A Simple Path: Journey of a Hedgewitch

*The Hedgewitch lives in the space between the Village and the Forest. Between the mundane and the magical. S/He lives with a foot in both worlds.
This column is dedicated to the Hedgewitches of the planet earth.

May In the Hedge: Be The Mountain

In my study of yoga, I found some underlying principles which are generally Buddhist in nature, that  fascinated me, ever since.

There are 4 basic principles:
1. Love
2. Joy
3. Compassion
4. Equinamity

Now, these first 3, I have them licked! I love love in all its many forms. I have no trouble incorporating love into my life, whatsoever.
Joy! What a wonderful gift and blessing, and I engage in active joy all the time.
Compassion- I am empathetic, so comapssion, a no brainer for me.
But when I got to equinamity… I didn’t even know what the word meant.

After looking it up, I wasn’t sure I really knew what it meant, either.

equa·nim·ity (ek’w? nim’? te)

the quality of remaining calm and undisturbed; evenness of mind or temper; composure
(as copied from yourdictionary.com/equinamity)

This is not the same as being in a peaceful place. This is calmness and deep composure, despite the circumstances. No matter what.

The Buddhist description of this state of consciousness is Being the Mountain.
On the mountain, the winds blow fiercely, and the snow falls, sometimes covering the peak for months at a time.
But the mountain never responds, because it knows that all that is meant to be simply is.
The mountain doesn’t complain, or become afraid, even while glaciers might scrape its face away.
The mountain just is, regardless of the conditions.
The mountain enjoys a state of non-sentient equinamity.

Now, as a sentient being, I have considerably more trouble with this concept of equinamity.
I am rather reactive, it turns out.
I tend to fret and to become enflamed and to respond outwardly, as a rule.
So, the idea of being able to truly Be The Mountain is one so alien to my consciousness.

Yet, I am curious about it, and even sense a growing desire to be the mountian.
I have elected to actively explore this concept in my own life, and to use “Be the mountain” as a mantra when things become emotional for me. It is such an easy and basic visualization. Just Be the Mountain.

In my life, I have recently become aware of some serious problems with the folks I hold dear, and the opportunities to practice equinamity have been abundant. Organ transplants, Cancer, and serious addicition have come to call just as the winds and snow call on the mountain. This is my time to practice.

In my case, the ‘winds’ are always accompanied by a physical sensation. A tightening of the chest. An unconscious holding of the breath. My muscles tighten and seem to be bracing for something.
As I become aware of the stress building in my body, I am reminded to recognize the sensation, and underlying emotions and then release them through the breath.
In this way, I give myself permission to notice my thoughts and feelings, and then allow the sensations of response to pass from me.
I am not holding my stress in parts of my body which then suffer physically for it.

To practice equinamity is not to be unaware, or in denial, about the conditions. It is to acknowledge the conditions and then to allow the response to them flow out again, like the tide.
I am, clearly, no expert, and am just barely even aware of the full impact of what equinamity can do for a life if applied mindfully. However, I do know that equinamity has come to me as a tool to utilize in my personal practice, as I begin to understand it.

I know many of us have issues in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones which can stress us out to the point of madness. I pray that the gift of equinamity can help to bring about a deep calm in your lives, as you work through them.
Just keeping the visual of the mountain in mind can help remind us to breathe and release, when stress begins to mount in us.

If there are those who have walked a Path that has allowed them to master equinamity, I would love to hear from you, as I am always excited to learn from the experience of others.

Brightest May Blessings to you all!