Let’s have a look at equanimity. The traditional Tibetan way to generate equanimity is to consider all sentient beings as your mother. The train of thought goes something like this:
1. Our mental bodies (the consciousness) has been in existence since “beginningless time.”
2. The mental body is very different from the fiscal body. The fiscal body dies. Consciousness is clear and knowing. Although our senses are connected to the brain, our true consciousness is not in the brain. All sentient beings have clarity and awareness, even those animals with no central nervous system. Our fiscal form is like a guest house for our consciousness.
3. Because time has no beginning, all sentient beings are connected. Every being was our mother at some point. A loving, beautiful mother.
4. We have to repay that kindness. You are dependent on your parents. All mothers are kindness. When they grow old we get to take care of them again - but we get to take care of them even in their (and our) next lives.
5. Equanimity refers to ALL, without measure. Once everyone is equal, we can wish on them happiness and the real cause of lasting happiness - not causing suffering through temporary pleasure (although stealing may be fun, it will cause negative effects later).
In our Western world, we have many issues with our mothers. Tibetans can hardly understand this - their mothers are selfless, kind and brave. In our paternal society, however, children are not valued as they could be. Our mothers may put their careers or their husbands ahead of children. And about sixty years ago it became very popular to teach new mothers to not give in when their babies cry. “They have to learn to self-soothe” was how the mothers were taught. Of course, many of us now know better, and there is a shift towards following instincts rather than books, but if your mother was a good wife she was probably not a great mother.
So if you have a mother like this, one you have issues with, consider someone who you would put into the “selfless, kind and brave” category. Perhaps a mentor or a teacher, your best friend, your lover. There are many people in your life who show you kindness.
Consider that your consciousness has been around for so many lifetimes that every single being was at one point your best friend. How much do you love your friend?
Equanimity is being able to love every being (even your mother) with the same care as you love your friend. And if you are lucky enough to have a wonderful mother, to love every being as much as you love her.