard as an enemy and whom you dislike, and then someone who is completely neutral and to whom you feel indifferent.  Then let your natural emotions and thoughts arise in relation to these three individuals."

Right away it's clear.  We feel oneness towards the person we love, separateness towards the one we dislike, and hardly anything towards the person who is neutral.
The spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, a refugee in India, since the Chinese took over his country in 1959, explained, "You might begin to see that there are certain grounds for your attachment: the person is dear to you because he or she has done this and that for you, and so on.  But if you then ask yourself whether these characteristics are permanent and whether the person will always be like this, then you may have to concede that this is not necessarily the case.  Someone may be a friend today but turn into an enemy tomorrow.  This is especially true from the Buddhist point of view, when we take many lifetimes into account-someone who is very close to you in this life may have been your enemy in another.  From this perspective there is no real grounds for feeling such strong attachment."

The person you feel indifferent towards now, His Holiness brought out, "May become important to you at some future point."