The Benefits Of Perfecting Equanimity

This talk explores the 10th Parami, upekkha, typically translated as equanimity, or neutrality.  Peter describes an additional Buddhist term that applies to this Parami, tatramajjhattata, typically translated as “that quality of mind that is balanced in the middle“.  The cultivation and perfection of equanimity is a crucial aspect for the process of awakening (it is one of the seven factors for awakening, and one of the four Divine Abidings, along with lovingkindness, compassion and sympathetic joy, as it represents the optimal balance of energy (not too much–agitation, or too little, sloth and torpor) and attention (not too attached, or too distracted), which must be dynamically managed with mindful investigation and the ability to redirect attention skillfully.  This explanation of the balancing process that produces equanimity was followed by lively discussion among the participants about how the concepts can be realized through practice.

Here are the notes prepared for this discussion, including a graph representing the balancing elements:  The Benefits Of Perfecting Equanimity

There will be further discussion of the Paramis focused on how they interact dynamically in ways the promote the process of awakening during a future talk.

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The Benefits Of Perfecting Determination

This week’s talk focused on the Parami of Determination (Adhitthana in Pali).  The current English word determination can have two applications: the first is resolve or commitment and the second is the ability to be clear about what delineates an object (an example would be involve determining the total cost of an item).  Peter used this opportunity to relate how determination supports the development of all the Paramis in specific ways.   This was followed by discussion regarding how determination applies to everyday life from a Buddhist awakening perspective.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  The Benefits Of Perfecting Determination

Next week’s talk will be a review by a Sangha member who recently completed a 9 day retreat in the Goenka practices, combined with his report on a retreat this upcoming weekend involving Korean Zen practice.

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Renunciation Exercise

This evening’s project is to use the worksheet attached below to list various beliefs, values and expectations we experience on a hierarchical scale, in order to practice noticing how craving and clinging occurs as well as how to activate and strengthen nekkhamma, renunciation, to free the mind from attachment to outcomes in daily life experience.

A significant portion of the evening’s discussion involved participants talking through the examples, while Peter commented on how that relates to renunciation.

Here is the worksheet developed for this exercise:  RENUNCIATION WORKSHEET

Peter will be away for a few weeks.  Various guest teachers will present their discussions over the next few meetings.  These talks will not be recorded for posting.  During Peter’s next talk on June 21, the Parami of Wisdom will be explored.