Four Immeasurables « Unfettered Mind
Equanimity is defined as the quality of being calm and even tempered, or as composure. The word comes from the proto-Indo-European root ane- "to breathe." (!) via the Latin aequanimus = even tempered, impartial, (from aequus = even + animus = mind). Synonyms are composure, sang froid, and serenity. I think that peace, acceptance, and detachment might also be considered synonyms. The key ideas in the meditation are: 1) freedom from preference, 2) freedom from prejudice, 3) knowing and being known, and 4) "seeing into" things.
Equanimity and the other Immeasurables
What is the difference between no-difference and indifference?
Darth Vadar has equanimity,
"I'd just as soon look at you as kill you," shows composure and impartiality.
"To kill effectively," says a Sergeant Major whose business it is to know, "you cannot hate, you must be cool and composed."
The book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life places upeksha (even mindedness) last in order in its discussion of the "immeasurables," suggesting that maitri (loving kindness), karuna (compassion), and mudita ("sympathetic joy") be taken up first.
I certainly do not want to balance my life on "the dark side of the force:" and i guess that the temptation to do so is so great that three other "immeasurables" are needed to counter-balance the mental balance.
Yet the priority of equanimity seems to me to be proper. I must first acknowledge what i will later come to love, pity and enjoy. Peace, love, compassion, and joy!