The Razor’s Edge: Balance

Recently my family and I went to a 5 star restaurant for desserts. One always expects a lot from 5 stars.They are at the pinnacle of luxury and service, or at least we expect them to be 🙂 Somehow when we think of the best restaurant, we expect the best of everything or at least some things. But usually there is no clear ‘best’ – as everyone’s tastes are different. How can the same dish prepared for a lot of different people be the ‘best’ for all of them? It won’t be.

What I did notice was that the AC was just at a certain temperature. It wasn’t too cold, nor was it less. Just right. The water that was served – it was not too cold (that is hard to drink) but it wasn’t room temperature either. It was just right. We ordered a few desserts and they were not all great. But they were good. Each one was good. For some people a particular one was a favourite but even for others it was quite good. So what I understood was that this restaurant has managed to find the right balance. Just the right AC and water temperature. Even the foods made in such a way that most people will like it, even if not Love it. So you won’t find everything to be the ‘best’ but it will be ‘good’.

It is true that some people may still not like somethings. I have an uncle who constantly feels hot, he will only feel comfortable if the AC temperature is chilling. So he would probably feel hot in this restaurant. But for most people they had achieved a ‘just right’ level. There is a consistency in all that they delivered. And that is commendable.

I had a similar experience when I went to Europe. Going to the ‘first world’ I wasn’t sure what I would find. Would everything be dazzlingly awesome? Not really. What I found was that everything was a little bit better. As an example, let’s talk about pizzas – One of my main diet were the vegetarian pizzas. And every cafe I went there was a basic quality in the offering. The kind of ingredients used, the crust texture, the tomato sauce and so on – everywhere a certain basic quality was there. They were not all amazingly delicious. But that consistent quality makes a lot of difference. It leads to relaxation as I know that whatever else, I can always drop into a pizza place and get one decent vegetarian pizza and it will be good.

In life finding this balance is a challenge. There are times when we are awesome and other times when we are terrible. There are times we overdo and times when we don’t do enough. But the challenge is in a basic consistency and balance within ourselves. There is real value in this balance.

As part of my spiritual process I gauge my actions and interactions with people. How much is needed in a situation? How much should I involve myself in things. Holding myself back at times and other times to push myself completely into something. It is a matter of constant self awareness. It doesn’t remain so constant but the effort is on nonetheless.

How do you manage your equanimity?

It is for this inner balance that I feel Buddha has spoken about the ‘Middle Path’. An easier understanding of this path is that you don’t get extreme about anything. Don’t totally suppress sensual desires on your spiritual path but don’t indulge in them like a slave either. Be moderate.

But the higher and tougher implication of the Middle Path would also be to find that Right balance where you are doing just enough. Walking a razor’s edge. An unwavering focus with complete balance. Similar to surfing – amidst the wild throes of the sea you find a calm and balance to surf through. It is a short lived balance but the one we achieve within ourselves needn’t be.

There is also a flip side to this view about equanimity and balance that people become too docile and passive. They start taking apathy and docility as a spiritual trait. This is why Sadhguru always propounds ‘Let everything happen to you’. Good, bad, ugly, ecstasy, grief, sorrow, bliss – let everything happen. Because it is when everything is happening, we can walk the razors edge. We can find the balance and move beyond it all.

Avoiding agitating situations so that we can be balanced is not what it is. Throwing ourselves in anything and finding ourselves in completely mad situations and yet being balanced and centered and add a dollop of some utter joy that is what we are talking about. Now that is some balance. 😉

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