Equanimity is a state of calmness or composure in the face of difficult circumstances. I suspect many of us presume that achieving that state means somehow bypassing the strong and perhaps difficult emotions. I do not believe that that is necessarily true. It may be true for some of the great masters (although I somehow doubt it), but I don’t it is true for those of us starting out. If I relate equanimity to Ignatian indifference – something I am far more familiar with and have written about here – I suspect that any attempt to suppress our emotions leads us up a blind alley. In my much the same way that denial of our desires doesn’t lead to indifference. (Indifference can be understood as freedom with respect to the outcome – regardless of my desire) I am beginning to believe that we need to let the emotions flow through us. Not to get trapped by them, or indeed, to over identify with them. But we do need to acknowledge them, to feel them, and then to let them pass. The point here is that the lived experience of equanimity may not feel totally calm and unfazed by whatever life has to through at me. I may indeed experience strong emotions, but if I acknowledge them, they can ebb and flow without consuming me. When we presume that we are striving to achieve a state of inner peace, too often we think that means that strong emotions have no place. I think the capacity to experience emotion is one of the greatest gifts we have as human beings. Without this capacity we would have no experience of love. So surely to be fully human is to fully integrate our emotional experience. For those well versed in Myers-Briggs – I am an ISTJ, for the enneagram conversant I am a 5. I admit this simply by way of saying I am not naturally a great ‘feeler’ – I am still learning to value my emotional experience. So this comes not as a plea to the analytical to ‘feel’ more, but rather as an analytical person beginning to discover what may be an important path.