What Is Equanimity?

Equanimity describes a state of mental and emotional stability in which one’s composure is undisturbed be external influences. In Buddhist practice, it is one of the highest states of being. Not to be confused with aloofness or indifference, equanimity does not mean denying one’s emotions, but rather witnessing them without becoming attached. Dr. Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, says the non-reactivity of equanimity can create an ‘inner freedom.’ It’s not that we don’t value positive emotions like joy and excitement, Hanson says. We just don’t cling to these emotions.

When it comes to things that we desire, including tangible possessions and achievements, Dr. Chönyi Taylor explains that equanimity means having an even-minded approach to both having and not having what we want. When we desire something, she says to remind ourselves: “I don’t have to go overboard if I’ve got it; I don’t have to go overboard if I don’t get it.” Calmness and inner peace do not have to depend on any outcomes. It already exists within each of us.
It doesn’t have to take years of deep meditation to achieve a state of equanimity. Meditation is an important factor, but there are various other practices to consider. Try the five below to start cultivating more equanimity in your life.


Vipassana meditation is considered one of the most effective practices in cultivating equanimity. It is the practice of continued close attention to sensation, usually achieved by sitting silently and scanning the body’s sensations, or the rising and falling breath. Follow these simple steps to begin your meditation:

  • Settle into a comfortable seated position with upright posture
  • Close your eyes and focus your attention on your abdomen as you breathe normally
  • Notice your abdomen rise and fall
  • If you feel your breath more prominently in your nostrils or your chest, then rest your attention there, following the breath as it enters your body and releases
  • It may help to label the sensation of the breath entering and releasing to focus your attention, thinking to yourself, ‘Breathing in, breathing out,’ or simply, ‘In, out’
  • When your mind inevitably wanders to another bodily sensation, let yourself focus your attention there, before gently returning to your breath
  • When your seated meditation is complete, try your best to carry this gentle focus and awareness throughout your day, resting your attention on various activities and experiences as they occur

While vipassana meditation can be practiced alone, one 2014 study found that silent vipassana meditation retreats were also highly effective opportunities for participants to cultivate equanimity as a shared emotional state. Participants in such retreats go through a gradual process of learning how to be with other people while not directly attending to them. This form of social non-engagement allows for the emergence of silent social attunement.

Feel Your Feelings

According to Harvard brain scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, it only takes 90 seconds to identify an emotion and watch it dissipate. But to witness our emotions, we must not be afraid of feeling them. When an emotion arises, even a difficult one, resist the urge to distract yourself. In addition to feeling the emotion, name it (e.g. sadness, anger, jealousy, etc.). While we may fear the emotion will linger too long, our willingness to sit with it actually does the opposite. Only when we give the emotion our full attention can we move on and move back into an equanimous state.

Forest Bathe

Like vipassana meditation, forest bathing is a mindfulness practice that allows us to become more aware. Take some time out from your day and your device to immerse yourself in a natural environment. Your only goal in this environment is to observe the sensations that arise around and within you without becoming attached. While you walk or sit in this forest or other natural place, take note of what you see, hear, smell, or even taste. This focused attention will help you become more rooted in the present moment, cultivating equanimity with every sensory detail.

Dance, Stretch or Exercise

Physical activities can also help you achieve equanimity when you focus your attention on each precise movement. Whether you’re dancing, practicing yoga, or lifting weights, try to be aware of bodily sensations and how your breath moves through your body as you move. Even challenging moments when you fall, slip, or otherwise “mess up” can be an opportunity for equanimity. How quickly can you return to a centered state? How can you allow the next try to feel like a fresh start?

Embrace Impermanence

When we cling to successes or failures, we do so with the impossible notion that “this will last forever.” Either we hope the success lasts or we hope the failure doesn’t. But nothing lasts forever. Impermanence is a way of life. Equanimity is the state of being okay with that sense of impermanence. Once we start to embrace the ebb and flow of life, we can finally accept whatever comes our way from a place of open-heartedness and peace.

There is some concern from the Western mind that using vipassana or other meditation techniques is similar to disconnecting from feelings (i.e. being too “zoomed out.”) Equanimity needs to be practised while fully immersed in our feelings and emotions. We must be willing to embrace our emotional content while holding our center, so that we can respond to triggers mindfully. Therein lies our personal freedom.

The Hoffman Process facilitates the emotional healing that is required to be able to manage this state of consciousness. During the Process, participants have many opportunities to cultivate equanimity through mindfulness meditation, journaling, expressive work, and group work. We also help people to identify what they can change in their lives from this position of inner calmness and peace. By zooming out just enough from harmful patterns and past traumas while holding their center, participants have greater ability to escape the reactiveness of their emotional child to address their lives with mature wisdom and strength.

This article was contributed by Erica Garza. Follow @ericadgarza on Instagram


Individual Therapy vs Group Therapy and How Hoffman Differs

For those who are interested in personal development, individual therapy and various types of group work are feasible options, but each route comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. While some people may find the privacy and one-on-one interaction of individual work to be alluring, group work can help them feel more connected with others, especially if they’ve been feeling isolated.

There are various types of group work, from group counselling sessions for family members going through a crisis to self-discovery retreats. The Hoffman Process offers a unique format: individual work in a group setting. To help you decide if this format might work for you, we’ll explore the advantages of individual therapy vs. group work, dive into the types of group work that exist, and show you how the Hoffman Process combines both.

Individual Therapy vs. Group Work

There are many reasons people decide to engage in inner work, whether they are aiming to improve some aspect of themselves or make it through a crisis. For people who did not get as much attention or activation from caregivers or other one-on-one relationships, individual work with a therapist or coach can be particularly helpful. In the private setting, they are allowed to develop self-awareness by discussing personal issues and getting tailored feedback from another person.

One of the most daunting things about group work for some people might be the social aspect. After all, research suggests that almost 11 percent of the Australian population experiences social anxiety during their lifetime. The idea of working through delicate issues with strangers may induce feelings of fear or anxiety, but the social component can actually be the most healing aspect. By hearing that other people are suffering, sometimes in similar ways, a person engaging in group work can feel less alone in their pain and more understood. In this sense, group work can be a great equalizer, even if members of the group come from drastically different walks of life.

Benefits of Individual Work

  • Confidentiality
  • One-on-one attention from therapist or coach
  • Flexible scheduling

Drawbacks of Individual Work

  • One perspective
  • Completely dependent on the experience of the therapist
  • Removed from the social context where a participant can be triggered

Benefits of Group Work

  • Identifying with the experiences of others
  • Multiple perspectives
  • Corrective experiences for social emotional trauma
  • Opportunity to work on transferences, such as expresssing and tolerating strong emotions triggered by others
  • The approach allows therapists to observe relational patterns

Drawbacks of Group Work

  • Social aspect can be intimidating for some
  • Divided attention from facilitators (except for scheduled one-on-one time in some formats)

Types of Group Work

One of the earliest examples of group therapy was in the early 1900’s with Dr. John Pratt, an American physician in the Boston area who ran group sessions with tuberculosis patients. Pratt found that the patients benefited emotionally due to the support they received from others in shared experiences. Group therapy accelerated following World War II when groups of combat veterans were treated together.

Despite this fairly recent history, the importance of peer support has been known through the ages and group support has even been linked to longevity. Consider the Okinawa people of Japan, who are known for living long, healthy lives. One of their longevity traditions is called moai, a term which refers to social support groups that begin in childhood and extend to advanced age. Originally, moais were established to gather resources from a whole village for projects or public works. Today, the concept has grown to become more of a social support network, a cultural tradition for built-in comradeship.

These days, there are a variety of options for group work. These include:

Support Groups
Support groups involve regular meetings where people experiencing similar problems, such addictions or crises, come together to talk candidly with each other and offer support.

Family Counselling
Family counselling is designed to address specific issues that affect the mental health of the family, resolve challenging issues, or improve communication skills across members.

Personal Growth Retreats
With a focus on personal development and growth, these retreats vary widely in structure, overall aim, and the tools and techniques involved. From mindfulness workshops with meditation teachers to mental health retreats with trained psychotherapists, the range is extensive. The Hoffman Process is a type of personal growth retreat, which focuses on unlearning negative patterns of thought and behaviour.

How the Hoffman Process Differs from Individual & Group Therapy

The Hoffman Process is unique because it is a type of individual work done in a group setting. Throughout the 7-day residential experience, the Process affords people an enormous amount of privacy because it allows participants to share with the large group only when they feel comfortable. And while there are group-driven activities, each participant also works with a facilitator who can give them one-on-one attention and guidance. In the more expressive pieces of the Process, the facilitators help participants go beyond the way certain emotions were allowed to be expressed within the context of their families. By expressing anger, grief or even joy in a new and more authentic way in this new group, the Process can be a corrective experience.

Group work in the Process can also solidify a person’s sense of belonging. When a participant reveals their toxic shame beliefs to the group and the group doesn’t reject them, they realize they’re still worthy of belonging. While they might reveal these same toxic shame beliefs in the presence of a therapist, and receive a positive reflection, there’s always a chance that their inner saboteur may doubt the therapist. They’ll think, “Of course they have to say this because I’ve paid money,” but hearing these positive reflections from the group breaks through this self-sabotage. The participant also gains a new and surprising belief in this process: that people actually feel closer to them because of their vulnerability in sharing these toxic beliefs.

After the Hoffman Process, participants do have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a Hoffman facilitator as well as opportunities to work with the larger network of Hoffman graduates. To learn more about how the Hoffman Process works, read What is the Hoffman Process.

This article was contributed by by Erica Garza. Follow @ericadgarza on Instagram



Love is a Verb: How to Stay Open to Love

A recent survey by Relationships Australia found that 42 percent of respondents reported a negative change in their relationship with their partner since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing illness, lockdowns, homeschooling, and other unexpected shifts in routine, many couples found themselves at a loss for how to maintain intimacy or recover it when life started to run smoothly again.

According to Chris Kraft, Ph.D., a psychologist and expert in relationships and sexuality, “Couples who were in a good place before COVID-19 [were likely to] have an easier time withstanding the stress of the pandemic.” However, he also noted that even partners who were struggling before the stay-home mandates began were encouraged to use the time to work through some of their problems.

While the future is looking more positive at the moment, none of us can predict the challenges of tomorrow. What we can do is invest in our relationships today to build a strong foundation that can withstand external forces. Staying open to love and intimacy is just as important during challenging times as it is during times of minimal stress. Whether you are in a long-term partnership or a new one, here are some things you can do to keep your relationship strong no matter what the future holds.

Acknowledge Your Needs

Maybe you learned from your parents and caregivers that your needs were unimportant. Maybe you learned it was easier to go with the flow. Wherever you learned to deny your own needs, your relationship is bound to suffer as a result. You’ll end up expecting your partner to meet these needs even though they’ve never been outwardly expressed.

While you may fear appearing “needy,” by voicing your needs to your partner, you run the risk of appearing needy anyway by finding subtle and sneaky ways to get your needs met or you may become totally detached from your partner. While acknowledging your needs is an important step in strengthening your intimacy with your partner, being able to voice your needs is a crucial next step.

Establish Your Negotiable and Non-Negotiable Agreements

Every relationship is different and what may be a dealbreaker in your relationship may be permissible in another. Set aside some time with your partner to establish your negotiable and non-negotiable agreements. Non-negotiable agreements refer to things you can’t tolerate in order to stay in the relationship. It’s paramount that both partners carefully consider if they’re willing to follow through or not willing to follow before they agree to a non-negotiable. Keep in mind that non-negotiable agreements may evolve over time and may, in fact, become open to negotiation. However, re-establishing the agreements requires both partners to commit to an open and considerate conversation.

Learn How to “Fight Right”

Love involves tough conversations. If your wants or needs are not being met, it is crucial that you find ways to express this to your partner to avoid building a resentment. Hoffman Director Volker Krohn offers these five tips when approaching a difficult conversation:

  1. Go to a place of vulnerability
  2. Get clear about what you want or need
  3. Make sure your request is not a demand
  4. Choose a time and place for the conversation that is free of distractions
  5. Sandwich your request with positive statements

Also be careful that you don’t drudge up the past or build a case against your partner. This points to an underlying problem with forgiveness and diverts the focus from the current situation.

Become Aware of Patterns and Triggers

In childhood you may have learned to reproduce the behaviors of your parents or caregivers—the positive and the negative—to earn their approval, attention, and love. In the Hoffman Process, we call this adoption of behaviors the “Negative Love Syndrome.” From shutting down in the face of conflict to lying or withholding your affection, there are number of ways the Negative Love Syndrome can affect your current relationship and taking inventory is a powerful way to start taking back control.

You may also notice that relationships are full of emotional triggers. Instead of always blaming your partner for provoking an undesirable reaction in you, make an effort to take full responsibility for your emotional reactions. When you blame another person, you hand your power over to them, allowing your inner world to be swayed by external input. Reclaim your power by noticing the trigger when it comes up and making room for the feeling it provokes.

Make Time for Fun and Play

According to Plato, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” It’s true — research suggests that couples who play together feel closer, experience more positive emotions, and as a result are happier together. No matter what the circumstances are beyond your front door, there’s always a way to make time for fun and play in your relationship.

Whether it’s taking a simple drive together or carving out time for a special dinner, finding undistracted time to spend with your partner can have a lasting impact on your satisfaction levels.

Expand Your Support System

A recent study out of the University of Texas at Austin found that a reliable and strong social network can not only save your relationships, but positively affect your health. When you expect your relationship to give you everything, you put enormous pressure on your partner. By expanding your social support system and staying open to love in all its forms, such as friendships, you and your partner are more likely to be happier and healthier in the long run. It is similarly important to keep growing as an individual and to practice self-care instead of solely depending on your partner for your happiness. The result is a mature relationship in which both partners feel closely connected while still maintaining a powerful sense of individuality and independence.

This article was contributed by by Erica Garza. Follow @ericadgarza on Instagram



Blake Mycoskie Talks about Hoffman and Other Game-Changing Experiences

Blake Mycoskie is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and best-selling author, most known for founding TOMS Shoes. He is also the person behind the idea of One for One®, a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased. Since its inception, TOMS Shoes has provided almost 96 million pairs of shoes to children around the globe.

Blake’s interview on The Tim Ferris Show is both inspiring and informative as he discusses his take on what the Hoffman Process is and how his life changed after Hoffman, from feeling lighter to becoming a better parent and spouse and a better leader.

The Hoffman Process – “…there’s probably 3-4 experiences or practices that I’ve taken on in my life that have by far had the greatest impact in a positive way and I love to start with the Hoffman Process because it is at the top of the list.”

Listen now

Blake speaks candidly about hardwired “embarrassing” patterns learnt in childhood which he has overcome through doing the Hoffman Process.

When asked about about the difficult stage in life he was going through when he did Hoffman, Blake explained …”selling half of TOMS and stepping down and hiring a CEO, and became a father for the first time… was incredibly challenging because all of those things were the things I had been told by my parents and society and culture, would make me happy….. And so once I realised that I had accomplished everything I set out to do, and I was still waking up feeling very challenged, not motivated, not feeling like I had a purpose, low energy levels, having trouble sleeping which ultimately led to being diagnosed for the first time in my life with mild depression, ….I had an inclination that the external would never be the thing that would allow me to feel what I had been seeking. And so that began; it started with Hoffman”. Blake goes on to discuss other game-changing experiences and offers inspiring insight into looking inward in pursuit of living a life with meaning.

Follow Blake on Instagram @BlakeMycoskie


Rock Your Sparkle with Kerri Chinner

Everything is energy & that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want & you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.
Albert Einstein

How often do you let your Spiritual Self out to play? How often do you truly live from this part of you?
Or do you just give lip service to the fact that you have a Spiritual Self and still go about your day being led by your Intellect and Emotions?

Your Spiritual Self lives outside of time, and is already everything you desire to be. That version of you is living FREE of any challenges you are experiencing now, is ALREADY on the other side of any pain, drama, upset, challenge that is currently showing up.

What if you truly believed in the existence of this version of you? How would this call you to be in your everyday moments? Who would you be BE-ing? What would you be DO-ing? How would you be FEEL-ing? The frequencies of the answers to these questions is what will determine what shows up for you, your reality. It will move your from your Left Rd of fear, pushing, striving, efforting, victim, persecutor, rescuer to the Right Rd of co-creation with Existence. You become the Master of your destiny. Your vibration becomes your creation. Your Frequency becomes
your currency.

I remember when I was writing my coaching and mentoring program OWN YOUR EDGE… I knew what I wanted to include in the program, I had the skeleton of that very
clear, had written module 1 and yet I was completely stuck. Yes, I recognised the patterns that had surfaced with a vengence – and recycled – and yet, I every time I sat down to write – still nothing came out.

I would go to bed every night, asking my Guides, praying to my Spiritual Self, show me what to write, help me get clear – talk about trying to solve a problem at the level at which it had been created!! Einstein made this very clear that this is NOT the way to create change.

So one night, I went to bed and instead of asking for help, I said a prayer of gratitude… thank you, thank you, thank you for this opportunity to teach and share what I love and
so believe in. Thank you for the magic that is this program, Thank you for all the amazing souls who come into my life to be awakened and remember who they are. Now please take me to the place in time where module 2 is already done! Show me, show me, show me.

About 2am, I sat bolt upright in bed, got out my journal and wrote and wrote and wrote. the words just poured out of me. I wrote the entire module 2 with so much grace, ease and flow and I went “of course” – this is what my whole program is about, and yet I wasn’t putting into practice what I was teaching!!!

I share this with you because I want to remind you that when you play in the Quantum Field of Infinite Possibilities and align with your Spiritual Self, ‘magic’ does happen! Yes, I could have continued working my patterns through by journaling, recycling, even therapy and yes, absolutely, it would have made an enormous difference. However, working our issues at the level at which they have been created can become a longer more drawn out exercise.

By stepping out of that level of 3D, working the story, and stepping into a new paradigm (5D) of it already being done, I was able to achieve my end goal with more grace and ease than ever imagined. THIS is the power of your Spiritual Self, your Essence. This is the power of expanding on the question “what would my spiritual Self do?” and truly EMBODYING the highest version of you, in the NOW. This is how you collapse time. this is how you magnetise your destiny to you. No longer are you swimming around in the primordial soup of 3D human story, but you are claiming your birthright to live from your DIVINE Essence,

You are Divinity masquerading as …..(insert YOUR name)….. this lifetime! Re-member that! Your greatness and brilliance is unrivaled. When you feel trapped by the constraints of life’s challenges, know that there is a way forward. Does it mean that life will become easy? Does it mean you don’t have to do the inner work and can just abdicate it to ‘fluffy positive thinking? Hell no!!

Life will still do what it does, challenges will show up, not as problems but as opportunities for you to release the low vibe energetic imprints (patterns) in your field so you can become a divine high vibe transmission of light. We are evolving from Homo Sapien into Homo Luminous – and we all are here on the planet at this point in time to do our part.

Your presence makes THE WORLD of difference
Rock Your Sparkle!
I love you, Kerri xox

To find out more about Kerri’s work, go to and Join Kerry on Facebook

What’s Next?

There a few things you can do to find out if the Process is for you:
• Take our “Is the Process for me?” self-assessment test to learn if the Process if right for you
• Read our Frequently Asked Questions for more information
• Read what our Graduates have to say about their experience before and after doing the Process
• Take advantage of this great offer and book a free 1 hour consultation with one of our professional therapists

Related Articles on our website

Advocate for men’s mental health, GQ Editor Dylan Jones raises awareness on men’s plight with mental health issues in his candid account of his personal experience of the Hoffman Process
Katy Perry talks to Vogue Magazine about her Hoffman Process experience
Dr Joan Borysenko discusses the Benefits of the Hoffman Process, the limbic brain system connection and the scientific study by the University of California
Dr. J.W. Wilson, Executive Director of the Advanced Learning Institute, Canada discusses how the Hoffman Process creates positive long-lasting changes in brain structure