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Calm, Clear Mind

Often, we cling to joy and run from sorrow, but the practice of upekkha—"equanimity"—can help us embrace every experience.

By Anne Cushman

After my yoga practice, I sped back to the preschool, eager to pick up Skye. I spotted him sitting at the edge of the schoolyard, silently studying the other children as they dangled off play structures and chased one another, squealing, around the playground. He looked content but a little bemused, like an anthropologist researching the behaviors of a tribe he finds fascinating but can't quite comprehend.

"What did you do in school?" I asked him as I scooped him up in my arms.

He gave me a radiant smile. "I just stood there and watched," he said.

"But was it fun?" I persisted.

He thought for a moment. "It's OK to go to school," he said solemnly. "But it's OK to go home now too."

"Hmm," I thought as we walked back toward the car. "Sounds deceptively like...equanimity."

YJ contributing editor Anne Cushman is West Coast editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and author of From Here to Nirvana: The Yoga Journal Guide to Spiritual India.

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Reader Comments


What a great article! Love the conclusion - we all have such wisdom when we are in little packages :)
I often think yoga is about refinding all the wisdom we are born with before fear and pain make us doubt ourselves, in our bodies and our souls. Bet the author's son does a beautiful shoulderstand too! x

Kim Tierney

That was beautifully said. Thank you.


We need some calm in our lives.
I remeber those days when my daughter went to kindergarten. I was crying my eyes out when she left me. Now that she is in high school, I am now teaching her and my son how to be calm from yoga. They both enjoy it as well as I do -

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