One year ago today my 73-year old mother suddenly
passed away from a heart attack while travelling in Mexico. Five days later my
93-year old father died as his vital organs failed. Tragedies in my life
continued throughout 2019 as I witnessed my extended family members wage war
against one another, my father’s business collapse, one of my siblings agonise
from mental illness, several friends and relatives flee wildfires, young
friends diagnosed with cancer, my children get hurt from sports injuries and
bullies, and intoxicated arsonists mindlessly burn down six barns in my neighbourhood.
And now COVID-19 welcomes us into a new decade.
For many of us the Coronavirus pandemic has provided a strong
confirmation of the importance of having a well-established insight
meditation practice. In particular, the ability to face painful vedanās
with inner composure and equanimity is such an important asset in many
respects, enabling us to face the repercussions of the pandemic on
others and on ourselves with equanimity, able to do the needful without
The Equanimous Mind is a book that will introduce Vipassana to people who may not have been familiar with it, and that will increase buy-in from many people who are already practicing it. The book describes a ten-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S. N. Goenka from the standpoint of someone encountering meditation for the first time. It contains a detailed, journal-like narrative of the rich and complex sequence of events that unrolls
during the ten-day retreat that is devoted to learning this form of meditation. The strength of the book is the author’s capacity to recall and sequence vivid details by the hundreds. Dr. Manish Chopra has a mind unusual for its precision. This gives the book the feeling of an experience rather than merely of a recounting. The reader feels as if he or she were right there, accompanying Manish in this breakthrough moment.