calmness of the soul

Written by  rebbetzin malkah

The Hebrew phrase for equanimity is menuchat hanefesh, which also means "calmness of the soul."

This same Hebrew root also gives rise to a word that means "rest" (menuchah). If we translate a restfulness of the soul into a state of being, the type of person that appears is someone who is not easily shaken or prone to panic.

The next time you encounter a situation which brings you to the brink of losing your equanimity or disturbing the peace of your soul and mind, practice this simple meditation:

First, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.  Then, imagine you are sitting in a canoe on the shore of a lake.  Next, visualize a motor boat passing by, generating waves on your lake. Try to imagine the waves coming towards you, rocking your canoe, one at a time.  Visualize the waves coming - try and sense the movement of your canoe. Follow each wave to the shore. Notice the pulling back of the water as another comes in.  Keep visualizing this until you feel there are no more waves that could come to shore.Take in the calmness of the water in the absence of waves and the motor boat.  This is your moment to remember:  boats will come in, waves will come, and then the calm water will return.  Boats, waves, rocking - they are part of life. 

What this will achieve for you is the assurance that after the boat leaves, the potential for calm water remains and though your boat will rock, it will not be turned over.  Just gentle rocking - just movement.   This will achieve a lowering of your blood pressure, and will lessen your imbalance regarding the matter at hand.  Guaranteed, the situation will become less urgent and more manageable.

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