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.


Reviewing The Seven Awakening Factors, Part 1

Once the mind has settled because the Five Hindrances have been conditionally disabled, the full realization of Awakening becomes possible because of the effect of the Seven Awakening Factors: Mindfulness, Investigation of Mental Phenomena, Energy/Effort/ Persistence, Joy/Engaged Interest, Tranquility, Concentration/Unification and Equanimity/Balance.  This talk focuses on a review of the first three of the factors, the coordinated and integrated development of which enables the realization of the remaining four factors.  Upcoming talks will review the remaining factors.

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


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


Seven Awakening Factors Overview June 3, 2020

This talk is the first of several reviews of Sattasambojjangha, (sah-tah-sahm-bow-jahn-gah), the Seven Awakening Factors.  The factors are mindfulness, investigation of mental phenomena, energy/effort, joy, tranquility, concentration and equanimity.  Each of these factors will be reviewed individually over the course of several weeks.  During the talk, Peter emphasized the integrative characteristics of the factors, as the cultivation of each supports the unification and capabilities of all the factors in supporting, first, the setting aside of the Five Hindrances and second, realizing the direct experience of impermanence, dukkha and non-self aspects of subjective reality.  After the review, there was discussion among the participants to clarify and expand on the concepts.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  SATTASAMBOJJHANGA

Next week will be a review of mindfulness as an Awakening factor.