What Does It Mean To Be A People of BALANCE?
A Reading from Sylvia Boorstein, from Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There
Equanimity doesn’t mean keeping things even; it is the capacity to return to balance in the midst of an alert, responsive life. I don’t want to be constantly calm. The cultural context I grew up in and the relational life I live in both call for passionate, engaged response. I laugh and I cry and I’m glad that I do. What I value is the capacity to be balanced between times.
Essay- Speak the Truth, But Not to Punish
“[Thich Nhat Hanh] looked at me in a quiet, piercing way that stopped my breath, and said slowly: “Speak the truth, but not to punish.”… Understanding this koan is a work in progress for me but the more I ponder it, the more it seems to be about balance, speaking up against injustice with courage and passion but with greater awareness of the dangers in becoming overly adversarial and treating those who disagree as foes… We must be willing to stand in the shoes of others if we are to debate controversial issues with equanimity and avoid gridlock… Thich Nhat Hanh’s koan brought me back to his advice to hold our anger with an energy of mindfulness, like the sun shining upon a flower, penetrating deeply until the petals open. Anger can give us the mettle to speak with courage and conviction, but also the venom that blinds us to the views of others.