“The essence of the Way is detachment. And the goal of those who practice is freedom from
appearances. The sutras say, Detachment is enlightenment because it negates appearances.” Bodhidharma’s Wake-Up Sermon translated by Red Pine
This is similar to Faith in Mind, where it says that the way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. This ideal of detachment looks a little dreary to those addicted to excitement, I’m sure.
However, to those of us tired of the emotional roller coaster, it is a breath of fresh air and independence. Who wants to be one of those nasty people that leave ugly comments at the end of articles? True equanimity comes from not being emotionally invested in a situation. When you value peace above opinions, serenity is yours for the taking. Emotional manipulation of someone who accepts any and all outcomes is impossible.
I believe the reason to go beyond appearances is so important is that appearances can change at the drop of a hat. On the other hand, our interconnectedness doesn’t go anywhere. Get rid of an appearance here and, lo and behold, it pops up over there. What have to be gotten at are the causes of the appearances in the first place. There is no point screwing with a symptom that has no choice but to return.
The world is changing extremely quickly. Any appearance you are emotionally attached to is likely to dissolve. What you can do is to investigate more deeply into the themes of change and choose what changes you wish to be a part of. The flip side is that you need to make yourself stable enough to deal with all the changes that occur in the meantime. That’s where detachment and equanimity come in. Today’s change agents are the ones that have the flexibility and margin to absorb the changes they create.