EQUANIMITY    [btang-snyoms]
What is equanimty? It is a mind which abides in the state of non-attachment, non-hatred, and non-deludedness coupled with assiduousness. It is quite dissimilar to a state that gives rise to emotional instability. It is a state where mind remains what it is -- a state of being calm and a spontaneous presence of mind. Its function is not to provide occasions for emotional instability.
Equanimity means to make the mind fully concentrated on it objective reference by relying on means and techniques internally and to generate the nine phases in the process assuring stability of mind gradually.** When the nine phases in this process have been completed, one need not seek for counteragents of elation or depression --  the mind is there spontaneously as what it is.

In general, equanimity is threefold:

1.    Motivational equanimity
2.    Feeling equanimity
3.    Immeasurable equanimity
The one under consideration here is motivational equanimity.

In the first phase of this stabilizing process, one has to know thoroughly the methods which set the mind on its object and then, how its state with this object deepens after one uses what counteracts elation and depression, how to use these counteragents when this deepening takes place, how in the end one obtains full concentration in integration, and how to obtain this equanimity in between periods when one watches for elation or not. All this one can learn from the byang-chub lam-gyi rim-pa.

The statement that equanimity functions as not providing occasions for instability means that when these nine phases of the process of assuring stability of mind have been completed, it is easy to turn back the manifest emotions which belong to the world of desires. In particular, when composure sets in, elation or depression do not come about.

        ** For the nine phases in the process assuring stability of mind [sems gnas dgu] see Mahayanasutralamkara
Because the mind is made to stay with its objective reference,
It cannot wander about to this or that.
Because the mind quickly experiences any distractions, It returns to its objective reference once more.
The wise one gradually draw
His mind inward, and then,
Because he sees the virtue of this,
He tames his mind through deep contemplation.

He sees distractions as offensive
And subdues unpleasant things on account of that.
When greediness, unhappiness, etc,.
He subdues them in the same manner.

Thus, the one who strives assiduously
Will experience the natural state of impermanence directly.
By concentrating intensely on what is present before the mind,
He attains the unconditioned.

The four verses explain the nine phases in the process assuring stability of mind. The nine are:
1.    The mind is made to settle on its objective reference    ['jug par byed]
2.    It is made to stay with it totally    [kun tu joy par byed]
3.    It is made to stay with certainty    [nges par 'jog par byed]
4.    It is made to stay with intensity    [nye bar 'jog par byed]
5.    It is tamed    ['dul bar byed]
6.    It is subdued    [zhi bar byed]
7.    It is intensely subdued    [nye bar zhi bar byed]
8.    It is made to flow in an integrated manner   [rgyud gcig tu byed]
9.    It is made to stay with equanimity    [mnyam par 'jog par byed]
This statement in the Mahayanasutralamkara becomes more lucid when we understand it according to Mipham's gSang 'grel phyogs bcu'i mun sel gyi spyi don 'od gasl snying po where he related the nine phases to the six powers [stob-drug] and the four mental controls [yid byed bxhi. Mipham continues by saying, "These nine phases are completed through five stages. The first one is like a waterfall over a steep mountain. The second one settles like the water in a pool at the foot of the fall. The third one flows like a river. The fourth one is calm like the depth of the ocean. The fifth one stands firm like a mountain.