upeksha: non-attachment

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If you have been reading along, you have already heard about the first three qualities of true love, maitri, karuna, and mudita. If not, you might like to read my previous posts, “the first quality of love” and “the qualities of love.”


The fourth element of true love is upeksha, which means equanimity. It may also be understood as nonattachment or nondiscrimination.

This one is a challenge in the world we inhabit today. We are inclined to give our love with attachment, discrimination or prejudice, but the Buddha would say that this is not true love. To love with equanimity, we must practice the ability to see everyone as equal, not discriminating between ourselves and others. Even when conflict arises, we can practice remaining sufficiently impartial that we are able to love the other.

To say, “I will share my love with one but not the other” is not equanimity. And also, without equanimity, your beloved may feel robbed of his or her freedom by your possessiveness. That is not loving. True love allows you to preserve your liberty and the liberty of your loved one.

For love to be true love, it must contain benevolence, compassion, joy, and equanimity. This is the story of the four immeasurable elements of true love. They are called “immeasurable” because, if you practice them, they will grow within you every day until the whole world can feel your love.


One thought on “upeksha: non-attachment

  1. as soon as we say, “this is this,” we bring into being the duality of this and not-this, and our human brains automatically attach values. makes me think of pema’s teachings about shenpa, about not swallowing the hook.


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