This discussion reviews the characteristics of upekkha (ooh-peh-kah), the seventh Awakening Factor, translated as equanimity regarding one’s state of consciousness. Upekkha is also considered as one of the Four Divine Abidings (lovingkindness, compassion and sympathetic joy being the other three), one of the ten Perfections and the primary characteristic of the Fourth Jhana, experienced at extraordinarily developed levels of concentration. Equanimity is not indifference but rather the ability to be aware of and non-reactive to emotional urgency and impulsive reactivity. This quality is synonymous with tatramajjhatata, (tah-trah-muh-jah-tuh-tah), a term that describes a state of mind that is “in the middle”, that is, not too excited or too dull, nor too identified with a thought or too skeptical. Upekkha is relevant in daily life as the ability to stay present and do the right thing even under trying circumstances, while tatramajjhatata is more associated with the refined levels of awareness that involve the seven Awakening Factors. Peter reviews the other six Awakening Factors: Mindfulness, Investigation, Energy/Right Effort, Joy, Tranquility and Concentration, explaining how Equanimity interacts with each of them to create the optimal conditions for Awakening. Several suggestions were made regarding lifestyle choices and finding opportunities to develop equanimity that are sufficiently challenging but not overwhelming. This was followed by discussion of how upekkha is experienced by those participating in the Zoom meeting.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: THE EQUANIMITY AWAKENING FACTOR (AutoRecovered)
Next week’s discussion will begin a series of reviews of the 52 cetasikas (cheh-tah-see-kahs), conditioning factors of the mind, also termed sankharas (sahn-kah-rahs).
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 58:30 — 107.1MB)
This topic reviews the fulfillment of the Seven Awakening Factors in the seventh of them, Upekkha Bojjhanga, the Equanimity Awakening Factor. Upekkha doesn’t represent uncaring indifference but rather the ability to be aware of emotional responses to situations without being identified with them as a “self” and without being impulsively reactive. The term upekkha is synonymous with tatramajjhattata, a Buddhist concept conveying the “finding the middle” balancing function that manifests when the Seven Awakening Factors are in optimal dynamic harmony: not too much or too little energy, with a balance that avoids rigid mental identification and complete skepticism. The explanation was followed by vigorous discussion among those attending regarding the benefits of cultivating equanimity for everyday living in the workplace and parenting.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: THE EQUANIMITY AWAKENING FACTOR
Next week’s talk will review the fulfillment potential realized through mastery of mindfulness of breathing as described in the Anapanasati Sutta and will be the final discussion of this important Buddhist teaching.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 1:07:15 — 123.1MB)
During this talk, Peter explained upekkha bojjhanga, the equanimity awakening factor. In the process, equanimity was described as the result of effective, dynamic interactions between the other six factors of awakening, which produces the most appropriate balance between joy and tranquility, concentration and investigation of mental phenomena, monitored by mindfulness and effected by energy as right effort. The function of equanimity to bring balance to lovingkindness, compassion and sympathetic joy was explained. Additionally, the dominance of equanimity in the third and fourth jhanas was described, and how this relates to the seven factors of awakening.
Here are the notes prepared for the presentation: THE EQUANIMITY AWAKENING FACTOR
Next weeks discussion will begin to explore the culmination of the Noble Eightfold Path, a “revisiting” of Right Understanding and Right Intention.