Upekkha

The real meaning of Upekkha is equanimity. Not indifference in the sense of unconcern for others but as a spiritual virtue, Upekkha is stability in the face of life vicissitudes. It’s evenness, unshakeable freedom of mind, a state of inner equipoise that cannot be upset by gain and loss, honour and dishonour, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. Upekkha is freedom from all points of self-reference; it is indifference only to the demands of the ego with its craving for pleasure and position, not to the well-being of one’s fellow human beings. True equanimity is the pinnacle of the four social attitudes that the Buddhist texts call the divine bodies: boundless loving-kindness, compassion, altruistic joy and balance. The latter does not override and negate the preceding three, but perfects and consummates them. Upekkha (Balance) comes when we’re grounded, literally in touch with the ground of the self, being humble. Upekkha is one of the Four Sublime States (Brahma Vihara), which are purifying mental states capable of counteracting the defilements of lust, aversion and ignorance. As a Brahma Vihara, it is also one of the forty traditionally identified subjects of Buddhist meditation (kammatthana). To practice, Upekkha is to be unwavering or to stay neutral in the face of difficulties of life, such as loss and gain, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and censure, sorrow and happiness.