On The Way To Even Mindedness

Well known mystics like Paramahansa Yogananda, Rumi, Khalil Gibran and others from various faiths have all written about the importance of even mindedness.
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Well known mystics like Paramahansa Yogananda, Rumi, Khalil Gibran and others from various faiths have all written about the importance of even mindedness. They tell us we should aspire to have a mind that isn't elated when praised or that becomes depressed when blamed. Another aspect of even mindedness they've written about is having the gift of seeing the Divine everywhere and in everyone.

Spiritual teachers often recommend the practice of reminding oneself of the presence of the Divine in every person we meet. It's kind of a tall order to try to see the Divine in someone you heavily dislike isn't it? But I agree that it's a necessary practice for those wanting to align themselves with goodness.

Lately life has forced me to reflect on my own level of even mindedness. I've had a tendency to idolize anyone who inspires me. I think we all do this to varying extents. Our minds label people as "good", "bad", "refined", "uneducated", "enlightened", "ignorant" etc.

It makes sense to me that I would probably have to move away from this tendency at some point in some manner to be able to perceive and focus on the unity (God/One Source) behind everyone. So how does one move away from this tendency?

I can only write here about my own experiences thus far on the journey. I think for me a first step has been to recognize that if I'm having to remind myself of the presence of the Divine in others, not able to see this easily, not able to THINK it easily or having a tendency to get caught in disliking people, I'm probably not as centered in the divinity of Self as I aspire to be. As with every step in spiritual growth, self-honesty is usually the first step. I don't see any of those experiences as bad. Infact, I would consider them to be sign posts within myself showing me how to move forward.

For instance as I mentioned before, I've had to face my own tendency to see more of the Divine in some than others. I had to face that I saw and honored the Divine more in some people than others.

Gradually, in my experience, I have felt that a consistent meditation practice gave the quality of detachment through which I've started to be able to see the personality/person as well as the Divine working through persons to guide me. More and more I feel reverence and devotion directed more to the Divine I see in all and less focused on the personalities or persons I'm interacting with.

For a long time I would become hooked on the person/personality instead and I've had to find my own coping mechanisms to deal with that tendency of my mind. This may be at the center of the controversies about "Guru worshiping" and the overall issue of idol worshiping. I think anyone who finds themselves caught in either of these tendencies or who might have a fear of being caught in it, should take that as a sign post or indication of the need to push even harder in spiritual practice and find his/her way to even mindedness.

I've found detachment to be essential to even mindedness. As my detachment grows, I see less people (humans) and more souls around me with certain qualities all on their own individual journey. In that regard, they begin to look more equal. At some point, I started to see less individual souls and more of the One divine presence disguised as life events, people I meet, relationships and all of life. But that shift in vision took some time to become my new normal.

For me, the journey to even mindedness has been a very gradual process so far. Based on the internal sign posts and writings of those who have experienced it, I believe I have much further to go on this path. Perhaps for others, it will happen more quickly or more slowly - every person's journey is unique.

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