Just One Bucket
This week at CMP we engage in the practice of Equanimity toward All Beings or, if you like aliteration, Equanimity toward Everyone. It is a highly aspirational practice, but even the contemplation of its possibility raises ones hopes and lets the heart soar.
As we move through our day, we find that we have placed people in buckets: those we feel favorably towards, those we are indifferent to, and those we don’t like. Many factors influence which bucket we place people in and these reasons feel very solid and reasonable. Upon further reflection, however, we can see that the reasons are often arbitrary. If the clerk at the checkout counter complimented our jacket we are likely to place her in a different bucket than the clerk who simply rang us up and moved on to the next customer, for example. Much of our “sorting” is done below the line of consciousness. If we perceive someone to be like us in some way, we are more likely to feel more favorably toward them. All of this sorting affects how we interact with others. We may find that we cling to those we feel favorably towards, we have no interest in those to whom we feel neutrally, and we push away those we don’t like.
Equanimity for Everyone encourages us to pay attention to, or to bring above the line of consciousness, our “sorting” behavior. In paying attention to it, we begin to understand its limiting influence in our lives, and we come to see that all beings, just like us, share a desire to be happy. As we rest in recognition of our shared desire, we find that there is just one bucket and we are all in it together. And with that felt sense of commonality, our hearts can open to all beings equally.
It’s hugely aspirational, but every step toward that end lifts our hearts.
We hope you will join us this week as we open our hearts to all beings.
Every weekly CMP session is free and open to the public, suitable for newbies (we’re all beginners!) and those with long-established practices.
Community Sits This Week:
Monday 7:30 PM Sama Yoga 45 Grove Street, New Canaan
Tuesday 2:00 PM Ferguson Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford (made possible by a grant from Bankwell)
Wednesday 12:00 PM New Canaan Library 151 Main Street, New Canaan
**** CMP will be offering two one-hour mindfulness sessions at Trumbull Library on December 11, at Noon and 1PM. And we will restart at Ridgefield Library on January 22. We feel deep gratitude for all public libraries do to support the well-being of the communities they serve!