In the Sanskrit that have this phrase, which means literally "happiness and pain the same". This is a goal of spiritual practice. It has always seemed harsh to me, and I have written on it more than once (although I cannot honestly remember what I said, so I may be repeating myself).
On the face of it, you harden your heart, in the same way you harden yourself when doing some unpleasant task, like jumping into a cold swimming pool. You just don't think about it. You teach yourself to not care. You get comfortable with discomfort.
But a much warmer feeling came up in me today I thought I would share.
It is a fact of life that some people will like you, some will dislike you, some will be ambivalent, and some will change their minds. It is a fact of life that some things you try will succeed, most will partially succeed, but not to your imagination, and sometimes through some combination of strategy, luck, and your own qualities as a person, they will "fail", as they say.
Failure stings. Success feels good. These are truisms we have all seen in our own experience.
But I felt the possibility of remaining open in all circumstances. As Churchill put it, in a quote I have cited more than once: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that matters."
I would amend this: I would say "curiosity to continue". It is quite possible to find even difficult situations interesting. It is like a movie, where you don't know how it will turn out, where you are one of the actors. Now, we are all naturally attached to a sense of self esteem which is influenced by events, by an attachment to life and relative comfort, but these are not NECESSARY connections. It is possibly to privilege INTEREST above all this.
I feel this is the root of the thing: it is not disconnection, but HEIGHTENED connection, combined with a cultivated ability to process experience, and find the fascination in ALL of it.
I would add as well that I do have spells where I feel no need to speak at all. I feel that healing for me is speaking less. I was going to write a post on this but