Understanding Equanimity

Equanimity is the quality of present-moment awareness and behavior that is highly valued in all spiritual endeavors.  Theravada Buddhism has developed an extensive analysis of equanimity to support the process of Awakening conceptually, and this talk reviews those concepts, using the Visuddhimagga, translated as “The Path of Purification”, as a guide.  Two primary areas of practice that will be reviewed are associated with the cultivation of lovingkindness, compassion and sympathetic joy, along with the function of equanimity as one of the Seven Awakening Factors.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Cultivating Equanimity

Next week’s talk will “Go back to the basics” with a guided training meditation focusing on mindfulness of breathing meditation, followed by a Dharma talk that will provide an insightful review of how mindfulness of breathing meditation beneficially affects the neural structures of the brain and the function of that practice for advancing the process of Awakening.


Review of the Seven Awakening Factors

This talk is part of an extensive investigation of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness Discourse, and provides a review of how undeveloped characteristics of the Seven Awakening Factors within the Fourth Foundation can be identified while meditating, accompanied by a more thorough description of the mature manifestations of the individual factors.  Emphasis is placed on the role of the first four of the factors–Mindfulness, Investigation of Mental Phenomena, Energy/Right Effort and Joy/Enthusiastic Interest–in the manifestation and increasing power of the remaining three factors, Tranquility, Concentration and Equanimity.  Ultimately, all seven factors are integrated, with high levels of functioning in the practice of vipassana, insight into the impermanent manifestation of self-states that are interdependent with one’s environment.

This talk is intended to be complemented by “Contemplating the Seven Awakening Factors”, found in the Audio archives of this website.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  THE SEVEN AWAKENING FACTORS

The focus of the next talk will be on the final stanzas of the Satipatthana Sutta, the realization of the Four Noble Truths.


Seven Awakening Factors, December 9, 2020

This talk reviews the Seven Awakening Factors: Mindfulness, Investigation of Mental Phenomena, Energy/Effort, Joy/Enthusiastic Interest, Tranquility, Concentration/Stability of Attention and Equipoise/Balance of Factors.  Each factor is briefly reviewed, describing its characteristics and function.  The intention originally was to include a review of the Progressions of Insight, a Theravadin system for identifying states of mind that are increasingly subtle, oriented toward realizing directly the characteristics of impermanence (anicca), the absence of an enduring/autonomous self (anatta), and the distress and confusion that results from the mind’s subjugation by craving and clinging (dukkha).  Regrettably, due to the complexity of the reviews, there was insufficient time to adequately review the Progressions of Insight.  You are invited to download and review the extensive notes regarding the Seven Awakening Factors and the Progressions of Insight prepared for this talk in order to more fully comprehend these important concepts that allow the mind to be liberated, with the potential for realizing the ultimate attainment, Nirvana.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Cultivating The Factors For Awakening


The Mindfulness Awakening Factor May 1 2019

This talk continues a long series of discussions of the Anapanasati Sutta, the Mindfulness of Breathing Discourse.  The focus here is sati bojjhangha, the rmindfulness awakening factor, considered to be a primary element of the Seven Awakening Factors, monitoring and coordinating their function towards Awakening.  Peter described the various ways sati is described: the four foundations of mindfulness, right mindfulness, the power of mindfulness to overcome the hindrances and to foster the development of wholesome self-state organizing processes.  This was followed by a question and answer period to clarify the functions of mindfulness.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  THE MINDFULNESS AWAKENING FACTOR

Next week’s topic is Dhamma Vicaya Bojjhanga, the Investigation of Mental Phenomena Awakening Factor.


Awakening With Equanimity September 12 2018

This talk reviews the Equanimity Awakening Factor and includes a summary regarding how the Seven Awakening Factors integrate and cooperate to further the process of liberating the mind from the distress and confusion that is the result of craving and clinging.  The review was followed by general discussion regarding the benefits of cultivating samadhi/passadhi (concentration/tranquility) as a foundational goal of daily mindfulness meditation practice.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  THE MIDDLE WAY WITH EQUANIMITY

Next week’s talk will summarize the entirety of the Satipatthana Sutta with review of the final stanzas of the discourse, with emphasis on the realization of the Four Noble Truths.