A 15-Minute Meditation to Cultivate Equanimity

Diana Winston leads a guided practice to find even-mindedness and balance in uncertain times.

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When you’re faced with difficult emotions, it’s natural to find yourself in a reactive state, but it doesn’t have to be your mind’s default setting. 

In this guided meditation, Diana Winston leads us through a practice to find balance and cultivate equanimity.

Cultivating Equanimity

1. Find a position that’s comfortable and take a few breaths. Invite yourself to soften and connect. Coming into your body and mind, right here, right now.

2. Imagine a time when you felt even-minded and balanced. It could be a time you were about to yell, but instead, took a pause. It could be anything.

3. See if you can bring to mind a time when you felt balanced. Notice if you can see, sense, or feel what it was like. Where were you? What did you see? What did you hear? Most importantly, what did you feel inside yourself?

If nothing comes to mind, you can imagine a mountain. A mountain is solid, strong, and powerful. Can you recall a time you felt the strength of a mountain or imagine what that’s like? What does that feel like?

4. We might say things were as they were. I could be with this as it was. I can be with things as they were. You can repeat the words in your mind. I can be with things as they were. I handled this with strength with equanimity. 

5. Notice what happens inside you as you remember that time or you imagine the mountain. Breathe and notice what’s happening inside you.

6. Now imagine something that’s made finding equanimity difficult. It could be something simple, or maybe you’re overwhelmed by work or lack of work.

Things are as they are. I can be with things as they are. I may not like these things, and that’s okay. They may not be what I want, but I can be with them. I have the capacity to be with life as it is.

As you remember this situation, notice what happens in your body. Maybe there’s some tightness or tension—contraction or constriction or aversion. Maybe you don’t like it. You wish it were different. Just breathe and notice.

7. Now, let’s use words that might be helpful. You can imagine sending these phrases to yourself in this situation or sending them out to the situation.

Things are as they are. I can be with things as they are.

Repeat the phrases and then check in with what’s happening.

You are as you are. I can be with you as you are. I am as I am. May I accept myself just as I am. May I weather this situation with grace, with equanimity.

8. As you say these words, see if you can remember how it felt in the earlier part of the meditation, and import that feeling here.

Things are as they are. I can be with things as they are. I may not like these things, and that’s okay. They may not be what I want, but I can be with them. I have the capacity to be with life as it is.

What words do you want to say to yourself related to your situation? Say them now.

9. Let’s go back to that memory, that imagination of the solidity and strength and capacity that we all have within us to handle what life brings. Sit here with that feeling for a few more breaths. Say to yourself, whatever I have to deal with, that’s coming up that I don’t know about, may I meet it with equanimity.

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