Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Four Sublime States of Mind - Right Equanimity (Upekkha)

Right Equanimity;
Upekkhā (in devanagari: ऊपेक्खा; Sanskrit: उपेक्षा), is the Buddhist concept of equanimity. As one of the Brahma Vihara (meditative states), it is a pure mental state cultivated on the Buddhist path to nirvāna. ..Wikipedia.

It is evenness of mind, unshakeable freedom of mind, a state of inner equipoise that cannot be upset by gain and loss, honor and dishonor, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. Upekkha is freedom from all points of self-reference; it is indifference only to the demands of the ego-self with its craving for pleasure and position, not to the well-being of one's fellow human beings."

Thich Nhat Hanh says (in The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, p. 161) that the Sanskrit word upekshameans "equanimity, nonattachment, nondiscrimination, even-mindedness, or letting go.Upa means 'over,' and iksh means 'to look.' You climb the mountain to be able to look over the whole situation, not bound by one side or the other."
Thich Nhat Hanh says that Buddhist equanimity includes the ability to see everyone as equal. "We shed all discrimination and prejudice, and remove all boundaries between ourselves and others," he writes. "In a conflict, even though we are deeply concerned, we remain impartial, able to love and to understand both sides. [The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, p. 162]." 

Another Pali word that is translated into English as "equanimity" is tatramajjhattata, which means "to stand in the middle." Gil Fronsdal says this "standing in the middle" refers to a balance that comes from inner stability; remaining centered when surrounded by turmoil.

The Buddha taught that we are constantly being pulled in one direction or another by things or conditions we either want or hope to avoid. These include praise and blame, pleasure and pain, success and failure, gain and loss. The wise person, the Buddha said, accepts all without approval or disapproval.
Here, monks, a disciple dwells pervading one direction with his heart filled with equanimity, likewise the second, the third and the fourth direction; so above, below and around; he dwells pervading the entire world everywhere and equally with his heart filled with equanimity, abundant, grown great, measureless, free from enmity and free from distress.
— Digha Nikaya 13

There are days if not moments in my life when i am doing nothing but wasting my life and all these efforts of keeping an on going record of my practice is nothing but a form of self justification and truly nothing has really changed for the better or worse. I keep stumbling into potholes of doubts and depressions and making the grave errors of comparing myself to others who I see as leading a more profitable and meaningful life. These moments of deviation from my chosen path of practice occurs more often as i get older and more committed into the practice or so it seems. However it is mostly occurring in my mind in the forms of thoughts and not so much as in what I experience externally or physically which at times baffles me especially when things happens according to how I had foreseen it happening in my mind. I find that being patient is also the key that can make things happen the way one has envisioned it to be as opposed to trying or making an effort for it to happen.
Small somewhat in significant episodes takes place that is not worth relating her but none the less happened and I was aware of it and how it is connected to my practice or so I think have triggered some positive reflection upon the validity of my practice, that something is beginning to happen, something out of the ordinary although small but still significant. When this happens I feel a little more uplifted am motivated to move forward with what I am doing. I will never split the sea or walk through fire as result of my practice but the fact that I am not as angry or judgmental over others or the fact that I feel a sense of freedom about being myself is more than i can bargain for.
No doubt my mind still is as busy as a bee whenever i am lax or not consciously aware of my being like waking up from my sleep or after chatting with my friends or relatives if and when I needed to. My mind still clings on to its chatty state of analyzing, judging, accusing and praising until I have to sit to slow it down; it is still subjected to attachment. But I am getting a better handle on it or so it seems of late and am able to tone it down or bring it to become quiet if not still while dropping off al the unnecessary gossips it had attached itself to.
Perhaps i have arrived at being able to stand in the middle of it all, like being in the eye of the storm instead of being sucked by its turbulence in the periphery. Perhaps unknowingly i am approaching the state of equanimity not fully but perhaps to a very small degree whereby i can stand and watch how my mind works within and without, without being attached to what I am experiencing.My doubtful mind still resist from making a full acceptance of this beautiful feeling of being in a state of 'semi-detached', but i still am convinced enough that with a little more perseverance I will be free from my doubts.

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