Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein shares an important lesson on equanimity she learned from Dipa Ma, an Indian-born teacher in the Burmese meditation tradition who is known as “the patron saint of householders.”
This clip was recorded at the Lion’s Roar 2017 Annual Retreat at Garrison Institute “Boundless Love.”
Sylvia Boorstein: I’d like to tell you that I met a woman once. She was the teacher of my teachers. Her name is Dipa Ma. She came to the United States, and my teachers brought her city-to-city to meet all of their students.
She was a lay woman and she lived in Kolkata. She didn’t speak, other than Bengali, so there were translators that she talked through. And one of the questions that one of the people who visited with her asked is, “What’s in your mind?”
She said, “Well, most of the time there’s nothing there except peace and equanimity and loving-kindness.” And that has been very much in my mind since then.
She was a householder. She had a daughter, and the daughter had a son. She had a lot of attachment to him. She said, “You know, I think about him a lot. I worry about him a lot.” But, she had the most tranquility of anybody that I ever met.
That line about “there’s nothing in my mind but peace and equanimity and loving-kindness,” stayed in my mind because it’s just lovely to think they’re all related to each other.
When the mind is at ease, it preserves the equanimity. When there’s equanimity, it preserves the peace of mind. And then, loving-kindness is the expression of a peaceful and balanced mind.
I really take it as a matter of fact about human beings having that potential.
The potential of the human heart, when the mind is relaxed, is to manifest as loving and caring.
Read more about the life and influence of Dipa Ma in “The Inspiring Story of Dipa Ma, ‘Mother of Light,” and “How Sharon Salzberg Found Real Happiness.”