Equanimity a balanced mind free from strong attachment and aversion, based on the ignorance of not knowing how things are.
This blissfully peaceful mind unfortunately doesn’t come naturally. It takes practice to see our way through deluded minds like attachment and aversion, which are distinctly lacking in happiness or peace. These states of mind are based on the ignorance of not knowing the truth of how thing really are. They cause us to grasp at some people and things, and reject others, causing all manner of problems.
Equanimity on the other hand, is a feel-good mind. It comes from holding others with a gentle, tender regard (Geshe Chekhawa). As we practice this, it naturally develops into what Shantideva describes as seeing “all beings equally with the eye of compassion.”
That’s rather than the angry mind viewing others with the wish to vaporise them. That doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t matter how many planets the Daleks destroy, or how many people they re-format – it’ll never make them happy.
¸ . • * ¨
As Shantideva says, “selfish desires are a bottomless pit.”
Equalising the Doctor and the Daleks
The understanding that we all want to be happy and free from suffering, leads to understanding the equality of self and others – that there really is no difference between any of us – we all want to be happy and free from suffering. Even the Daleks and the Doctor – they’re just going about it the wrong way. As long as they remain alien to each other, there’s little hope.
I love the Doctor to bits. He’s been one of my heroes since I was a kid. But this is his 11th regeneration, and he’s still suffering in similar ways to us humans on earth. How many remembered lifetimes does it take to work out that brilliant as he is, his methods just don’t work? Each time he saves the Universe, or just the Earth from annihilation from one heinous threat, another one comes along. There has to be another way, doesn’t there?
The problems just keep on coming.
You don’t have to be a fan of the Doctor to know he’s got history with the the Daleks . They’ve got generations of enmity between them.
It’s understandable really – The Daleks are “a powerful race bent on universal conquest and domination, utterly without pity, compassion or remorse.” (Wikipedia) And the Doctor caused the mutual genocide of both the Daleks, as well as his own race of Time-Lords.
Doesn’t seem like much there’s much room for finding common ground there.
But this is science fiction, set in space!
There’s lots of room for improvement in space.
The potential for these peaceful, powerful minds is found in Asylum of the Daleks.
(nb. ** 1st episode SPOILERS. I’ve not got a T.V, so I’m only just catching up with the new series myself)
Briefly, having been kidnapped by the Daleks and forced to help them; the Doctor and his companions are helped to navigate through the Dalek asylum by a ‘slightly sexy genius’ called Oswin. She’s immediately likeable, pretty, brave and perky. She’s trapped in a shipwrecked cabin and surrounded by Daleks. She’s only got a dictaphone and the Daleks’ hive mind that she’s hacked into for company.
As Oswin says, she’s “keen to move on.”
The Doctor and Rory feel affinity for Owin and don’t want her to suffer. These are the loving minds loving minds of compassion that Buddhism promotes, and the ones that will bring us peace and happiness. They’re the ones to work on.
Definitely preferable to vaporising people.
Continued in Equalising Doctor Who & The Daleks with Buddha’s Wisdom (pt 2)
Meditations on Equanimity from Daily Lamrim on Equalising Self and Others and Equanimity
Asylum of the Daleks ep 1, series 7 on BBC1 iPlayer
(so it’s good for the UK until 6th Oct, not sure about anywhere else)
Shantideva quotes from Meaningful to Behold, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso